State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

dacrizzow

April 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

this is nice. a promoter lists reasons for decline in racing numbers (all very well thought out), a couple of people make suggestions/ opinions and everyone else does the usual OBRA "shout mantra" of 'if you don't like it, start your own race...' seems like this discussion happens every year. usually about all the racing being done in the rain seasons, though. Bridgette had the right idea. EVOLVE. whatever that means. maybe going in little circles isn't as appealing as it once was.


John

April 27, 2017 at 4:17 PM

At my age podiums aren't part of the picture locally but that doesn't stop me from racing. If the only reason someone races is the recognition maybe it is time for a new sport. The people I care about will congratulate me if i do well and give me deserved crap if I don't.

----- Original Message -----

From: "via OBRA"
To: "Aaron McClintock" , "obra"
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:52:51 PM
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Aaron,
Yeah. Good observation. For the family, sponsors, attending fans and
others the podium might be a positive end to an event. Maybe someone will
read your post, take on the responsibility to make sure podiums take place
at all races they attend. I doubt that will happen. I think podiums would
be nice for all events, but with all the work that goes into putting on
races, the podium is just one more base to cover. Each promoter is limited
by the number of people he/she pays and the people who volunteer. If one
had to let one thing go....I would say podiums would be an easy one to not
cover. It is about the time people are willing to commit to the events,
paid or volunteer. Like you mentioned....your family, rightfully, is more
important than you taking time to make the podiums happen. See what your
post changes or does not. Nothing stays the same. Last year the Crusade
started doing podiums at each event. From my perspective, the most
important aspect of a result in a race is how I feel about my
result...podium or not. At times a 10th can be as good as a 1st. That is
just me and what you are bringing up is not at all about my perspective.
Good Post.
ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron McClintock via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:18 PM
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Hello OBRA land.

I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion regarding declined race
participation in the past few years. In no way do I think that there is
only one solution to this problem, it is far more complex than that. I
simply have an observation to add to the list of issues.

My observation has to do with the anticlimactic atmosphere proceeding races,
especially with rider & sponsor acknowledgement and podiums. I have had the
opportunity to make it onto podiums within the OBRA community and the USAC
community and the emphasis on the podium or acknowledgement during podium
presentation is appalling. If I were a sponsor I would be a lot more upset
than any rider. I understand that podium recognition isn’t everything, but
it is important for both sponsor recognition as well as whole slew of sports
psychology that I won’t go into. Some of the biggest and loudest cycling
crowds that I have ever been a part of have been professional podium
presentation crowds, and there is good reason for it, they deserve it. I
think the USAC scene is still lacking in this area, but the OBRA community
is even further behind. I know a big podium presentation isn’t a deal
breaker for most racers, but if we are serious about continuing the sport
and bringing more people into it then why don’t we show them how great it is
with some sort of reward for doing a good job and putting in all of that
hard work and sacrifice?

My family is one of the biggest reasons I even wrote this email, they have
mentioned multiple times how disappointing it is when I have been on the
podium; they are still ecstatic for me, but feel bad for the letdown of a
situation. Especially in the CAT 1,2 field, a rider may only ever podium
once in their lifetime, would we rather that the experience be a memorable
one or to not even include a podium?

Thank you if you spent the time to read this. I don’t have the extra time
or money to commit to making this experience better for everyone, but I can
only hope that somebody out there does!
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

_______________________________________________
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Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


rond..@spiritone.com

April 27, 2017 at 3:52 PM

Aaron,
Yeah. Good observation. For the family, sponsors, attending fans and
others the podium might be a positive end to an event. Maybe someone will
read your post, take on the responsibility to make sure podiums take place
at all races they attend. I doubt that will happen. I think podiums would
be nice for all events, but with all the work that goes into putting on
races, the podium is just one more base to cover. Each promoter is limited
by the number of people he/she pays and the people who volunteer. If one
had to let one thing go....I would say podiums would be an easy one to not
cover. It is about the time people are willing to commit to the events,
paid or volunteer. Like you mentioned....your family, rightfully, is more
important than you taking time to make the podiums happen. See what your
post changes or does not. Nothing stays the same. Last year the Crusade
started doing podiums at each event. From my perspective, the most
important aspect of a result in a race is how I feel about my
result...podium or not. At times a 10th can be as good as a 1st. That is
just me and what you are bringing up is not at all about my perspective.
Good Post.
ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron McClintock via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:18 PM
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Hello OBRA land.

I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion regarding declined race
participation in the past few years. In no way do I think that there is
only one solution to this problem, it is far more complex than that. I
simply have an observation to add to the list of issues.

My observation has to do with the anticlimactic atmosphere proceeding races,
especially with rider & sponsor acknowledgement and podiums. I have had the
opportunity to make it onto podiums within the OBRA community and the USAC
community and the emphasis on the podium or acknowledgement during podium
presentation is appalling. If I were a sponsor I would be a lot more upset
than any rider. I understand that podium recognition isn���t everything, but
it is important for both sponsor recognition as well as whole slew of sports
psychology that I won���t go into. Some of the biggest and loudest cycling
crowds that I have ever been a part of have been professional podium
presentation crowds, and there is good reason for it, they deserve it. I
think the USAC scene is still lacking in this area, but the OBRA community
is even further behind. I know a big podium presentation isn���t a deal
breaker for most racers, but if we are serious about continuing the sport
and bringing more people into it then why don���t we show them how great it is
with some sort of reward for doing a good job and putting in all of that
hard work and sacrifice?

My family is one of the biggest reasons I even wrote this email, they have
mentioned multiple times how disappointing it is when I have been on the
podium; they are still ecstatic for me, but feel bad for the letdown of a
situation. Especially in the CAT 1,2 field, a rider may only ever podium
once in their lifetime, would we rather that the experience be a memorable
one or to not even include a podium?

Thank you if you spent the time to read this. I don���t have the extra time
or money to commit to making this experience better for everyone, but I can
only hope that somebody out there does!
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Adam Angert

April 27, 2017 at 2:25 PM

We have a permanent podium in the infield at Alpenrose Velodrome. If you guys come to the Wednesday Night Beginners Class I promise you can stand on it and take as many pictures as you want :)


Gregory Kell

April 27, 2017 at 1:41 PM

+1. Barton Park was a great race (Adrian who posted about this got first in the Cat3's after a super solid breakaway), but the "podium presentation" did not exist. It was pretty much DIY, with Aaron corraling the rest of the podium and giving them their medals. Seems like there is a massive marketing opportunity that is being ignored.


Mike Murray

April 26, 2017 at 6:28 PM

I couldn't agree with this more. Not only podiums but also all other things
that make a race an "event". I remember when one now long term member, then
new to road racing, who told me "When the race was over everyone got in
their cars and went home. How lame is that!"

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Aaron McClintock
via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 15:18
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Hello OBRA land.

I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion regarding declined race
participation in the past few years. In no way do I think that there is
only one solution to this problem, it is far more complex than that. I
simply have an observation to add to the list of issues.

My observation has to do with the anticlimactic atmosphere proceeding races,
especially with rider & sponsor acknowledgement and podiums. I have had the
opportunity to make it onto podiums within the OBRA community and the USAC
community and the emphasis on the podium or acknowledgement during podium
presentation is appalling. If I were a sponsor I would be a lot more upset
than any rider. I understand that podium recognition isn���t everything, but
it is important for both sponsor recognition as well as whole slew of sports
psychology that I won���t go into. Some of the biggest and loudest cycling
crowds that I have ever been a part of have been professional podium
presentation crowds, and there is good reason for it, they deserve it. I
think the USAC scene is still lacking in this area, but the OBRA community
is even further behind. I know a big podium presentation isn���t a deal
breaker for most racers, but if we are serious about continuing the sport
and bringing more people into it then why don���t we show them how great it is
with some sort of reward for doing a good job and putting in all of that
hard work and sacrifice?

My family is one of the biggest reasons I even wrote this email, they have
mentioned multiple times how disappointing it is when I have been on the
podium; they are still ecstatic for me, but feel bad for the letdown of a
situation. Especially in the CAT 1,2 field, a rider may only ever podium
once in their lifetime, would we rather that the experience be a memorable
one or to not even include a podium?

Thank you if you spent the time to read this. I don���t have the extra time
or money to commit to making this experience better for everyone, but I can
only hope that somebody out there does!
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Aaron McClintock

April 26, 2017 at 3:18 PM

Hello OBRA land.

I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion regarding declined race participation in the past few years. In no way do I think that there is only one solution to this problem, it is far more complex than that. I simply have an observation to add to the list of issues.

My observation has to do with the anticlimactic atmosphere proceeding races, especially with rider & sponsor acknowledgement and podiums. I have had the opportunity to make it onto podiums within the OBRA community and the USAC community and the emphasis on the podium or acknowledgement during podium presentation is appalling. If I were a sponsor I would be a lot more upset than any rider. I understand that podium recognition isn���t everything, but it is important for both sponsor recognition as well as whole slew of sports psychology that I won���t go into. Some of the biggest and loudest cycling crowds that I have ever been a part of have been professional podium presentation crowds, and there is good reason for it, they deserve it. I think the USAC scene is still lacking in this area, but the OBRA community is even further behind. I know a big podium presentation isn���t a deal breaker for most racers, but if we are serious about continuing the sport and bringing more people into it then why don���t we show them how great it is with some sort of reward for doing a good job and putting in all of that hard work and sacrifice?

My family is one of the biggest reasons I even wrote this email, they have mentioned multiple times how disappointing it is when I have been on the podium; they are still ecstatic for me, but feel bad for the letdown of a situation. Especially in the CAT 1,2 field, a rider may only ever podium once in their lifetime, would we rather that the experience be a memorable one or to not even include a podium?

Thank you if you spent the time to read this. I don���t have the extra time or money to commit to making this experience better for everyone, but I can only hope that somebody out there does!


Adam Angert

March 3, 2017 at 1:01 PM

Agreed, sorry.


Steven Beardsley

March 3, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Take it offline guys. This dialogue is toxic, nobody needs or wants to read
it.

On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 12:01 PM, Adam Angert via OBRA
wrote:

> What has been discredited, Joe? While I'm not a fan of the Promoter vs.
> OBRA narrative that this guy is harping on, I think it's fair to try be
> welcoming to people in the community who want to try new ideas.
> I'm not sure being a jerk on OBRA Chat counts as a beneficial
> contribution, but perhaps you'd like to make a list of your contributions
> for us so we can congratulate you?
>
>
> joec@aracnet.com
> 11:49 AM (2 minutes ago)
> to Adam
>
> whatever you sniveling little ***.
>
> For the record asshole, this has been hashed and rehashed
> over and over and over and been roundly discredited.I have
> contributed a FUCK more to this sport and OBRA then you
> have ever considered. If you dont like, might i suggest you go
> play tiddlywinks.
>
> On 2017-03-03 09:50, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
> > Joe, I'm concerned that discussion in public forums may be too
> > stressful for you. You might consider taking a break. I'm told they
> > call high blood pressure "the silent killer."
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>


Adam Angert

March 3, 2017 at 12:01 PM

What has been discredited, Joe? While I'm not a fan of the Promoter vs. OBRA narrative that this guy is harping on, I think it's fair to try be welcoming to people in the community who want to try new ideas.
I'm not sure being a jerk on OBRA Chat counts as a beneficial contribution, but perhaps you'd like to make a list of your contributions for us so we can congratulate you?

joec@aracnet.com
11:49 AM (2 minutes ago)
to Adam

whatever you sniveling little ***.

For the record asshole, this has been hashed and rehashed
over and over and over and been roundly discredited.I have
contributed a FUCK more to this sport and OBRA then you
have ever considered. If you dont like, might i suggest you go
play tiddlywinks.

On 2017-03-03 09:50, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
> Joe, I'm concerned that discussion in public forums may be too
> stressful for you. You might consider taking a break. I'm told they
> call high blood pressure "the silent killer."


Adam Angert

March 3, 2017 at 9:50 AM

Joe, I'm concerned that discussion in public forums may be too stressful for you. You might consider taking a break. I'm told they call high blood pressure "the silent killer."


jo..@aracnet.com

March 2, 2017 at 7:59 PM

jesus effing christ...

Put this shit to rest for gods sake!

On 2017-03-02 19:31, Oswald Penniworth via OBRA wrote:
> Bike Portland seems to think La Boucle is worth talking about, they
> even mention y'all and this thread! Check it out:
> https://bikeportland.org/tag/la-boucle-des-roses
>
> Hope to see interested and uninterested parties out there settle their
> differences on the parcours.
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Oswald Penniworth

March 2, 2017 at 7:31 PM

Bike Portland seems to think La Boucle is worth talking about, they even mention y'all and this thread! Check it out:
https://bikeportland.org/tag/la-boucle-des-roses

Hope to see interested and uninterested parties out there settle their differences on the parcours.


oswald penniworth

February 24, 2017 at 11:37 PM

It's my understanding that the promoter of the event that caused such angst has changed the format of the event to be a "spirited group ride." Hope that quells the sour feelings expressed by some over potential liability. Also, I hear there's going to be a party on Sunday, April 5th at 3 PM at the Western BikeWorks Lovejoy location to celebrate the completion of the event, free beer and pizza and other surprises in store!

Since the original user has been banned, I'll take the heat and repost the information concerning the event, in case anyone who missed out is still curious...

https://ridewithgps.com/events/30764-la-boucle-des-roses
https://goo.gl/osz1e3
https://goo.gl/24ZBv9
https://www.gofundme.com/la-boucle-des-roses


rond..@spiritone.com

February 23, 2017 at 9:45 AM

Your are correct Steven.
The problem with Portland Parks (and actually other parks) is they provide LOADS of funding and support for sports / activities like soccer, baseball, softball, football, swimming etc. and virtually nothing for cycling. This is not serving the vast majority of the population. You look at the vacant athletic fields and then see the kids and adults needing to ride / race around on neighborhood streets where car traffic is increasing. The only way those park fees might come down is for them to just build the paths and CX courses so they are in place. Then the damage aspect of any fee will be minimal. The only way that will happen is if people put pressure on them for cycling infrastructure. It is about fairness. Otherwise costs will stay the same or be even higher. If there were CX races taking place in various Portland City parks (or even people, groups or teams practicing same as little league), it is a no brainer that potential racers would be exposed and become interested. The problem of declining numbers (even in cross) is complex. The promoters are doing their part. People who just whine about this or that need to go ahead and put on whatever type of event they want and then if they love racing, help the promoters by volunteering and racing. I think these various types of competitive rides proposed do give people a taste of racing. Baby steps for some. It is not just one or the other. If people are not willing to speak their beliefs (just be polite and well informed...I know I am not always good at that) to others outside the choir, including governments, agencies etc., nothing will change.
Each one of us will just get older and at some point “the sun is going to shine through our shadow when we go away”.* What we do while we are here is how we impact the future.
ron
I stole that line from a song.

From: Steven Beardsley via OBRA
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:01 AM
To: OBRA
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Road use fees (permits) in the city of Portland are generally not that expensive, just a couple hundred dollars. The trick is getting PBOT and the PPB to actually issue the permit and issue it for use at a time that makes sense for a bike race to happen (IE, not at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning). Last time I checked (in 2016), the city still had a "no new events" policy in place. Portland Parks, on the other hand, does want thousands of dollars to permit an event in or around a city park, including every block in the park blocks downtown, making a venue like the Twilight Crit course a VERY expensive venue.

On Feb 22, 2017 7:55 PM, "Mike Murray via OBRA" wrote:

Permitting a race with a road use authority or obtaining a use agreement
from a landowner are separate issues from paying OBRA fees. OBRA fees are
almost entirely based on participation, i.e. a per rider/per day fee. They
are pretty minimal. Now there is the catch that it would make sense for OBRA
to require that the appropriate permissions be in place in order to be
associated with an event. OBRA is working at trying to keep the costs down
for organizers, not only with regards to permits but also for other costs.
OBRA has been quite successful in this regard which is one of the reasons
why costs are much lower for OBRA events compared to the costs in other
parts of the country. There are clearly more things that could be done
particularly with regard to governmental use fees like the Portland road use
permit fees.

The organizer of the on line based race only asked about listing the race on
the OBRA calendar. As far as I know the discussion went no further when he
was notified that here was a cost associated with this.

The question about insurance evidences a common misunderstanding about event
insurance. OBRA provides liability insurance only. Road use authorities and
land owners will uniformly require that races have liability insurance and
that this insurance covers them. Liability insurance covers claims of injury
due to negligence on the part of the covered entities. Although such claims
could come from participants this has yet to happen at OBRA events. To date
claims have only been made by spectators or bystanders. We could all agree
that participants are aware of the risks they take. This is not the case
when a bystander is injured. They are very inclined to sue.

Alleycats are illegal races. They do not appear on the OBRA schedule, for
good reason. They are not, by the way, generally put on by track racers. If
people want to put them on they can feel free to take that risk but I don't
think you can say that it benefits organized bike racing.

