1) NCNCA racers love stage races and wish there were more in nor cal.
2) Madera is low key and doesnâ€™t have the prize money, nice courses and timely results that weâ€™re used to from stage races in OR/So Cal/Texas/Arkansas, but hey itâ€™s all we got so you gotta love it. (I would have done it but I was way out of town)
3)â€œSomeone elseâ€ should promote a Nor Cal stage race.
I think we have more great races in this district than any other district in the country, and we love the ones on crappy roads in the middle of nowhere with no prize money, yet for some reason have only 1 amateur stage race.
I donâ€™t know much about race promoting, but from what I do know I believe that the TT is the easiest type of event to promote since you can usually find a course where you donâ€™t need to close any roads. It seems like it wouldnâ€™t be that much extra work for one our great 2 race events (such as Merco, Land Park/Bariani, Brisbane, Wente, Sugar CRM Mt. Hamilton, etc.) to just add a TT on Friday afternoon or Saturday and viola, youâ€™d have a stage race.
Just a suggestion, not a complaint.
Good, got you both here.
Kurt - your comment was extremely insulting to a club that is active year-long in promoting our sport. Your condescension that you 'appreciate the effort' put forth by them is ... well, it's condescending. endpoint.
Ron - this pretty much sums up what i've read from you over the years:
Quote:The reason VP has low turn out at certain races is the there is no value created for the time and money invested in the drive and race.
No value? Are you out of your mind? I paid ... hell i don't even know or care how much the entry was for Madera. And the gas? Nope don't give a crap about the cost of that either.
And i'm NOT rich.
The value for me was the great racing, hanging around some wonderful people, sharing sweat and toil for NO OTHER REASON THAN IT IS FUN.
Worth every dollar spent.
Now i know both you and Kurt love cycling, love the spirit of it. But i also think you two are just a couple of spoiled kids sometimes.
more prize money ...waawaawaah
better upgrade points ... waaawaawaah
no climbing in this race, too much in that, too far to drive, not in my hometown, no 45+ cat 2,3,4 category, where's the results ... waaawaawaaah
just tired of it.
just bitchy this morning.
I thought Kurt made some good points, I did have to sift through the @$$ kissing, but the points were good.
The reason VP has low turn out at certain races is the there is no value created for the time and money invested in the drive and race.
With gas at $4.00+ a gallon registration fees are an extremely small percentage of the overall race day cost to the riders.
Most people I know really evaluate the quality aspect of the event when considering a 3 hour drive to start a race a the crack of dawn.
With the way VP races are run, they are pretty much considered practice races to a lot of riders. The common thought is "I don't need to blow a $100 to $150 in travel to practice."
It's not that riders race for money, but having a prize list and making a good presentation of the event goes a long way towards adding value.
I am hearing more and more riders saying "what the hell am I doing here?", because they feel like the money spent was waisted on a lame event. In addition the promoter is making the same mistakes year after year with little to no effort to improve the event or correct known mistakes.
Lots of potential, but obviously no desire to reach it.
Quantity is not a substitute for quality.
mhernandez wrote:stay in Texas. It suits you.
It might not suit you badly either:
Got a spare room. Come check it out.
... wait, you know what? You're idiotic comment isn't worth my time.
Saying it isn't worth your time then responding with a string of personal insults is both below a rider of your reputation and worse for a person of the media, oxymoronic and disingenuous.
As I mentioned (twice), I'm appreciative of Velogirls effort, I've been involved in quite a few race promotions over the years. But one crit is hardly comparable to the work that Robert does.
You might go back and look at some of Velogirls posts about how promoters can "do what they want". While this is essentially true, it's not a stance that is responsive or helpful to the racers (or racing) in the long run, which I'm sure was a far better way of putting things than my original comment which was meant in jest to a degree. I just kinda dislike using emoticons.
Quote:And Velogirl, you're not Henri Desgrange. You run one little crit, yet you seem to think it's about bicycle race promoting, not bicycle racing. You could go away tomorrow and races would still form organically. Racers go away and you're done.
But thanks for doing that one crit. I appreciate every race I have an opportunity to do.
kurt, you're so full of crap it's coming out your ears.
Velogirls puts on one "little crit" a year?
stay in Texas. It suits you.
36 x 26 wrote:Good to hear from you Kurt. Didn't recognize you at first 'cause the online accent was kinda strong. Come back to Cali and it'll be gone...just like that!
