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Why don't people go to bike races?

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Why don't people go to bike races?

Old 07-28-19, 08:27 AM
  #51  
Wildwood
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When I attended stages of Tour of California (only 3) they were packed.

There used to be more races in San Francisco - huge crowds, 7 deep on the climbs.

Why do they hold national races in places like...…. Knoxville, TN?
That would be a better question.

Bring the races to bike-popular areas and the people are there.
Big cities likely don't want the street closings and crowd disruptions.
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Old 07-28-19, 08:35 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
Its the foundation of conflict. It favors the reckless that do anything to gain an edge.

I think a an adult person should be able to know its skill levels without having to compare them to those of others and be able to improve them if necessary without the help of a broad audience.
WRONG.
If competition is 'the foundation of conflict' the Olympics should be cancelled.

The foundation of conflict is intolerance followed by hostility.
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Old 07-28-19, 12:07 PM
  #53  
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why? because watching my grass grow is more exciting. I love racing but watching, no thanks
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Old 07-28-19, 02:01 PM
  #54  
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Bicycle racing has zero interest for me. I'm not a racer, never have been, never will. My quest for speed is secondary to my physical (cardio/pulmonary) improvement. My cycling is for personal enjoyment/commuting/fitness, and sometimes rarely limited touring.
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Old 07-28-19, 02:22 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Yes, and in dictatorship type governments, the intelligencia groups somehow disappear.
We can only wish.
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Old 07-28-19, 04:23 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Sports spectating is decreasing generally. The NFL has been in a ratings decline for years, same with MLB and NASCAR. The only things I believe are up is the NBA and MMA. Even the WWE is in trouble, which is unabashedly about identification and story lines, and not about real competition.

Getting people to watch a single thing for hours at a time is increasingly difficult. I don't particularly think sports spectating is an important activity, but if you're hoping for more of it, you're going to be disappointed.
I doubt audience size is actually down very much in any of the major sports. Streaming and internet viewing account for any supposed "decline" and then some. If anything, sports viewership is almost certainly increasing but the antiquated Nielsen survey can't account for it. On top of that, the international market is enormous and growing.

I just find it funny that these dumbasses can't even live off of $100 to $300 million in career earnings. Almost all of them go broke within 5 years lol.
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Old 07-28-19, 05:12 PM
  #57  
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When bicycling enthusiasts hate watching bike racing, you know it's bad. As in rock bottom bad.
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Old 07-28-19, 05:25 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
When I attended stages of Tour of California (only 3) they were packed.

There used to be more races in San Francisco - huge crowds, 7 deep on the climbs.

Why do they hold national races in places like.... Knoxville, TN?
That would be a better question.

Bring the races to bike-popular areas and the people are there.
Big cities likely don't want the street closings and crowd disruptions.
7 deep. Wow, that really is packed.
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Old 07-28-19, 09:34 PM
  #59  
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I agree that watching the peloton/group go past in a matter of seconds can be boring.

As kids we used to go up the alps in Italy and France to watch the TDF and Giro D'Italia, that's a different thing though..
Firstly, if you enjoy the mountains, it's a great day to be had up there, then you actually get to see the cyclist coming up one at a time or in small groups, and if you pick the best climbs you get to see them go up slow and you can see how hard they're doing it.

Doing it that way it's a whole day outing and for me it was great. Even on TV I enjoy watching the mountain stages but the flat stages are pretty boring apart from the sprints at the finish line.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:12 AM
  #60  
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Tldnr
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Old 07-29-19, 04:48 AM
  #61  
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We have a few bike races in our area every year. TCRC has their Omnium. King and Milligan College also have a pair of races. I've known the cycling coach at King from when I first started riding and he's a great guy. Always supportive.

TCRC has a mountain climb, a time trial and a criterium in downtown. My wife and I ride our tandem down for the criterium and tool around a bit to see people that we know. It is more of a social gathering. The highlight is the kids lap where all of the young kids "race". Seeing toddlers, some on balance bikes, and younger riders out there is such a treat.

Milligan college also has a road race and criterium. We've course marshaled for the road race a couple of times since it is right down the street from our house. We also ride our tandem down for the criterium and hang out with people that we know here and there.

As for sitting along a road to see people that I do not know go by. Meh, I'd rather be out riding.
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Old 07-29-19, 06:08 AM
  #62  
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At the Tour de France, I saw what was like a tailgate party. That's the entertainment to fill in what's lacking in those precious minutes, hours of waiting.

"A tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating, which primarily takes place in the United States, often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food." Wikipedia.

