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amateur racing, so many new racers, where's it going?

marykamaryka Posts: 746
edited April 2012 in Amateur race
On the back of a few things that have happened recently, this has got me wondering.

First off, the Thames Velo 3/4 road race was way oversubscribed. The organiser pleaded on his website for people to stop bugging him. Apparently they didn't, and weren't nice about it either, as his letter sent to those who did not make the cut more or less said that he'd received lots of "feedback" on how he should choose the field for his race. As in, people telling him what he was doing wrong. Presumably all these 3rd and 4th cats... mostly new racers, in other words. I know that a certain amount must have been, because about a dozen new racers from my own club had entered. (I have no idea if they were the ones who contacted him but I hope not!)

Then, a few recent posts from the timetrialling forum, as TTing also has its share of new racers:
Please note that the closing date for my event is the 10th April.
I will not be closing until the 14th April as I will not have time before that to do the sheets.
However, priority will be given to those who get their entry forms to me before the official closing date.

STOP PHONING ME.
[story of an organiser getting a phone call from a rider who can't make his start time]
Organiser then checks the entry form and there's no mention of an early start so the rider is rung back and told so.

Rider then asks again if the start sheet can be re-issued.

Organiser then explains what's involved and then raises his/her voice "I DO THIS VOLUNTARILY AND AM BEHIND WITH MY OTHER WORK"

Rider responds by raising his/her voice "WELL I SUGGEST YOU GIVE UP ORGANISING.".
Tonight having a chat with a guy in my club (he's also on this forum) and I was saying I thought it was inappropriate to contact an organiser of a Hillingdon crit with online entry -- entry had now closed, but no word on any of the news sites that it was full -- to ask if there were still spots. I said I thought if he missed the deadline for online entry, he should just get up there and enter EOL. He said he didn't want to risk wasting his day if it was full and therefore emailed the org to ask.

Now it wasn't that long ago that for crits, you could ONLY do EOL. It would honestly never occur to me to email an organiser of a Hillingdon crit to ask if a race was full once online entry had closed. But maybe this is the new norm?

So where is it going? Are organisers happy to be contacted like this? Should they be, what with online entry and new systems -- should organisers expect to answer emails and phone calls?

Or are older clubs/racers failing to impart what I would consider old school respect and etiquette into new racers? e.g., racing is a privilege, not a right. Organisers and other officials are volunteers, putting in many hours of thankless work so that racers can race. Just because you pay some money to race doesn't mean you're a customer and they are staff that you can demand a certain level of service from.

(As an aside, I wonder if sportives or triathlon -- where entries cost a lot and are designed to make a profit, meaning that the organisers are essentially doing it for money -- are to blame for this new mentality?)

Discuss.

Disclaimer: I race, organise and commissaire. Organising I've only done so far through the Surrey League which takes care of many headaches for me in that they deal with entries and most other paperwork. But I would like to organise something bigger someday and I've done the BC organiser's course. If I do, I don't think I'll be publshing my email address or mobile number though...
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Posts

  • ProssPross Posts: 25,368
    Lots of new people coming into the sport which is great. However, not enough of them are prepared to help out with events. The regular organisers are getting fed up with everything being left to them and decide to stop promoting events especially when it comes to people criticising their organisation so less events for more people. I used to be lucky to get a full 60 rider field in each event when I organised whereas our club's race this year had a full field of 80 within a week. There also used to be a 'proper' road race virtually every week in South Wales other than a gap in the summer holidays. Now we have far fewer but with crits on motor circuits taking some of the slack.

    As on my thread I think the answer is to stop accepting entries from clubs / teams / private members that don't promote their own events. People need to realise that the sport relies on volunteers givinh up their time for no money and little thanks to allow them to race regularly. It's not just newcomers either, plenty of experienced riders want to race but give nothing back.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    One race I organised - a rider contacted me to get information on train times for him to get to the race !

