2012 - Alpha Cross

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2012 Alpha Cross from Brian Moore on Vimeo.

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71 Comments

Just trying to help...

FYI-You don't have to buy 2 licenses. Only a USAC license is required to race. The BRAC Membership is only required if you want to compete in the CO Cross Cup Points Comp., use the "race kit" to promote a race, etc. Race day reg is still available for the majority of events. Most promoters seem to be $35 + $10 for a "late"(race day) reg. I could have done that at AlphaCross, but I don't like penalizing those of us with busy schedules that decide last minute to race on a particular day. That's why I have always just picked the mid way point and charged everyone the same price.

You're right cross isn't what it used to be. In my opinion(for whatever its worth)the race quality is better across the board. If you get a chance YouTube "2007 Colorado State Cyclocross Championships" No pits, no finish straight, no start grid, not even course tape on over 60% of the course. It's amazing the difference in 5 years!A lot of work has gone into growing the sport, unfortunately that has come at a cost.

I think you've totally got

I think you've totally got the "late" (race day) idea all wrong. Price your event appropriately and give those people that want to pre-register a discount. It's recommended process by BRAC to do that (and you're a "gold" event, follow their guidelines, don't just get the "gold" designation to justify a high entry fee). Side benefit is that encouraging pre-reg would help to drive attendance #s (especially since callups are for pre-reg only) and simplify life on race day for volunteers/racers/officials.

You're penalizing the people that can plan ahead and commit to giving you money so that some people that aren't sure if they're gonna race don't have to pay extra when they do decide last minute.

And btw, it wasn't the same price for everyone. The USAC charges a service fee, so pre-registered riders paid more than day-of registration. I'm amazed you got as many racers to show up as you did.

Today

BRAC officials upload results to USAC on Tuesdays. You should see them today at some point.

That's your opinion

You are entitled to your opinion about which way is "the right way" as do I. It's the beauty of this country.I bet if you promoted an event you'd doing everything 100% the way that each and every person would agree with.

If you think that our race received a "Gold" designation purely to charge a higher price, you obviously didn't come out and race. We strive to put on a top quality event for those that spend their time and money to attend. If I have to charge and extra $5 to do that, so be it. It's your choice to attend or not. Again, the beauty of this country.

By the way we did pre reg 76% of our entrants, which did make life easier on all involved.

Like I said in one of my earlier responses, if you have an issue with the USAC reg fees, take it up with USAC. In my opinion, the USAC owned reg site should be free for USAC licensed members, clubs and promoters. Isn't that why we buy memberships?

To say "I'm amazed you got as many racers to show up as you did." is just mean spirited and serves no constructive value. If higher prices or a further drive or whatever issues you have with a race causes you not to show up, good riddance. Bike racing (especially cross) is suppose to be a fun experience. Mean people suck!

Thanks Adam

Adam - thanks so much for taking time to respond to comments, and thanks for hosting an excellent event Sunday. Speaking as an "east coast" guy, it's nice to have a venue (Interlocken also fits this category) that's almost completely grass - and thick grass at that! Personally, I don't mind paying a few extra bucks for some quality grass time.

Agreed, I really enjoyed my

Agreed, I really enjoyed my race on Sunday. Thanks Adam and the rest of the Alpha crew for giving up some of your free time to develop youth cx riders. With no high school league for cross, its great that a few of the teams have dedicated junior programs. Its crazy how much time the average teen spends on twitter, fb, and video games now. The bike team experience keeps them engaged in an active lifestyle. I'll happily spend an extra $5 for that.

As far as increasing registration costs, at lot of the promoters will give you free registration for volunteering a few hours during the race or for setup/take down. For the race my team hosted earlier this year, this was the case and I've heard you only have to volunteer for a short period of time tomorrow to get free registration to Turkey cross.