I am very surprised that anyone could say that they have "tried for years to

promote a race and has faced a lot of discouragement from the

administration". OBRA is all about assisting race organizers and
particularly new organizers. I suppose it is possible that explaining that
permits must be obtained from road use authorities, you will need to have
liability coverage, you need to have and pay for officials, etc. might be
seen as discouragement but more rationally it is just a reality check.

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Oswald
Penniworth via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 16:08
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Mike Murray - you said they asked about going through the permitting process
but didn't want to pay the fees. Would they have actually been able to
obtain permits for all the roads this race hopes to use? How much would it
have cost to permit these roads and provide a rolling enclosure? It's my
understanding that someone looking into permitting the Mississippi Crit was
looking at $30,000 in permitting fees.

I'm curious, with these kinds of costs promoters are facing, what steps is
OBRA taking to advocate for racing in Oregon? ie Starting a petition,
writing a formal letter that OBRA users can send or phone into their
congress person, etc. How do we decrease the costs of permitting our events,
since that is the number one issue facing promoters?

To those who have issues with the organizer not permitting or having
insurance – If you were to participate in this event and become injured from
a crash with another rider or automobile, would you really hold the promoter
responsible? We all know what riding in a group or with cars is like, does
it make sense to then sue the promoter for situations we put ourselves into
regularly? Also, if track racers can put on Alleycats without anyone batting
an eye, why can't the road racing community do the same thing? Y'all are
talking like these events are completely unheard of or putting racers into
exceptional risk that we aren't normally in, but that's simply not true
unless you spend your entire season on a trainer, using Zwift. It's my
understanding the promoter has tried for years to promote a race and has
faced a lot of discouragement from the administration and other promoters
(look at their previous comments in this thread), yet they had the gumption
to work against the system to provide you, the OBRA community, with an event
that you don't appreciate, condone or even want to participate in. How does
whining and complaining about every event you come across on OBRA chat
encourage promoters to continue to work their asses of for you?

Also Strava has literally nothing to do with this event, it's facilitated by
Ride With GPS and if you haven't noticed, people/corporations concerned
about liability want nothing to do with it because of the legal concerns.
Also, what events on the road racing calendar does it actually conflict
with? There are huge gaps in March, when the event is proposed to happen,
and if you're competing in an OBRA event the day of the group ride, you're
able to ride the course whenever else you have time to that week. It's
designed specifically to plug the holes in the OBRA calendar and fit peoples
busy schedules. Besides, from what I hear, the promoter is taking out the
“pay for prizes” aspect and leaving it as just a mass start event, which
removes the liability issues from the event.
_______________________________________________
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obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
_______________________________________________
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Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Steven Beardsley

February 23, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Road use fees (permits) in the city of Portland are generally not that
expensive, just a couple hundred dollars. The trick is getting PBOT and the
PPB to actually issue the permit and issue it for use at a time that makes
sense for a bike race to happen (IE, not at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning).
Last time I checked (in 2016), the city still had a "no new events" policy
in place. Portland Parks, on the other hand, does want thousands of dollars
to permit an event in or around a city park, including every block in the
park blocks downtown, making a venue like the Twilight Crit course a VERY
expensive venue.

On Feb 22, 2017 7:55 PM, "Mike Murray via OBRA" wrote:

Permitting a race with a road use authority or obtaining a use agreement
from a landowner are separate issues from paying OBRA fees. OBRA fees are
almost entirely based on participation, i.e. a per rider/per day fee. They
are pretty minimal. Now there is the catch that it would make sense for OBRA
to require that the appropriate permissions be in place in order to be
associated with an event. OBRA is working at trying to keep the costs down
for organizers, not only with regards to permits but also for other costs.
OBRA has been quite successful in this regard which is one of the reasons
why costs are much lower for OBRA events compared to the costs in other
parts of the country. There are clearly more things that could be done
particularly with regard to governmental use fees like the Portland road use
permit fees.

The organizer of the on line based race only asked about listing the race on
the OBRA calendar. As far as I know the discussion went no further when he
was notified that here was a cost associated with this.

The question about insurance evidences a common misunderstanding about event
insurance. OBRA provides liability insurance only. Road use authorities and
land owners will uniformly require that races have liability insurance and
that this insurance covers them. Liability insurance covers claims of injury
due to negligence on the part of the covered entities. Although such claims
could come from participants this has yet to happen at OBRA events. To date
claims have only been made by spectators or bystanders. We could all agree
that participants are aware of the risks they take. This is not the case
when a bystander is injured. They are very inclined to sue.

Alleycats are illegal races. They do not appear on the OBRA schedule, for
good reason. They are not, by the way, generally put on by track racers. If
people want to put them on they can feel free to take that risk but I don't
think you can say that it benefits organized bike racing.

I am very surprised that anyone could say that they have "tried for years to
promote a race and has faced a lot of discouragement from the
administration". OBRA is all about assisting race organizers and
particularly new organizers. I suppose it is possible that explaining that
permits must be obtained from road use authorities, you will need to have
liability coverage, you need to have and pay for officials, etc. might be
seen as discouragement but more rationally it is just a reality check.

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Oswald
Penniworth via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 16:08
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Mike Murray - you said they asked about going through the permitting process
but didn't want to pay the fees. Would they have actually been able to
obtain permits for all the roads this race hopes to use? How much would it
have cost to permit these roads and provide a rolling enclosure? It's my
understanding that someone looking into permitting the Mississippi Crit was
looking at $30,000 in permitting fees.

I'm curious, with these kinds of costs promoters are facing, what steps is
OBRA taking to advocate for racing in Oregon? ie Starting a petition,
writing a formal letter that OBRA users can send or phone into their
congress person, etc. How do we decrease the costs of permitting our events,
since that is the number one issue facing promoters?

To those who have issues with the organizer not permitting or having
insurance – If you were to participate in this event and become injured from
a crash with another rider or automobile, would you really hold the promoter
responsible? We all know what riding in a group or with cars is like, does
it make sense to then sue the promoter for situations we put ourselves into
regularly? Also, if track racers can put on Alleycats without anyone batting
an eye, why can't the road racing community do the same thing? Y'all are
talking like these events are completely unheard of or putting racers into
exceptional risk that we aren't normally in, but that's simply not true
unless you spend your entire season on a trainer, using Zwift. It's my
understanding the promoter has tried for years to promote a race and has
faced a lot of discouragement from the administration and other promoters
(look at their previous comments in this thread), yet they had the gumption
to work against the system to provide you, the OBRA community, with an event
that you don't appreciate, condone or even want to participate in. How does
whining and complaining about every event you come across on OBRA chat
encourage promoters to continue to work their asses of for you?

Also Strava has literally nothing to do with this event, it's facilitated by
Ride With GPS and if you haven't noticed, people/corporations concerned
about liability want nothing to do with it because of the legal concerns.
Also, what events on the road racing calendar does it actually conflict
with? There are huge gaps in March, when the event is proposed to happen,
and if you're competing in an OBRA event the day of the group ride, you're
able to ride the course whenever else you have time to that week. It's
designed specifically to plug the holes in the OBRA calendar and fit peoples
busy schedules. Besides, from what I hear, the promoter is taking out the
“pay for prizes” aspect and leaving it as just a mass start event, which
removes the liability issues from the event.
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 7:46 PM

Permitting a race with a road use authority or obtaining a use agreement
from a landowner are separate issues from paying OBRA fees. OBRA fees are
almost entirely based on participation, i.e. a per rider/per day fee. They
are pretty minimal. Now there is the catch that it would make sense for OBRA
to require that the appropriate permissions be in place in order to be
associated with an event. OBRA is working at trying to keep the costs down
for organizers, not only with regards to permits but also for other costs.
OBRA has been quite successful in this regard which is one of the reasons
why costs are much lower for OBRA events compared to the costs in other
parts of the country. There are clearly more things that could be done
particularly with regard to governmental use fees like the Portland road use
permit fees.

The organizer of the on line based race only asked about listing the race on
the OBRA calendar. As far as I know the discussion went no further when he
was notified that here was a cost associated with this.

The question about insurance evidences a common misunderstanding about event
insurance. OBRA provides liability insurance only. Road use authorities and
land owners will uniformly require that races have liability insurance and
that this insurance covers them. Liability insurance covers claims of injury
due to negligence on the part of the covered entities. Although such claims
could come from participants this has yet to happen at OBRA events. To date
claims have only been made by spectators or bystanders. We could all agree
that participants are aware of the risks they take. This is not the case
when a bystander is injured. They are very inclined to sue.

Alleycats are illegal races. They do not appear on the OBRA schedule, for
good reason. They are not, by the way, generally put on by track racers. If
people want to put them on they can feel free to take that risk but I don't
think you can say that it benefits organized bike racing.

I am very surprised that anyone could say that they have "tried for years to
promote a race and has faced a lot of discouragement from the
administration". OBRA is all about assisting race organizers and
particularly new organizers. I suppose it is possible that explaining that
permits must be obtained from road use authorities, you will need to have
liability coverage, you need to have and pay for officials, etc. might be
seen as discouragement but more rationally it is just a reality check.

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Oswald
Penniworth via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 16:08
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Mike Murray - you said they asked about going through the permitting process
but didn't want to pay the fees. Would they have actually been able to
obtain permits for all the roads this race hopes to use? How much would it
have cost to permit these roads and provide a rolling enclosure? It's my
understanding that someone looking into permitting the Mississippi Crit was
looking at $30,000 in permitting fees.

I'm curious, with these kinds of costs promoters are facing, what steps is
OBRA taking to advocate for racing in Oregon? ie Starting a petition,
writing a formal letter that OBRA users can send or phone into their
congress person, etc. How do we decrease the costs of permitting our events,
since that is the number one issue facing promoters?

To those who have issues with the organizer not permitting or having
insurance ��� If you were to participate in this event and become injured from
a crash with another rider or automobile, would you really hold the promoter
responsible? We all know what riding in a group or with cars is like, does
it make sense to then sue the promoter for situations we put ourselves into
regularly? Also, if track racers can put on Alleycats without anyone batting
an eye, why can't the road racing community do the same thing? Y'all are
talking like these events are completely unheard of or putting racers into
exceptional risk that we aren't normally in, but that's simply not true
unless you spend your entire season on a trainer, using Zwift. It's my
understanding the promoter has tried for years to promote a race and has
faced a lot of discouragement from the administration and other promoters
(look at their previous comments in this thread), yet they had the gumption
to work against the system to provide you, the OBRA community, with an event
that you don't appreciate, condone or even want to participate in. How does
whining and complaining about every event you come across on OBRA chat
encourage promoters to continue to work their asses of for you?

Also Strava has literally nothing to do with this event, it's facilitated by
Ride With GPS and if you haven't noticed, people/corporations concerned
about liability want nothing to do with it because of the legal concerns.
Also, what events on the road racing calendar does it actually conflict
with? There are huge gaps in March, when the event is proposed to happen,
and if you're competing in an OBRA event the day of the group ride, you're
able to ride the course whenever else you have time to that week. It's
designed specifically to plug the holes in the OBRA calendar and fit peoples
busy schedules. Besides, from what I hear, the promoter is taking out the
���pay for prizes��� aspect and leaving it as just a mass start event, which
removes the liability issues from the event.
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Yes, but it is rarely used. Personally I would love to see the for sale
posts moved to a different list serv.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: dan@bicyclerepairman.us [mailto:dan@bicyclerepairman.us]
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:24
To: Marek Litinsky
Cc: Mike Murray; remailer OBRA; Adam Angert
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

I believe there is a "race stuff only" list for those who do not want to
be bothered by "for sale" items and chit chat, no?

On 2017-02-22 10:56, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:
> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got
> blocked for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA
> doesn't have problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of
> cars, houses and many bike parts with possibly life threatening
> conditions. It doesn't have issues with shop owners peddling whatever
> crap on their private business shelves while asking to note their new
> address in dozens emails to the whole wide community. So many not
> racing and potentially iffy items get traded/sold through OBRA chat
> without any regard to liability and possible consequences and this is
> where we draw line? I actually think it's totally fine to do all of
> the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>
>
> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some
> of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride
> itself sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>
> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and
> helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
>>
>> wrote:
>>
>> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I
>> have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the
>> OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
>> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>>
>> Mike Murray
>>
>>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>>> within the OBRA fold.
>>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Rick Johnson

February 22, 2017 at 4:18 PM

On 2/22/2017 4:07 PM, Oswald Penniworth via OBRA wrote:
> To those who have issues with the organizer not permitting or having insurance ��� If you were to participate in this event and become injured from a crash with another rider or automobile, would you really hold the promoter responsible?

The more important angle to that is this - were you to suffer a TBI or
be killed during such an event how can you guarantee your spouse or
family would not pursue monetary damages when faced with crippling debt
and loss of income?

Rick Johnson
Bend, Oregon


Oswald Penniworth

February 22, 2017 at 4:07 PM

Mike Murray - you said they asked about going through the permitting process but didn't want to pay the fees. Would they have actually been able to obtain permits for all the roads this race hopes to use? How much would it have cost to permit these roads and provide a rolling enclosure? It's my understanding that someone looking into permitting the Mississippi Crit was looking at $30,000 in permitting fees.

I'm curious, with these kinds of costs promoters are facing, what steps is OBRA taking to advocate for racing in Oregon? ie Starting a petition, writing a formal letter that OBRA users can send or phone into their congress person, etc. How do we decrease the costs of permitting our events, since that is the number one issue facing promoters?

To those who have issues with the organizer not permitting or having insurance ��� If you were to participate in this event and become injured from a crash with another rider or automobile, would you really hold the promoter responsible? We all know what riding in a group or with cars is like, does it make sense to then sue the promoter for situations we put ourselves into regularly? Also, if track racers can put on Alleycats without anyone batting an eye, why can't the road racing community do the same thing? Y'all are talking like these events are completely unheard of or putting racers into exceptional risk that we aren't normally in, but that's simply not true unless you spend your entire season on a trainer, using Zwift. It's my understanding the promoter has tried for years to promote a race and has faced a lot of discouragement from the administration and other promoters (look at their previous comments in this thread), yet they had the gumption to work against the system to provide you, the OBRA community, with an event that you don't appreciate, condone or even want to participate in. How does whining and complaining about every event you come across on OBRA chat encourage promoters to continue to work their asses of for you?

Also Strava has literally nothing to do with this event, it's facilitated by Ride With GPS and if you haven't noticed, people/corporations concerned about liability want nothing to do with it because of the legal concerns. Also, what events on the road racing calendar does it actually conflict with? There are huge gaps in March, when the event is proposed to happen, and if you're competing in an OBRA event the day of the group ride, you're able to ride the course whenever else you have time to that week. It's designed specifically to plug the holes in the OBRA calendar and fit peoples busy schedules. Besides, from what I hear, the promoter is taking out the ���pay for prizes��� aspect and leaving it as just a mass start event, which removes the liability issues from the event.


rond..@spiritone.com

February 22, 2017 at 3:13 PM

I have to agree. This is about both racing and riding bikes! If something
is "organized" the liability issues should be a key part of the process.
That is where OBRA fits well. In the end, that is the safest way.
But....Just letting people know that a ride is taking place and you need to
be responsible for yourself is appropriate for this chat, as is info. about
races. This is a place for information sharing. If this site can only be
used for OBRA sanctioned event notices, then potential racers are being
excluded. This is a place to build bridges that encourage access to racing
and spirited rides. If you think that an aging population of racers is
going to keep the numbers needed for promoters to continue providing
races..........you are dreaming. OBRA needs new (young and mature) people
to enter the world of racing. Any encouragement of spirited riding is more
likely to help than hinder. The more open and supportive OBRA can be in
approaching someone who wants to do a ride / race, the better chance that
organizer will use OBRA. Finding that magic place between people who do not
want to pay anything to race their bike and those who gladly fork over the
entry fee is one of the challenges the Board might think about. What can
make OBRA look like the right thing? There are many riders who are just
free spirits and have a negative view of organizations. Sure some are
anarchists, but many just need a little positive nudge our way. Spirited
rides (of all sorts) with interspersed OBRA members can help bring them into
the fold. Each one of us is a representative in such events. More racers,
more races.
just my old man view.
ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Marek Litinsky via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:27 PM
To: Andrew Springer ; obra@list.obra.org
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Andrew! You're my hero!