    I'm laughing at it but really I don't mind people contacting me pre-race, it's never really been too onerous and I admit to contacting organisers occasionally to see if it's worth travelling to enter on the line.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • fish156fish156 Posts: 496
    The behaviour described could be a consequence of a selfish consumer society. People pay their entry fee and expect a service. Not only that, they expect that service to be based around them. The fact that the organiser is a volunteer is a concept that's neither understood nor considered.

    The same can be observed with club membership. Fee paid, job done. Why is it then that in the club I'm a member of always struggles to get support for local events, even though it's a condition of membership and despite there being around 300 members? The same faces are normally the ones who step forward to help.
    Pross wrote:
    As on my thread I think the answer is to stop accepting entries from clubs / teams / private members that don't promote their own events.
    Interesting opinion. I think the current situation is that for a few extra pounds you can buy your way out of any obligation to give something back. Typically entry is £15 if you're a member of an affiliated club (i.e. one that puts on an event), £20 if you're not. Less than the price of an inner tube gets you out of having to give anything back.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    fish156 wrote:
    I think the current situation is that for a few extra pounds you can buy your way out of any obligation to give something back. Typically entry is £15 if you're a member of an affiliated club (i.e. one that puts on an event), £20 if you're not. Less than the price of an inner tube gets you out of having to give anything back.
    This is what I think as well -- by essentially giving people an out by paying more money rather than giving time, you are condoning their lack of effort.

    Cycling it would seem (at least around London) appeals to many people who have more money than time -- or maybe more correctly said, they consider their time worth a lot more money than whatever they pay not to have to give it -- so if you up the fees, people will just pay it. Outside of using that money to pay the volunteers and organisers, it doesn't really help. Offering greater prize money surely just accentuates the problem?

    The Surrey League has tried to get at this by charging non-promoting teams £300 to be a member (promoting teams pay only £60) but what actually happens is those teams don't promote but do well enough to gain a lot of SL points and then get most of that money back at the end. So in my opinion that doesn't really work. But the alternative was that a lot of people were joining promoting clubs to get the cheap entry (mine included) and just not bothering to volunteer.

    Funny enough, this year I said to my club "if you want to race one of our club's promoted races, you must offer to help at the other" and several well-known slackers either didn't bother to race or just went off to another team that didn't have the same requirement.

    Thread is digressing a bit, but I do see it as all part of the same issue. If the people with traditional "put back into the sport" attitudes are being far outnumbed by "I paid my money, I get to have what I want" attitudes, then the sport as it is will eventually die. Whether that's the idea that they can race and have no obligation to help out, or that they can email organisers with every little question, it's still the same attitude and the same result.
  • If they don't belong to a team who organises a race, straight to bottom, is the preferred method round here.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    maryka wrote:
    fish156 wrote:
    I think the current situation is that for a few extra pounds you can buy your way out of any obligation to give something back. Typically entry is £15 if you're a member of an affiliated club (i.e. one that puts on an event), £20 if you're not. Less than the price of an inner tube gets you out of having to give anything back.
    This is what I think as well -- by essentially giving people an out by paying more money rather than giving time, you are condoning their lack of effort.

    True - but the entry criteria would mean they only get in when the field is not full of affiliated members. The extra £5 just makes up for league fees not paid by their club.
    maryka wrote:
    Cycling it would seem (at least around London) appeals to many people who have more money than time -- or maybe more correctly said, they consider their time worth a lot more money than whatever they pay not to have to give it -- so if you up the fees, people will just pay it. Outside of using that money to pay the volunteers and organisers, it doesn't really help. Offering greater prize money surely just accentuates the problem?

    The Surrey League has tried to get at this by charging non-promoting teams £300 to be a member (promoting teams pay only £60) but what actually happens is those teams don't promote but do well enough to gain a lot of SL points and then get most of that money back at the end. So in my opinion that doesn't really work. But the alternative was that a lot of people were joining promoting clubs to get the cheap entry (mine included) and just not bothering to volunteer.

