2013 - Salida Classic

Date: 

Friday, July 26, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013

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61 Comments

Motor Officials

I hope this is from someone in the 45+ 123 field. He reported what happened and what could have been a really bad situation was incredibly handled by both him and the field.

There were other situations in the day with the groups passing one another and while we do our best not to let situations like that happen it often does, especially given the short course. The motors handled it all very well.

Want to give my thanks as well to all the racers who came out and made it a great weekend as well as the organizers for doing an amazing job this year. It was a long weekend for all the officials, but they did a great job and in no small part due to the racers and organizers for making our jobs as easy as possible this weekend.

Thanks!
Tim - CR of the Salida weekend

First time I have ever gone

First time I have ever gone to Salida or, done this race. Man what a great weekend and what a great little town. One of the better road courses in CO, as it is a balanced course (hard, not a pure climbing course, and you better be able to sprint), it was beautiful and fun to race on. Liked the crit in downtown and a solid tt. I will be back next year and bring the family.

Only real bummer was how small the fields are. It is too we get 75 riders in some cat for the Weld County RR in April while it is snowing, and then we have average fields around 25 to 30 for this great weekend.

$$$

Most people, whether the realize it or not, don't have a chance at getting on the podium. Not a realistic chance, anyway.

Skipping a race because of no, or little, prize money for the 39-42, blue eyed, left-handed cat 4 field is silly. Some sand bagger who isn't even left-handed is going to win it.

The numbers at Salida

The numbers at Salida actually look pretty good and comparable to many of the front range races. The problem is that with 20 different groups, each of those groups has relatively small numbers because the overall is divided so many ways.

Salida crit 335; Sonic Boom - Master's state crit 335; Longmont - Sr state Crit 372

Salida road race had 444 riders which would be a successful race even close to the Boulder Bubble.

5 hours of driving and $60

5 hours of driving and $60 for a race that lasted less than an hour and a half was hard to absorb but I went anyway and I always enjoy the race. I do think they should have done 8 laps for the 35+ 3 race. If it's the state champ race it needs to challenge with distance as well as features. The 3s race was longer and wasn't a champ category. I'm sure there are many logistical challenges to getting all of the races in with a limited schedule, but if people wonder about turnout that may be a piece of the equation.

""I hope this is from someone

""I hope this is from someone in the 45+ 123 field. He reported what happened and what could have been a really bad situation was incredibly handled by both him and the field.""

So what is the mysterious happenings? I bet there is something to be learned for many.

45+ 123

how it was described to me was that a car got on the course going the direction of the riders on the downhill. The 45+ 123 field caught the car and passed it on the left. The motor ref when it was safe slowed everyone down, and brought it to their attention that the best judgement was not being used, and that we really don't want to see anyone hurt. Everyone kept a cool head the field recognized that that was probably not a smart move and racing was quickly resumed with no further problems. Also of note is several people from the 45+123 after the race thanked the motor official after the race.

The motor official is local to Salida and so does not work many races, but he is very good and sure handled it well. As did the field with everyone not over reacting.

Just because everyone does it

Just because everyone does it, doesn’t make it right.

I guess you can call that a regulation.

If any of those riders were over the center/enforcement line and/or disregard for the rules of the road they should have had a penalty.

How many times have we heard of “ZERO TOLERANCE” for center line?

DQ of the majority of the field is fine. If there was no 45+ State Champ then so be it.

If half the field did wrong and the other half stayed behind to do the right thing then the rule breakers should get the DQ and not a talking to.

We are not talking about young beginners but 45+ dudes that are 1s, 2s.

Just because you are in a “RACE” doesn’t mean you get to break the law.

Stupid acts make us all look bad. That race might not get a county permit if something bad happened or there is continued disobedience.

SM 45 123

I was being lapped by, I believe the SM 45, on the downhill. The motor came up and I moved to the right. Then the field came by and they were all over the road on a blind left hand turn. The motor moved to their left and a car was coming up the hill and the motor almost had a head on trying to move the field back to the right of the yellow. That is what I saw.

Maybe that moto ref isn't

Maybe that moto ref isn't really that good but a little lucky. DQ the first few offenders early and everyone will be on their best behavior.

Nice and safe.

