2014 - Deer Trail Road Race

Race is Postponed - Full Refunds if you can't make the new date
Weather went from bad, to Epic, to Dangerous for riders, officials and volunteers. Rain, 40s and 25 to 35mph Winds (with gusts to 40mph)

Registration Closes Friday evening, at Midnight, April 25 or when categories fill up.

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Date: 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

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55 Comments

the weather forecast isn't

the weather forecast isn't great, but... given that the promoter has threatened numerous times over the past few years to cancel the event if he doesn't get enough registration, I gotta wonder if the 184 registration number didn't unduly influence the decision???

Probably does, but only in

Probably does, but only in that people started seeing the weather turning for the worse and maybe held off? I reg'd but can't say I was thrilled at the prospect of negotiating those narrow roads in a twitchy field with 30mph crosswinds and rain.

Otherwise, not sure why Weld would get 700 and Deer trail less than 1/3 of that? If anything DT is the harder race that everybody seems to be asking for.

My suspicion too

That was my first suspicion. Blame the weather and reschedule. Not a bad idea as a promoter. Pretty lame of the racing community in CO that we need a good forecast to preregister. I have friends in different states who are raring to go tomorrow in RRs with the same forecast. This adds to my general theory that cross is so popular here because the weather is easy on us. If we had "normal" cx weather we'd have half the fields.

Funny you should bring cross

Funny you should bring cross into this thread. I only race cross and weather is never, repeat never, a factor in whether I race. In fact I'd say most crossers relish the tougher conditions and wish we had more of it. And oh yeah, I did the butter GOLD ride on Sunday. 100 miles, about half dirt roads, big group that had a great time. It rained a bit but not too much.

Your comment goes right to

Your comment goes right to the heart of CO cycling's problems. We have lost sight of the value of clubs and think that race promoters are supposed to make money. There is an obligation for all sanctioned clubs to put on a race, and there is NO expectation that they'll make money doing so. The work and expense of putting on a race is shared amongst all clubs as all clubs have to do it, and the club members who contribute are rewarded with not paying unattached racer fees. We all contribute some time and money, and for that we all get to race throughout the season.

There just isn't enough money to be made in putting on amateur cycling events for everyone to pretend to be WOL. Profit shouldn't be the overriding concern. If the club responsible for the Deer Trail race can't absorb the expenses, then they should a) find a more appealing venue, or b) join forces with another club to put on a better race. Taking up a slot on the calendar and then canceling is wrong.

A race "promoter" (aka club member who's overall in charge of the race, formerly known as a race director) canceling a race because the club won't make money is weak sauce.

USAC has got rid of all

USAC has got rid of all obligations to clubs. Rules have changed surreptitiously the past couple of years. Only requirement is that clubs pay their reg fee - that's it. Promoting Races, sponsor logos etc don't matter.

USAC is moving to a promoter-driven race model.

ACA may have some extra requirements but USAC has abandoned the club structure except as a revenue source.

You know, you're right. It

You know, you're right. It appears the USAC rule book doesn't contain language obligated clubs to do anything. This, of course, goes to my earlier point. We don't rely on clubs any more, we think promoters are the way to go. But, there's no money in it unless you jack the entries up as there is little to no sponsor money available to promoters to run races.

There is, however, according to the club benefits page of the ACA website, still a responsibility to promote a race. It's an old document, so it's probably not valid any more.

It's a shame.

Misdirected criticism

I think you're criticizing the wrong group of people.

A road race is an inherently ambitious undertaking, especially these days with the red tape and, as stated elsewhere, the diminishing willingness of racers in CO to travel or do a race that is "too hard" or "too easy". I got into this sport and stay in this sport because of road/stage races, so any club or promoter who is trying to pull off a road or stage race is good by me and they should charge accordingly.

In my opinion the criticism should be leveled at clubs/promotors who are trying to do the least amount of work for the greatest amount of profit. This tactic succeeds by taking advantage of quirks in the schedule and the lack of economic competition that results--just look a couple weeks ahead on the calendar for an exceptional example of this phenomenon--as well as cynically appealing to the issue of racers not willing to drive more than 35 minutes. A s*** but local course will always outdraw a great but remote course in CO and there are many promoting clubs that are more than happy to ride this gravy train instead of taking a risk and trying to put on something ambitious.