    The first paragraph may be right but I can't see why the Surrey League would feel the need to cater to this attitude. If they really do, £300 is a joke. Is this supposed to represent the time and effort that goes into promoting 2 events? (the requirement for the clubs that pay £60).
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I don't see a problem with sending a polite email to an organiser after the closing date and asking if he has a full field and/or if there's a reserve list I could go on and/or if he'll accept EoL. If he chose not to reply then I wouldn't lose any sleep over it though. I've done this myself in the past - in some cases there wasn't actually a full field, but you don't know this often until you contact the organiser and ask.

    Demanding anything of a race organiser though is wrong, plain and simple.

    On the subject of giving preference to promoting clubs (which seems to be totally OT for this thread, but then others seem to be suggesting that the rude and demanding cyclists aren't those from 'real' clubs) - what about a team that only has say 4 riders? Organising a race and putting on marshals for a team consisting of 4 only riders would be a huge challenge compared to a club consisting of 100+ riders.
    More problems but still living....
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    Tom Dean wrote:
    maryka wrote:

    The Surrey League has tried to get at this by charging non-promoting teams £300 to be a member (promoting teams pay only £60) but what actually happens is those teams don't promote but do well enough to gain a lot of SL points and then get most of that money back at the end. So in my opinion that doesn't really work. But the alternative was that a lot of people were joining promoting clubs to get the cheap entry (mine included) and just not bothering to volunteer.

    The first paragraph may be right but I can't see why the Surrey League would feel the need to cater to this attitude. If they really do, £300 is a joke. Is this supposed to represent the time and effort that goes into promoting 2 events? (the requirement for the clubs that pay £60).
    Obviously I can't speak for the Surrey League but last year when they introduced this scheme, they also introduced a graded entry fee (£15 for members of promoting teams, £20 for members of non-promoting teams and Private Members, £25 for non SL members). I think they decided that was too complicated this year so went with £15 for SL members (promoting or non) and £20 for non SL members. Individuals from non-promoting teams also pay £40 affiliate, not £20.

    It seems like a work in progress, these new rules, with tweaks forthcoming each year. I guess they'll see how many promoting clubs they get vs non, how many races are promoted compared to previous years, how full the fields are and with what type of rider, etc. Presumably the goal is to have as many races as possible, as full as possible, so there's a fine line there with restricting who can ride or how much they pay.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    So it seems a couple of people share the opinion I had, which is re-assuring as I personally didn't think I was being out of order.

    If I'm unsure and its not obvious, a polite email is hardly the end of the world, they both chose to respond in a pleasant manner letting me know the score in those two instances. As said above, if they had not come back to me I'd have left it and done something else, not a problem.

    If getting a polite email from someone about something that is generally not that clear is enough to put someone off organizing a race then I guess there will be less races, bike racing isn't unique though, I can't see how it differs in organisation to other lower league sports. So I suspect it will adapt, as in the rest of society, polite communication whether they're being paid or not is generally not a massive issue. And if you're getting the same email from lots of people then you've probably missed something obvious in the details I suppose.

    Personally I don't mind marshaling or whatever is asked, I enjoy being round the sport, I don't feel like it owes me something, and I wouldn't pay more just to avoid doing something, nor would I join another team for that reason (I seriously doubt that is why they left the club), but as with everything in life, people will pay more money to have a easier existence, you can't argue with that really.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    maryka wrote:
    Presumably the goal is to have as many races as possible, as full as possible, so there's a fine line there with restricting who can ride or how much they pay.

    You would think so but it seems races are already oversubscribed and they have taken away the incentive for clubs to promote races.
  • Tom Dean wrote:
    maryka wrote:
    Presumably the goal is to have as many races as possible, as full as possible, so there's a fine line there with restricting who can ride or how much they pay.

    You would think so but it seems races are already oversubscribed and they have taken away the incentive for clubs to promote races.

