When is entry fee too much? To prevent more failed events could promotors charge more?

Total votes: 78


It's about quality of course and cost per minute ratio

I know this poll comes with a huge "depends" so comments are welcome.

For me it is about quality of course and the probably varies greatly from rider to rider. One man's junk is another man's treasure. It also comes down to cost per minute ratio. If a crit is $45 and it is 45 minutes and assuming I don't plan on getting dropped then this is a $1 a minute event. Some endurance events are $80 but riding time is way higher lowering the ratio. Short track if $15 for 20 minutes and training crits, which are probably the best price per minute are like $18-ish for 40 minutes.

So if a crit that was super awesome, had a low chance of getting dropped (because the course suited me, I was fit and the category make up was fair then I would pay as much as $70 but honestly that would be rare but I don't have a problem dropping $85 for the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series.

This for me does tie into category make up, if a course had just SM +35 and no other age brackets and they were pulling lapped riders than my desire to enter or pay a high fee goes down because I'm simply not a strong crit rider (or strong for that matter). Am I saying the promoter should have more age brackets to attract me? Maybe, double edged sword right?

one opinion - except for a

one opinion - except for a few special races, even $50 sounds like too much for someone racing throughout the season. I think many of our races survive on riders who choose to race often and throughout the whole season. Something like a marathon can charge a lot because a runner may choose one single race in a year and travel far for it, and also because the barriers to entry in a run (or walk or jog) are far lower giving the sport a vastly larger group of potential participants. On the other hand, a vibrant bike racing community, I'd think, thrives on riders who choose maybe 15-30+ races a year - keeping overhead and entry fees in line prevents many of us from having to get selective and omit races we'd otherwise do as that can quickly add up, and it's not like the prize money is even covering costs for just about any rider. Also, having a few friends who are considering dipping their toes in the sport, there are already sufficiently steep cost and learning curves that I would think higher fees would be a deterrent.

One thought - if long drives to flattish eastern CO road races is a failing model, maybe focusing the road type courses in the foothills and mountains (the stuff that makes Colorado Colorado) and making them circuit/road courses (like Boulder RBX, Mead, Candelas and to a lesser extent, Koppenberg and Salida) will appeal to more racers and be more viable for promoters as well. Not sure of the answer but am sorry to see Hugo fail.

With that criteria, we won't

With that criteria, we won't have a problem with a full calendar. Perhaps we can pool all the sponsorship out there for one or two nice races per month.

If you know where the deep pockets for cash sponsorship of weekly amature races resides, please do share. I am sure there are lots of clubs that are depending on entry fees that would love to know where all that cash sponsorship is so they can improve the quality and prize list of the events.

I am hard pressed to solicit

I am hard pressed to solicit cash or freebies to give to bike racers. I do fundraising for nonprofits and am happy to ask businesses to donate to those causes because I can explain the benefit to society and the community. How do you convince a non-cycling business to give you $$$ so that weekend warriors can race their bikes? God bless those who can do this, but I am not among them.

Charity seems a pejorative

Charity seems a pejorative way to describe fundraising for nonprofits. One could viably argue that the mutual benefit comes from social improvements made possible in part through financial or in-kind donations. Or tax deductions, a pretty standard benefit for any business or individual making a nonprofit donation. Neither of those, or simply the fact that nonprofits are generally trying to making the world a bit better/more tolerable/etc. are any less worthy than the usual vague sponsorship benefits of cycling.

Combine that with the fact that many nonprofits are better are quantifying return on investment than many amateur cycling events, and I think that's what the poster above was alluding to with his remarks.

Let the flaming begin, I assume...

Not intended as a pejorative

Not intended as a pejorative at all--not every word/comment on this site should be construed as meanspirited--just a clarification.

Fundraising for non-profits is a highly noble endeavor. If some company/person wants to donate to a worthy cause then great. If some other company/person wants to sponsor a race or team or rider, then great.

The Table Mountain course in

The Table Mountain course in Golden hosts a weekend race in August. The attendance is never great. As for the Niwot business park course, they have held weekend races there in the past as well. As they were in March they had good attendance (and there lives a big part of the problem in CO.

a bit extreme

$5? That's a bit over the top.

500 racers at $25/each > 200 racers at $50 each

When you start talking about $50 entry fees + fuel and maybe some food, you're looking at a significant monetary commitment to race two events per week or even 1 event per weekend. With costs that high, I'd be very selective in the races I choose.

