Monday, June 23, 2008

BAFE Report

Good times at the BAFE yesterday. With 100+ KOM kids and families there, it was quite a scene. More people than I've seen out there in years, many for the first time. And yet as far as regular racers go, the turn-out would have to be regarded as rather disappointing. 8 racing Expert, another 8-10 in Comp, and 16 or so in sport? Things were hurting a bit on the organizational end of things, so it was more than a little chaotic. We got there at 9:30 am and didn't leave until after 4pm. Thanks to Bill and Halberto for supplying the shelter, which made a long day in the sun tolerable. But still, we all got a chance to race in the end. Things turned out pretty much as I expected them to go in my race: Dr. Dead Last. I managed to keep the rest of the field in sight for almost a lap, and only got passed by 4 Comp racers. Small victories. Easily achieved if you set your sights low enough. It was my first mtb race since last year's BAFE, and it felt good to be out there again. Hopefully there will be more before this summer is up. It's all training for cx season, though. As far as Birch goes, it was a relatively easy course. They spared us all the big climbs this time around. But 32x16 still had me pushing the bike uphill more than is desirable. The President put in a solid showing in the Sport field. After losing his lunch at the top of the first climb, he settled in nicely to finish 3rd last. And as far as I'm aware, he didn't wreck anything. LeAnn put in a solid showing too, though she was a little steamed about getting beat by one of our KOM kids. It's best to check your pride at the door. Halberto, the Poosher, Birch Bill, and Tinker Tim were there as well, but they were not racing for the Dark side. Little J-man signed up as my friend. He did about as well on the U-7 course as one can with 12 inch wheels. Next year he says he's racing for real.

OTT: C'mon, Waste My Time


Anonymous said...

only 30 ish racers! I hope there was a decent number of friends.

passed by 4 Comps? dead last in expert? sounds like you might be in the wrong category. (consider that comment "tough love".)

seriously, glad to hear you made it out to a race.

Kevin Braun

The Dark Lord said...

30-ish sounds low. Let's wait and see what the results say. But it was definitely not a strong turnout.

Definitely in the wrong category if my goal is beating other people. But my race "program" is based more on an attempt to maximize the suffering I can get out of the race fees. Remember, it's all training for cx.

Anonymous said...

Things just seem to be getting worse and worse for our poor sport. I think there are many problems but as I said in the survey the high race fees don't help at all. I was in fact thinking about heading out Sunday but a last minute check told me there was a $35 on site registration fee.
Are they nuts?
$35 plus gas money to race the same people I have been racing since 1995?
If it was me in charge I'd make a cap for race fees at $20 and preregistration at $15. What the mca needs to do is get those numbers back up and they they can consider gouging the riders like they are now (they are the ones allowing the clubs to do this).

and yes I am aware that triathlon and running can be pricey at times but at least they offer a solid field to compete against and not the group rides we have been getting as of late.
then again I have been wrong before and will be again.

Dallas "Racing should be healthier in Manitoba with a GREAT calender like we have this year." Sigurdur

the secretary said...

need to chime in in support of Dallas' comment, despite the fact that I represent the bottom end "almost racer". I came as close as ever to buying a race license this year, but still feel like it would be kind of steep, all expenses included... since I'd really only make it to half the races at best, and hey, I get to race "expert" racers for free in parkades.

darryl "maybe next year" nb

Anonymous said...


I don't disagree about the $35 race fee, but hey, I am a menno, we don't part with our $ easily. At Tinker we managed to pull off the Back 40 at $15 and $20 offer decent food (not stale donuts) and give out prizes... (you guys missed out BTW).

You are right, things are NOT healthy in the sport right now, road or MTB. Not sure what the best way to correct the situation is. I don't think high registration helps. I think healthier CLUBS would really help. Most "race" clubs are just a jersey for a shop, NOTHING else. No training, no financial support for riders, no coaching, no demands of participation of riders, nothing. Just a "Hey, buy our jersey and get 30% off."

Healthy clubs that are committed to racing and the entire scene create an atmosphere of belonging and community that seems to be missing.

Take the FGBC for example. It is a community of people who first off, seem to enjoy bike, but more importantly, enjoy each other. Now the focus is not on racing in MCA races but more for fun. But we basically need other clubs (or even this club) to put this kinda effort into a RACE oriented club.

I think the Junk Yard Dogs have this going on in Portage. They have a club you actually BELONG too, a group of friends. So they want to go to the race to experience it with their friends.

Anyway, don't even get me started about the lack of communication by race organizers on the MCA site and virtually NO info about a race going on the site... No wonder numbers were low for BAF. Nobody knew what kind of race it was or what too expect.

Most clubs and race organizers are doing the absolute MINIMUM to put on a race...

OK, rant is over, time to go do some intervals or something.

-Kevin Braun

Coach Dave said...

I agree with both Dallas and Kevin. Let me add that this is OUR sport and if we wait for someone to step up and correct the situation… We are all members of clubs and as member WE need to make the changes we are talking about. It is far simpler to sit and point fingers then to stand up and be counted.

If everyone volunteers at at least 3-races, and dose some trail work each year we will avoid burning out our volunteers. BFA had so many problems in part because there were 3 people doing the job of 6! Bring friends out to BFA!

BFA had 271 people attend in 2001 and ~ 30 “member this year” each of which I know on a 1st name basis. Lack of advertising/ communication was a big part of the problem, but not the only reason for low attendance. If we want the cross season to be bigger and better we had better start working on the races and building the hype now. Cross training should start in June and July… not the day before the first race.