That's a might worrisome, the accent comin thru and all. Hope things are good there (that goes for all my ex homies).
Not trying to jab a finger into anyone on this. But it's been interesting doing a bunch of races somewhere different and seeing things done better (and worse). Like I said, I'm appreciative of Velogirls efforts and Robert's awesome.
Good to hear from you Kurt. Didn't recognize you at first 'cause the online accent was kinda strong. Come back to Cali and it'll be gone...just like that!
Some observations from out of town:
I've done two stage races so far here in Texas, both of which were in towns that made Madera look like NYC. Both had results in a far shorter time than Madera (even excluding a few years ago where they were posted 9 months after), both were better run on better courses, and both had wayyyy better payouts.
The 50 rider field limit in some classes is puzzling, someone needs to splain it to me. Especially when two riders break down on the way to the race and any finish points are negated for upgrades.
I love Robert. I love Robert's races. I hold dear every T shirt I've ever won, even that ugly orange thing from Esparto. But Robert needs to hear things that folks think. There wouldn't be an online VP reg if folks didn't say something. Robert is god. Pray to him and he'll listen.
And if Robert did a stage race with a real parcourse, people would run for the hills. Or away from the hills. He's got two epic races (Orosi and Challenge) that draw zip. Heck, one guy complained he wouldn't come to Challenge (he hadn't ever done it) unless they made it two laps then didn't even show up. The rest of us got to do that death march because of it. CVC put in a hill and 40 35+ riders showed up.
(Robert, please keep those on the calender, I'm building a bike to leave in Cali and will fly out for at least one).
That NoCal's only non pro stage race is Madera is a disgrace. Arkansas is kicking your rear.
And Velogirl, you're not Henri Desgrange. You run one little crit, yet you seem to think it's about bicycle race promoting, not bicycle racing. You could go away tomorrow and races would still form organically. Racers go away and you're done.
I too enjoy Madera for what it is. I've done if 5 or 6 times and missed a year because the ignition in my fully loaded minivan jammed and couldn't get the car started. Ended up drilling the ignition switch out but it was 10am and figured I wouldn't make the 12 noon crit start.
VOS damn near started a football team in our 45+ field, which raised some anxiety from the lesser be's, but it sure was fun squirming around through the field of red and black. Going into our RR, a time trial specialist held a 1 second lead over the mighty Bubba and held on for the overall GC.
I had a wonderful dinner at The Vineyards, fettuchini topped with 3 braised short ribs, for 13.00..my tablemates were envious. The Super 8, one of Madera's finest finally installed auto AC controls which meant the damn blowers weren't going full blast all night. No night racing at the fairgrounds to keep up awake. 5-10 degrees cooler than last year. No need for the medical kit. Discovered a new Mex eatery on 132 in Modesto on the way home with killer Bisteca Rancheros. Roomed with a new team mate and got to know him a little better. Got home in plenty of time to have dinner with the family.
I'd go again. Bob always chooses the best weather weekend of the spring season. When I get back to work on Monday, everyone things I've been to Palm Springs.
Just so people know in the past the Crit has been in town ( I'm not sure where we had the race could be called downtown) just a couple of blocks from what normally serves as the host hotel. One problem with that crit was the finish was so dang wide it made it really hard to get good video. Also I think at least one of those years the crit was the final stage. The only real difference with that crit course was since it was the last day legs were more shattered so a lot more riders either dropped out or were pulled. I'm trying to remember if this was also one of the years where there was an extra road stage for the 1/2/Pros. Over the years there have been to many versions of that race for me to remember them all.
I love the Madera Stage Race.
I love retelling the stories about people missing one of the turns in the TT and ending up booked into the Womens' Prison.
I love the washboards and the flats and the bad luck and the broken stems.
I love hanging out for a weekend in a town so boring that the only thing to do is hang out with my friends, watch Waynes World and drink beer.
I don't care if we're racing for a t-shirt -- we're not. We're racing because it's important how you finish at Madera. I don't know why, but it is. It's like Copper or Hamilton or Snelling or San Ardo (?!?for God's sake?!?), it's just one of those races that our people care about. Funny ... they're nearly all VP races.
But I have to agree that the crit is boring. Probably the most boring crit of the year. And always totally irrelevant to the GC.
