Is road racing too expensive?

Talk about your races - Time Trials, Road Races or Cyclocross.
joey54321
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Is road racing too expensive?

Postby joey54321 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 08:35 am

I went to enter a couple of races today to find the cost is £30 per race, which kinda shocked me and has pretty much put me off entering. I've had races in the past where I have a puncture or had a mechanical issue (or sometimes got dropped :oops: ) within the first hour of racing, so £30 for that is pretty expensive.

I am sure when I started racing ~10 years ago they were all well under £20, and compared to cyclocross where they are £12-14. I know the economies of cyclocross are different, more races per event meaning more participants and no closed roads but still. I can do the whole season for the price of a handful of road races.

I think £30 is where I step off the road racing bang wagon and just start tapering for the weekly chaingang instead.

HaydenM
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby HaydenM » Mon Apr 01, 2019 09:41 am

No, judging by its popularity. Mountain bike enduro races are £70ish for a day's practice and a day's racing

giropaul
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby giropaul » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:06 am

Road racing costs tothe organiser are much higher than they were - accredited marshals, motorbike Marshall’s etc. Crits may be cheaper of course, but may still need the marshalls to stop dog walkers etc.
The TLI and LVRC ( if you are a vet) may be less costly.

joey54321
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby joey54321 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:19 am

Even events at hog hill at £15, not quite sure why it's so expensive given the dedicated bike park and the lack of need for marshalls.

I've heard racing in Belgium costs the equivalent of a couple of £!

Not a vet yet and at 29 I have some way to get, but I guess that's something to look forward to when hitting 40.

maryka
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby maryka » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:33 am

Why don't you ask the organiser next time you're at a race what his/her breakdown of costs is? In a nice way of course. You'll have your eyes opened.

~4 quid per entry off the top goes to BC. Another 2-3 quid per rider for the circuit hire. 1-2 quid/rider for the commissaires (depending on course/circuit). Prize money probably another 1 quid per rider. So you're up to 10 quid already just to break even. Some organisers pay their marshals a token amount, or at least provide free food and drinks. Most clubs seek a tiny profit of their event that goes back to club coffers, but usually only a few hundred quid at best. Sometimes when there are hardly any entries, it's a loss. Then you have the commercial organisers who are trying to make a real profit...

On the road, you've got cars, petrol, NEG, accredited marshals, prize money, HQ hire, etc. Adds up.

I love it when people who will drop £150 on a jersey or £2k on a set of wheels complain that the sport is expensive to race... it's a sport run mostly by volunteers and frankly I think racing is good value for money compared to sportives. Budget for the costs, or maybe step up to organise yourself and see if you can do it cheaper?

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Franco di Banco
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Franco di Banco » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:24 pm

I love it when people who will drop £150 on a jersey or £2k on a set of wheels complain that the sport is expensive to race...

Spot on.

joey54321
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby joey54321 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:42 pm

My jerseys are mostly 10-year-old club ones, the last jersey I bought was last year and second hand for £30. However, as a matter of interest, lets do the maths on some £2k wheels (which is a lot more than I spent on mine). I rode 463hours last year, therefore those £2k wheels cost £4.30/hour if I used them for one year. The cost of racing is currently ~£10 - 15/hour.


I did think this may turn in to a personal attack on me and, without any prior knowledge, accuse me of not doing my volunteering (which I do do). None the less, I will respond.

My question was why is racing so expensive in Britain when it's so ridiculously cheap in other european countries?

My question was NOT are organizers ripping us off by charging loads of money and laughing all the way to the bank in their brand new BMW?

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Franco di Banco
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Franco di Banco » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:51 pm

But it's not expensive.
How much does it cost to watch a Premier League footy match?
A Test Match, especially at Lord's or The Oval.
How much does a trip to Alton Towers cost?
What are cinema tickets these days?
Even fish and chips costs IRO £8; I know because I bought some on Saturday. First time for a long while and it shocked me.
How much is Amazon Prime or Netflix - on top of your licence fee?
Or a Sky subscription?
How much does a mobile phone contract cost?
How much is petrol per gallon? Sky high these days but you pay it without quibble.

