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Do Club Cyclists Still Race for Money?

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Quagmire

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 8:38 am

Do Club Cyclists Still Race for Money?

I can't remember the last time I placed in a race and earned some cash for my efforts but I still rock up to races and pay my nomination fee. I don't enter a race thinking that I'm going to earn $100 and make a $70 profit for the day, I usually enter a race to challenge myself and hopefully compete against some like-minded individuals of a similar fitness level.

Maybe the nomination fees should instead go towards improving the racing scene. Most would agree that the Cycling SA is struggling in its present form to cater for the various disciplines of racing. Most of the resources seem to be invested in the Rendition Homes Series and the Cyclo Sportif Series. The road season seems to be up to the 'bigger' clubs, or should I say established clubs to organise and if you ride a fixed gear, you're bang out of luck. Cyclocross seems to have caught the attention of some but time will tell if resources are invested in this area.

Cycling is one of those sports that lends itself to marketing and promotion because there are thousands of people out there buying road bikes - most for the first time. Wouldn't a sponsor love to see a video of the race finish and a 2 minute interview of their sponsored winner posted on the Cycling SA website at the conclusion of the race? At the moment they aren't even seeing the results.

At the moment, Cycling SA are ticking their strategic plan boxes by adding innovations such as Times 7 and recruiting new clubs and riders (even if they only ride the sportifs). But there doesn't seem to be any indication that they are trying to improve racing as a whole or looking to the future and making use of new technology. Their webpage could be an interactive treasure trove of cycling goodies. Links to circuits with elevations, google flyovers, videos of race finishes, more links to sponsor sites, rider interviews, rider profiles, a forum for riders to discuss races and events - the web pages is only limited by the imagination.

Incidentally I have yet to see the new strategic plan for 2012-2013. I would hope that it includes something worthwhile about innovation and marketing. The popularity of STRAVA amongst cyclists, both racing and recreational is saying something about how athletes like to compare themselves to others and against their own previous performances. At the moment we are lucky if we see the top 10 results posted - and this takes up to a week sometimes. Ironically the Alphutte results seemed to be out quicker than usual this year and there was no Times 7 involved in this race.

So my question is, are cyclists still racing for money or would the nominations fees be better off going back in to the federation to improve races and the development of the sport across all disciplines?

It pains me to say it but in retrospect, Max was good for Cycling SA.

PS What happened to the Hell of the North? Not enough interest? Surely Cycling SA weren't expecting riders to enter a 2 day race an hour and a half away that they were told virtually nothing about until a couple of months before the event?
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Jeremy

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 9:47 am

I pose another question...Is it money that is the problem? As far as i'm aware, the infrastructure is all there.....no equipment needs purchasing, most events are run by volunteers.
Is it more just the know how, possibly motivation and planning?
Just another trackie lost in the criterium state.....
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stuc

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 10:06 am

You raise some good points Quagmire that essentially lead to actions that all organisations have to do from time to time. That is, as Roy and HG so delicately phrased it, organisations should "go into the room full of mirrors, drop their dacks, bend over and have a good, long look at themselves." Perhaps May 2012 is an opportune time for such a journey.

To your subject question, "Yes" is an answer since:
(a) races are still being held; and
(b) the basic system of prizes has not changed.

Since races are still happening, perhaps there is a perception that there are enough racers supporting them ie numbers are sufficient.

What constitutes "improving the racing scene"? Is it a larger prize purse? Is it a more wieldy information system as you suggest (timely results and updated web sites)? Is it greater participation rates? Is it more racing opportunities? Is it, as you suggest, a more consistent presence in the media? Is it a combination of these and other things?

I will leave the prize purse and the more racing opportunities alone for the moment.

A comment on results. In this day and age, the results from a timing system can be posted directly to the web from the site of the race itself.

Prize allocations. Most people will know my views on this so those who do can immediately skip to the next paragraph (if you have got this far already). There is nothing wrong with place prizes for elite categories. There is a lot going for place prizes for categories based on physical characteristics eg age, weight. If you are looking for increasing participation rates, there is a lot wrong for place prizes for grades. All graded races should have prizes allocated by random draws (places, race numbers, names; the method doesn't matter).

Media. Yes I am mystified/stunned/intrigued that there are not more mentions in the media of the local cycling scene. There are undoubtedly good reasons for this, one of which would likely be the good old inertia (the Five Gorillas in a Cage Parable) and I am not privy to the efforts of CyclingSA in this sphere.

There may indeed be some intentions listed in the 2012-13 Strategic Plan. Have tried to search the CyclingSA web site for the Plan but Google says "We're sorry but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now." Don't you just love the world we live in? :lol:
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stabmaster arson

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 12:21 pm

the CSA strategic plan is full of goals like 'create synergies' and other boardroom bullsh*t

most people feel that CSA are completely out of touch with the reality of what their members want

time to storm parliment house with pitchforks in hand...
the ideal number of bikes is one
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DanielS

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 12:39 pm

Good topic. Let's keep the discussion productive though.

In many (most?) European countries there is no prize money at amateur level.

I've read about racing in the Netherlands where the entry fee is something like 3 euros and if you win you get a little medal or a trophy. They have dedicated closed circuit crit courses and in the instance I read about, the cycling club had club rooms on the race track where you can have a drink afterwards!

I also remember hearing about PACC's Chris M winning a race in Italy and getting a brand new boxed up ceiling fan for his troubles (the sponsor of the event was a ceiling fan manufacturer, presumably).