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 2:01 PM, Andrew Springer via OBRA
> wrote:
>
> OBRA racer, La Doyenne and Sauvie Shootout creator here. I have followed
> this thread and feel the need to respond in a positive way. 8 years ago,
> cycling literally saved my life. I have felt the need to give back and
> have worked in my small way to bring cyclists together. I have chosen a
> grassroots path, but am a big believer and supporter of legal sanctioned
> events as well. I do not believe one to be exclusive of the other.
>
> Let me begin by sharing that the VERY first thing we do when scheduling
> the inevitably cancelled RondePDX and La Doyenne dates is to look for
> holes in the OBRA calendar so that the the PDX Classics do not pull
> participants from Promoters putting on OBRA sanctioned events.
> Additionally, I do not encourage people on bikes to disobey traffic laws.
> I believe that we have enough problems as cyclists without giving drivers
> and lawmakers reasons to dislike us.
>
> I have no problem with people (on any topic) voicing their opposition to
> an idea or practice. I simply believe that they should also come with
> proposed solutions. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
>
> I LOVE RondePDX, so I created La Doyenne, imitation being the sincerest
> form of flattery.
>
> I LOVE spirited group rides, so I created the Sauvie Shootout. I
> specifically chose a route that would minimize the possibility of traffic
> infractions, but I am open to suggestions on something that might work
> better. (Including date and time)
>
> I LOVE road races, so I register, show up, throw down and tell everyone
> that will listen just how much I love racing my bike!
>
> If you love particular events or hate and disagree with certain events,
> know that promoters don't speak 'chatroom', they speak attendance. Show up
> and find out what an event is all about. Offer constructive feedback to
> the promoter. Create something positive.
>
> Regarding the Strava Stage Race, though I see some valid points made on
> both sides, I cannot discount the thoughtful preparation that went into
> trying to create something for YOU. Love it or hate it, it is the product
> of a fellow cyclist spending many hours over a computer trying to solve a
> problem. If you have constructive feedback, give it to him. If you abhor
> the idea, vote with your attendance. But at the end of the day its my hope
> that we come together over our unmet needs and work to find solutions
> rather than pecking away at our keyboards and each other.
>
> ��BIKES!
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


John Wilger

February 22, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Amen to all that, Andrew.

Like Marek, I'm not so big on the pay-into-prize-pool aspect of this event,
mostly because I think the liability is likely to be an issue, *and* I can
see how that aspect is the root of the negative reaction here. (Seriously,
strike that one aspect and just say, "Hey, we're doing a series of group
rides and the person with the fastest cumulative time gets a 6-pack of
local beer," and I bet the reaction here would have been quite different.)
However, the extreme, emotional (over)reaction here from some people is
just childish and does nothing except discourage people from trying out new
ideas.

Ask questions, offer constructive criticism, but chill out! Wow.

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 2:01 PM, Andrew Springer via OBRA <
obra@list.obra.org> wrote:

> OBRA racer, La Doyenne and Sauvie Shootout creator here. I have followed
> this thread and feel the need to respond in a positive way. 8 years ago,
> cycling literally saved my life. I have felt the need to give back and have
> worked in my small way to bring cyclists together. I have chosen a
> grassroots path, but am a big believer and supporter of legal sanctioned
> events as well. I do not believe one to be exclusive of the other.
>
> Let me begin by sharing that the VERY first thing we do when scheduling
> the inevitably cancelled RondePDX and La Doyenne dates is to look for holes
> in the OBRA calendar so that the the PDX Classics do not pull participants
> from Promoters putting on OBRA sanctioned events. Additionally, I do not
> encourage people on bikes to disobey traffic laws. I believe that we have
> enough problems as cyclists without giving drivers and lawmakers reasons to
> dislike us.
>
> I have no problem with people (on any topic) voicing their opposition to
> an idea or practice. I simply believe that they should also come with
> proposed solutions. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
>
> I LOVE RondePDX, so I created La Doyenne, imitation being the sincerest
> form of flattery.
>
> I LOVE spirited group rides, so I created the Sauvie Shootout. I
> specifically chose a route that would minimize the possibility of traffic
> infractions, but I am open to suggestions on something that might work
> better. (Including date and time)
>
> I LOVE road races, so I register, show up, throw down and tell everyone
> that will listen just how much I love racing my bike!
>
> If you love particular events or hate and disagree with certain events,
> know that promoters don't speak 'chatroom', they speak attendance. Show up
> and find out what an event is all about. Offer constructive feedback to the
> promoter. Create something positive.
>
> Regarding the Strava Stage Race, though I see some valid points made on
> both sides, I cannot discount the thoughtful preparation that went into
> trying to create something for YOU. Love it or hate it, it is the product
> of a fellow cyclist spending many hours over a computer trying to solve a
> problem. If you have constructive feedback, give it to him. If you abhor
> the idea, vote with your attendance. But at the end of the day its my hope
> that we come together over our unmet needs and work to find solutions
> rather than pecking away at our keyboards and each other.
>
> ¡BIKES!
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>

--
John Wilger | +1 (971) 678-0999 | http://johnwilger.com


Marek Litinsky

February 22, 2017 at 2:27 PM

Andrew! You're my hero!

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 2:01 PM, Andrew Springer via OBRA wrote:
>
> OBRA racer, La Doyenne and Sauvie Shootout creator here. I have followed this thread and feel the need to respond in a positive way. 8 years ago, cycling literally saved my life. I have felt the need to give back and have worked in my small way to bring cyclists together. I have chosen a grassroots path, but am a big believer and supporter of legal sanctioned events as well. I do not believe one to be exclusive of the other.
>
> Let me begin by sharing that the VERY first thing we do when scheduling the inevitably cancelled RondePDX and La Doyenne dates is to look for holes in the OBRA calendar so that the the PDX Classics do not pull participants from Promoters putting on OBRA sanctioned events. Additionally, I do not encourage people on bikes to disobey traffic laws. I believe that we have enough problems as cyclists without giving drivers and lawmakers reasons to dislike us.
>
> I have no problem with people (on any topic) voicing their opposition to an idea or practice. I simply believe that they should also come with proposed solutions. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
>
> I LOVE RondePDX, so I created La Doyenne, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
>
> I LOVE spirited group rides, so I created the Sauvie Shootout. I specifically chose a route that would minimize the possibility of traffic infractions, but I am open to suggestions on something that might work better. (Including date and time)
>
> I LOVE road races, so I register, show up, throw down and tell everyone that will listen just how much I love racing my bike!
>
> If you love particular events or hate and disagree with certain events, know that promoters don't speak 'chatroom', they speak attendance. Show up and find out what an event is all about. Offer constructive feedback to the promoter. Create something positive.
>
> Regarding the Strava Stage Race, though I see some valid points made on both sides, I cannot discount the thoughtful preparation that went into trying to create something for YOU. Love it or hate it, it is the product of a fellow cyclist spending many hours over a computer trying to solve a problem. If you have constructive feedback, give it to him. If you abhor the idea, vote with your attendance. But at the end of the day its my hope that we come together over our unmet needs and work to find solutions rather than pecking away at our keyboards and each other.
>
> ��BIKES!
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Andrew Springer

February 22, 2017 at 2:01 PM

OBRA racer, La Doyenne and Sauvie Shootout creator here. I have followed this thread and feel the need to respond in a positive way. 8 years ago, cycling literally saved my life. I have felt the need to give back and have worked in my small way to bring cyclists together. I have chosen a grassroots path, but am a big believer and supporter of legal sanctioned events as well. I do not believe one to be exclusive of the other.

Let me begin by sharing that the VERY first thing we do when scheduling the inevitably cancelled RondePDX and La Doyenne dates is to look for holes in the OBRA calendar so that the the PDX Classics do not pull participants from Promoters putting on OBRA sanctioned events. Additionally, I do not encourage people on bikes to disobey traffic laws. I believe that we have enough problems as cyclists without giving drivers and lawmakers reasons to dislike us.

I have no problem with people (on any topic) voicing their opposition to an idea or practice. I simply believe that they should also come with proposed solutions. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I LOVE RondePDX, so I created La Doyenne, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

I LOVE spirited group rides, so I created the Sauvie Shootout. I specifically chose a route that would minimize the possibility of traffic infractions, but I am open to suggestions on something that might work better. (Including date and time)

I LOVE road races, so I register, show up, throw down and tell everyone that will listen just how much I love racing my bike!

If you love particular events or hate and disagree with certain events, know that promoters don't speak 'chatroom', they speak attendance. Show up and find out what an event is all about. Offer constructive feedback to the promoter. Create something positive.

Regarding the Strava Stage Race, though I see some valid points made on both sides, I cannot discount the thoughtful preparation that went into trying to create something for YOU. Love it or hate it, it is the product of a fellow cyclist spending many hours over a computer trying to solve a problem. If you have constructive feedback, give it to him. If you abhor the idea, vote with your attendance. But at the end of the day its my hope that we come together over our unmet needs and work to find solutions rather than pecking away at our keyboards and each other.

��BIKES!


Michael

February 22, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Agreed. +1
 Michael Y.

From: Robert Jackson via OBRA
To: Marek Litinsky
Cc: remailer OBRA ; Adam Angert
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

IMO - I believe it to be very irresponsible to promote an event without proper insurance or permits. not to mention the potential liability to the organizer should someone get hurt.
Further, I believe it hypocritical to use the OBRA chat to promote a non sanctioned (and Strava based) event. I would suggest using Strava to promote a Strava based event. If Strava is the future then by all means, move into it. I personally think it is hurting the traditional bike racing I love. 
On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:

My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?

It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself sprints through few stop signs just for fun.

But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>
> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list serv.
>
> Mike Murray
>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
>>
>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(
>> ______________________________ _________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/ listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> ______________________________ _________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/ listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
______________________________ _________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/ listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

--
Robert M. Jackson
RMJacksonIV@gmail.com
_______________________________________________
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Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM

I am not so sure about this. There are certainly a lot of on line records
that are hard to beat (some of them likely posted by motorized vehicles)
but I was surprised open time to see that I was listed as the fastest up
some climb on an online service. I am never fastest up anything but maybe
a curb cut.

I don't think that the argument is really about the respectability or
difficulty of on line competitions. I think it is really more about a
completely different subject than traditional bike racing. This changing
environment may be contributing to the decline in participation in
traditional bike racing.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Marek Litinsky [mailto:marek.litinsky@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 09:26
To: joec@aracnet.com
Cc: Mike Murray; remailer OBRA; Adam Angert
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

I think it's cute to think that majority of OBRA "racing" is in any way
harder or more respectable than Strava KOMs. It's not.

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 9:06 AM, via OBRA wrote:
>
> Isnt that akin to building a house within the city but not wanting to
> obtain the proper permits and inspections to make sure all is up to
code?
>
> To be honest, this to me is just a glorified 'Strava' event where
> everyone goes out and tries to beat one anothers KOMs. I dont need to
pay money to attempt that.
>
> Joe
>
>
>> On 2017-02-22 08:55, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I
>> have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the
>> OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
>> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>> Mike Murray
>>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
wrote:
>>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
within the OBRA fold.
>>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 11:27 AM

I agree completely. Racing should be permitted, insured, officiated, etc.
Doing otherwise puts the sport at risk.

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Gil via OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 09:42
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Adam... here's a 'policy' for you. It is AGAINST THE LAW to have mass start
races on public roads without a permit! It's illegal.

Sure, a bunch of people going after KOMs is okay, but the promoter of this
silly event is talking about a group of riders on the road at the same time.
That's just not okay.

Similar to the not-quite-as-bad, but still dumb idea of the 'Sauvie
Shootout', having a bunch of clowns racing on the roads is a sure-fire way
to encourage bad feelings towards all cyclists.

-Gil
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obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 11:18 AM

There is nothing wrong per se with posting to the OBRA list serv however I
do always find it ironic when people post events that do not contribute to
the operation of OBRA and may compete with OBRA participating events. In
this case it was particularly ironic as the organizer specifically asked to
be included on the schedule and then stated that he did not wish to pay for
OBRA services.

I think that one needs to recognize that it is a strong possibility that
Strava and other similar services are significant contributors to the
decline in participation in traditional bike race formats.

Mike Murray

-----Original Message-----
From: OBRA [mailto:obra-bounces@list.obra.org] On Behalf Of Adam Angert via
OBRA
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 09:06
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Just so I'm clear on the policy, is there something wrong with him putting
the event on OBRA Chat? I know other non-sanctioned events are promoted and
discussed on OBRA Chat such as Ronde PDX and La Doyenne. My understanding
from reviewing his materials is that he's requesting donation so he can
provide prizes to participants rather than for profit.
It's a real shame that Strava doesn't have a feature to accommodate this
kind of event. That would be an incredible way to reach all those people out
KOM hunting who've never tried mass start racing.
_______________________________________________
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obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Marek Litinsky

February 22, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Chad, I agree that pay to play concept is wrong idea for this type of ride. I was trying to discourage organizer from that part on few occasions. But that itself shouldn't lower how much fun it could be. There's good amount of planning that went into it. I understand all of your reasoning and I can only wish the organizer would adjust his plan.

It could be pretty awesome if it would take off.

Btw. Strava itself discouraged this type of event for liability reasons. But if someone laughs at Strava "accomplishments" while discussing cat 4 masters race with the straight face one can assume certain disconnect from reality. Traditional racing for adults is one category for males and one for females. Everything else is novelty and possibly funny joke to the rest of the racing world.

We need to blend world of real racing and fun stuff for enthusiasts with racing dreams. This "event" could be one of many possible ways to do it.

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 10:14 AM, Chad Sperry wrote:
>
> If an "Event" is charging a fee for participation and organizing results and giving prizes then a permit is required for nearly every single agency in the state of Oregon with the exception of Oregon Department of Transportation. In the case of ODOT you can have an organized charity ride or century ride as long as ALL rules of the road are followed. If riders are blowing through stop signs or doing something that alters the rules of the road then certified flaggers must be put in place and a permit must be filed.
>
> I personally would never put on an event that charges registration fees without permitting and insurance. With everyone so quick to sue one another now days one slip up and you are hard pressed to defend against yourself in a court of law. Even if you win the case you lose because you still had to pay huge lawyers fees out of pocket to fight the legal battle. Someone who promotes an event of this nature will NOT be covered under their homeowners insurance. Event insurance not only covers any damages some is found liable to pay for from the suit it also covers the costs of hiring a lawyer to fight it.
>
> Group rides on the other hand have no money exchanged nor are there "official" results tabulated. That said a rogue group ride with riders blowing stop signs or riding illegally open themselves up for a lawsuit not to mention bad PR for the sport.
>
> I understand were some of you are coming from promoting events on OBRA but not supporting the program in anyway yet using their services is a little tacky. Of course I am the guy who feels guilty about using an establishments bathroom without paying for anything either.
>
> Chad
>
>> On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:
>> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>>
>>
>> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>>
>> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>>
>> > On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>> >
>> > It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list serv.
>> >
>> > Mike Murray
>> >
>> >> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
>> >>
>> >> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
>> >> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>> >> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> OBRA mailing list
>> >> obra@list.obra.org
>> >> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> >> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > OBRA mailing list
>> > obra@list.obra.org
>> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>


d..@bicyclerepairman.us

February 22, 2017 at 10:24 AM

I believe there is a "race stuff only" list for those who do not want to
be bothered by "for sale" items and chit chat, no?

On 2017-02-22 10:56, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:
> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got
> blocked for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA
> doesn't have problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of
> cars, houses and many bike parts with possibly life threatening
> conditions. It doesn't have issues with shop owners peddling whatever
> crap on their private business shelves while asking to note their new
> address in dozens emails to the whole wide community. So many not
> racing and potentially iffy items get traded/sold through OBRA chat
> without any regard to liability and possible consequences and this is
> where we draw line? I actually think it's totally fine to do all of
> the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>
>
> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some
> of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride
> itself sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>
> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and
> helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
>> wrote:
>>
>> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have
>> been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA
>> schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
>> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>>
>> Mike Murray
>>
>>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>>> within the OBRA fold.
>>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Adam Angert

February 22, 2017 at 10:21 AM

So it sounds like we have a good opportunity to educate and mentor a new promoter who has a desire to put on an event. Let's do that rather than telling him he's stupid.


Robert Jackson

February 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Ronde doesn't take money or post results that I'm aware of.

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:16 AM, Elizabeth Gardiner <
ebeth.gardiner@gmail.com> wrote:

> While I am not necessarily condoning this event/promotion, I just have to
> ask how/why this promotion style and lack of permit was never cause for
> such outcry in all the years of the Ronde?
>
> On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:10 AM, Robert Jackson via OBRA <
> obra@list.obra.org> wrote:
>
>> IMO - I believe it to be very irresponsible to promote an event without
>> proper insurance or permits. not to mention the potential liability to the
>> organizer should someone get hurt.
>>
>> Further, I believe it hypocritical to use the OBRA chat to promote a non
>> sanctioned (and Strava based) event. I would suggest using Strava to
>> promote a Strava based event. If Strava is the future then by all means,
>> move into it. I personally think it is hurting the traditional bike racing
>> I love.
>>
>> On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA <
>> obra@list.obra.org> wrote:
>>
>>> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked
>>> for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have
>>> problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many
>>> bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have
>>> issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business
>>> shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the
>>> whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get
>>> traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible
>>> consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally
>>> fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>>>
>>>
>>> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some
>>> of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself
>>> sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>>>
>>> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and
>>> helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>>>
>>> > On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
>>> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been
>>> told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule
>>> but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's
>>> list serv.
>>> >
>>> > Mike Murray
>>> >
>>> >> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>>> wrote:
>>> >>
>>> >> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>>> within the OBRA fold.
>>> >> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> >> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>> >> OBRA mailing list
>>> >> obra@list.obra.org
>>> >> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> >> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > OBRA mailing list
>>> > obra@list.obra.org
>>> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Robert M. Jackson
>> RMJacksonIV@gmail.com
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
>>
>

--
Robert M. Jackson
RMJacksonIV@gmail.com


Elizabeth Gardiner

February 22, 2017 at 10:16 AM

While I am not necessarily condoning this event/promotion, I just have to
ask how/why this promotion style and lack of permit was never cause for
such outcry in all the years of the Ronde?

