Tuesday Coffee Talk - Why does the competitive cycling season try to start so early?

Stazio was postponed, the Oredigger Classic was canceled, this isn't the first time Spring races have received a nasty blow my Mother Nature, historically Colorado Koppenberg commonly gets postponed due to weather. Yet when was the last time there were any road events that were canceled in late August due to weather? For many road racers if they can make it to Labor Day without burning out than that is the time "roadies" usually hang it up. Why is that? Why do we start so early and end early? I guess one logical reason is cyclocross starts up after Labor day and trying to complete against cross is bad cycling business. Is it? Road events compete against MTB events and Track events so why can't they overlap on CX events. With a few exceptions September's weather is near perfect for roadies. Plus with a season that starts in March means if you want to be competitive than you have to have your act together in January, JANUARY! And due to that cycling looses a lot of cyclists to skiing.

So why can't the entire road calendar shift by 1 month out?

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17 Comments

Coldest Boulder Roubiax was in August

It's Colorado, you can get cold wet weather anytime. Remember the cold, wet Boulder Roubiax in August a few years ago? Only 200 or so came out for it. Last weeks Cobb Lake RR was cool and windy, but great for the spring. People want to race in the Spring/Summer, so that is when road races are run.
*December, January and early Feb. this year had the best weather for base training.
Used to have a few races in September, pre-cross boom, and they still had limited turnout.

The collegiate road season

The collegiate road season has to be held while school is in session, so given the number of schools and the desire to have a reasonable number of races in the collegiate competition, things have to get started early. The first non-collegiate race we have in Colorado is April 6, and the rest dont start til April 20th. August and September are frequently great times to race on the road, but the college season gets started early out of necessity.

We should absolutely not

We should absolutely not postpone the start to the season. Why? The cancellation is not frequent, and the season starts in early Feb for much of the country. Also, we should extend the season through to the end of September, not the first weekend.

Improve quality

Let's start later and finish earlier. Doing that means reducing the number of races but that gives us the chance to increase quality. How many clubs are putting on office part crits either to fulfill their requirements or to make a buck? Turnout for many of those is low and we're always seeing clubs begging for volunteers to help (Coal Miners and City Park to name just two). Condensing the racing into a shorter season with fewer races would keep us fresher and could make for better racing.

There is only 51 weekends a

There is only 51 weekends a year. There is only ONE holiday that REALLY does not have a race on it. X-Mas.

50 weekends to fulfill wants of racers (Road events - Cross - MTB) and to have 80 ish clubs fulfill their requirements.

There is a week for the US Pro Challenge.

There are week night events all summer and fall. There are multiple bike races on certain weekends like Memorial Day weekend (mini classic-Red Canyon RR-Boulder TT-Iron Horse)

Racers want to race. Cross is exploding. Promoters see $$$$$. That is what will make higher quality events.

There were only 2 races/days that you listed that are "sub-par" out of 150. That is pretty good.

I wasn't implying those two

I wasn't implying those two events are sub-par, only stating those are the latest two that are begging for volunteers. A lack of volunteers, particularly when the promoting clubs and races themselves are well-established, tells me something is wrong and potentially unsustainable.

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