Fun & Expert categories. What's the point ?

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  • Fun & Expert categories. What's the point ?
  • What's the point of having two different categories in a race if there's no ranking system and anyone can choose which category they enter ?
    If there's prizes on offer for winners in each category it just opens people up for accusations of pot hunting.

    My proposal;
    Any Fun rider who beats the slowest Expert rider gets automatically moved up in to the Expert category.
    The winner of the Fun category then becomes the fastest Fun rider who is slower than all the Expert rides.

    I know it wouldn't work because there will always be Expert riders who have punctures or mechanical problems which put them a long way behind even an average Fun rider, but it's better than the current system.

    fatboyslo
    Member

    A much easier solution would be to do what the old Karimor series ( NEMBA ) used to do bitd.

    No prizes for results in Fun, instead they gave out Spot prizes to folks who were having FUN …. only time I have ever won anything in a MTB race and I loved it ….if you wanted to race for a prize you had to enter Sport class and boy was that competitive ….

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Which race series are you looking at?

    At the Gorrick races for example there's:

    Fun: 2 laps
    Open: 3 laps
    Sport: 4 laps
    Expert/Elite: 5 laps

    To force folk who did alright over 2 laps to do 5 would be pretty brutal…

    There'll always be over lap too, it's unavoidable! What if an Expert rider trashes their bike and spends 30 minutes fixing it? What if the conditions deteriorate markedly during the day, and the experts end up on a much worse course than the fun riders?

    Yes, agreed no prizes, in fact the winner of the fun category should covered in foam or some other forfeit 🙂

    njee, I was thinking of Wiggle Enduro 6, and Bristol & Cheddar Bike Fests where it's the same time limit for everyone.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Aah I see. Agree in that case, and the obvious solution is no prizes for fun. Semantics can help too, change 'fun' to 'beginner' and 'expert' to 'enthusiast' for example, would almost certainly see a shift!

    That does work both ways though, Gorrick renamed 'novice' to 'open' then a lot of people complained when Rob Lee raced (and won) the open category, he pointed out quite rightly that open doesn't allude to any degree of ability!

    DWH
    Member

    BC are dumping the Masters category next year and adding an extra category to the Sport/Expert/Elite progression.

    But none of the events you mentioned are BC ranked so it's all a bit academic isn't it?

    Premier Icon coopersport1
    Subscriber

    Enduro 6 is the perfect example, I managed 15th in the 'FUN' category yet transfer my time and number of laps across to the 'ELITE' cat and I would have managed a mighty impressive sounding (for me anyway!) 6th!
    However mate who got 3rd in the fun wouldn't have podiumed in the elite race.

    I'm now confused by all the cats for the British XC at the weekend, age puts me in Masters but that's usually full of ex elite riders! Open sounds ok, Sport? not a clue!? what thats about!

    If I was riding BC events, then getting promoted in to the next category would be the best prize of all.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    BC are dumping the Masters category next year and adding an extra category to the Sport/Expert/Elite progression.

    Really?

    coopersport, I got 10th/17 in the Expert category at Enduro 6. So you were faster than me, but racing in Fun. One of us was in the wrong category, but with no ranking system to go by, which one ?

    I entered the Veteran category when I did a Midland XC race a few weeks ago.
    Veterans was 4 laps, Open 3 and Fun 2. I just wanted a longer race.

    gee
    Member

    I wouldn't get too het up about prizes – at E6 last weekend I got 3rd in the pairs and won a £10 Wiggle voucher. The winners won £20.

    If someone does really well, that's great. If someone's pot hunting, it's usually pretty obvious as those of us that do a lot of events know the usual faces who should be in the expert class. It's hard if you get someone who is very fit, doesn't usually race and so enters "fun" not expecting to win. For what it's worth, looking at the results from Enduro6 I wouldn't consider any of the Fun podium pot hunters. As I said, it's not exactly much of a pot anyway.

    GB

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I think the question is a bit skewed towards the perspective of someone who’s raced a bit, Fun cat’s are there to introduce riders to the sport without it seeming all over competitive and stressy, it’s literally supposed to be fun… people have to start somewhere…

    As for accusations of sandbagging, does it happen that often?, I think most people know when to move up a cat’. Whippet boys at the front of the wrong field will stick out like sore dicks and if they can live with the shame of an easy win let them, their name will be mud and I think they’ll get bumped up or refused entry soon enough….

    I think there’s a bit too much worry over the connotations of a category’s name, “Fun” or “sport” I think sounds perfect, “Expert” sounds a bit scarier but suggests entrants will have gained some experience and “Elite” well I don’t think too many people will just dive straight into that will they? So they describe the class quite nicely…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I wouldn't get too het up about prizes – at E6 last weekend I got 3rd in the pairs and won a £10 Wiggle voucher. The winners won £20.

    You did the wrong event, I got a £60 pair of shorts for 2nd at the Gorrick, admittedly I also need a new drivetrain and brake pads, but still!

    Premier Icon coopersport1
    Subscriber

    I may have got it wrong, would have been 7th in the Elite Cat, but rode the fun last year and was 20something, still with 11laps and a similar finish time!

    Which race series are you looking at?

    At the Gorrick races for example there's:

    Fun: 2 laps
    Open: 3 laps
    Sport: 4 laps
    Expert/Elite: 5 laps

    How many short xc races are there that have a fun category?