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:10 AM, Robert Jackson via OBRA <
obra@list.obra.org> wrote:

> IMO - I believe it to be very irresponsible to promote an event without
> proper insurance or permits. not to mention the potential liability to the
> organizer should someone get hurt.
>
> Further, I believe it hypocritical to use the OBRA chat to promote a non
> sanctioned (and Strava based) event. I would suggest using Strava to
> promote a Strava based event. If Strava is the future then by all means,
> move into it. I personally think it is hurting the traditional bike racing
> I love.
>
> On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA <
> obra@list.obra.org> wrote:
>
>> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked
>> for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have
>> problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many
>> bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have
>> issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business
>> shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the
>> whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get
>> traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible
>> consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally
>> fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>>
>>
>> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of
>> them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself
>> sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>>
>> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped
>> materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>>
>> > On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been
>> told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule
>> but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's
>> list serv.
>> >
>> > Mike Murray
>> >
>> >> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>> within the OBRA fold.
>> >> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>> >> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> OBRA mailing list
>> >> obra@list.obra.org
>> >> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> >> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > OBRA mailing list
>> > obra@list.obra.org
>> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Robert M. Jackson
> RMJacksonIV@gmail.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>


Chad Sperry

February 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM

If an "Event" is charging a fee for participation and organizing results
and giving prizes then a permit is required for nearly every single agency
in the state of Oregon with the exception of Oregon Department of
Transportation. In the case of ODOT you can have an organized charity ride
or century ride as long as ALL rules of the road are followed. If riders
are blowing through stop signs or doing something that alters the rules of
the road then certified flaggers must be put in place and a permit must be
filed.

I personally would never put on an event that charges registration fees
without permitting and insurance. With everyone so quick to sue one
another now days one slip up and you are hard pressed to defend against
yourself in a court of law. Even if you win the case you lose because you
still had to pay huge lawyers fees out of pocket to fight the legal
battle. Someone who promotes an event of this nature will NOT be covered
under their homeowners insurance. Event insurance not only covers any
damages some is found liable to pay for from the suit it also covers the
costs of hiring a lawyer to fight it.

Group rides on the other hand have no money exchanged nor are there
"official" results tabulated. That said a rogue group ride with riders
blowing stop signs or riding illegally open themselves up for a lawsuit not
to mention bad PR for the sport.

I understand were some of you are coming from promoting events on OBRA but
not supporting the program in anyway yet using their services is a little
tacky. Of course I am the guy who feels guilty about using an
establishments bathroom without paying for anything either.

Chad

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:

> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked
> for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have
> problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many
> bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have
> issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business
> shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the
> whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get
> traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible
> consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally
> fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>
>
> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of
> them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself
> sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>
> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped
> materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>
> > On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
> wrote:
> >
> > It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would
> need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told
> that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but
> did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list
> serv.
> >
> > Mike Murray
> >
> >> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
> wrote:
> >>
> >> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
> within the OBRA fold.
> >> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
> >> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need
> look no further than yourselves :(
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> OBRA mailing list
> >> obra@list.obra.org
> >> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> >> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > OBRA mailing list
> > obra@list.obra.org
> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>


Robert Jackson

February 22, 2017 at 10:10 AM

IMO - I believe it to be very irresponsible to promote an event without
proper insurance or permits. not to mention the potential liability to the
organizer should someone get hurt.

Further, I believe it hypocritical to use the OBRA chat to promote a non
sanctioned (and Strava based) event. I would suggest using Strava to
promote a Strava based event. If Strava is the future then by all means,
move into it. I personally think it is hurting the traditional bike racing
I love.

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Marek Litinsky via OBRA wrote:

> My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked
> for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have
> problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many
> bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have
> issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business
> shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the
> whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get
> traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible
> consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally
> fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?
>
>
> It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of
> them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself
> sprints through few stop signs just for fun.
>
> But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped
> materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?
>
> > On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA
> wrote:
> >
> > It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would
> need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told
> that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but
> did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list
> serv.
> >
> > Mike Murray
> >
> >> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
> wrote:
> >>
> >> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
> within the OBRA fold.
> >> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
> >> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need
> look no further than yourselves :(
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> OBRA mailing list
> >> obra@list.obra.org
> >> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> >> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > OBRA mailing list
> > obra@list.obra.org
> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>

--
Robert M. Jackson
RMJacksonIV@gmail.com


Marek Litinsky

February 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM

My team mate is putting this event on. His OBRA chat account got blocked for posting about this race. It's weird considering OBRA doesn't have problem with allowing its chat to facilitate sales of cars, houses and many bike parts with possibly life threatening conditions. It doesn't have issues with shop owners peddling whatever crap on their private business shelves while asking to note their new address in dozens emails to the whole wide community. So many not racing and potentially iffy items get traded/sold through OBRA chat without any regard to liability and possible consequences and this is where we draw line? I actually think it's totally fine to do all of the above. But why draw line at the bike ride?

It does allow for communication about many non sanctioned events. Some of them get reposted and promoted on OBRA Instagram while the ride itself sprints through few stop signs just for fun.

But now we draw line at the event someone put lot of work into and helped materialize many people's dream of Strava based event?

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 8:55 AM, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>
> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list serv.
>
> Mike Murray
>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
>>
>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Adam Angert

February 22, 2017 at 9:54 AM

Wow Gil. Get a grip dude.
I don't think anyone is encouraging law breaking. This is a GPS timed event. People can ride the route whenever they want, but preferably on a Saturday morning. Same as a group ride.
Also, I actually rode the Sauvie Shootout last Saturday. Guess what?.... it was a group ride! No laws broken.


Gil

February 22, 2017 at 9:42 AM

Adam... here's a 'policy' for you. It is AGAINST THE LAW to have mass start races on public roads without a permit! It's illegal.

Sure, a bunch of people going after KOMs is okay, but the promoter of this silly event is talking about a group of riders on the road at the same time. That's just not okay.

Similar to the not-quite-as-bad, but still dumb idea of the 'Sauvie Shootout', having a bunch of clowns racing on the roads is a sure-fire way to encourage bad feelings towards all cyclists.

-Gil


Marek Litinsky

February 22, 2017 at 9:26 AM

I think it's cute to think that majority of OBRA "racing" is in any way harder or more respectable than Strava KOMs. It's not.

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 9:06 AM, via OBRA wrote:
>
> Isnt that akin to building a house within the city but not wanting to obtain the
> proper permits and inspections to make sure all is up to code?
>
> To be honest, this to me is just a glorified 'Strava' event where everyone goes
> out and tries to beat one anothers KOMs. I dont need to pay money to attempt that.
>
> Joe
>
>
>> On 2017-02-22 08:55, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have
>> been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA
>> schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
>> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>> Mike Murray
>>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
>>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
>>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


My Computer

February 22, 2017 at 9:13 AM

You do if you wanna prize and have somebody organize it all.

On Feb 22, 2017 9:08 AM, "via OBRA" wrote:

> Isnt that akin to building a house within the city but not wanting to
> obtain the
> proper permits and inspections to make sure all is up to code?
>
> To be honest, this to me is just a glorified 'Strava' event where everyone
> goes
> out and tries to beat one anothers KOMs. I dont need to pay money to
> attempt that.
>
> Joe
>
>
> On 2017-02-22 08:55, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
>
>> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
>> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have
>> been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA
>> schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
>> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>>
>> Mike Murray
>>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>>> within the OBRA fold.
>>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need
>>> look no further than yourselves :(
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>


jo..@aracnet.com

February 22, 2017 at 9:06 AM

Isnt that akin to building a house within the city but not wanting to
obtain the
proper permits and inspections to make sure all is up to code?

To be honest, this to me is just a glorified 'Strava' event where
everyone goes
out and tries to beat one anothers KOMs. I dont need to pay money to
attempt that.

Joe

On 2017-02-22 08:55, Mike Murray via OBRA wrote:
> It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that
> would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have
> been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA
> schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to
> promote on OBRA's list serv.
>
> Mike Murray
>
>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA
>> wrote:
>>
>> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work
>> within the OBRA fold.
>> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the
>> promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
>> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you
>> need look no further than yourselves :(
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Adam Angert

February 22, 2017 at 9:05 AM

Just so I'm clear on the policy, is there something wrong with him putting the event on OBRA Chat? I know other non-sanctioned events are promoted and discussed on OBRA Chat such as Ronde PDX and La Doyenne. My understanding from reviewing his materials is that he's requesting donation so he can provide prizes to participants rather than for profit.
It's a real shame that Strava doesn't have a feature to accommodate this kind of event. That would be an incredible way to reach all those people out KOM hunting who've never tried mass start racing.


Mike Murray

February 22, 2017 at 8:55 AM

It would be easy for this event to participate with OBRA. All that would need to be done is to register the event and participate. I have been told that the organizer asked about adding the event to the OBRA schedule but did not want to pay any fees so instead elected to promote on OBRA's list serv.

Mike Murray

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 07:53, Adam Angert via OBRA wrote:
>
> This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
> Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
> Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Adam Angert

February 22, 2017 at 7:53 AM

This event sounds like fun. I wish there was a way this could work within the OBRA fold.
Maybe we should provide constructive criticism and advice to the promoter rather than shitting on the idea?
Sal and Michael Y., in your search for what's wrong with OBRA, you need look no further than yourselves :(


Michael

February 21, 2017 at 3:58 PM

delete and block!!
 Michael Y.

From: Salvatore Collura via OBRA
To: Carol Handsfield ; "obra@list.obra.org"
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

This is cool, you're using OBRA's infrastructure (chat) to help kill OBRA. Brilliant.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 21, 2017, at 1:40 PM, Carol Handsfield via OBRA wrote:
>
> I'm helping to promote a new series and style of race!
>
> The idea is a weekly series that works similar to a grand tour, except all the results are tabulated through Ride With GPS and riders that cannot make it to the day of the group ride can still complete the course during the week they're open. The ride will be marked like the Ronde or La Doyenne (with a skull and crossbones) and riders competing for mountains, points and general classification will be required to pay a nominal fee of $22 (impossibly cheap compared to most stage races, all race entry fees will go directly towards prizes, -5% that GoFundMe takes) with equal payout for women and men. Anyone who wants to ride the courses with the group ride can do so without paying. For more information, check out these promotional materials:
>
> https://goo.gl/24ZBv9
> https://goo.gl/osz1e3
> https://www.gofundme.com/la-boucle-des-roses
> https://goo.gl/ASP5iq
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Robert Jackson

February 21, 2017 at 3:29 PM

"*This means a 'ride at your own risk' race. **... (dopers welcome ;).* " -
no thanks.

On Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:50 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA <
obra@list.obra.org> wrote:

> This is cool, you're using OBRA's infrastructure (chat) to help kill OBRA.
> Brilliant.
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Feb 21, 2017, at 1:40 PM, Carol Handsfield via OBRA <
> obra@list.obra.org> wrote:
> >
> > I'm helping to promote a new series and style of race!
> >
> > The idea is a weekly series that works similar to a grand tour, except
> all the results are tabulated through Ride With GPS and riders that cannot
> make it to the day of the group ride can still complete the course during
> the week they're open. The ride will be marked like the Ronde or La Doyenne
> (with a skull and crossbones) and riders competing for mountains, points
> and general classification will be required to pay a nominal fee of $22
> (impossibly cheap compared to most stage races, all race entry fees will go
> directly towards prizes, -5% that GoFundMe takes) with equal payout for
> women and men. Anyone who wants to ride the courses with the group ride can
> do so without paying. For more information, check out these promotional
> materials:
> >
> > https://goo.gl/24ZBv9
> > https://goo.gl/osz1e3
> > https://www.gofundme.com/la-boucle-des-roses
> > https://goo.gl/ASP5iq
> > _______________________________________________
> > OBRA mailing list
> > obra@list.obra.org
> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>

--
Robert M. Jackson
RMJacksonIV@gmail.com


Salvatore Collura

February 21, 2017 at 2:50 PM

This is cool, you're using OBRA's infrastructure (chat) to help kill OBRA. Brilliant.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 21, 2017, at 1:40 PM, Carol Handsfield via OBRA wrote:
>
> I'm helping to promote a new series and style of race!
>
> The idea is a weekly series that works similar to a grand tour, except all the results are tabulated through Ride With GPS and riders that cannot make it to the day of the group ride can still complete the course during the week they're open. The ride will be marked like the Ronde or La Doyenne (with a skull and crossbones) and riders competing for mountains, points and general classification will be required to pay a nominal fee of $22 (impossibly cheap compared to most stage races, all race entry fees will go directly towards prizes, -5% that GoFundMe takes) with equal payout for women and men. Anyone who wants to ride the courses with the group ride can do so without paying. For more information, check out these promotional materials:
>
> https://goo.gl/24ZBv9
> https://goo.gl/osz1e3
> https://www.gofundme.com/la-boucle-des-roses
> https://goo.gl/ASP5iq
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Eric Aldinger

February 10, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Feel free to enjoy competitive endurance cycling community events with
Oregon Endurance Mountain Biking. Short list of events with distances
between 40-80 miles. No cost and no support.

On Feb 8, 2017 3:03 PM, "Andrew via OBRA" wrote:

> Bridget, thank you for your insight. From my personal experience with
> myself and friends, it certainly rings true that most folks these days
> would rather go ride beautiful gravel roads or go mountain biking than
> participate in a road race. I hope some promoters take note of what you and
> some others have said and begin to offer well designed, well marketed
> events that can continue to grow our sport.
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>


jo..@aracnet.com

February 8, 2017 at 7:02 PM

Ya know Andrew,

If you, Bridget, Marek et. al. are so damn concerned about the state if
the sport,
get off your asses and out of your comfy saddle and put on an event
yourself!
Otherwise, all you are doing is adding to the cacophony of noisy people
saying
'Someone should do something!' Let us know when/where it is. What kind
of event
you are planning! Tell us how your event will be as fun or excting as
any other
event out in OBRA land that will drive our feet (and our wheels) to your
event!
I am willing to bet that before long you will learn that it isnt as easy
as
it looks.

And before you say I dont have a clue what I am spouting off about, I
have been
doing Racing and Promoting for over 25 years. Racing AND Promoting. So
yeah, I
have a clue as to what is going on. I know of NO promoter who wants to
put on a
shitty, poorly attended event. Sometimes, things happen:
* The weather is ugly.
* Roads get washed out.
* Other events fall on the same weekend and conflict with the event
* Tastes change.
* Conditions change.

To say promoters are failing to put on good events or people want
'events other
then races', well, there is the Gran Fondo series, Reach the Beach, STP
or any
number of century rides out in the world between Oregon and Washington.
There are
both road and gravel rides! There are mtb festivals. There are even
'Adventure Race'
style multi-sport events! I am sure you can find something that tickles
your
fancy (besides saying what promoters should do).

Joe

On 2017-02-08 14:59, Andrew via OBRA wrote:
> Bridget, thank you for your insight. From my personal experience with
> myself and friends, it certainly rings true that most folks these days
> would rather go ride beautiful gravel roads or go mountain biking than
> participate in a road race. I hope some promoters take note of what
> you and some others have said and begin to offer well designed, well
> marketed events that can continue to grow our sport.
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Andrew

February 8, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Bridget, thank you for your insight. From my personal experience with myself and friends, it certainly rings true that most folks these days would rather go ride beautiful gravel roads or go mountain biking than participate in a road race. I hope some promoters take note of what you and some others have said and begin to offer well designed, well marketed events that can continue to grow our sport.


Neil Green

February 7, 2017 at 11:39 AM

Attendance may be down, but it will bounce back. Events will change, but the ones that offer a good product will continue and grow. OBRA is a Racing organization and I hope it stays that way for the next wave of racers. Those who want to see OBRA continue to grow will step up and help. People who only want to complain will eventually move on.


Lisa Eriksson

February 6, 2017 at 8:03 PM

Let's please keep this a bike RACING association....