    Personally I'm cynical of BCs system for the organisation of races. Great for 4th Cats (if sometimes oversubscribed) and the lads racing the top events (because there's only so many Elites/1st Cats so you're almost guaranteed a ride), but there's no middle ground for progression, unless you want to get your 1st Cat racing round a closed circuit, then get your head kicked in the first open road event you do. BC won't however fork out for the races in the middle, open 2/3/4 road races, despite the fact they must be positively raking it in at the moment. And seemingly, as popularity of cycling grows, so does the backlash by anyone who lives on, near or drives through an open road circuit. We've lost nearly all of ours in the last few years due to moaning ratbags (a few who live a good 10k away from these circuits), and the support from BC isn't there to alleviate the situation, with clubs having to fork out about £1000 a time to get some bloke from the highways agency to stand at a corner with a stop/go sign.

    Unless it changes, the future of anything but the top racing in Britain is on over-subscribed closed circuits, so I feel sorry having to organise a race in the current climate.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    If they don't belong to a team who organises a race, straight to bottom, is the preferred method round here.

    i can kind of see where you are coming from but i don't think this is fair as for myself being from Guernsey for my club to organise a BC race it would be a waste of time as I doubt anyone from England would bother turning up unless we put on a huge prize fund as they did in jersey a few years ago (until BC flicked them by saying they wouldn't allow anyone else to have a National A or B race that weekend then putting one on), i am talking about 10grand just to get riders there. Also add into the fact that due to not having any local bc races we do not get anywhere near the amount of points our level of riding deserves and it makes it very hard to get entry. Or would you be willing to make an exception to riders from Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man etc?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    Tom Dean wrote:
    maryka wrote:
    Presumably the goal is to have as many races as possible, as full as possible, so there's a fine line there with restricting who can ride or how much they pay.

    You would think so but it seems races are already oversubscribed and they have taken away the incentive for clubs to promote races.

    Personally I'm cynical of BCs system for the organisation of races. Great for 4th Cats (if sometimes oversubscribed) and the lads racing the top events (because there's only so many Elites/1st Cats so you're almost guaranteed a ride), but there's no middle ground for progression, unless you want to get your 1st Cat racing round a closed circuit, then get your head kicked in the first open road event you do. BC won't however fork out for the races in the middle, open 2/3/4 road races, despite the fact they must be positively raking it in at the moment. And seemingly, as popularity of cycling grows, so does the backlash by anyone who lives on, near or drives through an open road circuit. We've lost nearly all of ours in the last few years due to moaning ratbags (a few who live a good 10k away from these circuits), and the support from BC isn't there to alleviate the situation, with clubs having to fork out about £1000 a time to get some bloke from the highways agency to stand at a corner with a stop/go sign.

    Unless it changes, the future of anything but the top racing in Britain is on over-subscribed closed circuits, so I feel sorry having to organise a race in the current climate.
    I don't think it's down to BC really (though I agree they could be doing a lot more to help and encourage organisers). It's down to organisers themselves, which means clubs/teams too. Someone has to organise these races, are you doing your part?

    In the SE, we have the Surrey League which basically runs the races you want (2/3 because they won't let 4ths on the open road) as does the SERRL. These leagues are run by having teams/clubs join and get discounted or preferred entry in exchange for promoting races. My own club does a 3rds and a 2/3 open road race.

    Not sure about elsewhere in the country but my impression is that BC doesn't care much about the middle ground -- and this includes women. If you're an elite, great; if you're a 4th cat racing only closed circuit stuff, great; if you're a 2/3 then you're basically on your own.

    You'd think with the huge numbers of 3rds, there'd be more incentive to put on 2/3 races but again, the organisers have to step up.

    I've only been involved with the sport for 4 years, I've managed to organise and get involved with quite a bit of stuff (including the London Women's League) where I saw it was lacking. What's your excuse? :D
  • maryka wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    maryka wrote:
    Presumably the goal is to have as many races as possible, as full as possible, so there's a fine line there with restricting who can ride or how much they pay.

    You would think so but it seems races are already oversubscribed and they have taken away the incentive for clubs to promote races.