Hmmm...no high school league for CX

Now, THAT's a travesty, especially since a good number of courses are (or at least used to be) on school campuses. Talk about an awesome way to grow the sport! I've been at a few races this year where it seems like the juniors (even Pre-J!) outnumber all but the largest senior and masters fields. I wonder if the risk and liability is just a little too high for a CX league (not to mention the equipment/uniform/etc. costs).

love grass courses

It's pure joy to lay down some watts (never enough!) and tear up some nice turf grass. I know not everyone likes them, but I think it's a great change of pace from the usual courses we seem to have. Variety (in course type and location) is a good thing and props to Alpha for putting on a good race.

I think complaining racers

I think complaining racers who all need their own category with their own start time have taken the fun out of it, how many different ability levels of masters racers can there really be? And the points series, that is stupid too. Not what it used to be for sure.

30 or 40 does it really matter?

It is interesting to me that so many people look at the 40 dollar entry fee for this race and find it unreasonable. Anybody who lives south of 120th should be glad for any opportunity to race outside the “bubble”. I’d gladly donate the extra 5 or 10 bucks to a worthy cause as opposed to burning the gas to get up north every weekend (5 or 10 bucks doesn’t come close to covering it). If you do live in the “bubble” then maybe the few times you come south to race each year is an opportunity to “thank” us that don’t for coming up almost every weekend. I do think that more racers make for a better race – right? I can’t speak to the requirements and associated costs for hosting a “gold” cup race but it’s hard to fault the strategy of applying for the designation. If you’re a promoter and your goal is to provide a quality race with a good draw then the gold designation would seem to be a good start. As a consumer I make the decision every weekend as to whether or not the costs associated with racing are worth it, and every weekend I race I spend more money on gas, food, and associated expenses than I do on entry fees. In the end every time I race I have a great time with family and friends, get some fresh air and exercise, and hopefully encourage more people to try the sport.

Marketing!

It sounds like there was high production quality, good amenities, good prize money for the Open class, and a good course. But I didn't hear about any of that before the race. All I could find beforehand was a very plain race flyer and link to registration. I decided not to come because it sounded pretty so-so and I heard from a friend the course wasn't great. I think many racers select events based upon the marketing... how much info is available and how does the event seem? What exactly is the course like? Are there any cool features? Is it well-designed by an expert and do other experienced riders give it a thumbs up? What amenities can we expect? Are other teams or notable riders planning to attend? What is the production quality going to be? Basic marketing, PR legwork, and detailed info makes a huge difference I think.

What I need to hear!

Thank you for voicing your constructive criticism. Things like that are exactly what I need to hear in order to continue to improve our event. We are constantly trying to make a higher quality race experience. I will definitely work on a better pre event promotions next year!

Forty American dollars?

Forty dollars for a race? As a 35+4, that seems really high. I had to sell my A and B bikes this summer - both with carbon tubulars, and a mud set because I didn't have disc brakes.

Do you know how hard is it to have to build up 2 brand new carbon CX bikes, get them fit, buy 6 new wheelsets and get Dugasts glued up? New saddles are not the most comfortable. Why didn't I keep my 6 month old saddles? Well, if you have to ask - you're not down with my cross lifestyle.

Then on my first training ride, I looked down, and my shoes didn't match the new color scheme of the bikes, and hello new Carbon MTB shoes.

And another thing, my shop only sponsors us at 10% off? When I was downloading the GoPro footage and my Powertap profile from my last training ride around the Res, I counted A LOT of cars on my MacBook Pro. That is free advertising you know.

I'm pretty sure those motorists saw the wattage I was putting out, and saw those logos and came in to buy stuff.

I studied marketing back east where the pizza is better, and they just "get" cross.

And the start times? I had to leave my condo in Summit County like at 7am to get down here. I was so tired from the race and the drive that I stayed overnight at the Inverness. They only had city view rooms, not overlooking the golf course. I could barely sleep.

Only the perfectly done filet at Brooks Steakhouse that night turned the day around for me.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, $40 for a race? That is WAY too expensive.

