Re: The Poll. Why aren't as many people doing events this year
For me its a mixture of:
The cost – Not just the entry fee, the price of fuel etc too. Going to Mayhem was an expensive weekend away.
The weather – I’m thinking of doing SITS but a lot of what is putting me off the idea is that I could pay £50, and it end up being like Mayhem (which I odly enjoyed), but probably wouldnt have gone to if I hadnt already paid over £55.
The courses – On the whole a bit dull, not techy enough or interesting enough. Also I’m an average rider. I’d like to do as many laps as possible in 24hrs. At the length of course limits the laps/£ ratio.
Other commitments – I’ve got a young son, most of my friends have young children, or are pushing their careers. Events come second. See below.
An obersvation is that the average age at events appears to be going up. All very good because people tend to be afluent in the late 30’s-50’s but its not encouraging younger people to come through. People as they get older have more commitments and therefore cant get away for events as easily.
This year so far I’ve done Colne MTB Challenge and Mayhem. I’m considering SITS, but that depends on being able to get a 4th team member. I’d love to do the Grizedale MTB Challenege, but it looks like its not happening.
£15 for a 3hr marked course local ish to where I live in many ways is much better value than £50 + fuel for 5 hours of laps at a 24hr event.Posted 5 years ago
I also think it’s telling that no magazine/ website is focused on events (other than their own). Getting publicity is a constant battle and it impacts the sponsored riders as well as the event organisers.
Look on the news pages on STW and the average event PR gets 1000-1500 views at most, aPosted 5 years ago
rehashed press releasestory abou a new “widget” or “doodah” 3000 plus viewsMostly BalancedMember
I’ve actually done more. My son has got the bug for the kids class in our local XC meets (Gorrick) so we can make a day of it with me doing the veterans. We’ll still be doing the Mayhem even after this year’s conditions as it’s a fantastic social and we can get away with cranking the disco up on the Sunday night.
Historically I’ve gone through phases of racing for a couple of years and plateauing then giving it a miss until I’m old enough to get into the next age category.
Perhaps the more relevant question is: Why aren’t so many younger riders getting into MTB eventing to replace the older riders that leave through natural turnover.
The Big Bike Bash is good example of this.
Maybe the larger events should make more effort to provide entertainment for non-riding attendees.Posted 5 years agomoomanMember
Only done a handful of mtb enduros. Each time I have never really enjoyed them .. too much getting stuck behind some biffer on singletrack puffing away on his 6″FS. So I doubt very much I will be entering another.
Did do a few roady sportives for the first time last year. Quickly realised they are a total waste of money. That said – I did get talked into entering the tour of the Black mtns again this Sunday .. that will be the last.Posted 5 years ago
Sportives are too expensive and certainly dont offer value for money.projectMember
As for the above comments from Brownbacks, having been to quite a few of their events,i can honestly say they are well worth the low cost,true grass routes racing for a budget, with some great prizes.Prizes even for marshalls.
No mud, or hardly any,great scenery, a steam railway down the road, easy access, plenty of hard standing parking,nice tea at the snack van, oh and freindly riders and marshalls.
My comments where aimed more at the larger organisers, with larger overheads.
And if you havent been before enter their next race and give it a go, or just turn up and have a look.Posted 5 years agochippsSubscriber
It seems that suddenly, this year, everyone’s event entries are down loads. 40% seems pretty normal. Organisers like No Fuss have had to cancel events and others are half-full.
So why are people doing fewer events this year? I’ve put a poll up on the front page and the early leader is ‘The rubbish weather’. However you may have other thoughts…Posted 5 years ago
“Maybe the larger events should make more effort to provide entertainment for non-riding attendees.”
Mayhem used to be good IMO for this, things like the Orchestra, Fireworks, Climbing Walls, Trials Riders etc.