Never understood why some racers want to be in the wrong lane.

Till refs get a backbone and really enforce the so called strict centerline, riders will continue to ride all over.

Great races

This was the first time I have gone to Salida. I only did the road race, but you can be sure I will do the whole weekend next year. The courses were fantastic, and the town is great. Spread the word, this should be the mid-summer reace EVERYONE goes to! Well worth 3 hours in car (each way 6+ total), regardless of results, prize money, or race length.

"Only real bummer was how

"Only real bummer was how small the fields are. It is too we get 75 riders in some cat for the Weld County RR in April while it is snowing, and then we have average fields around 25 to 30 for this great weekend."

This comment is going to be derided by those in the roadie bubble who can't see the reality.

Road racing seems to be pretty dead in Colorado, a victim of cost, and traffic issues preventing people from training effectively, IMHO. I started road racing in the midwest almost 40 years ago, and the fields were larger then!

Let's face it - when a marginal race bike sets you back $4K, wheels are another $1K minimum, shoes are $200+, electronics run $200-$3000 depending on how hard you want to go into it, and then race fees and travel on top of all of that, the average Joe simply can't do it. Cycling was expensive 40 years ago, but even a kid with a paper route could save up enough in a summer to get a low-end race bike with sew-ups that wouldn't really hold you back that much. I know, because I did it. I raced on a $200 french bike with a 531 steel frame when the highest of the high end was $600 or so. That $200 is roughly equivalent to $1000 today, but minimum wage has not increased to match the cost of living. The weight difference was about one pound, 23lb vs. 22lb and the bikes were functionally identical. Now you have the high end at $10K+, 15 pounds with super aero wheels and $75 tires. The guy starting out is running a 20 pound bike with standard wheels, and the difference is much more pronounced. Without a cash injection the equipment is much more of an issue than it used to be.

The cost of cycling keeps pushing up the average age of cyclists - this applies to recreational riders as well as racers. The average 20 something might have a cheap mountain bike for around town and occasional trail use, but the leap from that to a single-focus road bike is just too great. Juniors? Forget about it unless you have parents bleeding cash.

Then there is the issue that the vast majority of people now live in places that require them to drive to get to any kind of training rides. The entire country is more urban than it was 40 years ago, and that goes double for the front range.

I don't know what the solution is - maybe there isn't one. People live where they live, and the equipment horse is out of the barn, so to speak. Short of some kind of race class that requires a weight minimum on the bikes (hey, the UCI has that!), the equipment has simply outpriced the masses. The same thing happened in auto and motorcycle racing decades ago.

Price way overstated

Entry cost tends to be way overstated because of a fixation on prestige brands. Even buying new, a race-worthy set up can be obtained for less than $2,000. Just for example, based on five minutes on the web and not necessarily plugging these products:

Bike, $1,600: http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Sette/Sette-Forza-Race-105-Carbon-Road-B....
Pedals, $70: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_537506_-1___202531
Shoes, $100: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_519318_-1___202527
HRM, $100: http://www.amazon.com/Timex-Mid-Size-T5G941-Trainer-Monitor/dp/B000F5WB66.

Outside of a time trial, being on a $2,000 set up versus an $8,000 set up is not often going to make much difference in final placing. That said, I acknowledge it can be tough knowing your competitors have even a little advantage over you, just because they spent more. And, as you pointed out, even $2,000 is more, in real terms, than it cost to get a race worthy-set up a generation ago. I spent about $400 on the bike I started racing on in '93. But then, I've always been cheap, and am racing on road and 'cross bikes and wheels that cost me about a third of what you call the "minimum."

I think the much bigger factor is the other one you mention. It used to be, every city or town in the front range had endless miles of rural, low traffic roads close at hand. That's just not the case any more, which makes it a lot harder, and more expensive, to put on a decent road race. If people aren't willing to drive out of the Front Range for road races, the road racing scene is going to be weak, and that's pretty much where we're at. I don't think there's much of a solution - either enough racers are willing to drive to places like Salida and Laramie, or they're not. That said, some improvement could be had by reducing the number of fields. The Salida RR had 444 starters. To oversimplify, that could make 8 strong fields, or 20 weak ones, and currently we've got 20 weak ones.

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