Viewing 25 posts - 81 through 105 (of 105 total)
  • How do we improve the domestic XC scene? 
  • big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I attend lots of races supporting my son so I would suggest the following: Different coloured boards for each category so you can tell which race the person you are cheering for is in (rather than the current completely random method of trying to recognise people)

    Or rather than quadrupling the number of boards required just use a sticker on a universal board. It helps the commissaires/ organiser make sure the right people are at the right start

    mrlebowski
    Full Member

    Or rather than quadrupling the number of boards required just use a sticker on a universal board.

    It’s been a bugbear of mine for years – this seems like an easy no brainer of a solution.

    jacobyte
    Free Member

    Brilliant – well done mate!

    You’ll probably be surprised how quick some of the old boys are (I know, I’m 50 & there’s some proper racing snakes in amongst the mix…). Nonetheless, ride your own race & don’t fuss about getting passed. Folks at Gorrick are mostly very polite & will dance past you (or us!). The course may surprise you how techie it can be but I know the venue & think it’s very suitable (not too much elevation & not too techie) for this kind of race (XCO). I guess you’re in the vets cat which is the right place to be for you. Just give it your best & enjoy the ride!

    Thanks, let’s see how it goes. The vague hope is to complete the 3 laps without being lapped!

    I’m part a group of local “hobby” MTBers, none do any racing, but they all have kids in their early teens who are now getting into riding. They ought to bring their kids over, even if they themselves don’t feel like racing. That’s the kind of thing that encourages more grassroots.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    It was hard to choose which of my 7 eligible categories I should enter (Beginner, Fun, Open, Sport, Expert, Vet, Vet+); that nearly put me off signing up, but I decided it doesn’t matter as I expect to get dropped anyway.

    Beginner – you should really only be racing this once or twice at most to get a feel for things.
    Fun – Beginners who found they enjoyed it.
    Open – for when you’re up in the top 10% of Fun, you should stop sandbagging and move on. Potentially also useful when returning to racing after a long lay off and don’t really know where you’ll be in the pecking order.
    Sport – Fast / keen young people
    Expert – Very fast / keen young people
    Vet – Fast / keen older people
    Vet+ – Very fast / keen older people

    I don’t think you ever get truly dropped in XC racing. It’s not like road racing where the bunch disappears off into the distance. There’s always someone around to chase, even if it’s just a lapped ride in front. Similarly, there’s always someone behind you to try and stay in front of, even if it’s the leader lapping you!

    chipps
    Full Member

    I’ve raced for 30 years and I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in the top ten of the ‘Open’ class. Does that mean I should stay in ‘Fun’? What category for a medium/keen older person, then? 🙂

    jacobyte
    Free Member

    I don’t think you ever get truly dropped in XC racing. It’s not like road racing where the bunch disappears off into the distance. There’s always someone around to chase, even if it’s just a lapped ride in front. Similarly, there’s always someone behind you to try and stay in front of, even if it’s the leader lapping you!

    That’s encouraging, at least it won’t be a lonely ride.

    I’ve raced for 30 years and I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in the top ten of the ‘Open’ class. Does that mean I should stay in ‘Fun’? What category for a medium/keen older person, then?

    Oops, I have a feeling I should have gone for Open or Fun, now preparing for a proper pasting in V40!

    A straightforward split between “recreational” v “serious” may suffice, with age groups automatically allocated based on DOB. Or is that too much like a mass start running event where you really don’t know who you’re “racing” against?

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I’ve raced for 30 years and I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in the top ten of the ‘Open’ class.

    Other way round @chipps.
    When you’re consistently top 10% of Fun, move up to Open.

    Interesting point though as I strongly suspect I’d put myself into Open if I was to do another Gorrick race. I might actually do quite well if everyone else on the start line falls off laughing at my 18yr old Cove (my only MTB now) before the whistle goes! 😅

    chipps
    Full Member

    But then I’ve never raced Fun. My first race in 1989, I was a bike messenger and I thought I couldn’t enter Novice, as was, so I entered Sport (and came second last…) and I’ve been Sport class ever since…

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I came second last in my first ever race as well. 🙂

    rak
    Free Member

    I officially move to grand vet next year, I thought this was going to be good for my results, but now I’ve seen how fast they race I might move to fun…

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Or rather than quadrupling the number of boards required just use a sticker on a universal board. It helps the commissaires/ organiser make sure the right people are at the right start

    this so much – I notice the EWS has gone to this set up, but not yet lower levels of enduro – I guess expecting people to put out for the number board would be offputting for the occassional user.

    I imagine the extra weight would raise some eyebrows in the XC ranks

    Plus it looks so much cleaner than some wonky cable tied bit of bent plastic.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Jacobyte, they’re dead friendly at Gorrick and I’m pretty sure will allow you to swap categories if you want to.

    For me (not that I’ve raced a Gorrick for years) the only minor issue was that entering Fun, my natural choice, means a 2 lap race, whereas Open was a 3 lap race where I was likely to be dead last and have no-one to race against.

    I know there’s an embedded cost that all races get but it’s only a pound less for a third less riding (£25 vs £26), or compare to the Experts and they get 5 laps for £28 – so £23 and a pound a lap.