I've often thought a good compromise would be to have prize money at open races and no prize money for club races. That would be a more meaningful division for the types of racing as well.
The ideal number of bikes is one... I just can't decide which one.
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Alan

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 3:19 pm

I'd happily drop all chances of winning prize money for better organised events.

Easy to say though as I've never won any....
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stabmaster arson

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 3:26 pm

you will see in the coming months that PACC will put on more racing with no entry fees as a response to racer's feedback

at a club level we cannot change the world but we can do our bit
the ideal number of bikes is one
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Kara T

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 3:56 pm

I'm relatively new to the cycling scene, but have seen similar issues in other 'organised' sports, the question being 'what do we get for our money?' I don't mind paying as long as I see change, such as it would be nice to have more "Caution Cyclists" signs at the TT on Saturday so cars and large trucks aren't surprised by our presence on the road.
On the media, Cycling SA could do a lot of it's image and promote cycling more if the cycling results were written about in the paper, even the local rag, such as footy, cricket is. Seems like they need a dedicated media/public affairs person to look after this plus keep the website in working order.
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stabmaster arson

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 5:09 pm

i dont read the paper but do cycling results still make it to the local sport results section?

i know SCC used to get them in there quite regularly, does anyone still do this?
the ideal number of bikes is one
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jacques ankletell

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 6:55 pm

speaking of publicity....has this made it beyond the local Messenger newspaper?

http://east-torrens-messenger.whereiliv ... pbelltown/

I thought it was a pretty big deal.
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Quagmire

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 9:55 pm

I was kind of thinking that the money from the noms could be used to pay people to run events professionally. It is great to have volunteers run events but if they are incompetent then it's kind of pointless, people seem to put up with shoddy work because, 'at least they are volunteering their time'.

The times 7 expression of interest on cycling sa's website seems pretty hopeful if it is a volunteer position. Who would volunteer to operate a sub-standard piece of timing equipment risking the riducule and backlash when the system fails to deliver. A volunteer is under no pressure to deliver the results on time, perhaps if this were a paid position the results would be uploaded by the time riders get home from the race with the data that was promised when times 7 was introduced i.e. the revolution that will enhance everyone's racing experience.

Racing in SA needs to keep up with the rest of the world. I've lost count the number of times that Paul Sherwin has said that cycling is a team sport yet from U13 to A grade, riders ride as individuals. When riders are developing, how do they learn the tactics involved in team racing? Finally the Hell of the North was about to provide the first opportunity for lower grade riders to ride in teams but the event was so poorly organised it was never going to happen. Preparation for the event began last year yet it wasn't until March 20 that the event was advertised on the website. The timing of the event was ridiculous, most cyclists have mothers just like everyone else and it is pretty common knowledge that the Tour of the Riverland is usually the last weekend in May. Surely these types of considerations would be covered in Events Management 101.
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Gemm

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Post Tue May 08, 2012 11:35 pm

stabmaster arson wrote:i dont read the paper but do cycling results still make it to the local sport results section?

i know SCC used to get them in there quite regularly, does anyone still do this?


PACC's do. But only if you get the results in before 6pm the following day, or they won't publish them. We usually acheive this target but Lee-Anne didn't quite make it from the last track race (obviously difficult if you have to go to work the next day!).

For what it's worth, the last cross race didn't have any entry fee, or any prize money. And it didn't make one jot of difference to entry numbers. The races still do incur costs however.

Track hire is up around $85/hr+. Add medical on top of this and the costs start to become significant. However PACC still runs these at only $15 a night of racing, pretty good for an indoor sport.

Can't speak for other clubs that are charging $25 for a 'club' race....

We can only make changes to things within our control. if you think we're letting the side down with our events, just say so. Alternatively if you think what we're doing is good, saying so is nice too....
the ideal number of bikes is one more than you currently have
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Jay

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silks

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Post Wed May 09, 2012 2:53 pm

Ive said this time and again and will do so until im blue in the face.....CSA needs to support track racing more than what they do. There have been two clear opportunities (SBS's coverage of nationals and worlds) to capitalise on those opportunities....and start to rebuild some momentum in a discipline that is fundamental to cycling skills and technical abilities.......not to mention the basis of SASI and AIS - buts its left to SCC and PACC to do its bit - with little support of the governing body despite what others say.

Build it and they will come.....seems to work with the cyclo sportiff and team racing......cant see why it cant happen to a form of the sport that has greater variety and can cater better cater for riders of varying abilities....amazing how peiople are willing to drive to the adelaide hills on a regular basis to ride 4 laps of a circuit and pay $20+...yet are not willing to race in a world class facility for less and get greater value for money in regards to opportunities to compete......Why can the Eastern states do this...yet SA cant - and we have arguably a better cycling culture - and per capita....the best pool of talent.
cheesus
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Lee-Anne

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silks

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Post Thu May 10, 2012 7:32 am

I'd be happy to see a percentage of race takings to towards a PACC training budget, where a Lvl 1 r&t coach has their costs covered for some training provided. Where we have a goal of what we are learning. Yes I'm new to riding/racing so I've lots to learn.
Something like this might encourage more experienced riders to take a CA coaching course and impart their knowledge officially
'If ya gonna die, die on the black line' GZ
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Dave Gomer

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Post Sat May 12, 2012 7:07 pm

I've got a little tip if you want a better chance of picking up some prizemoney at Milang. Payneham club is a non racing club so we can be a member of Payneham as well as your racing club, cost $10. At Milang PCC have a $100 prize for the first PCC member across the line. Two years ago there was 1 PCC rider and I collected $100! last year there were 2 PCC riders and David Tichy collected $100. This year there are currently 3 PCC members! Not bad odds!
Dave G

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