Thinking of starting an midweek XC race series. Beds/Bucks/Herts

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  • Thinking of starting an midweek XC race series. Beds/Bucks/Herts
  • b r
    Member

    I’d ask the guys that use to organise Lotts Wood for tips. And if you’re organising them you’ll probably never have time to ride in them.

    oldgit
    Member

    That occurred to me as soon as I wrote this.

    Damn this is where the club system works, each club hosting an event.

    oldgit
    Member

    I miss Lotts Wood, and the FNSS is tricky to get to (Friday M1?)

    We’ve done road races, TT’s and reliability trials. So in theory XC racing shouldn’t be too hard!!!!!!
    I can think of a few venues already, but the big issue would be time keeping, mainly cost of.
    Unless folk were okay with just the top three being counted by a marshal.
    Any thoughts on this?

    Premier Icon Bullet
    Subscriber

    I organised a couple of the FNSS rounds at Chicksands several years ago after Giles emigrated. Had some help from a few people but mainly was a bit of a nightmare. Sorting insurance, signing on, local walkers breaking the course marker tapes, lap counting (although for the last one someone had a laptop programme that was a huge help) so all in all pretty stressful! Good luck if you do decide to push ahead with the idea though…

    jumble
    Member

    The guys that ran the races at Lotts Wood used a software package on a laptop for timing. It took 2 people at the finish line – one to press a button when a rider crossed the line and the other to remember the number of the rider which was then typed in. I don’t think the software was expensive, but help of partners was definitely required.

    All in all the guys did a great job, but it was a lot of work. Preparing the course in the weeks before, organising marshals, setup of the start/finish area each race evening, etc etc

    I seem to remember that numbers wise really 50 entrants were required to make it worth while, but I could be wrong. Given when it started originally in High Wycombe at the ski slope there were about 11 entrants the Summit guys did brilliantly to build it up to over 50 entrants. But even in the last years at Lotts Wood there seemed to be race nights with only 30 odd.

    oldgit
    Member

    Do you think the idea of just the top three being counted wouldn’t go down too well?
    I’m taking that right from the LVRC Tuesday night races I do every week. Only the top three are counted, there are no points and no prizes. Everyone is just there to race.

    Jase
    Member

    OG, Team MK were planning on doing something similar each week at the bowl over the summer.

    Very low key with a loosely set out course so that preparation is kept minimal. Slow lap of the course before the start to show everyone the route. I’d imagine very unofficial results.

    In the end it didn’t take off, I think due to lack of numbers.

    The reason I mention this is could you not piggy back on to this? I know its 10 or so miles from you but guess that Lotts Wood is a similar distance (I don’t actually know where it is!). If you could bring riders plus perhaps a volunteer each week to help with lap counting etc it may make the series feasible?

    With regards to lap counting, its done manually on the road crits when the bunch is all together so why could it not be done this way for mtb when the field is generally spread out.

    oldgit
    Member

    That’s something Jase, but I fear lack of interest will be the problem.
    I might make contact with them. I’m thinking there might be interest from the road clubs. Then you have groups like the Buzzards.
    Lotts Wood is Amersham way.

    Trimix
    Member

    Sounds great, but the hassle involved and lack of riders will probably sadly stop it.

    Lots of people will say they are up for it, but wont actually turn up – they seem to think life lasts forever and have endless distractions.

    Just stick to racing your mates.

    Jase
    Member

    As you’ll have noticed the FNSS races at the Bowl only attract a handfull of Team MK riders, plus a few from Cyclone. Might get a few more if it was slightly more low key.

