What's with people racing 'challenge' events? Or just me that isn't? Discuss

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  • What's with people racing 'challenge' events? Or just me that isn't? Discuss
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I raised this very concern last week on this here forum in discussing the Highland 400.
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/worth-keeping-an-eye-on-httpwwwhighlandtrailnet
    All those rules and regulations for a ride in the country….

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Or is it the same situation as the Strava lot who are currently digging shortcuts through all the corners of my local descents so that they can keep up with the actual fast riders… Daily Wail and it’s lazy journalism

    Right then, challenges – do they record your time? If so it can be a race feel to people. People are competitive and like to compete. Was it explicitly announced that it was not a race at the start, were people told off for trying too hard?

    As for the random strava hating you lobbed in there, shit riders have been cutting corners for years, it’s a bit about trying to keep up but it’s more about not having the skills to ride round them. Been going on longer than strava just recently people seem to want to use that as “New” evidence.

    oh and from the XC Racer blurb

    MALHAM TARN TRACK ATTACK
    28TH APRIL 2013

    Run by the National Trust in conjunction with Craven College.

    A challenging XC mountain bike race across parts of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales near Malham Tarn.

    One amazing 40km course, one category.

    For those who are pure at heart and out there just to ride an amazing course in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK – the organisers have kept it simple, there will be toilets and a car park (and probably a National Trust stand somewhere) and event marshals are placed around the course.

    Race times: Staggered between 9am and 10am, registration at 8am

    Categories: One category

    If it’s not a race why does it mention race so much?

    crikey
    Member

    Because real racing is about putting your ego on the line, about not being scared to fail, about giving it everything you have and still losing. Sportives, challenges and all this other crap are not racing, just the watered down, middle class nicey-nicey version.

    Strava? I’ve shit ’em.

    Premier Icon chipps
    Subscriber

    I’m fine with the event itself not being organised as a race, but if people want a race, then why not enter one?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’m fine with the event itself not being organised as a race, but if people want a race, then why not enter one?

    Not an event I have been to but the info above was all I could find – they seem to organise the entry.

    A challenging XC mountain bike race across parts of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales near Malham Tarn.

    Sounds like it’s advertised as a race

    Race times: Staggered between 9am and 10am, registration at 8am

    Categories: One category
    They call it a race and it has categories…

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck?

    Sancho
    Member

    This is the same Craven college lot who have organised a few races in the past, I’d just accept that this was always intended as a race and not a casual jolly in the hills.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    These quotes are from the Malham Challenge thread this evening. They seem to show a lot of people who don’t realise that, not only is it illegal and unsociable to race on bridleways,

    riders; probably vary from the “should know better” to the innocent

    organisers, either do know it’s illegal or shouldn’t be organising a race

    but that’s not what these events are for. Or is it just me?

    the organisers rely on a blind eye be turned to the activities, this “soft” version of racing very much akin to a round of golf allows th rider to take whatever view they want about the “competitiveness” of the event. For all their sins BC have quite strict guidelines on timing and “prize giving” the shame is they are either ignored or the organiser chooses a different insurer

    this “faux” racing increases entries to these events there is no doubt about that (otherwise why go to the trouble of doing the results)

    I’d be amazed if Whinlatter http://app.strava.com/activities/49915092 didn’t cross a bridleway, promoted as a race here
    http://singletrackworld.com/2013/03/endurance-series-2013-one-month-to-go/

    Colne Valley MTB Challenge “race report” here
    http://singletrackworld.com/2011/05/colne-valley-mountain-bike-challenge-report/

    personnally I think the recent UCI story here
    http://singletrackworld.com/2013/04/more-uci-controversy-race-with-us-or-face-a-ban/

    despite the issues with the fact it is the UCI (and all it’s baggage) the threat of licence suspension will hopefully start to reduce the number of people entering events that essentially are going to damage mtb access. Imagine if you are a perfectly legal group of horse riders trying to use the bridleways at the same time as one of these “events”, you essentially are trapped by the oncoming wave of riders “racing” towards you

    as for strava, personally I would just suggest a high profile owner/ editor of a well known website and magazine email them and suggest that people should be able to get segments killed for illegal trail digging just as they can when they are dangerous

    Like trying to argue the London Marathon isn’t a race surely?

