Possible new crit in Redding next May?

Redding Velo is considering hosting a new criterium ( the “Sundial Criterium”) on Saturday, May 1, 2010. It would be at the Redding Convention Center, in the shadow of the Sundial Bridge and adjacent to the Sacramento River. Some of you may have raced some crits at the convention center back in the mid-90’s. The course is fast and has one technical section with a hairpin turn and up and down a ramp. We would use the same route, circumnavigating the convention center, grass pavilion, and parking lot as before, except go the opposite direction to address some access/traffic issues for the Sundial Bridge. One of the unique features of this course is that spectators can stand at certain points in the grass pavilion and watch every second of the race unfold. This also means breakaways are never out of sight of the pack!

A few questions:

Would enough NCNCA racers be interested in traveling as far north as Redding? We are assuming our market would be the same racers that attend the Chico Downtown Crit in September. It attracted 275 racers last year.

It would be on same day as the Sugar/CRM Cat’s Hill Classic in Los Gatos. How much would this hurt attendance? (A little 2008 results analysis showed that less than 10% of racers who went to Cat’s Hill also went to the Chico DT Crit last year.)

In addition to the popular 1-2-3 and elite 4 and 5 categories, would targeting the more popular Masters’ type categories (like M35+ cat 1-2-3, M35+ and 45+ 4/5, and the growing M45+/55+ 1-2-3-4) be a good marketing strategy?

What about Junior and Women’s categories? It appears very few Juniors attend the more far-flung races. It appears the Chico Downtown Criterium has merged all Women’s categories into a single “open” race for this year - maybe due to a low turnout of women racers last year?

We have selected this date because the local cycling communty wants to turn the first weekend of May into a larger cycling celebration, set around the Sundial Bridge. The Shasta Wheelmen recently moved their popular Jamboree Century ride to start at the Sundial Bridge. Next year, it will be held Sunday, May 2, 2010 – the day after our proposed “Sundial Criterium”. Also, May usually gives us our best local cycling weather. We usually start getting kind of warm in June, and downright sizzling in July and August.

Because Redding is a relatively long trip for a lot of racers and some may elect to stay overnight and do some tourist-type things the next day, we are considering certain “perks” for registered racers when they sign in, such as discount tickets to Turtle Bay Museum and special deals at local hotels, RV parks, and restaurants. Maybe some houseboat deals. If there was enough interest, maybe a two-day package deal with the Shasta Wheelmen for those who might want to hang around and do the Jamboree century ride or the 15-mile family fun ride along the Sacamento River Trail the next day.

Thanks for our constructive comments,

Keith Ritter
President, Redding Velo

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