On Mon, 6 Feb 2017 at 18:09, via OBRA wrote:

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Oh God! Cycling made me miss another so called Super Bowl! This
>
> is getting so confusing.
>
>
> ron
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Mike
>
> Murray via OBRA
>
>
> *Sent:* Monday, February 06, 2017 4:48 PM
>
>
> *To:* obra@list.obra.org
>
>
> *Subject:* Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and
>
> Events
>
>
>
>
> Why stop there? We could change it to "Sporting" and then we could include
>
> golf and tennis which are both fine sports.
>
>
>
>
>
> I definitely agree that it is a good thing that more people are doing
> other
>
> cycling activities but for those interested in competitive cycling it is
>
> unfortunate that those things may be cutting into the viability of
> competitive
>
> events. I also agree that making races more interesting "events" is a
> great
>
> idea. The catch is that understanding the economics and staffing of
> putting on
>
> races it makes me realize how difficult this is.
>
>
>
>
>
> Marek, you can stop banging the drum about fondos. OBRA already deals with
>
> several and it is likely they will be added to the BAR this year. The
> convo mice
>
> alone make them attractive to the organization.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike Murray
>
>
>
> On Feb 5, 2017, at 17:02, bridget hildreth via OBRA
>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Easy. Change it to "Recreation."
>
>
>
>
> Evolve.
>
>
>
>
>
> If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road
>
> anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering,
>
> bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then
>
> what are you going to do about it.
>
>
>
>
>
> Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a
>
> beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively
>
> inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.
>
>
>
>
>
> It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums
>
> and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current
>
> 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and
> playing
>
> video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value in
>
> "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a
>
> good thing.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via
>
> OBRA
>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING
>
> Association. Just pointing that out.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Sent from my
>
> iPhone
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Evolve.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about
>
> that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find
>
> this trend such a problem.
>
>
>
>
>
> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word
>
> "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a
>
> good shift.
>
>
>
>
> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in
>
> the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population.
>
> As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30
>
> percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of
>
> people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are
>
> registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts.
>
> Social fitness apps
>
> such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a
>
> million users who can measure their performances against professional
>
> and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an
>
> entry fee."
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the
>
> weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive.
>
> The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of
>
> harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our
>
> brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we
>
> loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime
>
> to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge
>
> in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel
>
> (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you
>
> offered: "If I added
>
> a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see
>
> a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of
>
> the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was
>
> an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And
>
> seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at
>
> present.
>
>
>
>
>
> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this
>
> year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a
>
> matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in
>
> Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to
>
> throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So
>
> apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking
>
> tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN
>
> our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch
>
> in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are
>
> under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR
>
> trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've
>
> got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will
>
> spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding
>
> than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>
>
>
>
>
> b
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via
>
> OBRA
>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why
>
> cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done
>
> about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best
>
> write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating
>
> productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight
>
> and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how
>
> to fix it however.
>
>
>
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
>
> Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been
>
> putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20
>
> years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA
>
> Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the
>
> tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful
>
> event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small
>
> grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the
>
> country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national
>
> championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals,
>
> Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior
>
> Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over
>
> the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are
>
> disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration
>
> fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little
>
> to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local
>
> sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors
>
> sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at
>
> their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT
>
> stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant,
>
> or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not
>
> supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.
>
> Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered
>
> by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of
>
> paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as
>
> registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>
>
>
>
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5
>
> years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large
>
> single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn.
>
> Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited
>
> growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth
>
> tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can
>
> remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area.
>
> Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am
>
> talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not
>
> think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved
>
> roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down
>
> and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also
>
> includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3
>
> years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for
>
> summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near
>
> future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions
>
> just this year for no new events between July and September.
>
> So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade
>
> Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing
>
> the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from
>
> Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on
>
> Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!
>
> All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
>
> race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it
>
> impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the
>
> cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown
>
> criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put
>
> on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this
>
> much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just
>
> did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost
>
> of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has
>
> literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost
>
> is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all
>
> the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage,
>
> barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
>
>
>
>
> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is
>
> strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon
>
> is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers
>
> useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double
>
> the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits
>
> do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out
>
> there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance
>
> sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you
>
> can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in
>
> broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate,
>
> the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7
>
> medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and
>
> sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year
>
> participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>
>
>
>
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90%
>
> of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are
>
> professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do
>
> what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for
>
> giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is
>
> making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is
>
> because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the
>
> country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay
>
> the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
>
> families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and
>
> marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's
>
> ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next
>
> time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to
>
> flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think
>
> your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor
>
> promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to
>
> donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for
>
> your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind
>
> of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from
>
> promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but
>
> why should I when there is little to no reward.
>
>
>
>
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here
>
> is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first
>
> is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people
>
> moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am
>
> an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived
>
> for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy
>
> trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the
>
> market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it
>
> embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have
>
> seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's
>
> were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were
>
> embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched
>
> cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's
>
> they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the
>
> 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category
>
> but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and
>
> moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no
>
> large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's
>
> youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual
>
> reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding
>
> entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high
>
> school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past
>
> 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued
>
> decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to
>
> what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my
>
> time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be
>
> different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
>
>
>
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I
>
> know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag.
>
> But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in
>
> movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he
>
> was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was
>
> a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a
>
> nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a
>
> fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no
>
> longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom
>
> Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You
>
> can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the
>
> sport.
>
>
>
>
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To
>
> conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little
>
> skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come
>
> to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road
>
> events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events
>
> for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were
>
> completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers
>
> turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the
>
> Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun
>
> to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that
>
> would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend
>
> that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I
>
> will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers
>
> and in crappy weather.
>
>
>
>
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed
>
> them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid
>
> attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the
>
> best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was
>
> the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in
>
> April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to
>
> race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in
>
> June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best
>
> conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5
>
> biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued
>
> trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert
>
> Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at
>
> elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the
>
> mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will
>
> chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low
>
> now days.
>
>
>
>
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not
>
> trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind
>
> the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of
>
> you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember
>
> hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>
>
>
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
> Chad
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA
>
> mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe:
>
> obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Design and Research
>
>
>
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>
>
> Vancouver Public Schools
>
>
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA
>
> 98661
>
>
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA
>
> 98668-8737
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and
>
> allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg
>
> Anthropologist
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA
>
> mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe:
>
> obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA
>
> mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe:
>
> obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Design and Research
>
>
>
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>
>
> Vancouver Public Schools
>
>
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>
>
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA
>
> 98668-8737
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows
>
> one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA
>
> mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe:
>
> obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing
>
> list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe:
>
> obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
>
> OBRA mailing list
>
> obra@list.obra.org
>
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>


rond..@spiritone.com

February 6, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Oh God! Cycling made me miss another so called Super Bowl! This is getting so confusing.
ron

From: Mike Murray via OBRA
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2017 4:48 PM
To: obra@list.obra.org
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Why stop there? We could change it to "Sporting" and then we could include golf and tennis which are both fine sports.

I definitely agree that it is a good thing that more people are doing other cycling activities but for those interested in competitive cycling it is unfortunate that those things may be cutting into the viability of competitive events. I also agree that making races more interesting "events" is a great idea. The catch is that understanding the economics and staffing of putting on races it makes me realize how difficult this is.

Marek, you can stop banging the drum about fondos. OBRA already deals with several and it is likely they will be added to the BAR this year. The convo mice alone make them attractive to the organization.

Mike Murray

On Feb 5, 2017, at 17:02, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:

Easy. Change it to "Recreation."

Evolve.

If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering, bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then what are you going to do about it.

Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.

It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and playing video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value in "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a good thing.

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA wrote:

Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:

Evolve.

Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.

I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.

Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."

Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.

What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.

The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.

b

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:

Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.

For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.

Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.

Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.

When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.

My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!

Sincerely,
Chad

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--

Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

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Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

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Mike Murray

February 6, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Why stop there? We could change it to "Sporting" and then we could include golf and tennis which are both fine sports.

I definitely agree that it is a good thing that more people are doing other cycling activities but for those interested in competitive cycling it is unfortunate that those things may be cutting into the viability of competitive events. I also agree that making races more interesting "events" is a great idea. The catch is that understanding the economics and staffing of putting on races it makes me realize how difficult this is.

Marek, you can stop banging the drum about fondos. OBRA already deals with several and it is likely they will be added to the BAR this year. The convo mice alone make them attractive to the organization.

Mike Murray

> On Feb 5, 2017, at 17:02, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
>
> Easy. Change it to "Recreation."
>
> Evolve.
>
> If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering, bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then what are you going to do about it.
>
> Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.
>
> It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and playing video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value in "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a good thing.
>
>> On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA wrote:
>> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.
>>
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
>>
>>> Evolve.
>>>
>>> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.
>>>
>>> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.
>>>
>>> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."
>>>
>>> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>>>
>>> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.
>>>
>>> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>>>
>>> b
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>>>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>>>>
>>>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>>>>
>>>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>>>
>>>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>>>
>>>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>>>
>>>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>>>
>>>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>>>
>>>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>>>>
>>>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>>>>
>>>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>>>>
>>>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>>>>
>>>> Sincerely,
>>>> Chad
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> OBRA mailing list
>>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>>>
>>>
>>> Design and Research
>>>
>>> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>>> Vancouver Public Schools
>>> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>>> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
> --
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
>
> Design and Research
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
> Vancouver Public Schools
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>
>
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Mike Murray

February 6, 2017 at 3:39 PM

More cycling is good news but this is posted to the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association list serv.

Mike Murray

> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:37, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
>
> Evolve.
>
> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.
>
> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.
>
> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."
>
> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>
> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.
>
> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>
> b
>
>
>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>>
>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>>
>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>
>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>
>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>
>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>
>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>
>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>>
>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>>
>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>>
>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Chad
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
>
> --
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
>
> Design and Research
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
> Vancouver Public Schools
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>
>
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
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EAL

February 5, 2017 at 6:39 PM

Chad.  Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful contribution to the thread. And even more, thanks for the effort you've put in over the years.  A couple of questions; I understand that the road race ridership is down, but is the average participation rate per race down, or is it that the number of races has diminished(or both, of course)?  How is the drop in participation distributed over categories? Any interesting trends there?  I ask because these answers would obviously help us understand what, if anything, could be done to increase participation.
Also, if you (not Chad, but all OBRA riders) have not done so, you should volunteer at at least one race. It will give you an amazing perspective as to the ridiculous amount of energy it takes to put on an event. It will make your head spin.
Ed Lanton 

From: Chad Sperry via OBRA
To: T. Kenji Sugahara
Cc: ""
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:01 PM
Subject: Re: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Thank you Kenji!
One more thing I would like to mention is that I just recently stepped down from my position on the USA Cycling Road Commission Board were I served a two year term.  Our job on the board was the state of cycling for the nation, such as rule changes and how to get more people into the sport.  I will tell everyone whole heatedly this is a National trend.  To be honest OBRA has weathered this storm better than nearly any other state.  We were having these very conversations on the board over a year ago.  
Chad
On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:53 AM, T. Kenji Sugahara wrote:

Thanks for sending that out Chad- very well written and I can see you
put a lot of thought into it.  It is truly appreciated.

Chad has been one of the pillars of Oregon racing.  He's been in for a
long time and like Candi, Mike, Terri and others- have a great
perspective.

Their perspective is the context of the long game- and should be
listened too.  We go through cycles and it's up to all of us to adapt.

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA
wrote:
> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining,
> why events are going away, and what can be done about it.  For the last
> month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
> out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation.  So here is my
> attempt and giving insight and background.  It is up to everyone to come to
> conclusion on how to fix it however.
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions.
> My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon
> and across the country for the last 20 years.  We had humble beginnings
> cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first
> event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off
> a successful event back in 1997.  Since then we have run everything from
> small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in
> the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national
> championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate
> Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para
> Nationals etc.  So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about
> races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing.  Races are
> not solely funded by your registration fees.  Unless you are drawing over
> 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races
> are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor.
> Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or
> stay at their establishments when you come to the race.  So when you do NOT
> stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or
> shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting
> the businesses that helped you race that day.  Period.  Most of the time
> funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors.  I have always
> maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come
> through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of
> the race.
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard  in the last 5 years.  In some
> areas down right impossible.  Finding a large single loop road race course
> today is like finding a unicorn.  Seriously.  Why you ask (or maybe you
> didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
> major population growth tying up all the existing roads.  When was the last
> time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
> area.  Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I
> am talking full fledged several miles road.  I personally can not think of a
> new road in the past 20 years!  So as our existing paved roads continue to
> get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits.
> This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state
> roads as well.  For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has
> allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open
> that up in the near future.  Deschutes National Forest is implementing new
> restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September.
> So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade
> Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.  I can remember doing the Blue
> Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive
> through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84.  We were
> actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!  All of you that have been racing 20+
> years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because
> traffic no renders it impossible.  If we still have access to roads and city
> streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed.  To put on the
> Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to
> put on.  We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this
> much) and $3500 in entry fees.  Some of you smart accountants just did the
> math.  That means I personally lost $7500.  The cost of putting on the
> Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased
> by 10 times.  No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what
> is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required
> engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
> Another big one is liability.  Our sue happy country is strangling us with
> frivolous law suits.  New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps
> and render standard release waivers useless.  A number of permitting
> agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
> just plain denying event permits do to risk.   Our sport is one of the
> riskiest sports out there.  Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
> endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury.  At a large criterium you
> can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken
> bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the
> Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical
> occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.  By the
> way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large
> crit that has 400.
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races.  90% of race
> organizers are volunteers.  The remaining 10%, who are professional race
> organizers, live very very modestly.  They do what they do because they love
> the sport and have a huge heart for giving back.  Only one company in the
> country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on
> bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised,
> races in the country.  Everyone else is scraping by.  Wondering how to pay
> the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
> families etc.  If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons
> we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.  I use the runs
> to subsidize my cycling habit.  So next time you decide to write out that
> smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please
> reconsider.  If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea
> what that poor promoter is going through.  Nothing is more discouraging than
> to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for
> your efforts.  It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of
> responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from
> promoting more bike races.  I have a tough skin and can take it but why
> should I when there is little to no reward.
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline.  Here is my humble
> theory.  Actually I have two theories.  The first is our society as a whole.
> We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment.  Back
> when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX
> bikes.  We lived for that.  We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy
> trails.  Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market.  The baby
> boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor
> physical exertion and excitement.  We have seen a huge portion of riders who
> in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful
> races.  The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.  That cross section of
> riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun).  In the
> early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves.  In the
> 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but
> still coming out in force.  That group is now retiring and moving on as they
> hit their mid to late 50's and 60's.  There is no large group coming up to
> fill in and take their place.  Today's youth as a whole want to entertain
> themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as
> opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature.   I have 4 boys
> three are in high school.  I have coached wrestling, and cross country for
> the past 12 years.  Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline.
> We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20
> years ago.  I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge
> and Central Oregon.  Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong.  Yeah I know once again
> Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag.  But before he was a
> slime bag he was a national hero.  He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
> winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
> sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
> mainstream).  When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed.  That is
> gone.  Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience.
> There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par
> with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people.  You
> can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather.  To conclude that
> weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed.  All you need
> to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion.  Back in
> 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd
> (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!).  In fact all three
> Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!!  That same year
> huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June
> and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July!  Granted it is way more fun to
> race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would
> take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early
> March race but wait till May to begin racing.  Which I will admit is really
> hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the
> best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends
> or rider numbers.  Our focus was providing the best quality experience for
> our participants.  So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and
> Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are
> moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt.
> Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has
> been about the best conditions and weather for participants.  If you look at
> the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued
> trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel
> Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and
> Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.  That said I
> completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation
> especially with numbers being so low now days.
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email.  I am not trying to be
> insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
> putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you.  When it comes to
> your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in
> getting the races you want!
>
> Sincerely,
> Chad
>
> ______________________________ _________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/ listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>

--
Kenji Sugahara
Executive Director
Oregon Bicycle Racing Association
Phone:  503-278-5550
http://www.obra.org

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Marek Litinsky

February 5, 2017 at 6:05 PM

That already happened and it was awesome. Bone Machine Criterium. One category for all males with two legs and arms. Got pulled out of the race on lap 10(?) and placed somewhere mid field. I could have been butthurt there's no cat 5 track bikes crit category but it would be pretty silly. Such a good race. Wish we could do the same on geared bikes. That's the future.