There are notable exceptions and I definitely won't ever make the claim that Deer Trail is an amazing road course. BUT... IMO it's a lot better than 80% of the other races on offer and yet somehow those races are well attended and escape any form of scrutiny or criticism.

So where do you think the

So where do you think the money to cover the loses comes from? Would you personally be willing to accept a $5K loss when riders don't show up because of the weather? For most clubs trying to put on a race, if they lose money, it is coming directly out of someone's pocket.

Yes, it used to be everyone needed to put a little skin in the game but a very big difference between showing up to watch a corner for a few hours and probably getting a free entry on top vs. actually promoting a race. Grateful that some are willing to support but using your phrasology, that is really weak sauce compared to actually putting on a race.

So where do you think the

So where do you think the money to cover the loses comes from? Would you personally be willing to accept a $5K loss when riders don't show up because of the weather? For most clubs trying to put on a race, if they lose money, it is coming directly out of someone's pocket.

Yes, it used to be everyone needed to put a little skin in the game but a very big difference between showing up to watch a corner for a few hours and probably getting a free entry on top vs. actually promoting a race. Grateful that some are willing to support but using your phrasology, that is really weak sauce compared to actually putting on a race.

What is weak sauce is racers

What is weak sauce is racers like you expecting so much for nothing. Or less than nothing. Not showing to races and waiting to make up their minds the morning of a race is a bad practice too.

Races have a minimum attendance to break even. Most likely 300ish.

Racers have lots of incentive to pre register but don't. Take advantage of that.

You expect a "CLUB" to take thousands of dollars in losses over a race for 189 people ???!?!?!

I would expect a club would

I would expect a club would've read the tea leaves long ago and realized that Deer Trail jumped the shark. It needs to be significantly changed/improved, or dropped. As is, it's a losing proposition. Either change it back to a cup race or make the course more interesting/challenging or both. It's been recommended before that the course be redesigned to encorporate many of the dirt roads in the area, which would allow the course to do away with all the out-back legs. The race director didn't seem interested.

'Cyclist', respectfully your

'Cyclist', respectfully your comments come across as very myopic. Almost as if you are part of the team that puts on DTRR.

'Not showing to races and waiting to make up their minds the morning of a race is a bad practice too.'
Let me spell it out for you, the race is a product and the racers are consumers. We the consumer are a fickle bunch I'll admit that. Asserting that we the consumer should just shut up and take any product that the clubs put on is insulting at best. Just because it is a thankless pursuit does not entitle them a return on investment. I work hard for the little extra cash I have and I don't particularly care for that venue but I show up when it suits me to do so. I am not indentured to this club or event. Racers have been suggesting a change in venue for some time now with little indication of being heard. So, if bad weather gives us an extra reason to say this isn't worth it well than those are the risks a promoter takes after not listening to the consumer. That said, I appreciate every promoter in the area and generally seek them out to thank them for putting an event on. I know that the mandate to have clubs put on an event is not as well thought out as it could have been and it generally results in more crits and burned out club members who are forced in one form or another to put on the event.

'Racers have lots of incentive to pre-register but don't. Take advantage of that.'
We also have a lot of disincentive to pre-register. Sickness, injury, unexpected mechanical failure, unexpected family need. I am torn on my opinion of pre-reg, as a promoter I see how it calms the nerves but as a racer who lives in the real world, has responsibilities and races in the local 1/2 field I think it brings on extra risk to my plate that I simply refuse to shoulder. And again looking at a race as a business venture, is it really the racer's obligation to calm the nerves of the promoter?

'You expect a "CLUB" to take thousands of dollars in losses over a race for 189 people ???!?!?!'
No, we expect a club to promote at a race that we want to go to, if the event doesn't prove to be an event that generates an income they are probably doing something wrong. I know of a few clubs that have put on events that do more than break even. Perhaps it would be great to get them together to generate a list of best practices and share that with other clubs interested in putting on a race.

Me, Me, Me!

In addition to earlier comments bemoaning the lack of club involvement as a problem with CO cycling, your comments are just as bad if not worse.