    There will always be people who just aim to survive the marathon/100 mile sportive, and plenty of others who want to beat a certain time. And a few at the front end who just want to be first over the finish line.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    I’m fine with the event itself not being organised as a race, but if people want a race, then why not enter one?

    because they are hard, scary, and you feel out of place wearing baggies

    some events try to manage this and encourage new people into “proper” racing

    I would see these challenges as the new “fun running”, the difference being that trying to get a PB in a running race isn’t illegal on bridleways

    grum
    Member

    Maybe people want something a bit like a race but a bit more sociable and not as competitive. I’ve no idea why some people get so upset/snotty about sportives and challenges.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Maybe people want something a bit like a race but a bit more sociable and not as competitive

    don’t ride as hard in a proper race and say hello to all the marshals, something you may have struggled to do at Whinlatter by all accounts due to their scarcity 😉

    Premier Icon chipps
    Subscriber

    These quotes are from the Malham Challenge thread this evening. They seem to show a lot of people who don’t realise that, not only is it illegal and unsociable to race on bridleways, but that’s not what these events are for. Or is it just me?

    “Still took some 4th and 5th overalls on Strava though so not a wasted day, with good weather it would be a nice fast race.”

    “Yeh, wanted a result in that race, ended up with my head falling off up that bleak moor due to the weather being so shite and two wrong turns. Another time maybe….”

    “they should have posted the map on the website pre race (if they didn’t plan to put many marshals out), signage was very poor too.”

    Surely it couldn’t have been a race, what with being organised on bridleways and all? Perhaps I’m the only person who views these challenge events as a chance to wander around a bit of unfamiliar countryside with likeminded people, marshalls and medical backup and to stop for Haribo and a chat, often with a nice view. Or is it the same situation as the Strava lot who are currently digging shortcuts through all the corners of my local descents so that they can keep up with the actual fast riders…

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Are we now suggesting that all Strava segments on BWs should be cancelled as being illegal?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’m either missing something but was it ever not advertised as a race? The blurb from XC Racer was fairly clear.

    Organisers have a responsibility not to host races on BW’s you can’t expect participants to go and check everything out too. There is also a lot of snobbery about “proper racing” – an event with a defined course, start and end times is a race, just the same as the London Marathon is.

    Sancho
    Member

    This was always planned as a race, I dont know anyone who entered it who hadnt entered it as a anything other than a race.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Are we now suggesting that all Strava segments on BWs should be cancelled as being illegal?

    no, are you? Just because you are using strava it doesn’t mean you can ride like a idiot, nor does it mean you necessarially are riding like an idiot if you are using starva to log a ride

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    For some people, just getting round will be a challenge. For others, the challenge will come from getting round quicker.

    Also, does seem that a lot of these really are races, they’ve just filed off the serial numbers to get round legality issues. Or, in this case not even bothered.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Also, does seem that a lot of these really are races, they’ve just filed off the serial numbers to get round legality issues. Or, in this case not even bothered.

    makes you wonder about their insurance if the activity itself essentially isn’t legal

    Sancho
    Member

    as if anyone gives a second thought about insurance i think some people are being a bit over sensitive about races.

    we need more races on bridleways, roads etc to get the archaic laws changed as stupid as they are.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    no, are you?

    Well I wasn’t the one who wrote the following, with the obvious implication…

    trying to get a PB in a running race isn’t illegal on bridleways

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    At this point it’s squarely with the organisers for advertising something they couldn’t/shouln’t be. But in the end if you organise an event that has a course & timing asking people not to race is tough.

    What defines not racing?
    Can you be DQ’d for racing rather than riding?
    Should all riders have a log book to show that at no point they get a PB?

    @Chipps the “Discuss” may have been better aimed at the direction of off road events and where we as participants want them to go?