Mayhem now just oozes making as much cash as possible ie all the silly add on races, and nothing but dull trade stands.Posted 5 years ago
I wouldn’t know which site to look at for events…
XCracer.com and British Cycling are the old favourites
Bike Radar are doing something more organised these days as well
but not all will be captured, like this one http://www.rpmrt.org.uk/mary-towneley-loop/ which I will be doing instead of Kielder 100
Sportives are too expensive and certainly dont offer value for money
do Audax instead 😀Posted 5 years agod45ythMember
– Price, you can go away on a riding weekend and use the money for a B n B instead.
– Too many entrants. Who wants to ride with 100’s of riders anyway? Queuing, arrghhh!
– Road bikers trying to be mtb’ers…you get stuck behind them on the descents! 👿
I’ve always liked the Kielder series because it hasn’t got too many competitors. I guess they’d like more though?Posted 5 years ago
Grizedale was a good one as it sorted out the men from the boys if it was wet.
10 at Kirroughtree was the best event I’ve ever done. Was an expensive weekend though, as I hired a van and had to buy camping gear too.Papa_LazarouMember
Mucho £ for not very much in many cases.
I only do those which offer a reasonable amount in exchange for entry and/or give a big chunk of proceeds to charity. eg: Brownbacks, HTN and Rough Ride.
Not done any of the 24hr races for some time now, mainly due toPosted 5 years ago
– courses not standing up to even a bit of bad weather
– price going up and up
– punters getting less and less
Prizes even for marshalls.
we’d throw more stuff at them if we could, they are all stars
My comments where aimed more at the larger organisers, with larger overheads.
we are all volunteers, nobody makes a penny, we give away/ spend on the riders everything we make, we couldn’t do it any other way. How many volunteer run events have cancelled? or are they all commercial ventures?
the disasterous 2012 Welsh XC series hasn’t been mentioned either in the list of “lost” eventsPosted 5 years agoPaulDMember
Got to be value for money.
Last September I did the Rondo Gourmet in the Pyrenean foothils near Pau in France with a few hundred riders.
50km ride with feed stations at 15 and 30km.
Massive quantity and choice of food and drinks, including beer and wine followed by a 2-plate meal at the finish.
The price was €8 that is not a misprint… €8
And the organisers did not make a loss.
PaulDPosted 5 years agophiiiiilSubscriber
Personally a lot of it is just that there aren’t enough free weekends… back when I was young(-er), free and single I did a lot, but now we have far more commitments so I just can’t get as many bikey weekends away as I used to… so when I do, I prefer going for proper rides on proper hills rather than racing or riding round relatively uninspiring courses.Posted 5 years agomrmoMember
money, mud and the “scene”
There are few races in the local area, and i really can’t be bothered travelling to ride a bike unless the course offers something really special. Races such as Mayhem which are in the local area i will not do, i know the course and it never copes with bad weather so why bother?
I can’t stand mud, which whilst a bit is a fact of life, this year is taking the ****! Too many years of riding through mud and it has no appeal.
And the scene, which rather than going for a ride, has turned into WI meetings with bikes grates. I like riding bikes, not standing round talking about bikes. I started riding at a time when riding to the top of a hill was half the point, and you could have fun climbing, people would actually try and race up hill. Now no one seems interested in going up hill. I have seen too many close calls where people are racing downhill on open paths, to much building, etc. Natural trails keep on being “improved” with the addition of jumps, northshore, etc. Just getting disalusioned with the whole thing to be honest.
It is not i am not riding, i am riding more than i have for a long time, just on the road these days. If i want a bimble i can, if i want to beast myself i can.Posted 5 years agoClinkSubscriber
Several reasons for me.
1.Cost of fuel – I can’t afford to travel long distance.
2.Lack of time due to family commitments and work.
I prefer long distance endurance events, but not laps. Did the Kielder 100 a few years back but can’t justify expense now. I did the Rough Ride again this year, which I enjoyed.
