ACA announces their 2010 racing Calendar - UPDATED

Now that the ACA Senior Awards party is behind us the 2010 ACA Calendar is published. Feb 6 is the first race! Below are some of the highlights of the ACA calendar but remember there are way more cycling events than this calendar shows, be sure to check out the Colorado Cycling Calendar for a complete listing

2010 ACA Calendar Highlights

- Spring time crits are back but not at Stazio (roads closed) so DBCEvents has moved them to Niwot running a figure 8 course.

- Koppenberg returns to spring Don't hold your breath, trying to run the Koppenberg in Springtime has been a huge challenge by the promotor in the past but very sweet if Mother Nature doesn't f it up.

- All the classics are back plus Memorial weekend racing. Boulder Roubaix, Lookout Mtn, City Park, North Boulder and Deer Trail are back but also the Morgul Bismark comes back on Memorial weekend... no more driving to Durango or Iowa for good Memorial weekend racing!

- Front Range Mountain Bike Series We don't have many details but it appears to be running once a month starting in April!! Finally, some Front Range MTB racing! Will this spark the return of MTB racing?

- 217 Days of a racing season Closing off the season season once again on September 11 is copper crit. That is 217 days from the Frostbite TT to this final race!

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Just to throw in my two

Just to throw in my two cents, I think this problem is legit. But in my opinion, it starts from higher up: we need to make a real Cat.2. Because no one wants to end up racing the pros at every single event, they avoid upgrading, and the trickle-down sandbagging is obvious.

Secondly, last I checked, Cat. 4 is supposed to be for new, inexperienced racers. Instead, it's populated with people who hiring coaches, training with power taps and ARE NOT BEGINNERS. So when true novices try to race, they're blown out the back instantly, and it's not even a competitive situation for them. And if telling them to "suck it up and train harder" actually worked, this problem wouldn't keep coming up. The bottom category is not the bottom.

This situation is fine, I guess, if you're an elitist. But if the cycling community wants racing to grow --rather than lose novices to triathlon or running because those sports are way more welcoming-- something needs to change.

What is Growth?

If we need to run 30 different categories a day, with 15 people in each category to quote "grow" the sport, I will take a pass on growing the sport. Just like Tri where 72 people all "win" their age category at every race. 35 3's and 45 4'd did not "grow" the sport in 2009 per ACA data, it mostly cannibalized from other categories. So we got roughly the same # of people racing, just spread out more. Worse for races, worse for promoters.

At some point we need to remember all the people who have been racing for the last 15 years and are the one who have gotten us to this point. They are not more important than the new bees, but they are certainly not less important.

"30 categories" with "15

"30 categories" with "15 people", "remember...15 years". How does adding ONE category negatively affect anybody? It seems that people most opposed to this are 1 or 2s. I'm not sure why because a 35+3 takes people out of the 35+ open field, so smaller fields and fewer beginners clogging-up the start. I guess folks think that adding categories below them devalues what they have accomplished. I argue it creates greater appreciation for their accomplishments because there are more steps to get to the top, and racers are better prepared once they get there. If you are racing 35+ open already then you stay there.

The other thing that should be considered is when you start racing. Fortunately for our scene we have a lot of people starting after they are 35. This is great, but these people do not benefit from a normal process of upgrading. Cross Crusade in Portland includes a masters A, masters B and masters C fields. They also have a beginner category for all ages. I'll assume that masters A translates to ACA 35+ Open and masters C = 35+4. Where is our master B?? I believe Portland is a good comparison because our fields in the 35+ categories are getting bigger and bigger and may some day equal Portland numbers.

I just don't see a problem.

I just don't see a problem. I think there are too many cateogories as it is and things should be simplified so the fields are bigger, things are easier for the promoters and things are more exciting for the spectators.
I learned to race in England, there they have only one race per region on raceday for a combination of categories! One weekend you could be doing a 4s race, the next weekend a 2,3,4 race or even, perish the thought, an E,1,2,3 race! There was one category for ALL Masters riders and on a rare occasion there may be an M,3,4 race where they could race with some 3s and 4s but if not the old geezers had to suck it up and race with the fast lads. This was the same in road and cross, everyone starts as a 4 and gets heckled by all their mates until they get the required 10 points to upgrade to a 3, then you may find yourself racing with the big boys and that's the fun, you get to race faster, learn the tactics, follow the wheels of the 'big hitters' and once in a while beat some Elite (PRO) riders. The fields are bigger, there's actually teamwork and tactics and it's not the same people dominating the races each week. I'd never heard the term sandbagger until I moved here.
We even had a Masters guy that raced for Middridge RT that had a metal hook for a right hand and he would be out there battling with the pros, 1s and 2s on a regular basis, he never asked why there wasn't a seperate category for him and all his one handed mates.

35+ 3's seems easy to do

I don't understand the objections to 35+ 3's for CX. If it starts 30 seconds behind 35+ Open it doesn't make the day longer or harder for the organizer, does it?

What is the point of having different categories if they aren't separated. The way it is now there are two classes for over 35 racers. 4's and Open (1,2 and 3), why even have the 1, 2 and 3 distinction?. I think we'd be better off with A,B and C so at least there would be 3 distinct classes.

Where is the logic in the beginner class, 35+4's being the largest. Shouldn't we have the most riders somewhere in the middle of the class structure difficulty wise? Guys would move out of 35+4's quicker if there was somewhere less intimidating than 35+ Open to go. Wouldn't CX be more accessible to new racers if the 35+ 4 class wasn't so large and intimidating? Couldn't that put more money in the promoters pocket?

Disclosure: I raced CX 35+4's for the first race last season finished in the top 5 for the first time in my life. I then promptly moved up to 35+ Open where I was surprised and happy to be mid pack.