    Personally I'm cynical of BCs system for the organisation of races. Great for 4th Cats (if sometimes oversubscribed) and the lads racing the top events (because there's only so many Elites/1st Cats so you're almost guaranteed a ride), but there's no middle ground for progression, unless you want to get your 1st Cat racing round a closed circuit, then get your head kicked in the first open road event you do. BC won't however fork out for the races in the middle, open 2/3/4 road races, despite the fact they must be positively raking it in at the moment. And seemingly, as popularity of cycling grows, so does the backlash by anyone who lives on, near or drives through an open road circuit. We've lost nearly all of ours in the last few years due to moaning ratbags (a few who live a good 10k away from these circuits), and the support from BC isn't there to alleviate the situation, with clubs having to fork out about £1000 a time to get some bloke from the highways agency to stand at a corner with a stop/go sign.

    Unless it changes, the future of anything but the top racing in Britain is on over-subscribed closed circuits, so I feel sorry having to organise a race in the current climate.
    I don't think it's down to BC really (though I agree they could be doing a lot more to help and encourage organisers). It's down to organisers themselves, which means clubs/teams too. Someone has to organise these races, are you doing your part?

    In the SE, we have the Surrey League which basically runs the races you want (2/3 because they won't let 4ths on the open road) as does the SERRL. These leagues are run by having teams/clubs join and get discounted or preferred entry in exchange for promoting races. My own club does a 3rds and a 2/3 open road race.

    Not sure about elsewhere in the country but my impression is that BC doesn't care much about the middle ground -- and this includes women. If you're an elite, great; if you're a 4th cat racing only closed circuit stuff, great; if you're a 2/3 then you're basically on your own.

    You'd think with the huge numbers of 3rds, there'd be more incentive to put on 2/3 races but again, the organisers have to step up.


    I've only been involved with the sport for 4 years, I've managed to organise and get involved with quite a bit of stuff (including the London Women's League) where I saw it was lacking. What's your excuse? :D

    The bits in bold are what I completely agree with! I'm hoping to get more involved with the organisation side of things after finishing Uni this year, but I've always volunteered to help out at races even though I've not raced myself for a couple of years.

    People are willing to organise these races, but again, traffic measures because of people whinging etc have curtailed a lot of open road stuff, and the Police have the notion because there's a couple of closed circuits nearby everything should be run on them so are reluctant to allow races to go ahead. The members of the Police who the organisers deal with are quite race-friendly too, compared to Durham and Northumbria for instance. BC are a massive organisation but seem to not bother putting a bit of pressure on regions. With cycling at a current spike in popularity now would be the ideal time to really cement the middle ground of racing on the open roads.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    Unless it changes, the future of anything but the top racing in Britain is on over-subscribed closed circuits, so I feel sorry having to organise a race in the current climate.
    Btw I meant to say that yes, this is the way it's going. Organisers can get away with minimal volunteers, the circuits require hardly anything in the way of permits or police. It's really a shame. :(
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    As far as BC goes round here (East Mids) I know some within the region are doing quite a bit to get road races on. On a national level the work going on with accredited marshall scheme looks potentially a great way of opening up more circuits without police putting unrealistic obstacles in the way of organisers.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    If they don't belong to a team who organises a race, straight to bottom, is the preferred method round here.

    i can kind of see where you are coming from but i don't think this is fair as for myself being from Guernsey for my club to organise a BC race it would be a waste of time as I doubt anyone from England would bother turning up unless we put on a huge prize fund as they did in jersey a few years ago (until BC flicked them by saying they wouldn't allow anyone else to have a National A or B race that weekend then putting one on), i am talking about 10grand just to get riders there. Also add into the fact that due to not having any local bc races we do not get anywhere near the amount of points our level of riding deserves and it makes it very hard to get entry. Or would you be willing to make an exception to riders from Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man etc?

    Not if you keep winning ;)
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • maryka wrote:
    On the back of a few things that have happened recently, this has got me wondering.