> On Feb 5, 2017, at 5:52 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA wrote:
>
> I'm getting super excited for the first Fondo Criterium!
>
> ps- everyone gets to decide what lap they want to be on
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Feb 5, 2017, at 5:02 PM, bridget hildreth wrote:
>
>> Easy. Change it to "Recreation."
>>
>> Evolve.
>>
>> If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering, bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then what are you going to do about it.
>>
>> Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.
>>
>> It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and playing video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value in "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a good thing.
>>
>>> On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA wrote:
>>> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.
>>>
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
>>>
>>>> Evolve.
>>>>
>>>> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.
>>>>
>>>> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.
>>>>
>>>> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."
>>>>
>>>> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>>>>
>>>> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.
>>>>
>>>> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>>>>
>>>> b
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>>>>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>>>>>
>>>>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>>>>>
>>>>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>>>>
>>>>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>>>>
>>>>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>>>>
>>>>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>>>>
>>>>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>>>>
>>>>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>>>>>
>>>>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>>>>>
>>>>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>>>>>
>>>>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>>>>>
>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>> Chad
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> OBRA mailing list
>>>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Design and Research
>>>>
>>>> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>>>> Vancouver Public Schools
>>>> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>>>> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> OBRA mailing list
>>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>>
>>
>> Design and Research
>>
>> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>> Vancouver Public Schools
>> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>>
>>
>>
>> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>>
>>
>>
>>
> _______________________________________________
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jo..@aracnet.com

February 5, 2017 at 5:56 PM

Simple fix: Go and ride yer bikes!

On 2017-02-05 17:02, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
> Easy. Change it to "Recreation."
>
> Evolve.
>
> If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road
> anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as
> radonniering, bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel
> Enduros, then what are you going to do about it.
>
> Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide
> a beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not
> competitively inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of
> racers.
>
> It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into
> podiums and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our
> current 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a
> couch and playing video games; it could be that we are progressing
> from placing value in "competition" to placing value in "competence."
> And that is actually a good thing.
>
> On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA
> wrote:
>
>> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING
>> Association. Just pointing that out.
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA
>> wrote:
>>
>> Evolve.
>>
>> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about
>> that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't
>> find this trend such a problem.
>>
>> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word
>> "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's
>> a good shift.
>>
>> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the
>> U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging
>> population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies
>> point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and
>> 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for
>> recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million
>> cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are
>> impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users
>> who can measure their performances against professional and fellow
>> amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry
>> fee."
>>
>> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the
>> weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm
>> massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route
>> change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a
>> reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned,
>> cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup
>> station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads!
>> Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying
>> over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>>
>> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel
>> (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you
>> offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women���s CAT
>> 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women
>> who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are
>> road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a
>> future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one
>> of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.
>>
>> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in
>> Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes
>> every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not
>> in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a
>> party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So
>> apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt
>> biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have
>> multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads
>> while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny
>> day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring
>> in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give
>> them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer
>> here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more
>> money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than
>> golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>>
>> b
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA
>> wrote:
>>
>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is
>> declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it.
>> For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this
>> email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive
>> conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and
>> background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to
>> fix it however.
>>
>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
>> Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting
>> on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We
>> had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb
>> championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help
>> of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in
>> 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots
>> events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country
>> like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national
>> championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals,
>> Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals,
>> Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few
>> things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the
>> market.
>>
>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing.
>> Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you
>> are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money,
>> your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and
>> occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races
>> in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their
>> establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay
>> at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant,
>> or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not
>> supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period.
>> Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by
>> sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of
>> paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as
>> registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>
>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In
>> some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road
>> race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you
>> ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of
>> new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the
>> existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand
>> new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4
>> mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full
>> fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new
>> road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue
>> to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no
>> to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes
>> Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the
>> Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer
>> events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future.
>> Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this
>> year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to
>> try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling
>> Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue
>> Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine
>> Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on
>> Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of
>> you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
>> race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible.
>> If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put
>> on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in
>> downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We
>> had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much)
>> and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the
>> math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on
>> the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally
>> increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is
>> literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding
>> all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage,
>> barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>
>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling
>> us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing
>> to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A
>> number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on
>> insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to
>> risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared
>> to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way
>> higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40
>> medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now
>> compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia
>> Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical
>> occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.
>> By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating
>> compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>
>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of
>> race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are
>> professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what
>> they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving
>> back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a
>> strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because
>> they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country.
>> Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting
>> medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families
>> etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons
>> we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use
>> the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to
>> write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race
>> promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated
>> and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going
>> through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts
>> of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts.
>> It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses
>> have definitely factored into my decision to move away from
>> promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but
>> why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>
>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my
>> humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our
>> society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to
>> inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude
>> now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We
>> would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and
>> Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer
>> generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor
>> physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of
>> riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure
>> long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That
>> cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks
>> (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year
>> olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters
>> racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out
>> in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit
>> their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up
>> to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to
>> entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other
>> electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in
>> nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached
>> wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in
>> these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the
>> number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago.
>> I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and
>> Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>
>>
>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once
>> again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before
>> he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies
>> (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he
>> was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg
>> was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour
>> a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a
>> fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no
>> longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with
>> Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people.
>> You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try
>> the sport.
>>
>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude
>> that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed.
>> All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this
>> conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on
>> the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the
>> entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed
>> prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for
>> the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade
>> Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in
>> nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would
>> take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that
>> early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will
>> admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers
>> and in crappy weather.
>>
>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them
>> in the best time of year for the region and really never paid
>> attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the
>> best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the
>> Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in
>> April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want
>> to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling
>> Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been
>> about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look
>> at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this
>> continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles,
>> High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder
>> in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up
>> in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters
>> will chase early season participation especially with numbers being
>> so low now days.
>>
>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying
>> to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind
>> the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of
>> you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember
>> hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Chad
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra [1]
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
>> --
>>
>> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>>
>> Design and Research
>>
>> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>>
>> Vancouver Public Schools
>>
>> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>>
>> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>>
>> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more
>> human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra [1]
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra [1]
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
> --
>
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
> Design and Research
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>
> Vancouver Public Schools
>
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more
> human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>
>
> Links:
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>
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Salvatore Collura

February 5, 2017 at 5:52 PM

I'm getting super excited for the first Fondo Criterium!

ps- everyone gets to decide what lap they want to be on

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 5, 2017, at 5:02 PM, bridget hildreth > wrote:

Easy. Change it to "Recreation."

Evolve.

If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering, bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then what are you going to do about it.

Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.

It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current 40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and playing video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value in "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a good thing.

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA > wrote:
Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA > wrote:

Evolve.

Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.

I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.

Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."

Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.

What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.

The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.

b

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA > wrote:
Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.

For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.

Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.

Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.

When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.

My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!

Sincerely,
Chad

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Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

--
Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

_______________________________________________
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obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

--
Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist


bridget hildreth

February 5, 2017 at 5:02 PM

Easy. Change it to "Recreation."

Evolve.

If road racing is in decline because people aren't into racing on road
anymore, and are more into other diverse activities, such as radonniering,
bikepacking, back country, multi-day challenges, Gravel Enduros, then what
are you going to do about it.

Build, provide "Events" that are more inclusive of non-racers, provide a
beautiful course, a safe venue for the enthusiast who is not competitively
inclined and I guess also for that declining subset of racers.

It could be that we have an upcoming generation that is less into podiums
and collecting really bad metal jewelry made in China than our current
40-something year-olds. It is not that they are sitting on a couch and
playing video games; it could be that we are progressing from placing value
in "competition" to placing value in "competence." And that is actually a
good thing.

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA <
obra@list.obra.org> wrote:

> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING
> Association. Just pointing that out.
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA
> wrote:
>
> Evolve.
>
> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about
> that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find
> this trend such a problem.
>
> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word
> "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good
> shift.
>
> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on
> healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result,
> more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase
> in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are
> doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7
> million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are
> impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who
> can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs
> alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."
>
> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather
> was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The
> promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh
> weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake
> pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it!
> How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really
> piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real
> country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>
> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of
> 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I
> added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would
> see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of
> the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an
> unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And
> seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at
> present.
>
> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in
> Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every
> year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by
> any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and
> "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening
> elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like
> Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back
> country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a
> sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring
> in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k
> of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these
> new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting
> communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have
> to recognize it.
>
> b
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA > wrote:
>
>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is
>> declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For
>> the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and
>> best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So
>> here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone
>> to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>>
>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
>> Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on
>> races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had
>> humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships
>> as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray,
>> were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have
>> run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some
>> of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling
>> Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt.
>> Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur
>> Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few
>> things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>>
>>
>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races
>> are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing
>> over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local
>> races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
>> sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will
>> shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So
>> when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local
>> sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing
>> the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.
>> Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by
>> sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck
>> from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees
>> did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>
>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
>> areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course
>> today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
>> didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
>> major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last
>> time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
>> area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division,
>> I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think
>> of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads
>> continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said
>> no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest
>> Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood
>> National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and
>> there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National
>> Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
>> between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood
>> Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.
>> I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike
>> course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett
>> Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!
>> All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
>> race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we
>> still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has
>> sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two
>> year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship
>> money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of
>> you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost
>> $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in
>> downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a
>> mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago
>> when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans,
>> signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>
>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us
>> with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to
>> eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of
>> permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance
>> certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is
>> one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or
>> any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large
>> criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them
>> resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own
>> and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have
>> seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and
>> sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating
>> compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>
>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
>> organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
>> organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they
>> love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in
>> the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting
>> on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest,
>> televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering
>> how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and
>> support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's
>> and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.
>> I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to
>> write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I
>> ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed
>> you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more
>> discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and
>> get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and
>> those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
>> away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it
>> but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>
>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my
>> humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as
>> a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive
>> entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill
>> was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy
>> jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming
>> onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it
>> embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a
>> huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited
>> to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.
>> That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry
>> for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came
>> out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there
>> was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now
>> retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There
>> is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth
>> as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality,
>> and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment
>> in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached
>> wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these
>> sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids
>> turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this
>> reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland
>> may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>
>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once
>> again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was
>> a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
>> winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
>> sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
>> mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That
>> is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national
>> audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of
>> cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and
>> inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
>> people to try the sport.
>>
>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
>> weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need
>> to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in
>> 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April
>> 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
>> Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
>> huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in
>> June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more
>> fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that
>> would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that
>> early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is
>> really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy
>> weather.
>>
>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in
>> the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to
>> trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality
>> experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom
>> Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is
>> sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The
>> Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic
>> in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for
>> participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this
>> year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April
>> in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel
>> Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up
>> in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will
>> chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now
>> days.
>>
>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
>> insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
>> putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to
>> your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther
>> in getting the races you want!
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Chad
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>
>
> Design and Research
>
>
> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>
> Vancouver Public Schools
>
> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>
> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>
>
>
>
>
> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human."
> ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>

--
Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human."
~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist


Marek Litinsky

February 5, 2017 at 4:59 PM

But she's right on most of her points. And while majority of folk racing "grinders" and "fondos" are doing it for fun only (same as any "serious" OBRA cat 6, and really there is nothing wrong with that, unless you require special category and imaginary medal for this fun) the front groups of all those races ride very hard and those efforts are worth all that price money. Real racing. Dirty Kanza was won by Ted King. As a forever amateur I'd love to have a chance to line up with dude like that. He's not gonna come for Dirty Circles but might show up for some huge grinder. Just driving home merging of these two worlds of fun new popular racing and our special pretentious category system races. Are we really that inclusive and welcoming as we'd like to think when we separate and segregate every group of racers into way too many fields?

Bridget is right, we should evolve.

> On Feb 5, 2017, at 4:29 PM, Salvatore Collura via OBRA wrote:
>
> Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA wrote:
>
>> Evolve.
>>
>> Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.
>>
>> I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.
>>
>> Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."
>>
>> Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.
>>
>> What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.
>>
>> The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.
>>
>> b
>>
>>
>>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>>> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>>>
>>> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>>>
>>> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>>>
>>> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>>>
>>> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>>>
>>> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>>>
>>> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>>>
>>> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>>>
>>> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>>>
>>> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>>>
>>> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>>>
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Chad
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OBRA mailing list
>>> obra@list.obra.org
>>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.
>>
>>
>> Design and Research
>>
>> TOSA Assessment Specialist
>> Vancouver Public Schools
>> 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661
>> PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737
>>
>>
>>
>> "The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OBRA mailing list
>> obra@list.obra.org
>> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
>> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> _______________________________________________
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> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


Salvatore Collura

February 5, 2017 at 4:29 PM

Bridget, the name of the organization is the Oregon Bicycle RACING Association. Just pointing that out.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 5, 2017, at 12:40 PM, bridget hildreth via OBRA > wrote:

Evolve.

Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find this trend such a problem.

I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word "celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good shift.

Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result, more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7 million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."

Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.

What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of 7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at present.

The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year. Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and "racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have to recognize it.

b

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA > wrote:
Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.

For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.

Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.

Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.

When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.

My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!

Sincerely,
Chad

_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

--
Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human." ~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org


bridget hildreth

February 5, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Evolve.

Cycling is up, road racing is down. I don't see what is so bad about
that...people are now buying 2 bikes to every car...I really don't find
this trend such a problem.

I have always had big admiration for Mike Ripley who uses the word
"celebration" more than race when he is announcing at events. It's a good
shift.

Bouchard-Hall wrote in 2014: "There is an increased focus in the U.S. on
healthy lifestyles and sports that suit the aging population. As a result,
more people are riding bikes. Some studies point to a 30 percent increase
in cyclists between 2012 and 2014...the majority of people riding bikes are
doing so for recreation. Only 60,000 are registered to race out of some 7
million cycling enthusiasts. Social fitness apps such as Strava are
impacting racing because that platform "now has over a million users who
can measure their performances against professional and fellow amateurs
alike without ever having to attend a race or pay an entry fee."

Just returned from Super G Cascadia in Capitol Forest where the weather was
lousy, the course was legitimate, and the enthusiasm massive. The promoter
put on a stellar event in spite of route change, harshest of harsh weather
conditions which also makes for a reputable challenge. Our brake pads
melted, bottom brackets groaned, cables froze, and, hey, we loved it! How
about locating a hot soup station in the middle of a Prime to really piss
off the racer-heads! Real conditions for a real challenge in real country
trumps worrying over dry pavement for road racing any day.

What did you tell me, Chad, when I questioned the lack of gravel (total of
7 miles) in the women's so-named Gravel Roubaix course you offered: "If I
added a ton more gravel to the current women’s CAT 4/5 race course we would
see a huge reduction in the number of women who sign up. The majority of
the women that come to this race are road racers. " Well, that was an
unfortunate assumption. Not a future-ready mindset by any means. And
seriously underestimating one of the largest growing cycling consumers at
present.

The largest Mt. Bike purse in the world this year will be awarded in Carson
City, Nevada. Dirty Kanza sells out in a matter of minutes every year.
Rebecca's Private Idaho and Grinduro in Quincy are not in decline by any
means, maybe because they know how to throw a party for enthusiasts and
"racing" is the after-thought. So apparently there IS success happening
elsewhere. In fact cycling/mt biking tour companies from other states, like
Utah, will have multi-day tours IN our state, on our trails and back
country roads while we sit on the couch in the off-season and wait for a
sunny day, and while their backyards are under snow! The Strava boys bring
in a private jet to Oakridge to ride OUR trails since we can give them 17k
of descent in a day, 40k in two. We've got a lot to offer here for these
new kind of cycling enthusiasts who will spend more money while visiting
communities while vacationing and riding than golfers spend. We just have
to recognize it.

b

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA
wrote:

> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining,
> why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last
> month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
> out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is
> my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come
> to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
> Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on
> races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had
> humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships
> as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray,
> were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have
> run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some
> of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling
> Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt.
> Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur
> Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few
> things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races
> are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing
> over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local
> races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
> sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will
> shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So
> when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local
> sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing
> the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.
> Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by
> sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck
> from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees
> did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
> areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course
> today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
> didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
> major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last
> time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
> area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division,
> I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think
> of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads
> continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said
> no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest
> Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood
> National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and
> there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National
> Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
> between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood
> Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.
> I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike
> course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett
> Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!
> All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
> race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we
> still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has
> sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two
> year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship
> money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of
> you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost
> $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in
> downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a
> mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago
> when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans,
> signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with
> frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate
> caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting
> agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
> just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the
> riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
> endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium
> you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in
> broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate,
> the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7
> medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.
> By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a
> large crit that has 400.
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
> organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
> organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they
> love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in
> the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting
> on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest,
> televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering
> how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and
> support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's
> and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.
> I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to
> write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I
> ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed
> you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more
> discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and
> get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and
> those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
> away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it
> but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble
> theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a
> whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive
> entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill
> was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy
> jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming
> onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it
> embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a
> huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited
> to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.
> That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry
> for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came
> out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there
> was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now
> retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There
> is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth
> as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality,
> and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment
> in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached
> wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these
> sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids
> turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this
> reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland
> may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again
> Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a
> slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
> winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
> sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
> mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That
> is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national
> audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of
> cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and
> inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
> people to try the sport.
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
> weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need
> to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in
> 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April
> 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
> Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
> huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in
> June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more
> fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that
> would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that
> early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is
> really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy
> weather.
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in
> the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to
> trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality
> experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom
> Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is
> sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The
> Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic
> in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for
> participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this
> year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April
> in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel
> Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up
> in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will
> chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now
> days.
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
> insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
> putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to
> your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther
> in getting the races you want!
>
> Sincerely,
> Chad
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>
>

--
Bridget Hildreth, M.F.A.