I love the race, Robert. Don't change a damned thing ... except the crit.
No offense to Joanathan or Bob, all of the suggestions that I threw out would cost ZERO additional dollars except for adding another stage to races.
jonathan wrote:We put on a 3-day/3-stage stage race two years ago for 5 categories. The Central California race ran well but the amount of time (and money) needed to make things "go" was staggering, much more than anyone outside of race promotion would think.
Someone help us secure at least $75,000 in sponsorship dollars (per year for a multi-year deal would be great) and we'll put one on again, and include more categories and more courses / days. Our budget three years ago exceeded $100K, and things haven't gotten any cheeper.
We put on a 3-day/3-stage stage race two years ago for 5 categories. The Central California race ran well but the amount of time (and money) needed to make things "go" was staggering, much more than anyone outside of race promotion would think.
I think while we all like to see races have more prize money and atmospheres like you see at races like Merco, Tower District or the classics like Cats Hill, Burlingame and Davis. However, if you have ever put on a race (especially a higher quality) than you know the amount of time that goes into it. Our race is Merco and even though I put in little more than some phone time and the typical help with set up and tear down, I watched Doug Fleutsch who has been the promoter up until this year spend enormous amounts of time through out the entire year getting this going. I think Bob does a good job for the quantity of races he does.
I personally put one of the races in Northern Cal and it take alot of work. I think Bob and the rest of Velo Promo do a great job. Yes the Venues aren't the greates neither is Paris-Roubaix. I think if you are new to racing these courses are tough but they are NCNCA classics in away. People who have been racing for at least the last 20 years all talk about the same courses and Velo promo (BOB) name comes up in almost all of the talks. I think if there was a Hall of fame for Northern Calif. cycling Robert would have to be one of the greatest promoters around. Robert and Velo Promo you do a great job and keep it up. Thanks
Mad Axeman wrote:Go up and do a stage race in Oregon. Then you will say "oh...I see".
Agree 100%, OR has great stage races. Which I suppose means it has great stage race organizers.
It is strange that there isn't a single truly good stage race in all of NorCal. Madera is fun for what it is but it's nothing like Cascade, Hood, Elkhorn, Columbia or the tour of the Gila and it never will be (lipstick on a pig). I would not lay it on VP to fill this need b/c it's a different thing entirely, but it would be nice to have a couple-few 3-4 day events that don't require a drive past Y-reka or Barstow. In the mountains please, none of this hayseed crappy pavement stuff.
Back to that old problem though, you need a few people who will do everything needed to get this kind of thing together. If they come out of the woodwork, the races happen, but it isn't exactly the most lucrative thing to do with a half-year of time so....
Having done both San Dimas and Madera in the last 2+ weeks I have to agree that stage races are fun and I wish we had more low key events on the calendar.
While Madera can seem campy, I really enjoy it because it is accessible to everyone. San Dimas was more polished (nice race bible, results posted quickly, lots of motos and follow cars for all categories) BUT they also had time cuts and VERY short races for the lower categories (25 minute crit for women's 3/4?). If you missed the time cut in the road race you spent a lot of money for a very short race.
They each have their place...enjoy them for what they are.
A race does not need to be an NRC to be a great race or be well attended. In many ways the NRC status can kill all the other categories.
However, improvements can be made that cost no meney.
1.) Accurate directions to the courses- Madera directions have been hard to decipher as long as I have been racing.
2.) Better marking for flat tt- seems like people are still going straight past the final turn and out to the prison- I did that years ago.
3.) Taking the time to make the flat tt start reflect the gc from the day before- this makes it a better race. You know who you are "racing against"
4.) tt starts at 30 seconds instead of 1 min- this lets good tt riders catch more people- its only math!
5.) I agree that a better crit would help the event
6.) Posting results online in a timely manner as soon as they are calculated- again, it is nice to know who you are racing against. In this day and age of technology it no more difficult to upload the results that you just created so people can view them online. Gotta be someone at Velo Prom with some computer skills and the internet is everywhere.
And not relative to Madera- many of the early season weekends could be made into stage races or omniums by adding a tt on Friday afternoon. People would come. tt's are easy to put on. Everyone could improve their tt's with more opportunities.