Another thought: this fall, go to your local high school cross country event. Stay at one location, preferably not the finish line, and watch the runners go by.
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Old 07-29-19, 06:26 AM
  #63  
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Probably the same reason we dont go to other kinds of races. Why watch a tiny part of the whole? I have been to the Indy 500. Fun but could barely make out car numbers as they drove past.
As to participation, I run a half marathon once in a while, mostly to keep me from slacking though I place fairly well. I would ride a bike race just for a good coffee, even though I would be in the back of the pack. But as to participation, why pay when I can do almost the same for free? I dont need another medal or whatever, I have a box at home and still wearing years worth of race shirts.
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Old 07-29-19, 07:11 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I have absolutely no interest in bike racing....I am just a commuter and recreational rider who rides for fitness and fun.
This.

Watching other people ride a bike? I see no fun in that whatsoever. Especially in person. I stand around all day and wait for the group to whizz by for 12 seconds, then nothing?

I also like to golf. But I cannot for the life of me understand the allure of watching other people golf on TV.

Same with bowling, professional poker, etc.

These are things I can do myself. I'd rather spend that time doing them than watching others do them.

Now baseball, hockey, bobsledding.....these are things I can't do on my own easily. And I find these things interesting to watch others do.
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Old 07-29-19, 07:58 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think its just the way people have come to experience things now days. Its all produced, music added, and delivered to your home on a 60inch screen. The live experience is "boring" in comparison. And me in my old way of thinking find the live event as something unique and exciting.
In this instance, I think it's deeper than that--your OP posed the question of why more bicycling locally wasn't leading to more attendance at local bicycle races. I think you're making a mistake in that formulation--for most people who bike, it's just something they do, not something they define themselves or their community by. Even among us enthusiasts, it's the actual riding that appeals to a lot of us. I actually find most of "bike culture" a turn-off.

Lots of people do yard work and some even enjoy it, doesn't man they'll be an audience for competitive lawn mowing.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:00 AM
  #66  
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Kind of surprising to me how many of you are so negative about watching bike races, and even races in general. I have to wonder why you even read or bother to respond to this thread if you have no interest in the subject. At my house the world stops for TdF, and Amgen too. My wife even watches and loves the color and spectacle on TV the races provide. We have attended one stage in France, and I always find a way to attend Amgen somehow. We have been to at least 10 of the cities featured on this year's TdF, which makes it more interesting to watch. Anyway, lots of negative energy here to racing and spectating in general. It seems that these days technology has created a bunch of couch potatoes with short attention spans. Sad. With exorbitant player salaries, and astronomical ticket prices of other pro sports, bike racing is still free to attend, and one of the best deals around to see color, action and superb athletes doing what they do best, over roads that we ride every day. Just sayin'...

Last edited by Slightspeed; 07-29-19 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:07 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
At the Tour de France, I saw what was like a tailgate party. That's the entertainment to fill in what's lacking in those precious minutes, hours of waiting.
When I went to the '95 Giro I rode, among other things, the "mountain" (two extended climbs, but not really high mountains) TT stage route. Lots of people were BBQ-ing, picnicking and drinking along the route waiting for the race to start. Reminded me of back home in Philly. We did the same thing for the U.S. Pro Championship, but for that race we got to see more something like 12 laps.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:22 AM
  #68  
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You can't have a legit conversation about this without talking about the demise of spectator sport cycling and not talk about how banning sports betting killed track cycling viewership in the US.

Track cycling was THE spectator sport in the US long before the other big sports took over.

It was bikes circling Madison Sq. Garden first.

Outdoor bike races don't lend itself as well to a paying (or concessions purchasing or betting) group of spectators. Track racing does.

IMO.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:59 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
When bicycling enthusiasts hate watching bike racing, you know it's bad. As in rock bottom bad.
The new software doesn't have a "Like" button so I'll say you got that right for sure.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:38 AM
  #70  
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This thread is a bit confusing to me. There were lots of non-racers, kids, families, etc enjoying the racing at the Elmhurst venue of the Intelligentsia Cup on Friday:



It's also worth noting that spectating at a crit race like this is likely a very different experience than watching a stage of a road race. Crit races are usually located in downtown areas on a short course where racers do dozens of laps and go by every few minutes, and there are a dozen different races throughout the day, teams and racers milling around. There's usually food, beer, product/promo tents, etc. There's usually an announcer calling the race, explaining what's happening and getting the crowd pumped up. It's a fun way to spend a Friday evening, and even if you know nothing about bike racing and have no interest in following the action closely, how could you not enjoy a few minutes walking around downtown having a beer or a hot dog and watching riders zipping by and pushing themselves?

I've never been to a pro road/stage race, but I would imagine the fun would be the "tailgate" experience throughout the day as you wait for the peloton to approach, and a chance to see pro-riders/teams/gear up close and after the finish. It seems like it would be a very different experience than a local/regional crit race series, but still would be fun. Obviously if you're traveling to a stage race, the travel would be a part of the fun as well.