    Apologies for going off on one a little at the start but lumping a bit of stava Hating/baiting in there is annoying, it’s the current video nasty/Violent computer game/illegal immigrant that is causing the death of society. Forgetting that the people make the decisions not the technology. (in some cases the people ride faster than they should under no Strava influence what so ever and just can’t ride – Marin trail 04 onwards had no distinguishable corners on some sections, whinlatter after it opened had loads of corners run through well before strava)
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwylBRucU7w[/video]

    oldgit
    Member

    I’ve given up on this, it used to annoy me but now I just ignore it.
    There not races, not in the pure sense, but if the participants want to call it a race then so be it. Sportive riders, charity riders have been calling events races for years, it’s just the same.
    Some of the things that define a race are.
    Massed start, not spread over hours.
    Licence required.
    Held under a body such as BC, LVRC.
    But an even more basic thing than any of that. Lining up at the start of a race, you look left you look right. Those blokes next to you are there for one thing only, to win at your expense.

    jonba
    Member

    As with sportives it is very difficult to find regular races of the type offered in events. Most races are of the short xc type not 50-60 mile off road or 100+ on the road.

    There does seem to be a crowd of people always trying to tell people it is not a proper race but they are generally drowned out by the noise of people having fun.

    oldgit
    Member

    If I was Mr Nasty I’d start pulling riders from these events for being too slow.
    “The leader went through twenty minutes ago, sorry but the course is closed now.”
    Like they do in races.

    As an aside, there are so many people wanting to race (though I’m talking road) that our local circuit might have to put on another weekly race just for 4th cats.
    And my local crits used to struggle to see 40 riders, now we’re up to 80 and that’s first come first served.
    The MTB race world has a ready made audience, it’s gagging for people to organise plenty of proper racing.

    orangeboy
    Member

    There is lots of racing organised. Just check out xc racer for the events listings

    If you want to ride lots rather than a short blast why not enter a 6 hour solo as a start

    djglover
    Member

    Seem to be billed and widely accepted as a race judging by a quick google, I would have certainly turned up looking to give it 100% based on that information

    Premier Icon paulmgreen
    Subscriber

    Any event,….. Whether its called a challenge or anything else….. That has times recorded and then published … Has to be a race at some level……

    The word Challenge is just to (slightly) circumvent officialdom!

    Premier Icon paulosoxo
    Subscriber

    Of course people are going to race (each other/themselves)if you make them pay to enter and time their efforts. Why else would you pay, just to go for a ride?

    Does it matter?
    I mean, I’m quite competitive and like to race and my own personal opinion is that if you pay to enter, you get issued a number and all entrants are timed; it’s a race.
    That said, if people want to treat it as a challenge, ride around with mates and experience cycling in a different part of the country why would that bother me?

    Is the same not true the other way round? The guys racing aren’t causing the guys ‘riding’ any trouble are they?

    grum
    Member

    Maybe people want something a bit like a race but a bit more sociable and not as competitive

    don’t ride as hard in a proper race and say hello to all the marshals, something you may have struggled to do at Whinlatter by all accounts due to their scarcity

    Maybe people don’t want to be surrounded by the kind of snobby people who think that sportives and challenges are beneath them. 😉

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    It’s more like the organisers possibly don’t know about the special ‘code’ that events need to use when they’re racing on BWs, and heavily described it as a ‘race’ in their blurb.

    If they’d have called it a challenge or whatever, then everyone would have turned up and raced and this thread wouldn’t be here.

    It was a pretty small event (100 riders?), with a real effort made to avoid bunching, so I’m not too bothered about the impact, especially as the riders were probably the only ones loony enough to be out in those conditions.

    ChrisF
    Member

    oldgit – Member
    There not races, not in the pure sense, but if the participants want to call it a race then so be it.
    Some of the things that define a race are.
    Massed start, not spread over hours.
    Licence required.
    Held under a body such as BC, LVRC.
    But an even more basic thing than any of that. Lining up at the start of a race, you look left you look right. Those blokes next to you are there for one thing only, to win at your expense.