    First off, the Thames Velo 3/4 road race was way oversubscribed. The organiser pleaded on his website for people to stop bugging him. Apparently they didn't, and weren't nice about it either, as his letter sent to those who did not make the cut more or less said that he'd received lots of "feedback" on how he should choose the field for his race. As in, people telling him what he was doing wrong. Presumably all these 3rd and 4th cats... mostly new racers, in other words. I know that a certain amount must have been, because about a dozen new racers from my own club had entered. (I have no idea if they were the ones who contacted him but I hope not!)

    Then, a few recent posts from the timetrialling forum, as TTing also has its share of new racers:
    Please note that the closing date for my event is the 10th April.
    I will not be closing until the 14th April as I will not have time before that to do the sheets.
    However, priority will be given to those who get their entry forms to me before the official closing date.

    STOP PHONING ME.
    [story of an organiser getting a phone call from a rider who can't make his start time]
    Organiser then checks the entry form and there's no mention of an early start so the rider is rung back and told so.

    Rider then asks again if the start sheet can be re-issued.

    Organiser then explains what's involved and then raises his/her voice "I DO THIS VOLUNTARILY AND AM BEHIND WITH MY OTHER WORK"

    Rider responds by raising his/her voice "WELL I SUGGEST YOU GIVE UP ORGANISING.".
    Tonight having a chat with a guy in my club (he's also on this forum) and I was saying I thought it was inappropriate to contact an organiser of a Hillingdon crit with online entry -- entry had now closed, but no word on any of the news sites that it was full -- to ask if there were still spots. I said I thought if he missed the deadline for online entry, he should just get up there and enter EOL. He said he didn't want to risk wasting his day if it was full and therefore emailed the org to ask.[/i]

    Sorry, but where does it say in those TT examples that the organiser was talking to a newbie? That seems to be just your interpretation.

    As for your assumption about the Thames Velo race, just because a few noobs from your club entered, why do you presume everyone was a noob? Last time I checked, the BC rankings were based on points earned not time spent in the saddle. A 3/4 rider could have been riding for 10 years or 10 weeks. You don't know.

    I'm afraid your post reads to me like just another unhelpful bashing of newbies/sportivists. Today's newbies are the marshalls and race organisers of tomorrow. They should be embraced and encouraged, not looked down upon. Just because they do not organise races now, it does not mean they never will. How many 'old hands' are there out there who are reluctant to 'give something back'? Certainly Fish156's comments would suggest there are quite a few.

    As for emailing an organiser for info, what is wrong with this??? That's why they give out contact details. Clearly acting in an aggressive manner is out of order and I trust this was reported to the secretary of the offending rider's club or BC?
    (As an aside, I wonder if sportives or triathlon -- where entries cost a lot and are designed to make a profit, meaning that the organisers are essentially doing it for money -- are to blame for this new mentality?)

    Having recently paid £20 to enter a Surrey League crit on an unfinished circuit, I wonder why you feel qualified to make this comment?
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Having recently paid £20 to enter a Surrey League crit on an unfinished circuit, I wonder why you feel qualified to make this comment?

    Are you suggesting the Surrey league is doing it for a profit?
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • xixangxixang Posts: 328
    edited April 2012
    interesting comments about clubs not promoting get last selection but what about this situation

    Myself and work colleague are in the process of setting up a works based cycling club/section as part of a wider works "Sports and Athletics" section, as we are both fed up with the attitude of our current clubs. We have maybe 3 or 4 interested in road racing and around 20-30 others in social riding/mtbing only. We are trying to promote an MTB race, open to emergency services only (not our decision - its part of a national series outside BC or any other bodies control). We are struggling to get enough to help out, despite a workforce of 1500+.

    Are we to not form this club as with so few "active" riders (3 or 4 racers as I mentioned) we would never get volunteers to help out, so therefore could not logistically put a road event on. Are we saying that we shouldn't form a works-based club as a result and should only join a "promoting" club?