Stop being such a cheapskate. If you think you can do any better/cheaper then put a race on. There will be lots of organisers willing to hand over all the crap that goes with putting an event on.

joey54321
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby joey54321 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 13:12 pm

Franco di Banco wrote:But it's not expensive.
How much does it cost to watch a Premier League footy match?
A Test Match, especially at Lord's or The Oval.
How much does a trip to Alton Towers cost?
What are cinema tickets these days?
Even fish and chips costs IRO £8; I know because I bought some on Saturday. First time for a long while and it shocked me.
How much is Amazon Prime or Netflix - on top of your licence fee?
Or a Sky subscription?
How much does a mobile phone contract cost?
How much is petrol per gallon? Sky high these days but you pay it without quibble.

Stop being such a cheapskate. If you think you can do any better/cheaper then put a race on. There will be lots of organisers willing to hand over all the crap that goes with putting an event on.



1) No idea, don't watch football
2) No idea, don't watch cricket
3) No idea, haven't been to Alton towers for 11 years and last time I went I didn't even pay.
4) No idea, don't go to the cinema much.
5) No idea, haven't bought fish and chips in years
6) Don't have prime, Netflix is £6.99/month and you don't need a license to watch it so long as you aren't watching live streamed TV. So I have to watch 30 minutes of Netflix/month for it to be cheaper than road racing, which I probably do).
7) Don't have sky
8 ) £15/month for unlimited minutes, text and data. So I guess I could give up my phone for 1 hour of racing.
9) No idea, I don't have a car (too expensive).

And to your last point; I WASN'T SAYING I COULD DO IT CHEAPER! Nor was I saying that everyone who volunteers (cycling or otherwise) is obviously useless and I could do a much better job. I was trying to ask why road racing is so expensive.

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Ben6899
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Ben6899 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 13:35 pm

This has turned into a bit of an attack on Joey, I have to say. It's clear from his original post, that he was asking out of curiosity (comparing to Belgian amateur races) and not laying blame or pointing fingers anywhere.

The disparity between £30 over here and "a couple of quid" (I confess to not knowing exact amounts) in Belgium is quite an eye opener. What are they doing differently?

I do know that amateur racing in this country is in desperate need of more people volunteering - going on the attack in response to questions like Joey's is not the best way to get more people involved.
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Imposter
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Imposter » Mon Apr 01, 2019 13:37 pm

joey54321 wrote:I am sure when I started racing ~10 years ago they were all well under £20,


Most other things were also cheaper 10 years ago - prices usually do increase over time. Biggest rises in racing costs, as far as I can tell, are insurance costs, safety measures (ie the increased need for barriers, NEG, CSAS marshals, etc) and levies - all of which go up over time.

Most hobbies cost something and racing is no different. It is optional though - you don't have to do it.

Imposter
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Imposter » Mon Apr 01, 2019 13:46 pm

Ben6899 wrote:The disparity between £30 over here and "a couple of quid" (I confess to not knowing exact amounts) in Belgium is quite an eye opener. What are they doing differently?


The comparison is not accurate, which is why it seems like such an imbalance. £30 for a UK race is presumably for a regional A/B open road event, for which the costs are higher. Midweek evening crits on your local circuit are going to be £8-15 tops, I would have thought.

The 'two or three quid' thing probably comes from local Belgian kermesses, which in my experience are usually organised by the local cycling body (ie Cycling Flanders) and they bear most of the costs. Entries for these are only a handful of Euros.

But comparing the cycling/racing infrastructure in Belgium with the structure over here is never going to end well..

cougie
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby cougie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 13:54 pm

Have a look at triathlon if you want to see expensive.

Even a 10k running race can cost £22 - so a road race for £30 sounds like excellent value.

Aberdeen_lune
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Aberdeen_lune » Mon Apr 01, 2019 14:01 pm

I put on my first cycling race last year and totally underestimated the costs. I charged £10 per entry and my costs were way over that. Electronic timing was the biggest cost then levies then venue hire, prize money etc. I had to ask the club to bail me out by £300 to cover things.