    I've only ever done mayhem,sits and now the enduro6 but didn't realise there was a fun category for shorter races. (although i expect the pace is brutal)

    Fun = expert riders with hangovers. Gave up racing because of seeing the experts turn up to race in fun/novice because they'd had a few the night before.

    Ever wondered why enduro's became popular?

    itchypedro
    Member

    At Enduro6 why where there two categories for solo riders – Elite or fun?

    But, only one category for pairs?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    How many short xc races are there that have a fun category?

    Most do. NPS now have 'open' but they used to have a separate fun too. Regional/local series generally have separate fun though.

    The pace is slower than the longer categories.

    Edric 64
    Member

    Award points like roadies have and have licenses you move up or down the categories each year according to how well you have done

    Brownbacks
    Member

    http://www.brownbacksracing.co.uk

    we operate a different system

    have-a-go on a simpler course, with merciless start line ribbing of any obvious pot hunters. We have now abandoned series prize for this category and introduced a "one prize a series" rule as well.

    Weekend warrior, should be average trail centre focused rider, typically with large full sus. Good prizes and we are looking at "in series" promotion to bump up anybody who is too fast.

    Racer, anyone who is fast and anyone with a BC racing licence
    Prizes are very good thanks to sponsors. At the moment there are no BC licence points but we are in discussions about making the Racer cat a "ranking" race for those who do have licences. Points only for Sport/ masters/ vets etc. All TBC.

    We have merged the ladies categories in order to get a matching series prize with the blokes racer, both have a Hope SP6XC wheelset up for grabs.

    It's not perfect but we seem to get 75% of the riders in the right category we accept appeals on categories subject to the "do you weigh more than the organiser rule"

    cheapest racing around with some of the best prizes at a great venue

    http://www.brownbacksracing.co.uk

    the fun starts 30th May

    DaveGr
    Member

    Re Enduro 6 I can't see the point of Elite and Fun solo categories. I'd rather see all soloists in one category but some age indicator as to me that would be more interesting and relevant.

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    You hardly see anyone who is expert riding fun. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't go down too well if people tried it. I don't even think you could race fun at a BC race if you had an expert license.

    There is far more contrversey at enduros where the categories do not corrospond to XC and there is no-one looking at licenses.

    DaveGr – Member
    Re Enduro 6 I can't see the point of Elite and Fun solo categories. I'd rather see all soloists in one category but some age indicator as to me that would be more interesting and relevant.

    +1 I entered Elite solo men and got 5th, means nothing. I would not have won the "fun" catagory, Im over 40 years old, would I won the Veterans ? ❓

    DWH
    Member

    njee20, more info on the proposed BC category changes. All a bit "rumour mill" at the moment 😉

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    That's been going on for ages, there's nothing of any real substance in that thread at all!

    The US adopted a road-esque cat system, but it was decided not to apply that in the UK for various reasons, notably the lack of events to get points and the requirement for everyone to have a licence in order to progress anywhere, plus the lack of buy in from some organisers.

    To quote my post from that XCRacer thread:

    I'd say get rid of masters, there's no real degradation in performance by age 30. There's never going to be a good time to invoke that though, you're going to either annoy the masters who will win all the expert races for a year then end up in elite, or the experts who are suddenly over come with quick masters.

    That really only applies for XC racing though, why you need to separate out enduros I don't really get, unless you have a clear elite category with a decent prize pot and a non-elite category, but even then, why bother?

    Thinking about this a bit more, I think I've worked out what the difference is between Fun and Expert.
    At Enduro 6 there were two similar, short, steep descents as the course left the woods. They both started out a bit bumpy and got worse over the 6 hours as riders dragged their brakes down them, ripping up the surface.
    There was another very steep, short descent, with a slightly longer chicken run.
    Fun riders did the chicken run, Expert riders did the drop.
    Result; The drop was in exactly the same condition after 6 hours.

    walleater
    Member

    'Fun' class riders should have to wear heart rate monitors, linked to flashing lights on their helmets. If their heart rate goes above 90BPM, the lights flash and marksmen hiding in the woods get to shoot them in the face.

    That would solve a few problems.

    …marksmen hiding in the woods get to shoot them in the face.

    With paintball guns loaded with pink paint, I hope.
    It is supposed to be fun, after all.

    Brownbacks
    Member

    the category thing is going to rumble on and on

    I know of one person who is a major stakeholder who doesn't want a change (although the thread seems to have dissappeared)

    I imagine that will see it getting sidelined for another year

    There is a good thread on XCracer and Steve Toze is highlighting some important issues about the "future" for the sport

    For short xc races they could do a "hot lap" qualifying session for example everyone get 20mins times practice with the categories being ranked on fastest lap and the start being seeded by lap times. Practice sessions could be split by number for example 100-400 in the first session 400 up in the next session. It would help avoid sandbagging as if people put in a slow lap to be in a lower group there is a high chance they will get it wrong and be at the back off the start hence at a disadvantage this wouldn't really work for endurance style events though.

    Iain

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Interesting idea, but I can't see that working. If nothing else, you assume that everyone wants to rag their nuts off for 20 minutes before racing!

    And then do you stay in the category for the rest of the series? If not how do you progress etc.

    The current system is pretty good, the red herring is masters IMO, there's no discernible deterioration in performance by age 30. Open (no license required)/Sport/Expert/Elite works alright.

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