    So the (for example) Midlands XC races that I do aren’t actually races? You don’t need a license, only maybe 10 out of 60 starters in each category have any hope of winning. I’d better let the organisers know they are mis-selling :o)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Some of the things that define a race are.
    Massed start, not spread over hours.
    Licence required.
    Held under a body such as BC, LVRC.
    But an even more basic thing than any of that. Lining up at the start of a race, you look left you look right. Those blokes next to you are there for one thing only, to win at your expense.

    I guess that means DH is out too. Time trails are not mass start too….

    daveagiles
    Member

    I rode the wiggle ups and downs on Saturday. Great event, really well organised and was nice to see a different area of the country.

    I didn’t set out to race everyone else, I just wanted to see how fast I could cover the 50km distance. Which, as far as I am aware, is the idea behind having timing chips on all of the riders (that and being able to see how many are missing). There wasn’t much antisocial overtaking (at least not on my part anyway).

    It did make me realised two things though. (1) I would like to enter a race and (2) overtaking people is immensely satisfying.

    dave_h
    Member

    Some of the things that define a race are.
    Massed start, not spread over hours.

    Time trials are most definitely races but don’t meet this definition.

    On the subject of time trials, this discipline really exists due to old law that made it illegal to race on UK roads. Organisers found a way around it by making it a bunch of folk having a ‘ride’. Is there a significant difference between this and the ‘races’ discussed above and should we now be without time trials due to their illegal beginnings?

    In one breath people bemoan the nanny state culture of insurance and rules then in the other act in horror when rules are bent for people’s enjoyment.

    Why does it particularly bother if people are ‘racing’ or riding. If it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment then why worry?

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Surely the beauty of evens like sportives is that they cater for different interests. And for that reason, good for them. The only differences with Mtb is whether the BW issue complicates things or not. It they compromise future use of BW then that is a bad ing. Otherwise great.

    Crickey, you get some mighty willies being waved at times.

    djglover
    Member

    You seem to find your readrship contemptible, this and the Mark twitter incident…

    You’ve just quoted a load of users and potential subsribers, given them a bit of ritual humiliation and this event was very clearly billed as a race

    Premier Icon Vortexracing
    Subscriber

    TBH 3 of us entered the Malham thing for a ‘challenge’ just to get some ‘faster than social ride’ pace into a 25 miler.

    however just surviving, let alone racing seem to be the order of the day yesterday.

    and as for utilising BW’s, maybe thats why they limited the entries to just 100 max.

    I think if some wnat to try for KOM, then good on em as long as it does not affect the rest of us.

    Premier Icon sefton
    Subscriber

    I came across this event and thought ‘oh this looks interesting’ I presumed with the national trust link that some of the course would be on private land’ anyhow there was a limit to 100 riders with a staggered start. 10 riders every 5 mins. so it wasn’t 300 riders all ploughing down the bridleways. before people got lost it was groups of 10 strung out over a mile or so. a 9 o’clock Sunday start meant it was quite on the lanes & paths too. I know a lot of riders that turned up who are very good riders & racers.I also spoke to a few chaps who where ‘just doing it for the crack’ I personally ride, race, do ‘challenges’ etc etc. to me a ‘challenge’ is a timed race (that isn’t pushed as a ‘race’ due to legal reasons).

    Premier Icon chipps
    Subscriber

    Perhaps my point is that there are scant few organisers in the UK organising ‘proper’ XC races. They go to the trouble of finding a venue (not that easy) where they can set up a decent course, marshal it and organise a race, with insurance, on a closed course. This lets riders go as balls-out as they want without worrying about ending up facing a horse bum round a corner.

    If it’s easy to organise a bridleway-based ‘race’ and call it a challenge, with less expense and legal obligations, then what’s the incentive for regular race organisers?

    Edit: And I have great respect for our readers, which is why I’m asking you all for your opinions. If it turns out that I have the wrong end of the stick, then I’ll know. And if it’s of concern to people, then I might warrant spending the time to research a proper article into the topic.

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