This year I doubled the race entry to ensure I break even. All the local race organisers I know and all the helpers do it for free. The costs have to be covered though as you can’t expect the organising club to sudsidise them.

So to the OP £30 per head just what it costs to put on an event. Used to be much cheaper but with current rules and regulations and cost inflation its now not cheap.

maryka
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby maryka » Mon Apr 01, 2019 14:41 pm

My post wasn't meant to take a shot at Joey. Great that he (and others like him) volunteers because without them, the sport would be even more expensive. Just giving him a realistic breakdown of costs.

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Ben6899
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Ben6899 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 15:36 pm

Imposter wrote:
Ben6899 wrote:The disparity between £30 over here and "a couple of quid" (I confess to not knowing exact amounts) in Belgium is quite an eye opener. What are they doing differently?


The comparison is not accurate, which is why it seems like such an imbalance. £30 for a UK race is presumably for a regional A/B open road event, for which the costs are higher. Midweek evening crits on your local circuit are going to be £8-15 tops, I would have thought.

The 'two or three quid' thing probably comes from local Belgian kermesses, which in my experience are usually organised by the local cycling body (ie Cycling Flanders) and they bear most of the costs. Entries for these are only a handful of Euros.

But comparing the cycling/racing infrastructure in Belgium with the structure over here is never going to end well..


Cool, thanks for this.
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Ben6899
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Ben6899 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 15:39 pm

maryka wrote:My post wasn't meant to take a shot at Joey. Great that he (and others like him) volunteers because without them, the sport would be even more expensive. Just giving him a realistic breakdown of costs.


It was more the "cheapskate!" line by Franco that I was looking at. And maybe the assumption that Joey rides around on Boras and wears Assos all the time. :-)
Ben

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DeVlaeminck
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby DeVlaeminck » Mon Apr 01, 2019 15:54 pm

Yes it's too expensive but those are the costs of putting on a race. That doesn't mean cost isn't an issue though - I wouldn't spend 2k on wheels or £150 on a jersey. Personally I'd scrap prize money - that would take a chunk off entry costs for all at the expense of making it more costly for a handful who win regularly.

Racing round here on the day a circuit race at Mallory is £18, cyclocross in Notts and Derby cost the same a couple of years ago and I assume it's not gone down - weekend road races are well over £20 compared to maybe half that ten years ago but certainly for the open road events costs have gone up commensurately.
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thecycleclinic
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby thecycleclinic » Mon Apr 01, 2019 18:11 pm

I'm a race organiser and there alot of cost in setting up a race. Our clubs race is in suffolk and a day of criterium racing. We have first aid cover costs, cost of barrier hire, cost of transponder hire, cost the comms, cost of goody bags for all the helpers on the day, cost of a scaffold permit to put our arch, costs of BC entry fees, event insurance which every year goes up because people claim for injuries sustained ion races why I dont know, Cost of village hall hire, cost of regersitering the race with BC and it goes on. The race has to return a profit to the club as that gives the club funds to carry out the extensive actives we undertake on behalf of our members.

Races are not cheap to put on. In belgium races are subsised by the national federation In the UK they are not. The commitee for Ixworth cycle races devote a lot of time to organising this event and we dont get paid. We do it for the love of it. Then there all the helpers. Last year we were short on marshalls and I was wandering out with yellow vest looking for wheelers who had not volunteered and volunteered them.

Racing happens through goodwill, alot of it. In our club we blag alot to keep cost down. I would not complain about the cost, certain memebers of the commitee are packing away till gone 10 pm and we are there from 7 am setting up for. We charge £25 for adult races and £15 for junior races with transponder hire. That cheaper than some but the wheelers have been doing this a while now and we barter services for publicity alot which keeps the cost down.
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Pross
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Re: Is road racing too expensive?

Postby Pross » Sun Apr 07, 2019 21:46 pm

The more pertinent question, rather than why is it much cheaper in Belgium is how can the TLI and LVRC put on races more cheaply within the same country and working within the same legal framework? I know from my days organising that there isn't much fat there for the organising club and it usually relies on a full field so I've always wondered how it cheaper under the other organisations' rules.


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