Is Dead Dog Dying?

I saw this on the ACA forum late last week:

Registration closed last night. There are only 325 racing. Not sure why we are down about 100 registered racers from last year. SM Pro-1-2 field is slim with only 25. Last year we had just over 60 register. Maybe they are all at nationals? Anyway, weather is looking pretty good and we hope to have a good race!

This to me is very interesting when other events fill up with days. The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race filled up immediately and so have many of the Leadville 100 Alternatives. The Triple ByPass has become extremely popular and filled up in less than a day! Yeah I know you might say well these are mountain bike events and a long one day tour and Dead Dog is a road stage race. Well, The Front Range Mountain Bike Series cancelled there last few racers due to low turn out. Here is what they said:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

End of FRMTB Series for 2010

We would like to thank all the racers, racer's families, volunteers, and sponsors who supported the series this year - you made each of the races an absolute blast to be a part of. Unfortunately, the reality is that turnout isn't where we'd need it to be, which, when combined with the time constraints of everyday life, means we are cutting the series short at the halfway point. It seems the sweet-spot for this type of race is in the early spring - wind, rain, and rescheduled races permitting - so that's a lesson learned for us. Actually, we learned a lot of lessons along the way from the valuable feedback many of you gave us after the races. Lessons we'll put to good use in the future.

We're finalizing the point standings for each of the cats this week and will get prizes out the door ASAP to the folks that put the stomp on the competition (nope, we didn't forget about you, the goods are comin'). Aside from that, if anyone wants to grab a pint at the Southern Sun sometime, send us a quick note and we'll meet you there.

Again, thanks for all your support. We'll likely post-up early next year to see how folks are feeling about another series for 2011 (looking at the possibility of a full length xc race in there as well). Meanwhile, keep racing, riding, supporting your local mtb association, helping build trails, and keeping the sport cool.

- Erik and Alec
Race Pace Promotions

So, what is it? Location? The course? Lets hear it.

News Item: 

42 Comments

Support

You know what, just do what you are going to do. Just don't complain when good races disappear.
Putting on races is a major pain...I would rather be out riding than doing it. But as i said before, no one is making money on this. The promoters and officials are doing it because they love racing and want to actually contribute to it's success. They have day jobs and are doing the promotion activities after work, after dinner, etc. Mistakes do happen and things are not always perfect. But they are putting on races that you can go to.

I think you missed the point

I think you missed the point that a promoter/club is not going to give their time to put on a good race if racers are going to complain/refuse to race over things like the culture of the town.... I am not sure the idea of promotion companies running the calendar of events is a good idea either, I could see it ending up like the MSC series with $50+ entry fees in order to pay salaries....

I personally think there are a number of really poorly run races in Colorado that seem to survive and plenty of "promotion companies" putting on events that lose money... food for thought.

Laramie

Just want to say a couple of things. The fact that DD numbers were down this year can't be due to whether Laramie is a good or bad town. The Laramie Enduro Mountain Bike Ultra Marathon 10 miles east of town filled up its 500 slots within 10 minutes of race registration opening. If Laramie is such a bad town, that would not have happened. How about the ACA race itself? We (Dead Dog Planning Committee) thought we would max out this year. Lower gas prices and some pretty reasonable room rates; no masters nats conflict like the last two years. Less schedule competition the two weeks before the race compared to last year. After the high gas prices of two years ago we hit our all time high for registered racers last year (despite masters nats conflict). $100 dollars for three races including fully staffed feed zones (we put out over 600 free bottles and the folks to hand them up); flawless registration/packet pickup; the best officials going and a free BBQ with beer at the end seemed pretty reasonable. Pretty good purse too for those to whom it matters. Did you know that we put 125 volunteers on the RR course to support racers? That is more than 1 volunteer for every 3 racers. Even more amazing when you consider that there are about 2 active ACA racers in town. WYDOT swept the entire RR course to make sure it was free of debris. Can't imagine CDOT doing that. There are plenty of good restaurants in Laramie too. Concerning the climbing aspect of the course; you can't win for losing. No matter what it is (and we have done both extensive climbing and non-extensive climbing RR courses) there are always complaints one way or the other. TT race with non-TT bikes is the same deal. Some love it, some hate it. I'm not sure the race will be back again next year. The committee will decide that in the near term.

Agree that it is a great

Agree that it is a great race. When at a Stage Race, I never really get out around town much. I do like the Natural Food store on the crit course.

If numbers are below break even point, then might need to change things up.
A few ideas...
Omnium? Allow RR to fill with riders that don't do crits/tts. or people that can't dedicate an entire weekend.
Everybody does the 85 miles in the RR and call it a Road Enduro. :-)
Keep SR but drop TT or Crit, add HC or 2nd RR.
Retro TT bikes?
- Just ideas. Email those that have done in the past but didn't make it this year for more ideas.

If in the Black in 300-350 racers, keep it a Stage Race. People that do it, love it...

Kim, I hear you and

Kim,

I hear you and appreicate your words. You are right, now a days with the attitudes of the current racers, you cannot win for trying. Have a flat RR and the climbers will complain. Too much climbing and the non-climbers will complain. I miss the old days, like the 1990's when if it was a good race, riders just supported it.

This year was my first year back at DD after not racing much for a while. For the reccord I sure am not a climber. Our entire team had a great time (12 of us made it up for the race), we were impressed with Laramie as a town and how well run the race was. You guys need to do what is right for you. It is a shame, but when you put on one of the only actual stage races, and riders stop supporting it, we riders have no one else to blame.

CJ Gauss

Dead Dog future

Please don't let anything I've said be construed as a rant about the racers. Some like some things, other don't. Some complain, many more are complimentary. Number of racers go up and down. That's just life! For me, it is simply a matter of running out of steam. Six years doing what I do for the race is a long time. The other two core members of the Planning Committee are great people and I have offered to help them in a limited capacity if they decide to continue the race. I will continue to officiate next year so expect to see me at those races and at the DD in some very minor role if the race continues.

Thanks!

Kim - I know just putting on a road race is a huge amount of work, then multiply that by a factor of 3, or more like 10, to figure the work required for DD. I do hope it returns next year, as it really is a classic. I hadn't raced it in several years and really enjoyed myself. I agree with one of the comments below - consider making it an omnium, as I know some people this year who drove up just to do the road race. Thanks for everything you've done over the years and hope to see you around.

Dead Dog future

What a great race, good location, great riding, excellent administration and running of the race. I hope it continues now and long into the future. Few too stage races as it is. Speak up if you feel the same and encourage Kim and crew to keep going!

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