    If in time enough members started to race/help then things would change, but by limiting/restricting race entries you immediately impede new clubs from forming, as generally they start small and then grow

    Even if I were to remain with my current club I am the only senior racer left as some moved to a "team" and others moved out of the area (was always a small club but we promoted a race series all the same). The club is now primarily youths/parents who have no interest in racing. A rule as draconian as "no promote, no race" would in essence force me to change clubs.
  • xixangxixang Posts: 328
    double post
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    Having recently paid £20 to enter a Surrey League crit on an unfinished circuit, I wonder why you feel qualified to make this comment?
    So £20... does that mean you're a non Surrey League member? Or are you involved in a club that's promoting a race?

    Just asking.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    xixang wrote:
    Are we to not form this club as with so few "active" riders (3 or 4 racers as I mentioned) we would never get volunteers to help out, so therefore could not logistically put a road event on. Are we saying that we shouldn't form a works-based club as a result and should only join a "promoting" club?
    There's nothing saying you couldn't join forces with other small clubs/teams to put on a race.

    And frankly 3-4 people plus a few friends/relatives helping out on the day is more than enough for a closed circuit race. Promoting on a closed circuit isn't quite so nice as as an open road race but it's better than nothing.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    I'm afraid your post reads to me like just another unhelpful bashing of newbies/sportivists. Today's newbies are the marshalls and race organisers of tomorrow. They should be embraced and encouraged, not looked down upon. Just because they do not organise races now, it does not mean they never will. How many 'old hands' are there out there who are reluctant to 'give something back'? Certainly Fish156's comments would suggest there are quite a few.
    Point taken, I wasn't trying to bash newbies (though I did poke fun at my teammate, who in 4 months of racing has emailed twice as many organisers as I've emailed in 4 years) and I realise that lots of older racers are equally useless in giving anything back to the sport.

    Fwiw, my club has lots of newbies who are more than happy to help out and for that I'm grateful. I think though, a big part of that is because the attitude is passed on by a strong contingent of older members -- we encourage people to give back to the club, not just pay their membership and take take take.

    But if every organiser of a bog-standard Hillingdon crit has to deal with a few dozen emails each time, don't you think that adds up to a lot more hassle? If it were me, I'd probably do away with the online entry -- which ironically was probably designed to save time and effort but might lead to more -- and just make it EOL, no email address or phone number provided, either show up on the day and race or don't.

    I accept that I appear to be in the minority here about that, at least on this thread. Fair enough.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    I think the status of organisers needs to change and i am talking road racing here not a closed cct.

    BC do little (no, nothing) to help them either practically or financially, the NEG and Comms get a very generous mileage rate - paid for by the club, not BC - BC get increasing amounts of levies and licence fees but the clubs have to provide all the equipment - flags, signs and numbers AND of course sort out the course, the hall, car drivers, marshals, first aider, line judges, even tea ladies! (or someone will complain.... No cake!)
    The organiser will spend hours sorting out entries, paper work, answering a mutitude of questions and then will get a bashing for not doing this or that AND that will be before he/she even starts to get 15 or so (no expenses here) helpers for the day.

    Of course a well run event with a full entry can make a club several £100 profit but lets face it, you need that money just to get started and it is by no means garranteed.
    Entry fees need to start at £20 minimum - this will give the organising club the incentive to put on events, knowing that they can increase club funds.... to put something back into cycle sport ie closed cct Youth races, Go-ride, loan bikes etc, ie events that dont make a club a cent.

    BC need to look at how they can start putting something back into RR and support organisers financially.
    We are where we are and riders expect a service for their entry fee - like it or not.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I don't think we need to go down the road of paying organisers - though perhaps a free Gold licence rather than just the free bronze they give you would nice ;)

    As far as BC assistance goes - to be honest in the East Midlands I found it pretty good - both the paid staff and the volunteers. You get all the equipment provided (you do have to pick it up), they sort the commissaires, booking NEG is one phone call.