I just wanted to say "thanks" to Velo Promo and all the people that put this race on. A special thanks has got to go to Jim at Davis Bike Club for the follow car on the Pro 1,2 RR. I flatted twice and he was there both times for support. DBC is a well run program and they are consistently out at races providing support, not only for their team, but also for others in the race, like myself. Thanks guys and keep up the good work.
Team Norcal Bike Sport
So any ideas where Velo Promo can get the $25,000 in sponsorship needed to make the men's race a NRC stage race? If you can't come up with that much in Sponsorship money then you could go for making the women's stage race an NRC event for $15,000 in prize money. In addition to the prize money sponsorship don't forget the extra money for brining in an out of state results company that uses a Finishlynx system since that type of system is required for a Cat A or NRC level event and we don't have a CA based company that can do this. Then there are the extra costs of announcer(s), the additional permit fees ( 7% of the total prizelist), the increased officials fees ( higher pay scale and more officials will be needed), higher police fees for either fully closed courses ( for all stages) or at least a rolling closure for the RR. for the Men an NRC level race is Cat 1/Pro only.
Velo Promo has said it many times in the past. They can do a lot of races with little to no sponsorship and prizes or they could do a couple of races each year with larger sponsorship and prizes. In cases like the Giro, where a co promoting group brings in sponsorship, you have the best of both worlds and you get a bigger prizelist and enough people to have a better production event. Hanford is a in between event. The race has additional sponsorship with good prize list but not a lot of additional bodies to help run the show. Note that in a case like Hanford if the sponsor wants all the sponsorship money to go to prizelist ( or primes) Velo Promo can't simple divert money from the prizelist to hire additional staff.
Mad Axeman wrote:It's nice that VP provides so many races, but is it really that hard to create one that you pull out all the stops and make it a real event?
Isn't it the promoter's perrogative to create the type of event they want to create? If VP wants to put on a low-key stage race, then that's Robert's choice. If InfoVista wants to put on an NRC stage race, more power to you.
When you register for a given race, especially one that has a history in the district, you should have an idea of what level of "event" to expect. I can't imagine anyone is surprised that most of Robert's events are low-key. His mission is to provide lots of racing opportunities (more than any other promoter in the NCNCA) -- not to spend all his time securing sponsorship so his events can be NRC events.
If you want bling, there are lots of bling events. If you want lots of racing, VP is going to provide that for you.
Lorri Lee Lown
That is the problem, it is a typical VP event.
Suggested improvements are far too many to list, and 20 years overdue.
Go up and do a stage race in Oregon. Then you will say "oh...I see".
There is no reason Madera couldn't be done well and even at NRC level, or blimey here is a thought, make it an NRC event.
Promote the race, get the crit off of the business park, and get the town involved.
Several hotels were packed with cyclists, the better restaurants as well.
Get them involved, and create a real prize list.
Prizes should be 20 deep in all categories for a stage race, with 20th at least making back his/her registration fees.
For most it's not that they race for the prizes, but it makes the event. Heck, there is enough of Road 28 1/2 laying around loose that VP could have made trophies out of it.
And I am not talking about having a teenager standing behind a card table shelling out prizes. Do it right and have a podium and awards presentation.
It's nice that VP provides so many races, but is it really that hard to create one that you pull out all the stops and make it a real event?
Think about it, nobody in other states is telling their cycling buddies "dude, you gotta go out to California for the Madera Stage Race, it's awesome".
At least my experience this time (my last) with the event was not as awful as past years, this being the 3rd time I have gone in 10 years.
I wasn't really disappointed, because I didn't expect much. Lack of hope for something better or improvement is a sad state though.
If you you are looking for quality and quantity of prizes, that same weekend had another stage race /omnium in southern California run by the San Diego Cyclovets. Top notch announcer even at the time trial and cash prizes each day as well as for overall placings. And you're done with the time trial by 10:00 am Friday, which allows for some sight seeing before Saturday's road race. My Sunday crit's results were posted by 3:40 pm (20 minutes after finishing), which gave us plenty of time to return to the bay area before midnight.
Quote:few cones set up around a pile of...
I missed that pile of... on the TT course and missed my turn - Doh!
What improvements would you like to see made? I'm just curious.
This was the first time I did this race, or a stage race, and I thought it was the typical VP experience. It would have been nice if the TT course was marked a little better, but then again I guess it's my own fault for not pre-riding/driving the course.
Thanks to all the officials and volunteers (especially in the feed zone) for a good weekend.