Design and Research

TOSA Assessment Specialist

Vancouver Public Schools

2901 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA 98661

PO Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98668-8737

"The best technology gets out of the way and allows one to be more human."
~ Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist


Norrene Godfrey

January 26, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Thank you, Chad for your openness and candor on this topic and sharing with us your history and knowledge. It's truly insightful, but I do want to point out one small thing. Community involvement.

I also think a decline in member retention / new members /events, also fall on all OBRA member's shoulders; we haven't been as close as a community as we have in the past. In the past, we had a motto of "OBRA TID" type attitude, [OBRA Till I Die], times change, we grow complacent, things are good until they're not. This is our wake up call, to find a way to get the ole ORBA TID momentum back and decide as a collective group how we want to move forward.

A few people doing the majority of the work isn't sustainable, and we are starting to see the impact of burnout as well as the other items you listed below.

I know this community will bounce back and move forward, but first, we need to vent all the problems then get to work fixing them. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true.

I would encourage people to show up at Saturday's annual meeting with ideas in hand so that we can make OBRA move forward.

OBRA Join OBRAScheduleResults
State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events
��� Newer OBRA Chat Older ���
Rick Johnson
January 26, 2017 at 11:38 AM Reply

Well spoken Chad. Thank you.

Rick

Rick Johnson

Bend, Oregon

On 1/26/2017 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via
OBRA wrote:

Ok so a lot has been going round and round about
why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what
can be done about it.������ For the last month I have been
contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my
humble opinion while creating productive conversation.������ So here
is my attempt and giving insight and background.������ It is up to
everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company
Breakaway Promotions.������ My name is Chad Sperry and our company
has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for
the last 20 years.������ We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth
with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event,
were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to
pull off a successful event back in 1997.������ Since then we have
run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short
Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of
Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship
events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate
Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior
Nationals, Para Nationals etc.������ So I have learned a few things
over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the
market. ������

For starters lets talk about races and why they are
disappearing.������ Races are not solely funded by your
registration fees.������ Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and
offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races
are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
sponsor.������ Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that
you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you
come to the race.������ So when you do NOT stay at the official
race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at
the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not
supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.������
Period.������ Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50%
covered by sponsors.������ I have always maintained that if I
wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through
finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the
cost of the race.������

Putting on races has gotten very very hard ������in the last 5
years.������ In some areas down right impossible.������ Finding a large
single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn.������
Seriously.������ Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of
limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major
population growth tying up all the existing roads.������ When was
the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being
built and paved in your area.������ Not talking the 1/4 mile piece
of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged
several miles road.������ I personally can not think of a new road
in the past 20 years!������ So as our existing paved roads continue
to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and
said no to permits.������ This is not just your local roads but
also includes Forest Service and state roads as well.������ For the
past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new
event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open
that up in the near future.������ Deschutes National Forest is
implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
between July and September. ������ So if I were to try and create
the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today
it would be impossible.������ I can remember doing the Blue Lake
Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine
Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on
Interstate 84.������ We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!������
All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar
story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no
renders it impossible.������ If we still have access to roads and
city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed.������ To
put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's
ago cost over $40,000 to put on.������ We had $30,000 in
sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500
in entry fees.������ Some of you smart accountants just did the
math.������ That means I personally lost $7500.������ The cost of
putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown
Bend has literally increased by 10 times.������ No that is not a
mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on
10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required
engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours,
detours, etc. ������

Another big one is liability.������ Our sue happy country is
strangling us with frivolous law suits.������ New legislation in
Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard
release waivers useless.������ A number of permitting agencies are
now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
just plain denying event permits do to risk. ������ Our sport is
one of the riskiest sports out there.������ Compared to running,
triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher
risk of injury.������ At a large criterium you can expect 30-40
medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken
bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and
operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years
we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and
small abrasions and sprains.������ By the way the marathon has 1500
people a year participating compared to a large crit that has
400. ������

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races.
������90% of race organizers are volunteers.������ The remaining 10%,
who are professional race organizers, live very very
modestly.������ They do what they do because they love the sport
and have a huge heart for giving back.������ Only one company in
the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary
for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting
on the largest, televised, races in the country.������ Everyone
else is scraping by.������ Wondering how to pay the mounting
medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
families etc.������ If it was not for my company's half marathon's
and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy
year's ago.������ I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit.������ So
next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email
intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please
reconsider.������ If you think your frustrated and disappointed you
have no idea what that poor promoter is going through.������
Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of
time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your
efforts.������ It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind
of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
away from promoting more bike races.������ I have a tough skin and
can take it but why should I when there is little to no
reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline.������
Here is my humble theory.������ Actually I have two theories.������ The
first is our society as a whole.������ We are seeing more and more
people moving to inactive entertainment.������ Back when I was a
kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX
bikes.������ We lived for that.������ We would build sketchy jumps and
bomb down crazy trails.������ Nintendos and Atari's were just
coming onto the market.������ The baby boomer generation and the
one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion
and excitement.������ We have seen a huge portion of riders who in
the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long
painful races.������ The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.������
That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the
ranks (sorry for the pun).������ In the early 90's they were the
25-40 year olds that came out in droves.������ In the 2000's they
were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category
but still coming out in force.������ That group is now retiring and
moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's.������ There
is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place.������
Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with
video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed
to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. ������ I have 4
boys three are in high school.������ I have coached wrestling, and
cross country for the past 12 years.������ Numbers in these sports
have seen a continued decline.������ We see only half the number of
kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago.������ I am
taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and
Central Oregon.������ Portland may be different, but I kind of
doubt it.������

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong.������ Yeah I
know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime
bag.������ But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero.������
He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating
Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has
had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
mainstream).������ When he raced the tour a nation watched and
followed.������ That is gone.������ Now coverage is a fraction of what
it was to the national audience.������ There is no longer a
professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom
Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring
people.������ You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather.������ To
conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a
little skewed.������ All you need to do is look back at historical
data to come to this conclusion.������ Back in 2005 there were no
less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd
(there are now only 12 events for the entire year!).������ In fact
all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March
13th!!!������ That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt.
Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade
Cycling Classic in late July!������ Granted it is way more fun to
race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but
that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to
NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin
racing.������ Which I will admit is really hard to do after
investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather. ������

When it has come to our all of our events we have always
placed them in the best time of year for the region and really
never paid attention to trends or rider numbers.������ Our focus
was providing the best quality experience for our
participants.������ So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling
Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather
is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in
the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in
June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about
the best conditions and weather for participants.������ If you look
at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will
see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in
The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt.
Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade
Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.������ That said I
completely understand why promoters will chase early season
participation especially with numbers being so low now days.������

My sincere apologies for the length of this email.������ I am
not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks
a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words
of wisdom to all of you.������ When it comes to your local race
promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in
getting the races you want!

Sincerely,

Chad

_______________________________________________

OBRA mailing list

obra@list.obra.org

http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra

Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

Candi Murray
January 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM Reply
Great great note
Candi

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 26, 2017, at 11:27 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>
> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>
> Sincerely,
> Chad
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org

Chad Sperry
January 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM Reply
Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining,
why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last
month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is
my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come
to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on
races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had
humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships
as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray,
were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have
run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some
of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling
Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt.
Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur
Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few
things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.

For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races
are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing
over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local
races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will
shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So
when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local
sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing
the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.
Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by
sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck
from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees
did not 100% cover the cost of the race.

Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course
today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last
time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division,
I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think
of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads
continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said
no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest
Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood
National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and
there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National
Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood
Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.
I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike
course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett
Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!
All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we
still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has
sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two
year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship
money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of
you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost
$7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in
downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a
mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago
when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans,
signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.

Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with
frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate
caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting
agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the
riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium
you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in
broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate,
the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7
medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.
By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a
large crit that has 400.

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they
love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in
the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting
on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest,
televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering
how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and
support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's
and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.
I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to
write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I
ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed
you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more
discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and
get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and
those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it
but why should I when there is little to no reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble
theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a
whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive
entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill
was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy
jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming
onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it
embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a
huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited
to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.
That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry
for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came
out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there
was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now
retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There
is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth
as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality,
and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment
in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached
wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these
sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids
turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this
reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland
may be different, but I kind of doubt it.

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again
Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a
slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That
is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national
audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of
cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and
inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need
to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in
2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April
3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in
June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more
fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that
would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that
early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is
really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy
weather.

When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the
best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends
or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for
our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and
Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are
moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt.
Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has
been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look
at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this
continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High
Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up
at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.
That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season
participation especially with numbers being so low now days.

My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to
your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther
in getting the races you want!

Sincerely,
Chad

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Chad Sperry

January 26, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Thank you Kenji!

One more thing I would like to mention is that I just recently stepped down
from my position on the USA Cycling Road Commission Board were I served a
two year term. Our job on the board was the state of cycling for the
nation, such as rule changes and how to get more people into the sport. I
will tell everyone whole heatedly this is a National trend. To be honest
OBRA has weathered this storm better than nearly any other state. We were
having these very conversations on the board over a year ago.

Chad

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:53 AM, T. Kenji Sugahara wrote:

> Thanks for sending that out Chad- very well written and I can see you
> put a lot of thought into it. It is truly appreciated.
>
> Chad has been one of the pillars of Oregon racing. He's been in for a
> long time and like Candi, Mike, Terri and others- have a great
> perspective.
>
> Their perspective is the context of the long game- and should be
> listened too. We go through cycles and it's up to all of us to adapt.
>
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA
> wrote:
> > Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is
> declining,
> > why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last
> > month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
> > out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here
> is my
> > attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come
> to
> > conclusion on how to fix it however.
> >
> > For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
> Promotions.
> > My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in
> Oregon
> > and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings
> > cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first
> > event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull
> off
> > a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from
> > small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in
> > the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+
> national
> > championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals,
> Collegiate
> > Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals,
> Para
> > Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years
> about
> > races, rider behaviors, and the market.
> >
> > For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races
> are
> > not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over
> > 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local
> races
> > are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor.
> > Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat,
> or
> > stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do
> NOT
> > stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant,
> or
> > shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not
> supporting
> > the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time
> > funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always
> > maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to
> come
> > through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the
> cost of
> > the race.
> >
> > Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
> > areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race
> course
> > today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
> > didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
> > major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the
> last
> > time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
> > area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing
> division, I
> > am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think
> of a
> > new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue
> to
> > get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to
> permits.
> > This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and
> state
> > roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has
> > allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to
> open
> > that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing
> new
> > restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September.
> > So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade
> > Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the
> Blue
> > Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive
> > through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We
> were
> > actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing
> 20+
> > years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because
> > traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and
> city
> > streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the
> > Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over
> $40,000 to
> > put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this
> > much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did
> the
> > math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the
> > Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally
> increased
> > by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times
> what
> > is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees,
> required
> > engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
> >
> > Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us
> with
> > frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate
> caps
> > and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting
> > agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
> > just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the
> > riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
> > endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium
> you
> > can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken
> > bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the
> > Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical
> > occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the
> > way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large
> > crit that has 400.
> >
> > Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
> > organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
> > organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they
> love
> > the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the
> > country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on
> > bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest,
> televised,
> > races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to
> pay
> > the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
> > families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and
> marathons
> > we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the
> runs
> > to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that
> > smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you
> please
> > reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no
> idea
> > what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging
> than
> > to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed
> for
> > your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of
> > responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from
> > promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why
> > should I when there is little to no reward.
> >
> > Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my
> humble
> > theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a
> whole.
> > We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment.
> Back
> > when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our
> BMX
> > bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down
> crazy
> > trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The
> baby
> > boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor
> > physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders
> who
> > in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful
> > races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of
> > riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In
> the
> > early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the
> > 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category
> but
> > still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as
> they
> > hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up
> to
> > fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain
> > themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as
> > opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4
> boys
> > three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country
> for
> > the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued
> decline.
> > We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did
> back 20
> > years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge
> > and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
> >
> > The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once
> again
> > Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a
> > slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
> > winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard
> the
> > sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
> > mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed.
> That is
> > gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national
> audience.
> > There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par
> > with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people.
> You
> > can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
> >
> > Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
> > weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you
> need
> > to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back
> in
> > 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April
> 3rd
> > (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
> > Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
> > huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in
> June
> > and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more
> fun to
> > race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would
> > take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early
> > March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is
> really
> > hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy
> weather.
> >
> > When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in
> the
> > best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to
> trends
> > or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience
> for
> > our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic
> and
> > Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are
> > moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the
> Mt.
> > Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has
> > been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you
> look at
> > the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this
> continued
> > trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert
> Gravel
> > Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation
> and
> > Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I
> > completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation
> > especially with numbers being so low now days.
> >
> > My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
> > insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current
> of
> > putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes
> to
> > your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot
> farther in
> > getting the races you want!
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Chad
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > OBRA mailing list
> > obra@list.obra.org
> > http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> > Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Kenji Sugahara
> Executive Director
> Oregon Bicycle Racing Association
> Phone: 503-278-5550
> http://www.obra.org
>


T. Kenji Sugahara

January 26, 2017 at 11:53 AM

Thanks for sending that out Chad- very well written and I can see you
put a lot of thought into it. It is truly appreciated.

Chad has been one of the pillars of Oregon racing. He's been in for a
long time and like Candi, Mike, Terri and others- have a great
perspective.

Their perspective is the context of the long game- and should be
listened too. We go through cycles and it's up to all of us to adapt.

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA
wrote:
> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining,
> why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last
> month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
> out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my
> attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to
> conclusion on how to fix it however.
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions.
> My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon
> and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings
> cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first
> event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off
> a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from
> small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in
> the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national
> championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate
> Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para
> Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about
> races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are
> not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over
> 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races
> are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor.
> Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or
> stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT
> stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or
> shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting
> the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time
> funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always
> maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come
> through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of
> the race.
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
> areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course
> today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
> didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
> major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last
> time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
> area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I
> am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a
> new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to
> get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits.
> This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state
> roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has
> allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open
> that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new
> restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September.
> So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade
> Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue
> Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive
> through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were
> actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+
> years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because
> traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city
> streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the
> Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to
> put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this
> much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the
> math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the
> Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased
> by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what
> is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required
> engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with
> frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps
> and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting
> agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
> just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the
> riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
> endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you
> can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken
> bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the
> Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical
> occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the
> way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large
> crit that has 400.
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
> organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
> organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love
> the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the
> country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on
> bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised,
> races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay
> the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
> families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons
> we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs
> to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that
> smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please
> reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea
> what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than
> to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for
> your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of
> responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from
> promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why
> should I when there is little to no reward.
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble
> theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole.
> We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back
> when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX
> bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy
> trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby
> boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor
> physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who
> in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful
> races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of
> riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the
> early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the
> 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but
> still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they
> hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to
> fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain
> themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as
> opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys
> three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for
> the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline.
> We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20
> years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge
> and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again
> Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a
> slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
> winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
> sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
> mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is
> gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience.
> There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par
> with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You
> can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
> weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need
> to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in
> 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd
> (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
> Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
> huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June
> and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to
> race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would
> take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early
> March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really
> hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the
> best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends
> or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for
> our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and
> Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are
> moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt.
> Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has
> been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at
> the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued
> trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel
> Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and
> Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I
> completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation
> especially with numbers being so low now days.
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
> insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
> putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to
> your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in
> getting the races you want!
>
> Sincerely,
> Chad
>
> _______________________________________________
> OBRA mailing list
> obra@list.obra.org
> http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
> Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org
>

--
Kenji Sugahara
Executive Director
Oregon Bicycle Racing Association
Phone: 503-278-5550
http://www.obra.org


kl_grah..@comcast.net

January 26, 2017 at 11:50 AM

Thank you Chad, very well said and need.

Kenny


Sent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App


-----Original Message-----

From: obra@list.obra.org
To: obra@list.obra.org
Cc:
Sent: 2017-01-26 11:27:43 AM
Subject: [OBRA Chat] State of Cycling, Its Decline, and Events

Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it.  For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation.  So here is my attempt and giving insight and background.  It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.


For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions.  My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years.  We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997.  Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc.  So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.  



For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing.  Races are not solely funded by your registration fees.  Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor.  Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race.  So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.  Period.  Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors.  I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race. 



Putting on races has gotten very very hard  in the last 5 years.  In some areas down right impossible.  Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn.  Seriously.  Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads.  When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area.  Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road.  I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years!  So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits.  This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well.  For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future.  Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September.   So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.  I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84.  We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!  All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible.  If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed.  To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on.  We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees.  Some of you smart accountants just did the math.  That means I personally lost $7500.  The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times.  No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.  