There was a time, not that long ago in fact, when cyclists viewed themselves not as consumers of a product but rather members of a select group, a community if you will. We supported each others' races and tried to put on the best races we could. Sometimes you'd do a race just so the club putting it on wouldn't fail, 'cause you knew they'd support your race, too. Effort was put into developing a race calendar that not only let us all race almost every weekend, the calendar was structured to help prep folks for championship events at the state and national level. We were happy when one of our own made the big time.

Your comments about consumers/products, while perhaps an accurate assessment of what has become the norm, is a large part of the problem.. .

Fred, it sounds like you've

Fred, it sounds like you've been around a log time. That is cool, I have been around a while as well. But as my name says, I'm a Road Racer, not a philanthropist. I just don't have the resources to support a failing product. Good on you if you do. As far as 'our own' making it big and crushing it at State and National level that is up to the racers, not the course my friend. You crush me in May, I train my @$$ off in June and come back to hand you yours in July, regardless of course. That is how riders improve. Not by watering down race venues by supporting a sub par product so everyone feels good about their club's effort. And when was it that Colorado racers haven't crushed it at Nationals? Look at the podiums for cross, and road over the last few years, nothing I am ashamed of. Hell, if you scroll down to top 20s you'll even find me more than once and I am slow by local standards! :) (Sorry I don't follow off-road close enough to make an intelligent comment concerning that discipline).
Your assessment is your own and I respect you for having an opinion and supporting your argument the way you did but I completely disagree and point to that way of thinking as a means of decline for our local standards. We are far too eager to try and not hurt someones feelings that we have compromised and compromised. We did it until we have people making jokes on this forum of the next evolution in categories accommodating racers who are 35+, 2 kids, a dog and mortgage on bike under $8K developing and ulcer. And why do they do that? Because we keep watering things down until no ones feelings are hurt. And that applies to race promoters as well. I applaud, especially, the team that put on the Sonic Boom Crit, Littleton Crit, Carter Lake RR, Weld Co RR, CSU Circuit Race, Haystack TT, Superior Morgul, Salida, Bannock, Steamboat and so many more. It looks to me like those guys figured out that secret. You know, that if you put on a good event, people will register, race hard, challenge each other and improve the race scene.

You make some good points.

You make some good points. Especially about watering down the categories to the point where everyone gets a medal for showing up.

As for my earlier point about supporting races, no matter what, I gave that some thought shortly after having posted it. In retrospect, I don't think I was ever doing races just to support other clubs, even if they were bad races.

The reality of it is that for the first 6 or 8 years I was racing, I took a very specific approach to it. If it was the weekend, I was racing, period. Didn't matter if it was a course that didn't suit me or if it meant driving 4, 5, or 6 hours. I was racing. Quite a lot of my friends took a similar approach. Hell, who am I kidding... everyone I knew who considered themselves a bike racer too that approach. It was a secondary benefit that the clubs could count on attendance at their races, I guess you could say.

I don't look at racing that way anymore (life got in the way and priorities have changed) and based on the comments we see here on 303, I'm guessing we don't have a very large population of racers taking that approach these days. Apologies to anyone who does look at racing that way and who may think I'm talking about you. I'm not. Mad respect to the guys/gals gutting it out every weekend, with that burning passion for racing which you have and I'm lacking.

It's not postponed (not

It's not postponed (not really, even thought that's what they're calling it until the official cancellation notice comes out). Once we get into the meat of the season, or worse yet, into the late summer when folks are gearing up for 'cross, who's going to drive to Deer Trail to do that race? Take a look at the calendar and see if you can pick a good date to reschedule. I can't find one.

Really? Open dates as follows

Really, you can't find an open date for Deer Trail??? Have you looked?
How about May 11, 24, 25, 26, July 5,6 27, or Aug 10? 8 dates, and the only conflict is the juniors stage race over Memorial day. Iron Horse is really not a conflict as it is 6-7 hours away, and it is already filled up.

May 11 - Mother's Day

May 11 - Mother's Day
May 24-26 Memorial Day weekend
July 5-6 Independence Day weekend
July 27 Day after Mt Evans
Aug 10 End of artificially short CO road season

Those dates may not conflict with races, but they are not good dates to expect folks to drive to Deer Trail for a non-cup race, IMO.

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