Monday, November 7, 2011

Come ON, People......

Seemed like this was the mid-season weekend off for the Cross Community here in Colorado. 3 races, all rather lightly attended. Even the "Schoolyard Cross" Colorado Cup race on Saturday (Which I hear was a bit of a mud-fest...) only drew 457 total riders. For comparison, the previous Sunday race at Valmont was 685, without the pro men or women. 353 total at the Sunday Primalpalooza race in golden. And the "Race for National Ranking Points", put on by the USAC down in the springs drew a whopping 96 riders.

I guess my comments last post about the numbers really going down after Halloween were proven correct. It looks like the whole 35+ "Pro" field decided to take the weekend off. The certainly did NOT take up the USAC offer for the "coveted" USAC National Ranking points on offer down in the Springs, with **FIVE** 35+ riders lining up. Still, 32 of the 96 in the springs were from the Denver/Boulder area, or 1/3 the turnout. I guess the "Bubble effect" continues to reign supreme in Front Rage cross racing, Boulder or bust. (Disclosure here.... I am just as Guilty of NOT driving. Golden was the farthest I've driven to race so far this year... Spoiled? You bet!)

Not sure what all this means for the whole USAC/ACA "merger" that is going to be coming up for an ACA Club vote November 18th, but it sure seems no one was willing to go to the Springs for a race. From the "Colorado Racing News" in my E-Mail box last week was this:

Behind the scenes, our talks with USAC have been proceeding with a renewed sense of possibility. We will have a special Club Council Meeting on Friday, November 18th (6pm at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden) to determine the future of the ACA. Steve Johnson from USACycling will attend and give a presentation to our club leaders. Please watch the ACA site for the latest developments.

No information on WHAT Clubs will be voting on, or how much this will cost us suckers, er, taxpayers, er, uh.... racers yet. Was told details on the proposal would be out Friday, but dead silence so far.

On to the "Race Report" for the weekend. I partook of the Sunday Primalpalooza version of Cross racing this weekend. Underwhelmed would be by assessment of the race in general. After waiting for at least 30 minutes to get a number, while watching people behind the tables spin in circles repeatedly for entertainment as an opening act, I then got to see the course. With LOTS of space and terrain there to work with, I was excited to see what a different take on course design would be. Sadly, NOT what we got.

Lots of "hype" for this race made me think it would be a "good" event, but bad execution and a mediocre cloned course left a bland taste in my mouth at best. First things first. PLAN your registration "process" before the morning of the race. It is not really that hard to make it run smooth. Good promoters do it week after week. Yet we are now at 2 of the last 3 races (Colorado Cross Classic and Sundays race..) where getting registered was a disaster. I've been a race director. There are a lot of things to plan. I understand. But screwing up registration sets the tone for a race pretty well, and NOT in a good way. And note that if there are 50 people in line to register, it is not "running OK, the line is not growing". That many people in line means your Registration is BROKEN. Having to get Juniors parents to sign wavers at the line means registration is BROKEN. Go fix it. I hope this is the last of the Confused, slow, messy waits to get a number for the year. It's Painful to watch, and more so to be on the receiving end of.

The course Sunday was a virtual clone of the states course from 2 years ago, Including the "spiral of death". Whee. Not very inspired, and there seems to be a lot of terrain to work with out there, why not get more original? I admit, maybe landowner constraints are maybe in place, limiting what you can do, but I can't imagine they care which parts of the bumpy field you run a course across. Running that race back & forth across hundreds of meters of gravel parking lot does not make for a course with any flow, and even gets into the boring category pretty fast. I managed a 27th place finish, at least top half. Felt more like my normal self again. Race day results showed me in 29th, but 2 guys got DQed for "Fraudulent Entries", whatever or however you manage that. A strange race all around.

Not much Video this week, as I did not stick around, and the 20ish rider fields in the 35+ and 35+ 3s were not that "photogenic", AND I was busy drinking my post race beer. All I have is my lap 1 bar cam this week.

Next week a race in Parker, a new venue that looks good, but sure to suffer greatly for it's distance from the Bubble. and a new race venue in Broomfield from the Beyond Limits guys that looks interesting. I'll probably be at the Broomfield race, being the spoiled rotten Bubble-neighbor, non-traveling, my truck will blow up if I go too far crosser I am.


  1. Thanks for the video. I can feel the bumps on the course backside all over again.

  2. Fact checking: You drove further than Golden. (Frisco) But staying the night takes some of the edge off.