*** If you don't know anyone like this - then YOU ARE THIS GUY.

Bad Mantality

I get what you are saying about cost, however I think you are talking about a very small group of the overall population. The more you turn this into an elitist pursuit the faster you will discourage new participants. And having extremely high registration costs do exactly that, discourage new participants. Keep prices low, encourage new participants and stop focusing on the master rider better equipped than half the pros. They are not the norm, the kid with one bike, one set of clincher wheels, and the biggest smile just because they are there are the norm and the growth potential for our sport. Look at other sports endurance sports, their low barrier to entry and inclusive nature make them extremely popular. That is how cross started, the thing you describe is a perverted manipulation of what looks like the original intent of this bike subculture.

sand pit...

I thought the course was fun, really and it was very well rounded ... but not to be a wuss here but the downhill into the sandpit was just plain dangerous not everyone has mad skilz :) and I know people got hurt..... let's not do that again next year... yeah people can say you can slow down or dismount and run it.. but it's racing and people are more apt to go over their heads in the heat of the moment...
the pre reg BS is still BS in my opinion. that doesn't take away from you guys putting on a good race.. that in the end I still showed up for a paid for.. it's just lame to have to pre reg...

I want a seasons pass for cycling... like they do effectively in belgium... licenses are ~$300-400ish... and when you show up for a race its only $5 or so.. it could work ..
rant over.

Thanks for coming out!

Thanks for coming out to the race and also taking the time to post your opinion. As the course designer, promoter, etc. I should tell you that the downhill sandpit was one of the best received features of the course. That being said, I rode it many times during course layout and during preview that day. I however chose to run it 6 of 7 laps during the race as the risk wasn't worth the reward to me. As a course designer, I always try to make one technical course feature per lap that has the possibility to create separation based on handling skills. Similar to the super muddy downhill/drop in to the creek bed at Sienna Lake, which I also thought was AWESOME!

Thanks again and I'll see you out there!

EMT at the Volley Ball Pit

After watching a few riders endo, I (jokingly) asked the EMT camped at the sand pit how many broken collar bones she had seen so far that day.
"Only one"
Yikes!
Soon after that exchange another rider hurt his shoulder badly enough to dnf. By a stroke of luck the EMT was within a few steps when it happened.

Alpha cross

What you are missing on the fees/cost issue is that we as racers are "customers". We have paid for our license, timing chip, signed waivers, and registered. We should not be penalized for losing earned call-up positions because BRAC administrative processes are getting the USA Cycling call-up order incorrect and forcing pre-registration. Then, most but not all promoters are charging the unnecessary "same day registration fees". Wait until "unattached fees" start too. This amounts to being double penalized for extra fees and no earned call-up. As BRAC customers, we have all paid hundreds of dollars in event fees, which are warranted for our participation and safety. In closing, promoters and BRAC should be losing revenue due to fees and costs passed on to their customers that have no value. Genuflecting to BRAC and poor promoter registration effectiveness should be protested by not showing up for events. Go ride for free somewhere else, or enjoy your family and have a $40 lunch.

Umm, the current state of

Umm, the current state of Colorado bike racing is closer to the 4-H fair rather than the fair and competitive marketplace that you and others like to describe. What you are missing is that the majority of promoters do not do it as a business, for better or worse. Most, like Adam, are trying to ensure quality racing opportunities continue(outside of Boulder) and then raise very limited proceeds towards development of their amateur teams. I personally have no problem with extra fees going towards BRAC as others have pointed out it is a very small portion of my bike racing budget. And if I disagree with the fees, then it is my responsibility to be more involved with BRAC. Imagine what registration would cost if they could not depend on volunteers and had to pay their staff!

You are no more a customer than the little girl in the 4-H pony show trying to get a ribbon (And there are 100 different classes so everyone get's a ribbon, sound familiar!). Maybe some day it will be a competitive marketplace and we can all vote for the best races with our dollars, but for now you have to be more than a lazy consumer if the sport is going to move forward.

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