    IDK if insurance costs, etc. are linked to rider numbers that creates this, but wonder if the p/v elasticity needs testing – would more turn up and race in Fun if it was only £10 or £15? (The experts have to turn up and race, they’re obsessed / addicted)

    And all that makes no sense really because beginner, fun and sport all go together so there’s someone to race even if they’re not in the same race as you, and every time I did race you couldn’t wait for it to be over anyway – until you finished and then you’d wish you could do it again!

    undarra
    Free Member

    I’ve just entered in the fun category having never raced before. Toyed with the idea of entering open but thought i’d better see how i go riding non-stop first, i’m used to plenty of breather/caht stops on a ride. Also want to check out the under 10s race for my lad and see if i can get him interested.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Very interesting. I feel a sense of embarrassment entering fun, even though for me that’s exactly what it is. I wonder how many others would feel that?

    Arguably in southern enduro I should be in Fun too, but would just feel wrong somehow

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    IDK if insurance costs, etc. are linked to rider numbers that creates this, but wonder if the p/v elasticity needs testing – would more turn up and race in Fun if it was only £10 or £15? (The experts have to turn up and race, they’re obsessed / addicted)

    There’s an overall fee and then a levy per rider – it’s the fairest way of doing it since it means you can have a low overall fee for every single event but then the event pays more the more riders (and therefore more risk) it has.

    Levy for Youth riders is much lower as well.

    However, there’s nothing to say that the entry fee has to cover the levy – it would be perfectly possible for an organiser to charge a minimal fee and just run that particular category as a loss-leader using other more expensive entries to break even.
    So you could do something like £5 as an introductory fee for first time racers – if they come back after that, they go into the proper fee structure.

    chipps
    Full Member

    Surely the larger numbers in the fun/sport classes help pay for the event? There are fewer expert/elites, so the organiser relies on those sport cat numbers to break even…

    djflexure
    Free Member

    I’ve probably always thought I wasn’t good enough to race XC. I wonder how many feel the same? As its never been particularly accessible to me as a sport its remained a bit of a mystery.

    I’ll look at those Cannock events and consider dipping a toe in the water.

    jacobyte
    Free Member

    Jacobyte, they’re dead friendly at Gorrick and I’m pretty sure will allow you to swap categories if you want to.

    Thanks, I’ll probably stick with it and see what happens, then possibly switch next time depending on the result.

    I expect most organisers have a cost/value ratio for categories and entry numbers that they’ve constantly been tweaking over several years of experience. If it can be simplified then so much the better.

    big_n_daft
    Free Member

    Surely the larger numbers in the fun/sport classes help pay for the event? There are fewer expert/elites, so the organiser relies on those sport cat numbers to break even…

    Our races were cheap enough with a series entry giving four races for £40, (no refunds though) entry on the day £15.

    A lot depends on your costs, keep them down and you can do what you want. Start using a paid for outfit to do the timing, portaloos, have to pay for the venue, bung the marshals some cash, cash for prizes and the fixed costs escalate quickly.

    big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I’ve probably always thought I wasn’t good enough to race XC.

    It becomes a bit self perpetuating as all the people who would try it self exclude.

    One of my proudest moments was spotting in our “Have-a-go” race a guy on a Santa Cruz and a woman on a decathlon hybrid, both really trying to do their best. It’s being able to give that window of opportunity on a simpler course that still makes them feel part of the main event and with minimal barriers to entry

    And she got a marshal nominated spot prize, as did many others

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I’ve probably always thought I wasn’t good enough to race XC.

    I was discussing this with a mate the other day. I think a major issue has been sandbagging, because you don’t need a license to enter sport. So Sport filled with Expert riders trying to win which means the sport riders who didn’t want to be last ended up in fun and so on. This crowds everyone out. In triathlon, you just get an age category and that’s it. And people somehow don’t seem to mind – I saw a bloke on a hybrid complete with racks at the last one. I saw him at T2 as I was finishing (so he was already half an hour behind me in a sprint, and I’m slow) and he was getting changed out of cycling gear like he was at the beach. Still enjoying himself though!

    djflexure
    Free Member

    I don’t have any mates that mtb so I think thats a bit of a barrier too. I tend to do mtb for fun with wife or son, and these days its a very small part of my riding overall. Covid hasn’t helped as I’ve stayed local and that means road bike or canals on mtb.

    I ride alot though (most days) so I should really get my finger out and give it a go.

    I do have the impression that I’m likely to be thrown in the deep end and struggle whatever category I choose, whether due to sandbagging, small fields of competitive riders, I dont know. I think I can suck that one up. Looking at an entry form I could be ‘fun’ or ‘enthusiast’. Fun because I dont mtb that much and havn’t raced before. Enthusiast as I train about 10 hours a week. Think I’ll go fun :).

    bigdaddy
    Full Member

    @jacobyte well done for entering – I’ll be there too, and very much looking forward to it! They are great fun. I’m 48 too, so you’re not alone in the age range – there’s loads of us – I’m doing vet + as I like the extra lap (value for money for the extra pain!!). If you stick around til the 1pm start I’m on the bright pink spesh epic, so do say hi… And good luck!

    jacobyte
    Free Member

    Cheers, I’ll pop over if my legs still work. I’ll be the gurning idiot on a Mosaic Ti hardtail.

    quantockspaul
    Free Member

    Recent Soggy Bottom XC races I’ve done at Newnham Park have been shorter lap distance with more laps, which is really good for repeat obstacle / feature riding rather than super long distance laps where you never really get the hang of the course. It allows the course builder to put a few techs bits in which riders end up doing 6-7 times rather than the course builder needing to double the amount of obstacles and then only do 3-4 laps. Win win for me.

    XC is getting more technical (in general) now compared to the 10-15 years ago, which is great for seasoned riders and daredevils, but newbies and the less competent need alternate ridable routes around high-tech features to keep their flow going, so A & B lines are essential, and need to be markedly different – some are hard to tell apart!

Viewing 25 posts - 81 through 105 (of 105 total)

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