I have no interest in professional marathon racing and don't do much running myself anymore, but I (along with thousands of others) still enjoy watching the Chicago Marathon run through our neighborhood every year in a similar fashion as enjoying that crit race in Elmhurst on a Friday night. I enjoy going out there with my young daughter to cheer on the racers and provide encouragement, enjoy the spectacle and awe at their accomplishments. We usually make a morning of it, and go get breakfast somewhere along the route, bring the dog, etc.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:41 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Kind of surprising to me how many of you are so negative about watching bike races, and even races in general. I have to wonder why you even read or bother to respond to this thread if you have no interest in the subject....

It seems that these days technology has created a bunch of couch potatoes with short attention spans. Sad. With exorbitant player salaries, and astronomical ticket prices of other pro sports, bike racing is still free to attend, and one of the best deals around to see color, action and superb athletes doing what they do best, over roads that we ride every day. Just sayin'...
Look at the title of the thread--wouldn't be much of a discussion if only people who enjoy going to races responded. I'm actually interested in why people do or don't find certain things interesting, and I don't consider liking or disliking watching something to be a question of morality or virtue.

Speaking of which, I find it funny that you describe not wanting to watch this particular sport as being the preference of "couch potatoes". I find that very funny because basically I have pretty much given up watching sports on TV and in general because I find that my increased level of activity has lessened my tolerance for sitting still and paying attention that long. When I was fat and sedentary, extended sessions of watching multiple football games was the norm for me. Now that just sounds like pure hell.
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Old 07-29-19, 11:54 AM
  #72  
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Saturday evening in San Rafael:

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Old 07-29-19, 11:54 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Kind of surprising to me how many of you are so negative about watching bike races, and even races in general. I have to wonder why you even read or bother to respond to this thread if you have no interest in the subject.
Good point, but the thread was plopped directly in General Cycling Discussion instead of Professional Cycling for the Fans.

Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
. . . Anyway, lots of negative energy here to racing and spectating in general. It seems that these days technology has created a bunch of couch potatoes with short attention spans. Sad. With exorbitant player salaries, and astronomical ticket prices of other pro sports, bike racing is still free to attend, and one of the best deals around to see color, action and superb athletes doing what they do best, over roads that we ride every day. Just sayin'...
Since this is BF, you're saying that to a bunch of people that cycle. I'd guess the couch potato ratio is pretty low at BF. Many in this thread have said they'd rather do things themselves rather than live vicariously watching others. Seems reasonable to me.

Maybe it's an age thing. When I was in my teens, 20s, and 30s, I was competitive in many areas and I loved to go participate in or watch races in person. Motorsports or non-motorsports.

Once I got my family fully rolling, I had no more time for watching racing. I'd rather go watch one of my kids play a game or perform than watch people I would never know personally. Watching high school sports is surprisingly very entertaining and pretty dang cheap, too.
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Old 07-29-19, 12:23 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
This thread is a bit confusing to me. There were lots of non-racers, kids, families, etc enjoying the racing at the Elmhurst venue
Yeah, duh, Elmhurst is the hometown of a cycling legend and bicycle racing superstar.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:12 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I'm drinking my coffee looking out my front window, 6:30am Saturday morning. In the past 10 minutes I have seen dozens of cyclists riding in small groups headed east toward the lake. Its become a big thing, particularly in the last 4-5 years, riding Sheridan rd. north thru Chicago's north shore burbs. I jump in with groups as well. Some get 30-40 riders strong. I would say that cycling is booming in my area.

Flash back to my youth, when I was a young teenager. There was a local bike race a few suburbs over from me. About a 6-7 mile ride from my house. My friends and I rode to it for several years in a row. It was a highlite of the summer. Located in a posh suburb the race took place circling a man made lake and adjoining city park. It was an idyllic little setting. The park had pedal boats, a boathouse, and real grass tennis courts. Going to the races there was a treat. Cyclists set out blankets around the park, with their bike and gear bags and support crew, munching on fruit, granola, and chugging down water. Oh and along with the racing an ice cream social was part of the event. Locals came out for an ice cream cone and catch a bike race or two. And every local bike enthusiast was there. In the lingo of the day, it was a "happening".

This past Thursday my cycling buddy and I took in a race, one of the Intelligentsia Cup races. We went after work and caught the end of the womens race, and the Pro 1,2 race. Both were exciting. But it was a very lonely experience. There was no one there but the cyclists competing. Basicly it was the Police and city workers milling about, a few racers, and a few residents from the neighborhood it was being held in, very, very few. By the end of the mens Pro race I think it was just me and my friend. And I have experienced this at other races as well. No one shows up!

So with cycling participation booming, and the following the TDF appears to have, why no local support for the racing scene? To see a race live is awesome. The race, the bikes, and what should be a gathering of cycling enthusiasts...Why no interest?

Was that the Glenn Ellyn race?
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