I used to do some ‘local’ cx races, but even travelling to those now seems dubious.Posted 5 years agothe-muffin-manSubscriber
How many new riders is the sport attracting? What is the average age of entrants to these types of events, is the average rising (assuming anyone keeps track)?
I would imagine most of the riders on STW have been riding for many years so have ‘been there, done that’, and have moved on to other things, or just ride for pleasure. I certainly have and cannot envisage a time when I will enter another race/event again.
Also these things go in cycles* – a few years ago road-riding was only for the hardcore racers, now its the thing to be seen doing.
(*no pun intended!)Posted 5 years agolarge418Member
Many events are the same old format – Mayhem is in it’s xxth year, and I have done it 6 times or so over the past 10 years. Due to entry costs and crappy course when wet I won’t bother next year.
XC races – would like to do more but they aren’t local enough – but the FNSS is an ever growing series – I would like to do these but my Friday nights are a “me and her” night. These are growing as they a short, cheap, friendly and open to all.
Trailquests – I love these but am having a year off to focus on other stuff. Sportives – did the Dragon, thoroughly enjoyed it, but £30 plus fuel to ride a big loop I could do anytime is getting tiresome.
Kielder – will do this again (but I’ll only get in the car to travel if the forecast is OK, as last year my bike repairs cost was prohibitive). Dusk til Dawn – will do that, but if the weather is crap I won’t travel, as again, bike repair costs are too steep.
I think I am moving towards a couple of major events, rather than lots of little ones – am doing the Grand Raid Cristalp this year, which although expensive, is worth working toward.
So, reasons for not entering as many events – tired format, costs and time.Posted 5 years ago
Reasons for entering the ones I am: challenge and good riding.
Mayhem now just oozes making as much cash as possible
You think? Pat doesn’t look like a rick man to me, I would guess me makes a very modest living from running events. The costs of hiring venues, showers, toilets, fencing etc will eat up nearly all the entry fees.Posted 5 years agojimificationMember
I like long marathon style races & we cant “race” on bridleways etc
Most of the remaining events don’t fit my niche enjoyment – of long distance endurance events that are not continuous short laps
This…what would it take for us to be able to have point to point races in the UK? Seems crazy that this is “impossible”.
Cost: Generally I think the cost of the longer events is not so bad when you bear in mind camping for a couple of days, facilities etc. Some of the shorter events are really expensive though. I’ve entered Big Dog again, as it’s my local and great fun but come on.. 6hrs for £35? Erlstoke gave us a whole long weekend for that!
On the plus side, really enjoyed Gorrick 100 and Erlstoke this year. Would be doing Sleepless if it didn’t clash with Big Dog.Posted 5 years agoflangeSubscriber
Conversely, it’s been an absolute nightmare trying to get into road races this year. In January I submitted 10 entry forms to various 3/4 and 2/3/4 races and was rejected from all of them. One in Coventry had 80 places and had 1500 entries.
I know that many of my friends along with myself have converted to road racing for a number of reasons;
Location of races – living in the flat lands, unless I wanted to travel the length of the country each weekend I’m pretty stuck for XC races. I entered all of the NPS, but only went to three just because I couldn’t face the drive. Not much can be done about this, you want mountain bike racing, you need mountains
Number of races – if I wanted to, I could road race/crit/TT pretty much every night of the week without having to drive more than 30 miles from where I work. With the exception of Beastway (which is about 50 miles) there’s bugger all on during the week. Again, with a local series and the NPS, even then you’ve probably got two races a month max. There are a much higher number of road events in a closer vicinity. Again, not much can be done about this. If more people raced XC, there would be more races. Catch 22
Damage to bikes/weather – I raced in truly horrendous conditions yesterday on my road bike, which is worth a couple of grand more than my XC race bike. It’s the third race I’ve done where the roads have been pretty wet and conditions generally nasty. It took me all of 20 minutes to wash my bike when I got home yesterday and my kit could go straight in the wash as it was more wet than dirty. The last round of the MSG XC series I did, I wrecked both brakes (including pads), the bearings in both my new wheels, a cassette, chain, BB and scratched my frame to buggery. All in at least £300 worth of damage and it was raining less that it was yesterday. Again, not much anyone can do – race off road in the wet, its going to be muddy and horrid.
