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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 07-29-19, 01:23 PM
  #76  
Kedosto
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IMHO, bike racing is only interesting to the participants. Notice I didn't say "riders." Family and friends may be interested or assisting in some way with an event, but trying to attract the general public is a tough sell. My guess is most of the spectators at a local level bike race are friends, families, and neighbors whose streets are impacted by the event. Everyone else is cursing the event for blocking the streets.


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Old 07-29-19, 02:25 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

If anything, banning Armstrong and nullifying his TdF wins alienated Americans who might have had some interest in bike racing. Wanna see how quickly Americans would abandon pro football if the Patriots and Tom Brady's wins were nullified? We may gripe about cheating and doping and underhanded dirty tricks, but we still love winners. We aren't like the French who quickly pivot from infatuation to disdain when one guy dominates the Tour de France for too long.
As a life long Steelers fan... I think this would be great.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:01 PM
  #78  
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Deleted......I should read before I post. Someone already made my point.

I have no attention span. ��
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Old 07-29-19, 03:26 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Was that the Glenn Ellyn race?
Yes, circa 1971-2. And participated in it in '74. My first ever race. Followed that up with the inaugural Boul Mich Bike Rally. I was hooked.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:43 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Yes, circa 1971-2. And participated in it in '74. My first ever race. Followed that up with the inaugural Boul Mich Bike Rally. I was hooked.
I raced it in 1981 in he 3/4 category. The course was made to break away and solo, its so technical and windy its easy to get away. Unfortunately some idiot took a completely wrong line in the left hander leading the up to the start finis, took out the guy ahead of me, I tried jumping over him and landed knee first into his big chainring. I go to throw my leg over the bike to get going again and there a huge gash in my knew. My teamates say I was screaming obscenities before anyone even fell. They also said that race was mine to win. I had spent the winter in Florida so I had a lot of miles on my legs and was pretty strong.

O well, the next weekend I won a stage at Superweek with 20 stitches in my leg.
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Old 07-29-19, 05:04 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by DomaneS5 View Post
As a life long Steelers fan... I think this would be great.
4 SB losses in a row by the BBs was the end of football in my household.
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Old 07-29-19, 06:17 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
WRONG.
If competition is 'the foundation of conflict' the Olympics should be cancelled.

The foundation of conflict is intolerance followed by hostility.
Agree 100%
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Old 07-29-19, 09:35 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by ev780 View Post
Deleted......I should read before I post. Someone already made my point.

I have no attention span. ��
On behalf of the internet, you have been nominated for today's Internet Pretty Good Human award. It's sorta like the Lantern Rouge of the Tour de France, minus the fabulous prizes.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:14 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Agree 100%

The foundation of conflict is intolerance followed by hostility.[/QUOTE]

Sure but that's preceded by competitivity. I've never met an intolerant and hostile person that wasn't competitive in the first place.
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Old 07-30-19, 06:09 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
The foundation of conflict is intolerance followed by hostility.
Sure but that's preceded by competitivity. I've never met an intolerant and hostile person that wasn't competitive in the first place.[/QUOTE]

You must have a very narrow world view.
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Old 07-30-19, 06:23 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Gyro View Post
4 SB losses in a row by the BBs was the end of football in my household.
Buffalo Bills... the best NFL team to never win a Super Bowl. Bills irked the hell out of me in the early 90's... whooped the Steelers more often than not.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:25 AM
  #87  
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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.
Seriously? You wonder why people who don't like to go to bike races responded to a post asking why people don't like to go to bike races?

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'...
Let me get this straight....

You are claiming that people are "couch potatoes" for NOT stopping everything else they are doing to watch TV for 3 weeks in July?

You are claiming people are couch potatoes for NOT spending their time watching OTHER people do sports?

Sure, OK
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Old 07-30-19, 10:29 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
IMHO, bike racing is only interesting to the participants. Notice I didn't say "riders." Family and friends may be interested or assisting in some way with an event, but trying to attract the general public is a tough sell. My guess is most of the spectators at a local level bike race are friends, families, and neighbors whose streets are impacted by the event. Everyone else is cursing the event for blocking the streets.


