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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 08-05-19, 11:25 AM
  #101  
eepok
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Look at the niche-ness of a bicycle race:
  1. Must likes racing (anything)
  2. Must like bicycles (small minority)
  3. Must like attending large events
    • With few amenities
    • And be willing to travel to attend
  • Types of Races (downsides)
    • Mountain bikes - Long drives to races outside of cities
    • Velodrome - Typically in urban areas... but very few overall
    • Cyclocross - Long drives to races outside of cities
    • Road Bikes - Very rarely on fully closed roads. If you're following a particular rider, then you get like 5 seconds of experience seeing that person ride.

Compare it to Auto racing:
  1. Must likes racing (anything)
  2. Must like cars (most people)
  3. Must like attending large events
    • And be willing to travel to attend
  • Types of Races (downsides)
    • NASCAR - LOTS of people.
    • Formula X - LOTS of people.
    • Dirt/Funny/etc - Less convenient tracks.
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Old 08-05-19, 12:38 PM
  #102  
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My wife sometimes travels with me to my bike races...As long as I can find a spa in the area, so she can get a massage and pedicure while I am riding.
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Old 08-31-19, 11:43 AM
  #103  
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I donít go to them because I never see any races happening... In my old hometown they held races on weird days, weird hours, etc. Iíd be interested but find I missed the event. I donít see why they would not hold a criterium in the evening...

anyway, the tour of Utah went right by my house last year and I did watch it. Thankfully they had 3-4 laps around the city before finishing the race. So I got to see cyclists going a few times!

My wife would never go anywhere without amenities and I think that holds true for 98% of people. People want to see something relatable, in relative comfort, and they want to see the action as it unfolds.

**id also add that I asked my Dad about this (non cyclist aged 50) and he said that people like TdF before the drug scandals. Everyone like to cheer for lance. But now, even looking at a TdF article it looks unrelatable. The bikes look like alien technology, there is no hope that any kid from your town would be able to try and train and eventually be able to try his hand at TdF unless he was wealthy
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Old 08-31-19, 12:19 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
My wife sometimes travels with me to my bike races...As long as I can find a spa in the area, so she can get a massage and pedicure while I am riding.
My wife and I have a tradition with Cherry Pie crit which is in Napa.. Iíd race in the morning and then take her to a nice lunch and wine tasting in. the afternoon.
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Old 08-31-19, 03:01 PM
  #105  
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I agree with a few comments in here. While i might be interested in bikes and bike commuting, i am not interested in professional cycling. My way of participating in bike community is going around my college campus talking to fellow people with cool/interesting bikes.
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Old 08-31-19, 03:28 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
My wife and I have a tradition with Cherry Pie crit which is in Napa.. Iíd race in the morning and then take her to a nice lunch and wine tasting in. the afternoon.
I live in Napa. I know plenty of folk in the cycling community here socially and through cycling. Iím active-ish on social media, and Iím frequently in multiple different LBSís in town. Iíve taken the family to Sacramento for the ToC the last 2 years. But every year, Cherry Pie creeps up on me. I maybe find out a week in advance that itís on, and my wife has probably already made plans. So Iíve been able to attend it once.

So maybe marketing is part of the issue for many of these races. There may well be cycling enthusiasts out there who donít even know about the existence of a major cycling event right in their backyard.

i can also testify from my experiences with playing, watching, and organizing tournaments for rugby in the US, itís hard to get Americans to come out for a sport that isnít an ďAmericanĒ sport. Even for a national championship game, itís rare to get much more than competitors and immediate family and friends.
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Old 09-01-19, 08:16 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Tulok View Post
I donít go to them because I never see any races happening... In my old hometown they held races on weird days, weird hours, etc. Iíd be interested but find I missed the event. I donít see why they would not hold a criterium in the evening...

anyway, the tour of Utah went right by my house last year and I did watch it. Thankfully they had 3-4 laps around the city before finishing the race. So I got to see cyclists going a few times!

My wife would never go anywhere without amenities and I think that holds true for 98% of people. People want to see something relatable, in relative comfort, and they want to see the action as it unfolds.

**id also add that I asked my Dad about this (non cyclist aged 50) and he said that people like TdF before the drug scandals. Everyone like to cheer for lance. But now, even looking at a TdF article it looks unrelatable. The bikes look like alien technology, there is no hope that any kid from your town would be able to try and train and eventually be able to try his hand at TdF unless he was wealthy
That can happen when one gets older.

When I was young (teens, 20s, early 30s) and was excited by racing technology of any sport and any cost, I'd watch it and dream what it would be like to do that sport. I'd do the amateur affordable version whenever possible.

Then as I've paid my way through life (age 54 now), and raised kids (not completed yet), I tend to favor watching things I could afford myself.

Part of it also has to do with crowds of people. When I was young, I was excited to be where all the crowds were. Now, I want to be where the crowds aren't.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:50 PM
  #108  
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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.
+1
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Old 09-01-19, 03:53 PM
  #109  
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I agree with others.
Even watching crits is pretty boring.
Road racing is even more boring. I went to the TDU last year. Loved the riding in and around Adelaide, but watching involved seeing the bunch ride by (about 30 seconds or so) before we got on our bikes and went riding again.
Over the course of a week, we probably actually saw about 2 minutes of racing.
Riding back into Adelaide with some of the Astana team was fun though.
The best event I watched was the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne a number of years ago.
Continuous racing for 2 - 3 hours every night for a week.
Rode every day, then headed to the Velodrome to watch teh racing at night.
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Old 09-01-19, 04:19 PM
  #110  
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The best way to watch a bike race is at a velodrome standing along the rail with a beverage of choice. You can watch the whole race unfold while only being inches away from the riders. Even if you do not understand the race tactics you are able to see the skill, the power of the riders, and the danger. No brakes racing.
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Old 09-01-19, 04:23 PM
  #111  
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I saw Bernard Hinault on the Champes Elysees when he won the tour in 1979. It was moving. The sprinters who wanted to have the win were trying breaks. It was wonderful seeing 3-10 guys going off the front, all alone on one side and then at the last minute, the peloton would come around the corner. They would always get caught and it came down to the team that had the best lead out train for the sprint.