Quality of field – I did the first NPS at Sherwood in the Sport category. The lad who won the category was an ex-Raleigh pro who pretty much wiped the floor. I rolled in about four days later for 50-something place. Basically the gun went and I rode around on my own for an hour and a half. The same at Dalby and the same again at my local events. XC races turn into a bit of a time-trial for the most part, in the last 20 races I’ve done, I’d say only two had the bar bashing/actual racing that I get doing road races. Yesterday in the road race, everyone sat together with various attacks going off the front which were either chased down or developed into a proper break. You actually felt like you were racing, even though I was in a field that were predominantly Cat2’s and could hand it to me if needed. Races should be hard, that’s how it is but the categories in my opinion are a bit of a joke in MTB. Where’s the fun in driving 5+ hours to Dumfries, to destroy your bike and kit and then come bottom of the field to lads who are doing 20+ hours training a week.
This all said I’ll continue to race XC next year, but my focus will be on the road stuff. For the money, you get much better racing.Posted 5 years agoCraigWMember
Personally I’m not all that interested in just doing a few laps of a short course, and I’m not bothered about ‘racing’. I would rather do a longer ride, going somewhere interesting/scenic. So something like an MTB marathon style or an off-road audax, but there’s not many of them around here.
Also would like to try some trailquest / MTBO, but again not many around (in Scotland).
Plus the difficulties of getting to events without a car. I’m happy to travel down the day before, but that requires somewhere to camp nearby.
So instead I’m mostly doing audax, as well as hill running.Posted 5 years ago
“You think? Pat doesn’t look like a rick man to me, I would guess me makes a very modest living from running events.”
No, I doubt Pat is a rich man, but I have seen the event change of the years. I did it from the start in Brum, and did the first few years in the Malverns before having a 5 or so year gap before coming back again last year.
The events almost got too big for its own good. Running race, running with a dog, a sportive etc, expensive T-Shirts, free goody bags (just lower my entry fee thanks) less toilets and working showers etc. All adds up to chasing £££’s rather than sticking to the format of running a good 24hr bike race…Posted 5 years agoninkynonkMember
simple answers for me…
now got a young family so priorities have changed and generally i’m nowhere near as fit as i used to be (not that i was very fit anyway).
obviously the price (entry & fuel etc.)
also i’ve started doing a bit of bivi’ing which is a lot cheaper and if i’m honest i would rather go on an overnighter in the wild than an overnighter at say MM or Sits.Posted 5 years agoKarinofnineMember
Partly health setbacks, partly cost of diesel, partly too few classes for women.
I will only travel if it’s to an endurance event, and then only if it’s a single lap, or possibly two laps but certainly not lots of eg 6 mile laps.
I’m rebuilding my fitness now but doubt I’ll be up to racing long distance this year anyway.Posted 5 years agohilldodgerMember
Tried a few mtb events some years ago, found them good fun in a “rites of passage” way but prefer point-to-point riding rather than round & round and there aren’t too many of those type of events around (AFAIK).Posted 5 years ago
STW weekender does sound good, but too far away to be honest…..belugabobMember
Having attended the Bontrager 24/12 for the last 3 years, I thought that I’d try to fool the weather into being sunny by not going this year – looks like the weather didn’t notice that I wasn’t there 😉
Also, this would have been the first year in four that I didn’t spend my birthday in a field outside Plymouth, so it just didn’t feel right somehow.
Doing other stuff though – Coast to Coast (almost) in a perfect weather window, Bothy Camping/Biking on the South Downs, and possibly some last minute event when (if) the weather clears.Posted 5 years ago
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