-Kedosto
I think this is probably true for local races.

Don't get me wrong, I think these kinds or races are great, and I've really enjoyed the few local XC mountain bike races I've entered. But I don't expect many folk beyond the participants and close acquaintances to be there. Heck, my wife did not even come to all of them. I really did not care if people came out to watch, the other folks doing the race were awesome company on their own.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:41 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The popularity of racing has always depended on spectators identifying with a lifestyle associated with the race. That's the key to NASCAR and any closed track, repeat circuit racing. There's money in it because spectators imagine themselves behind the wheel.

Same with track and field. Track is among the most accessible of sports for any aspiring athlete, regardless of budget. Spectators enjoy it because they imagine themselves being that fleet of foot.

Cycling has a limited appeal because it's always been an insular, even elitist, sport. Too expensive to cross economic demographics, yet not rewarding enough to naturally find an equitable entry point for anyone who wants to participate.

Most Americans regard bicycles as inferior transportation. Cycle racing was briefly popular in the US only because spectators could aspire to riding their own bikes faster. As soon as automobiles replaced bikes, the interest narrowed to athletes and fans of athletes who were born into that demographic niche.

Find a way to make bike racing appeal to a broader demographic through lifestyle association and it might catch on again. That's a tough sell because most of the money in popular sports comes from a mostly sedentary fan base who can live vicariously through heroes without the risk of ever breaking a sweat.

Also, Americans like winners. They readily forgive ruthless winners. Lance Armstrong helped make cycling popular again in the US. I've never met a non-cyclist who'd heard of Lance Armstrong and gave a damn about his doping and ruthlessness. If anything they admired his take no prisoners determination. Same attitude most Americans have about all athletes and powerful people. If anything they admire ruthless people more because they get away with behavior that would have serious consequences for most of us.

If anything, banning Armstrong and nullifying his TdF wins alienated Americans who might have had some interest in bike racing. Wanna see how quickly Americans would abandon pro football if the Patriots and Tom Brady's wins were nullified? We may gripe about cheating and doping and underhanded dirty tricks, but we still love winners. We aren't like the French who quickly pivot from infatuation to disdain when one guy dominates the Tour de France for too long.
Lol a lot of football fans would be ecstatic if the Patriots Super Bowls were nullified.

But like many have said. Cycling is more participation sport than spectator sport. You see it in distance running. Look at the number of entrants in the NYC Marathon every year yet competitive track and field and road racing hardly garner any press.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:44 AM
  #90  
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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.
Nothing wrong with a healthy amount of competitiveness. Keyword being healthy amount because sure many can take it too far.

Being terribly afraid of any competition is a worse character flaw.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:53 AM
  #91  
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I have had several friends go to France to catch a stage or two of the TDF. The one thing they come back with is IT's A PARTY!!

The folks on bikes just happens to be the catalyst that brings everyone together, shut down the town and throw a huge party. Most of the people lining the roads are oblivious to the names of the riders and teams, they are out for the day having a ball with the rest of the town. The mountain stages are the same. One huge ass party that is momentarily interrupted by some dudes coming through on bikes.

Good crits pull this off nicely. Track racing elicits a similar atmosphere, but only if done right. Beer, food and people can quickly add up to a party and a successful financial endeavor.

Someday my wife and I will make it to a stage of the tour. Was warned off the final stage in Paris as it is packed with people all fighting to get to the curbside to watch the riders go by.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:57 PM
  #92  
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The closest Intelligentisia Cup crit race near me had a lakeside beer garden with very good craft brews and a "Family Fun Ride" where kids could ride the crit course. I've gone twice now, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.
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Old 07-30-19, 02:24 PM
  #93  
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A poster said that cycle racing is an elitist sport. It's an interesting observation, and in a sense is true as far as the US is concerned, but in Europe it was just the opposite; it was very much a working class sport. With some exceptions, many, if not most, pro riders came from humble backgrounds; Motor sports were for the elites. Part of the reason is that the common man in France or Italy couldn't afford a car until the nineteen fifties. The common man could identify with the riders, but not necessarilly with sports car drivers. Cars were available to many Americans in the nineteen-twenties


When I was growing up in the forties and fifties, cycling was an activity for children, eccentric teachers and Radcliffe girls in Cambidge. Then in the sixties, cycling had a revival begun by students who may have been to Europe. So it does have an elitist reputation in the US.