Too many races? Are we

Too many races?

Are we spoiled in Colorado because we have races on almost every Saturday and Sunday from March to August? When you look at other states, they might have one race event every other weekend. Could we be at the point that we sacrifice one weekend race for the other one for that same weekend? The farther away races always get the least attendance compared to closer to the metro. Ironhorse, Aspen, Dead Dog, Steamboat, Squaker, and Hugo (I know I missed some) are all far races and don't get the big number of participants.

Why can't we get more road races closer to the Denver Metro? Most are up towards Boulder and Ft Collins. Bennett/Strasburg, Brighton, or Big Saudi Aurora could host bigger races than Hugo.

We seem to lose a lot of racers when the warmer months hit. Many Cross guys vanish. The Tri guys are now doing their triathlons. Xterra racers move on also. More family time with the kids out of school? College racers are gone for the Summer.

We have too many Crits (yes, they are easier and cheaper to put on), but need more road races. We have more than enough climbing courses. Flatter courses are good to have also to make for a more well-rounded racer, especially if you go race in other states. Solutions? I don't know. Just blabbering.

I mostly agree

The push to have a road race (meaning as opposed to mtn, not as opposed to crit) every weekend day for almost half the year dilutes quality and turnout. But if most people don't want to seem to race their bikes the second half of the summer, shortening the season may work better than decreasing the frequency. In other words, try to have a race ever Saturday and Sunday April through June, but let it thin out dramatically in July and August.

Modest Proposal for ACA Growth and cost management

Ihave long believed. and even more strongly lately, that the key to making a regional system work is counter programming smaller races and overlapping them.

The gist is something like this:

on any given month in the road season, 3 weeks of the year, run small inepensive TTs and crits and HCs and RUN THEM AGAINST EACHOTHER.

have a TT in palmer lakes the same weekend as a crit in northern Colorado and a HC in Boulder...

next week, mix it up, sircuit race in boulder, HC in the mountains, TT in northern colorado.

one weekend a month, organize a big tentpole race event somewhere, from SM to Dead Dog. etc...

I think a lot of people would race more if there was less travel involved, but the community is spread out among CS, denver, boulder, mountain communities, fort collins and NorCo....

if the casual rec racers had more local options, the sport could grow more. Its pretty clear that travel is a barrier to entry/regular participation for a lot of folks. I help run the tuesday night grassroots series in Fort Collins and we get TONS of people coming out, just cuz its lowkey and accessible and cheap.

you do more of those kinds of things on saturday and sunday mornings all over the state, and less extravaganza races that req 500 people to register at 50 bucks a pop to break even, you SAVE those events for really special weekends on really good courses, and let the whole region converge for them, instead of expecting a majority or participatns to travel every or most weekends.

does this mean promoters compete for racers?

to some extent, yes, but if you program carefully (run different types of events against eachother) you minimize it, and whats more, you draw a lot more local sport racers out to grow the sport.

further, i am not convinced that a little more competition wouldnt incent promoters to be a little more creative and resourceful in managing costs. right now, each promoter essentially has a monopoly on a given date in Colorado, the only competition is for who gets which dates.

This seems like a pretty

This seems like a pretty simple and elegant solution (at least partially) to this issue. Colorado is certainly in the top 3 or so in terms of racing cyclists per capita, why treat it as if there can only be one race selection per viable racing day? Seems better on the grassroots level to have multiple, more locally-focused events so people can give bike racing a whirl on any given weekend, rather than to travel from Parker to Boulder only to be shelled two lap in on a 40 minute Crit and forever after swear off bike racing.

Sure it might crimp the style of those going for the BAR-BAT titles, but really, hasn't that continued to be an attendance award despite the best efforts of oh so many? Honestly if the points were spread out a bit more, if might make the points competition a little more interesting. Or just make the monthly flagship the weighted points event for the month, a collection of the top riders gunning for points.

Currently, we have so many events that the season here is a long one, as has been pointed out in multiple places on this forum and elsewhere, many people start training in January only to burn out by June or July. Multiple selections on most given weekends would allow clubs to fulfill their race promotion obligation without necessarily promoting say, a road race in late August that they worry will suffer from exceptionally low turnout (likely under the current model).