    I' d have liked more people to come forward from our club to take on tasks - it's always the same few and most of those that put their time in have their own races, time trials, GoRide coaching etc to organise. As a result this year I was making up cheese rolls the night before, setting up the course on the morning whilst fielding phone calls from riders asking for directions and it does get a bit hectic. I'd say though that if you can get a team of 4-5 of you to put on a race together (plus more on the day of course) - one takes on sorting the marshalls, one the police, one the entries etc etc - it wouldn't be too onerous a task. There is a danger in exaggerating just how hard it is - it's a bit time consuming and a bit stressful depending on how you like being the one ultimately responsible - but it's not hard.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • richard_lrichard_l Posts: 375
    mamba80 wrote:
    I think the status of organisers needs to change and i am talking road racing here not a closed cct.

    BC do little (no, nothing) to help them either practically or financially, the NEG and Comms get a very generous mileage rate - paid for by the club, not BC - BC get increasing amounts of levies and licence fees but the clubs have to provide all the equipment - flags, signs and numbers AND of course sort out the course, the hall, car drivers, marshals, first aider, line judges, even tea ladies! (or someone will complain.... No cake!)
    The organiser will spend hours sorting out entries, paper work, answering a mutitude of questions and then will get a bashing for not doing this or that AND that will be before he/she even starts to get 15 or so (no expenses here) helpers for the day.

    Of course a well run event with a full entry can make a club several £100 profit but lets face it, you need that money just to get started and it is by no means garranteed.
    Entry fees need to start at £20 minimum - this will give the organising club the incentive to put on events, knowing that they can increase club funds.... to put something back into cycle sport ie closed cct Youth races, Go-ride, loan bikes etc, ie events that dont make a club a cent.

    BC need to look at how they can start putting something back into RR and support organisers financially.
    We are where we are and riders expect a service for their entry fee - like it or not.

    Although it may differ slightly from Region to Region, you need to update some of your understanding here around what BC provides to organisers/organising clubs. Dont forget that BC exists both as the national body HQ'd in Manchester, but also a long-standing volunteer structure across each Region as well.

    - Organisers get a £'s discount on their BC membership, as thankyou for putting themselves forward;

    - NEG/Comms do not get a "generous" mileage rate - they (usually) get the approved standard Government mileage rate; some Regions require a smaller mileage payment.

    - Each Region holds a stock of flags, and signs, so clubs do not need to provide these, though often clubs do have their own. In addition, each Region also has a stock of CB radios, some have hand-held radios (new ones are due to be issued shortly as well), of flashing beacons for car roofs, of "Driving school-type" white boxes for car roofs indicating an event is in progress;

    -Each Region has BC funded volunteers/staff who will sort out your Police permission, Risk Assessment, provide training for new organisers, etc

    - There is now the internet entry system, so that organisers dont need to sort out riders names, clubs,BC Memb No's, entry payments, info downloadable to spreadsheet/word/etc

    - If there is a risk your event will run at a loss, most Regions also provide a financial safety net to the oganising club, to cover that loss.

    Yes, the impetus and enthusiasm for actually taking on an event promotion has to come from members and club volunteers, but it is inapproporiate to say that all "BC" does nothing to support them........
  • - If there is a risk your event will run at a loss, most Regions also provide a financial safety net to the oganising club, to cover that loss.

    That's good - it helps new events get off the ground - although in my region BC wouldn't do that, even though we specifically asked...
    Put me back on my bike...

    t' blog: http://meandthemountain.wordpress.com/
  • fish156fish156 Posts: 496
    Richard L wrote:
    - NEG/Comms do not get a "generous" mileage rate - they (usually) get the approved standard Government mileage rate; some Regions require a smaller mileage payment.
    As an aside, from this racer's point of view, the NEG riders are worth their weight in gold.
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,368
    fish156 wrote:
    Richard L wrote:
    - NEG/Comms do not get a "generous" mileage rate - they (usually) get the approved standard Government mileage rate; some Regions require a smaller mileage payment.
    As an aside, from this racer's point of view, the NEG riders are worth their weight in gold.

    +1 they do a fantastic job it's just a shame that not many police forces have taken the Welsh / Essex approach of giving the NEG full powers to stop traffic. Overall they are biggest advance in safe road cycling since I've been involved in the sport.
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