But this doesn't stop us from enjoying cycling.
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Old 07-30-19, 02:25 PM
  #94  
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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. 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'...
Meh, the question was asked and answered. Just because you don't like the answers doesn't mean they aren't legit.

I'm pretty into bicycle/trike riding, but wouldn't really be inclined to watch a bicycle race any more than a marathon. It's not like a motorsports race with passing, relatively evenly matched competitors, etc.

I am directly involved in the local motorcycle roadracing scene (and even race myself when I can afford it). It's much more exciting in just about every way, but the only spectators still tend to be friends and family of the guys/gals racing. Even the big national even we have here every year is barely attended. You can pretty much sit anywhere you want in the grandstands, they're so empty.
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Old 07-30-19, 02:31 PM
  #95  
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Id rather go ride one of my bikes, then watch someone else, or a whole bunch of someone elses ride, no matter how talented they are. Bike racing is not really much of a spectator sport, kind of boring. I do enjoy watching the TdF coverage, but would never consider going to watch it in person, super boring. You might get more Americans to watch if they would crash more, but even then, probably not. Kind of like kayak/canoe racing, any college/high school sport, that isnt football or basketball, and most other personal athletic endeavors, only family, or close friends of the participants, are gonna show up to watch.
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Old 07-30-19, 04:33 PM
  #96  
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To me racing ruins a perfectly fine bike ride to the grocery.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:43 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
To me racing ruins a perfectly fine bike ride to the grocery.
Yeah that NASCAR race at Pocono Sunday ruined my drive to work on Monday.
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Old 07-30-19, 07:12 PM
  #98  
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Back when they built the velodrome in Trexlertown, PA, I used to ride the track regularly, as they allowed riders of road bike to ride as long as it was not track practice or being used. It was fun and I learned to to properly glue a tubular on so it would NOT roll off. I was also in a developmental course, but had to drop out after a cracked rib from other activities. A friend had 2 starter track bikes, with swappable fixed and free cog and we used to do pickup sprints. Then work and moving intervened.

We used to go to the Friday night Velodrome races in Trexlertown all through the late 70's and 80's as it was a 40 mile drive on major highways. Lots of fun with very varied racing and different classes of riders including Olympic tryouts, and Keirin and motorpaced races, as well as tandem match sprints. I moved further away, and 2 years ago when visiting the area, went to a race and it was still exciting and good. Unfortunately for me, Friday night is not an easy travel for me to see it regularly now. If they were on Saturday night it would be a regular thing.

They have a good announcer who explains the tactics and strategy, as well as refreshments and other items.

https://thevelodrome.com/

It is now Valley Preferred Cycling Center or informally "T-Town"

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Old 07-30-19, 09:27 PM
  #99  
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I think in my early biking days anyone with an interest in bikes wanted to be around other people and events that had to do with cycling. So a bike race would draw a lot of bike enthusiasts. And then the race also gave you a destination to ride to. I suppose thats another related topic. Most people in my youth who were into cycling didnt have a car or were too young to drive. Our bikes were our main transportation. Seensvto be very little interest in cycling amongst the youth today, where in my day a lot of teens rode bikes for transportation and fun, some even took up racing. Yeah, pretty much anyone over 25 years of age that rode a 10 speed bike was kinda odd. Definitely a different societal dynamic.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:28 PM
  #100  
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The only places I see with any significant concentration of bike riders (in the US) are college campuses. And typically, these are beater mountain bikes or old road bikes that have been sitting in their parent's garage for decades. Ideal for getting from class to class or from dorms to campus, almost no money out of pocket if stolen, and over such short distances, maintenance costs are essentially zero.

But post college, bikes are seen as something you grow out of when you can afford a car. There's no infrastructure to support cycling on a mass scale anywhere. You're always fighting an uphill battle if you want to ride a bike as a regular form of transportation.
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