Another big one is liability.  Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits.  New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless.  A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk.   Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there.  Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury.  At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.  By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.  



Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races.  90% of race organizers are volunteers.  The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly.  They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back.  Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country.  Everyone else is scraping by.  Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc.  If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.  I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit.  So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider.  If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through.  Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts.  It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races.  I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.



Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline.  Here is my humble theory.  Actually I have two theories.  The first is our society as a whole.  We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment.  Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes.  We lived for that.  We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails.  Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market.  The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement.  We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races.  The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.  That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun).  In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves.  In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force.  That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's.  There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place.  Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature.   I have 4 boys three are in high school.  I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years.  Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline.  We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago.  I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon.  Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it. 



The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong.  Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag.  But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero.  He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream).  When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed.  That is gone.  Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience.  There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people.  You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.



Final thought is early season races and bad weather.  To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed.  All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion.  Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!).  In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!!  That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July!  Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing.  Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.  



When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers.  Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants.  So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants.  If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.  That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days. 



My sincere apologies for the length of this email.  I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you.  When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!



Sincerely,

Chad


_______________________________________________
OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org





Rick Johnson

January 26, 2017 at 11:38 AM





Well spoken Chad. Thank you.


Rick


Rick Johnson

Bend, Oregon


On 1/26/2017 11:18 AM, Chad Sperry via
OBRA wrote:



Ok so a lot has been going round and round about
why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what
can be done about it.�� For the last month I have been
contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my
humble opinion while creating productive conversation.�� So here
is my attempt and giving insight and background.�� It is up to
everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.




For starters some of you may not know me or my company
Breakaway Promotions.�� My name is Chad Sperry and our company
has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for
the last 20 years.�� We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth
with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event,
were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to
pull off a successful event back in 1997.�� Since then we have
run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short
Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of
Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship
events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate
Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior
Nationals, Para Nationals etc.�� So I have learned a few things
over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the
market. ��





For starters lets talk about races and why they are
disappearing.�� Races are not solely funded by your
registration fees.�� Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and
offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races
are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
sponsor.�� Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that
you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you
come to the race.�� So when you do NOT stay at the official
race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at
the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not
supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.��
Period.�� Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50%
covered by sponsors.�� I have always maintained that if I
wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through
finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the
cost of the race.��





Putting on races has gotten very very hard ��in the last 5
years.�� In some areas down right impossible.�� Finding a large
single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn.��
Seriously.�� Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of
limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major
population growth tying up all the existing roads.�� When was
the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being
built and paved in your area.�� Not talking the 1/4 mile piece
of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged
several miles road.�� I personally can not think of a new road
in the past 20 years!�� So as our existing paved roads continue
to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and
said no to permits.�� This is not just your local roads but
also includes Forest Service and state roads as well.�� For the
past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new
event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open
that up in the near future.�� Deschutes National Forest is
implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
between July and September. �� So if I were to try and create
the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today
it would be impossible.�� I can remember doing the Blue Lake
Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine
Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on
Interstate 84.�� We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!��
All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar
story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no
renders it impossible.�� If we still have access to roads and
city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed.�� To
put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's
ago cost over $40,000 to put on.�� We had $30,000 in
sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500
in entry fees.�� Some of you smart accountants just did the
math.�� That means I personally lost $7500.�� The cost of
putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown
Bend has literally increased by 10 times.�� No that is not a
mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on
10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required
engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours,
detours, etc. ��





Another big one is liability.�� Our sue happy country is
strangling us with frivolous law suits.�� New legislation in
Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard
release waivers useless.�� A number of permitting agencies are
now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
just plain denying event permits do to risk. �� Our sport is
one of the riskiest sports out there.�� Compared to running,
triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher
risk of injury.�� At a large criterium you can expect 30-40
medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken
bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and
operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years
we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and
small abrasions and sprains.�� By the way the marathon has 1500
people a year participating compared to a large crit that has
400. ��





Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races.
��90% of race organizers are volunteers.�� The remaining 10%,
who are professional race organizers, live very very
modestly.�� They do what they do because they love the sport
and have a huge heart for giving back.�� Only one company in
the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary
for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting
on the largest, televised, races in the country.�� Everyone
else is scraping by.�� Wondering how to pay the mounting
medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their
families etc.�� If it was not for my company's half marathon's
and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy
year's ago.�� I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit.�� So
next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email
intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please
reconsider.�� If you think your frustrated and disappointed you
have no idea what that poor promoter is going through.��
Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of
time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your
efforts.�� It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind
of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
away from promoting more bike races.�� I have a tough skin and
can take it but why should I when there is little to no
reward.





Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline.��
Here is my humble theory.�� Actually I have two theories.�� The
first is our society as a whole.�� We are seeing more and more
people moving to inactive entertainment.�� Back when I was a
kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX
bikes.�� We lived for that.�� We would build sketchy jumps and
bomb down crazy trails.�� Nintendos and Atari's were just
coming onto the market.�� The baby boomer generation and the
one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion
and excitement.�� We have seen a huge portion of riders who in
the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long
painful races.�� The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.��
That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the
ranks (sorry for the pun).�� In the early 90's they were the
25-40 year olds that came out in droves.�� In the 2000's they
were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category
but still coming out in force.�� That group is now retiring and
moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's.�� There
is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place.��
Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with
video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed
to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. �� I have 4
boys three are in high school.�� I have coached wrestling, and
cross country for the past 12 years.�� Numbers in these sports
have seen a continued decline.�� We see only half the number of
kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago.�� I am
taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and
Central Oregon.�� Portland may be different, but I kind of
doubt it.��





The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong.�� Yeah I
know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime
bag.�� But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero.��
He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating
Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has
had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
mainstream).�� When he raced the tour a nation watched and
followed.�� That is gone.�� Now coverage is a fraction of what
it was to the national audience.�� There is no longer a
professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom
Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring
people.�� You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
people to try the sport.





Final thought is early season races and bad weather.�� To
conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a
little skewed.�� All you need to do is look back at historical
data to come to this conclusion.�� Back in 2005 there were no
less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd
(there are now only 12 events for the entire year!).�� In fact
all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March
13th!!!�� That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt.
Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade
Cycling Classic in late July!�� Granted it is way more fun to
race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but
that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to
NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin
racing.�� Which I will admit is really hard to do after
investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather. ��





When it has come to our all of our events we have always
placed them in the best time of year for the region and really
never paid attention to trends or rider numbers.�� Our focus
was providing the best quality experience for our
participants.�� So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling
Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather
is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in
the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in
June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about
the best conditions and weather for participants.�� If you look
at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will
see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in
The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt.
Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade
Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.�� That said I
completely understand why promoters will chase early season
participation especially with numbers being so low now days.��





My sincere apologies for the length of this email.�� I am
not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks
a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words
of wisdom to all of you.�� When it comes to your local race
promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in
getting the races you want!





Sincerely,

Chad







_______________________________________________

OBRA mailing list
obra@list.obra.org
http://list.obra.org/mailman/listinfo/obra
Unsubscribe: obra-unsubscribe@list.obra.org





Candi Murray

January 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM

Great great note
Candi

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 26, 2017, at 11:27 AM, Chad Sperry via OBRA wrote:
>
> Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining, why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come to conclusion on how to fix it however.
>
> For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray, were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt. Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.
>
> For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day. Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees did not 100% cover the cost of the race.
>
> Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division, I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible. I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!! All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost $7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans, signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.
>
> Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate, the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7 medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains. By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a large crit that has 400.
>
> Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest, televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago. I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it but why should I when there is little to no reward.
>
> Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed. That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality, and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland may be different, but I kind of doubt it.
>
> The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV, winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring people to try the sport.
>
> Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in 2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April 3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy weather.
>
> When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains. That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season participation especially with numbers being so low now days.
>
> My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther in getting the races you want!
>
> Sincerely,
> Chad
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Chad Sperry

January 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM

Ok so a lot has been going round and round about why cycling is declining,
why events are going away, and what can be done about it. For the last
month I have been contemplating how to best write this email and best lay
out my humble opinion while creating productive conversation. So here is
my attempt and giving insight and background. It is up to everyone to come
to conclusion on how to fix it however.

For starters some of you may not know me or my company Breakaway
Promotions. My name is Chad Sperry and our company has been putting on
races in Oregon and across the country for the last 20 years. We had
humble beginnings cutting our teeth with the OBRA Hillclimb championships
as our very first event, were with the tremendous help of Candi Murray,
were able to pull off a successful event back in 1997. Since then we have
run everything from small grass roots events like Gorge Short Track to some
of the largest in the country like the Tour of Utah, Cascade Cycling
Classic and 20+ national championship events for USA Cycling, such as Mt.
Bike Nationals, Collegiate Road Nationals, Masters Nationals, Amateur
Nationals, Junior Nationals, Para Nationals etc. So I have learned a few
things over the past 20 years about races, rider behaviors, and the market.

For starters lets talk about races and why they are disappearing. Races
are not solely funded by your registration fees. Unless you are drawing
over 300 riders and offering little to no prize money, your favorite local
races are being funded by local sponsors and occasionally a national
sponsor. Local sponsors sponsor bike races in the hopes that you will
shop, eat, or stay at their establishments when you come to the race. So
when you do NOT stay at the official race hotel, eat at the local
sponsoring resaurant, or shop at the local bike shop you are jepordizing
the race by not supporting the businesses that helped you race that day.
Period. Most of the time funding will be between 25%-50% covered by
sponsors. I have always maintained that if I wanted any kind of paycheck
from a race it had to come through finding sponsors as registration fees
did not 100% cover the cost of the race.

Putting on races has gotten very very hard in the last 5 years. In some
areas down right impossible. Finding a large single loop road race course
today is like finding a unicorn. Seriously. Why you ask (or maybe you
didn't) because of limited growth and expansion of new roads coupled with
major population growth tying up all the existing roads. When was the last
time anyone can remember a brand new "road" being built and paved in your
area. Not talking the 1/4 mile piece of road into a new housing division,
I am talking full fledged several miles road. I personally can not think
of a new road in the past 20 years! So as our existing paved roads
continue to get more and more traffic agencies have clamped down and said
no to permits. This is not just your local roads but also includes Forest
Service and state roads as well. For the past 3 years the Mt. Hood
National Forest has allowed NO new event permits for summer events and
there is no plans to open that up in the near future. Deschutes National
Forest is implementing new restrictions just this year for no new events
between July and September. So if I were to try and create the Mt. Hood
Cycling Classic and Cascade Cycling Classic today it would be impossible.
I can remember doing the Blue Lake Triathlon back in 1992 were the bike
course went from Marine Drive through Troutdale and out to the Corbett
Overpass on Interstate 84. We were actually racing our bikes on I-84!!!
All of you that have been racing 20+ years have a similar story about a
race that no longer exists because traffic no renders it impossible. If we
still have access to roads and city streets the cost to put on an event has
sky rocketed. To put on the Stumptown criterium in downtown Portland two
year's ago cost over $40,000 to put on. We had $30,000 in sponsorship
money (which is rare we see this much) and $3500 in entry fees. Some of
you smart accountants just did the math. That means I personally lost
$7500. The cost of putting on the Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium in
downtown Bend has literally increased by 10 times. No that is not a
mistake the cost is literally 10 times what is was to put on 10 years ago
when adding all the new permit fees, required engineered traffic plans,
signage, barricades, man hours, detours, etc.

Another big one is liability. Our sue happy country is strangling us with
frivolous law suits. New legislation in Oregon is pushing to eliminate
caps and render standard release waivers useless. A number of permitting
agencies are now requiring double the limits on insurance certificates or
just plain denying event permits do to risk. Our sport is one of the
riskiest sports out there. Compared to running, triathlons, or any other
endurance sports it has way higher risk of injury. At a large criterium
you can expect 30-40 medical occurrences with 4-5 of them resulting in
broken bones. Now compare that to the large marathon we own and operate,
the Columbia Gorge Marathon, were in the past 8 years we have seen 7
medical occurrences such as, bee stings, and small abrasions and sprains.
By the way the marathon has 1500 people a year participating compared to a
large crit that has 400.

Here is one more thing to consider when discussing races. 90% of race
organizers are volunteers. The remaining 10%, who are professional race
organizers, live very very modestly. They do what they do because they
love the sport and have a huge heart for giving back. Only one company in
the country that I know of is making a strong 6 figure salary for putting
on bike races and that is because they are putting on the largest,
televised, races in the country. Everyone else is scraping by. Wondering
how to pay the mounting medical bills, insurance, feed the kids, and
support their families etc. If it was not for my company's half marathon's
and marathons we own and operate I would have filed bankruptcy year's ago.
I use the runs to subsidize my cycling habit. So next time you decide to
write out that smart ass, snarky email intended to flame a race promoter I
ask you please reconsider. If you think your frustrated and disappointed
you have no idea what that poor promoter is going through. Nothing is more
discouraging than to donate huge amounts of time and stress for peanuts and
get ridiculed for your efforts. It is a lot of times a thankless job and
those kind of responses have definitely factored into my decision to move
away from promoting more bike races. I have a tough skin and can take it
but why should I when there is little to no reward.

Now the big topic is why are we in such a huge decline. Here is my humble
theory. Actually I have two theories. The first is our society as a
whole. We are seeing more and more people moving to inactive
entertainment. Back when I was a kid (yep I am an old dude now) our thrill
was to ride our BMX bikes. We lived for that. We would build sketchy
jumps and bomb down crazy trails. Nintendos and Atari's were just coming
onto the market. The baby boomer generation and the one just following it
embraced this outdoor physical exertion and excitement. We have seen a
huge portion of riders who in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were excited
to endure long painful races. The challenges were embraced and enjoyed.
That cross section of riders we have watched cycle through the ranks (sorry
for the pun). In the early 90's they were the 25-40 year olds that came
out in droves. In the 2000's they were masters racers complaining there
was not a 50+ category but still coming out in force. That group is now
retiring and moving on as they hit their mid to late 50's and 60's. There
is no large group coming up to fill in and take their place. Today's youth
as a whole want to entertain themselves with video games, virtual reality,
and other electronics as opposed to getting out and finding entertainment
in nature. I have 4 boys three are in high school. I have coached
wrestling, and cross country for the past 12 years. Numbers in these
sports have seen a continued decline. We see only half the number of kids
turn out compared to what we did back 20 years ago. I am taking this
reference from my time coaching in the Gorge and Central Oregon. Portland
may be different, but I kind of doubt it.

The final reason for a decline is Lance Armstrong. Yeah I know once again
Lance is the root of all problems and a slime bag. But before he was a
slime bag he was a national hero. He was in movies (Dodgeball!) on TV,
winning Espy's, dating Hollywood stars and he was the biggest billboard the
sport has had probably ever had (Greg was a stud but never made it so
mainstream). When he raced the tour a nation watched and followed. That
is gone. Now coverage is a fraction of what it was to the national
audience. There is no longer a professional athlete in the sport of
cycling on par with Tom Brady or Lebron James that is motivating and
inspiring people. You can not deny the impact that it had in inspiring
people to try the sport.

Final thought is early season races and bad weather. To conclude that
weather is a cause of diminishing numbers is a little skewed. All you need
to do is look back at historical data to come to this conclusion. Back in
2005 there were no less than 12 road events on the calendar before April
3rd (there are now only 12 events for the entire year!). In fact all three
Banana Belt events were completed prior to March 13th!!! That same year
huge numbers turned out for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Elkhorn in
June and the Cascade Cycling Classic in late July! Granted it is way more
fun to race in nice weather than in snow, rain, and wind in March but that
would take serious self control by the average cyclist to NOT attend that
early March race but wait till May to begin racing. Which I will admit is
really hard to do after investing 3 months riding trainers and in crappy
weather.

When it has come to our all of our events we have always placed them in the
best time of year for the region and really never paid attention to trends
or rider numbers. Our focus was providing the best quality experience for
our participants. So whether is was the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic and
Gorge Roubaix in The Dalles in April, when weather is sunny and temps are
moderate (you do NOT want to race in the summer in The Dalles), to the Mt.
Hood Cycling Classic in June to Cascade Cycling Classic in July it is has
been about the best conditions and weather for participants. If you look
at the 5 biking events we are putting on this year you will see this
continued trend with Gorge Gravel Grinder in April in The Dalles, High
Desert Gravel Grinder in June in Bend, Mt. Hood Gravel Grinder in July up
at elevation and Cascade Cycling Classic in July also up in the mountains.
That said I completely understand why promoters will chase early season
participation especially with numbers being so low now days.

My sincere apologies for the length of this email. I am not trying to be
insensitive of peoples time but to give folks a peak behind the current of
putting on races. My last words of wisdom to all of you. When it comes to
your local race promoters always remember hugs not slugs go a lot farther
in getting the races you want!

Sincerely,
Chad