Thats why I go to bicycle races.

I guess if you havent raced, you dont get it.
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Old 09-01-19, 08:45 PM
  #112  
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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?

In the USA, bicycles are considered toys by the average person. For me, the defrocking of Lance Armstrong for doing what was done as common place and the bad boy, low class behavior of professional cyclists in general leaves me disinterested. And I was a competitive cyclist and might still be in some cases.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:25 PM
  #113  
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In EU or USA, the situation is much much better than Korea!!
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Old 09-02-19, 06:09 AM
  #114  
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It's been an extra busy holiday weekend this year, so may not make one. One chance left today, but I've typically enjoyed more than one of the Gateway cup races a year. Four races in four days in four prominent older urban neighborhoods featuring each neighborhoods local park. I'll usually plan my ride of the day to hit one. They seem to be reasonably well attended for what I would consider a niche sport with few if any household names in the competition. Certainly not a lonely place as I saw described in another post. Also will add the only reason I know of the races is that I ride those neighborhoods regularly and see the signs in the parks....
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Old 09-02-19, 10:38 AM
  #115  
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No races with-in cycling distance of me.
(No car by choice.)
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Old 09-03-19, 03:22 PM
  #116  
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All too often, cycling enthusiasts expend more time and energy and effort trying to keep people out of the sport rather than drawing them in. Cyclists are some of the biggest snobs on the planet. No wonder riders and organizers make no effort to expand the sport's popularity.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:05 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
I saw Bernard Hinault on the Champes Elysees when he won the tour in 1979. It was moving. The sprinters who wanted to have the win were trying breaks. It was wonderful seeing 3-10 guys going off the front, all alone on one side and then at the last minute, the peloton would come around the corner. They would always get caught and it came down to the team that had the best lead out train for the sprint.

Thats why I go to bicycle races.

I guess if you havent raced, you dont get it.
+1
The 2011 TdF finish on the Champs Elysees. We were on a 3-month, 3,000 mile self supported ride through Europe, and scheduled a doctor's appoint I needed to make in Paris for the finish of the tour.

My wife and I got there early enough to get a front row place about 200 feet from the finish line. Watching 8 action packed laps around the Champs Elysess is very exciting.


It was great


The crowd was an important part of the larger picture.


Criteriums are also fun to watch, actually they are more fun to ride. I was a mediocre racer in my younger years.

Last edited by Doug64; 09-04-19 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:34 PM
  #118  
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I also believe CX is a great sport to watch. It is not boring! Our son raced CX so we saw a lot of it.



Fortunately most of the crashes do not cause serious injuries.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:54 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
All too often, cycling enthusiasts expend more time and energy and effort trying to keep people out of the sport rather than drawing them in. Cyclists are some of the biggest snobs on the planet. No wonder riders and organizers make no effort to expand the sport's popularity.
I've seen this - local bike club tried to do outreach, did a lunchtime presentation. I went. After a whole canned presentation about how anyone can do it, the guy they sent then claims that in order to go on their group rides, someone should have at least the current 105 group. Absolutely no relation between the groupset and a rider's speed, he seemed to feel he needed to set a prestige gate for some reason.

BMX racing (BMX USA and BMX Canada sanctions are my experience) is a completely different kettle of fish - the only place you'll be encouraged to spend money is protective gear, the message is very consistently - "come try it on the bike you've got". Seems like anyone is welcome to come try it or watch, very fun atmosphere.
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Old 09-05-19, 10:42 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I also believe CX is a great sport to watch. It is not boring! Our son raced CX so we saw a lot of it.



Fortunately most of the crashes do not cause serious injuries.
Hah. Racing crits, I'd probably crash once a season. First time I did CX, I crashed once a lap.
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Old 09-05-19, 10:54 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I've seen this - local bike club tried to do outreach, did a lunchtime presentation. I went. After a whole canned presentation about how anyone can do it, the guy they sent then claims that in order to go on their group rides, someone should have at least the current 105 group. Absolutely no relation between the groupset and a rider's speed, he seemed to feel he needed to set a prestige gate for some reason.

BMX racing (BMX USA and BMX Canada sanctions are my experience) is a completely different kettle of fish - the only place you'll be encouraged to spend money is protective gear, the message is very consistently - "come try it on the bike you've got". Seems like anyone is welcome to come try it or watch, very fun atmosphere.
You should see the way bike shop and clubbers react to someone riding a MTB that doesnít fit within the new standards...

Itís been commercialized to the point that the majority of people arenít buying it period.

Keeping a Walmart bike on the road is hard enough for parents. People assume that a more expensive bike will just cost even more to maintain (which isnít true, as we know). Kind of like a Honda vs a Mercedes-Benz.

In reality th issue is that people leave bikes outside, they suck to ride, they get flat tires and they move onto other things really quickly without ever getting to experience the real fun.
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Old 09-05-19, 11:43 AM
  #122  
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what's to see? They go by for a minute and then disappear
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Old 09-05-19, 12:08 PM
  #123  
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Probably for the same reason that:

1) not all car drivers are into auto racing;
2) not all joggers are into marathons;
3) not all walkers are into walking races.
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