    Premier Icon Bullet
    Subscriber

    One idea that we talked about (but never did) back in the old days of BedsFatTrax was a short course race. If you could utilise a smaller area that was visible from the startline (like the old play area in Chicksands, that’s where we thought of using)then the logistics of taping off, timing etc becomes easier although competitors would have to accept it would be much different to a normal xc race. Could do timed laps or set time duration race plus one lap, heats/finals or similar? would still be fun and competitive though.

    oldgit
    Member

    Trimix, sometime back there was a huge thread on XC racing. Pages and pages from people who don’t race and plenty of contribution from them on how they’d like it.
    But sadly you’re probably right. Whilst the idea of racing might sound fun, come the day, come the minute the enthusiasm goes.
    Road races have been hit badly by people booking online early in the year and not showing up on the day, I mean it’s really bad and we’ve been warned that selection might be on the cards, then it’ll be the same people that booked and didn’t show, or didn’t let the organisers know who’ll be moaning. We held four races in a day a few weeks back, Loads booked early, older riders were caught out by the sudden interest. On the day 85 didn’t show and gave no reason.

    Trimix
    Member

    Why not just do an “unoffical” type of race.

    Pick a start point, say one set of woods / a tree / a bench whatever. Then a destination point, being a similar landmark some distance away, where you need a bit of ribbon tied to it that riders must pick up to prove they got there.

    Then simply when they turn up at the start, tell them the destination and that the winner will be the first to return with the ribbon.

    Thats it, race starts. No course, no marshalls, no money, no insurance, no printed maps, all low-key, no need for any organisation etc. If they ride cheeky thats up to them 🙂

    I would love a race like that in the Chilterns.

    Fancy doing one ?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    The amount of paperwork, risk assessment/h&s bullshit, race licence, governing body nonsense, cost ( both personal time, and financial) it takes to set up even the most casual of races is such a ball ache I wouldn’t bother.

    Race you mates for fun, you still end up knowing who the fastest is

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The guys that ran the races at Lotts Wood used a software package on a laptop for timing. It took 2 people at the finish line – one to press a button when a rider crossed the line and the other to remember the number of the rider which was then typed in. I don’t think the software was expensive, but help of partners was definitely required

    I wrote some software like that for a mate who organised an XC race. You can have it if you need it.

    I used to help the organisers of Lotts Wood (very occasionally). I think the biggest single cost (aside from their own time) was for the two paramedics and ambulance. The second biggest was the portaloo they hired for some of the events.

    oldgit
    Member

    I’ll spend the Autumn and winter collating all the info I can and take it from there.

    oldgit
    Member

    If anyone comes up with ‘stuff’ let me know.

    Two venues so far;
    Milton Keynes Bowl. Already an established Road, cyclo-cross and MTB race venue.
    Liscombe Park, Soulbury. I went there a few years back with the BC with the view to holding a cyclo cross race. It turned out to be unsuitable, but ideal in their opinion for XC.

    RATMBC did a series years ago at Checkendon. Like cyclocross. 50mins + a lap. It was good fun, but numbers were low. Only thing I ever won was one of the overall categories. Never actually managed to win a race though.

    A quick google suggests they are still doing it. Maybe contact them for advice?

    tinsy
    Member

    Lotts wood was always popular, the course helped I think certainly the hardest I have raced on. Beastway is still popular I think, my local MSG series goes from strength to strength (not that ive done it the last couple of years).

    To summarise, yes people like racing create the event & they will be there. Me too for a few (its a long way for me)

    No counting the top 3 wont cut it, its the agonising over lap times & finding your target for the next race that makes it for me, no matter where I finish there is always a target to beat.

    numplumz
    Member

    just spotted this.
    “Old git” and Chicksands guys, the FNSS is still going strong but its been strange at the lack of local entries at the MK rounds, particularly with the good weather. I guessed it was just a lack of local publicity.

    The two bowl races were great fun, and we think we are pretty low key, its just buddies who still sort it all out.

    would love to return to chicksands if there was a chance of creating a course there.

    On the timing front, we survived on bits of paper for years, but one easy way is to just set up a video camera at the lap point and then go through the video in real time afterwards to get a full result and timing in peace at home, then publish the result, simples.

    For free timing software try this Free timing software

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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