Not to say there aren't hurdles. One of the things the OP seemingly overlooks is that irresponsible cost management in not necessarily what does a lot of events in. Many municipalities mandate what promoters do regarding traffic and crowd control, meaning the costs are relatively fixed, and off duty cops ain't cheap, especially if you're looking at a full day. Not to speak for Swift, but I believe that might be one reason, along with the relatively empty road courses, that Hugo and Deer Trail are where they are. Still, I think that the travel/cost arguments are very valid, especially when you consider that this is a hobby for most of us.

Anyway, really intriguing idea, hope to see some more discussion here.

I completely agree, and this

I completely agree, and this is exactly the model that you see working so well in denser markets like the mid atlantic and midwest. Local, cheaper events running in parallel within 2-3 hours' drive of one another to encourage grassroots participation (we did a 3/4/5 only series in Northern Ky one summer and it did extremely well), and bigger "regional" events with higher entry fees, more prestige (and correspondingly nicer prize lists) every 3 or 4 weeks that become "target" events for people who want to drive to them. I have said this so many times: NOT EVERY EVENT HAS TO BE BAR BAT (or whatever); the "flatness" of the racing calendar out here is what is killing individual event participation; there's no distinction.

dunno if the demographics and density out here work quite as well, but it might make for a more achievable startup model for places like, say, Pueblo, who seemed to want to make a go at road events in the past, and might be able to draw some local stuff from Co Springs for a grassroots series, but have a harder time making a a bigger event work (at least initially until word gets out) strictly cos of funding availability and racer buy-in, etc. I can see the Western Slope / Central Mtns having their own series offset; WS in mid spring (like April, before the heat gets too bad) and Summit Co having a summer local series during the peak of hot season down here.

Races that do well and draw a big crowd year after year have something special to bring to the table, and maintain consistency (always same date on the calendar, you can rely on the same categories being held for the most part, etc). People complained about the results/timing issues at Morgul Classic but the organizers seem really focussed on trying to keep this a high quality event. From what I've seen the promoters and community organizers there take constructive criticism seriously and genuinely want to hold a high quality attractive event. Same goes for races like Boulder Roubaix. You can pretty much guarantee that every year on the first weekend in April there will be a fun dirt suffer fest with a good emcee and deep categories and decent prize list, oh and the fact that they tie it in with the Euro classic weekend helps to provide some of that elusive "sticky" factor. Same seems to apply for Mead - the community there really WANTS that event, and that shows itself in the enthusiasm and fun of the race itself, plus it looks like they're at least making an effort to maintain a consistent space on the calendar, but seeing as it's only the 2nd year, it's too early to tell.

Races like Hugo and the State TT suffer from a combination of logistical challenges, distance, unreliability on the part of Hugo (the promoter's gone a bit flakey about holding it in the past few years, sorry Steve, that's just the truth) that makes committing to driving to it unattractive, what I call the "meh" factor, and expense to maintain / put on. Other races that don't seem to do as well suffer from unpredictable calendar spots - you can't make them an A race on your January training plan because you're not sure when they'll happen or if they'll conflict with your family reunion, etc. The "meh" factor isn't something I can really describe, but I know it when I see it. The fourth office park circle in a row? That's "meh" too, and I happen to prefer crits. Some of those office park circles realistically might make better local/grassroots events run at a low expense to promoter & racers alike by turning them into weeknight and/or training races.

last but not least, you have insane saturation of the outdoor competitive market in this region. It's not like road racing is the only thing going. This not only draws riders away to conflicting events, it also brings about "event fatigue" in the local communities and with law enforcement, etc. Winter Park series, the six million duathlon and triathlons that go on just in Boulder alone, Tough Mudder, NORBA races, Firecracker 50, other MTB enduro events, Bolder Boulder, Denver running 5 and 10K races -- these are a few of the things my teammates and I have signed up for just this summer. Add to that things like family vacations, fishing/hiking/camping, weddings and other stuff and you've got a recipe for distraction.

Salida Road Race = $53.40

Will be interesting to see if $53.40 is too much for a short circuit road race.

Distances are from 12 miles for Cat. 5s - 27 Miles for Women, 35 for Men 4s, 45 for Men 3s, 35+, SW 1-2, 3 & 68 Miles for SM P-1-2.

Is that worth $53.40? Time will tell.

If Hugo added that extra $6.90 x 300 riders = $2070 they would of gotten close to break even.

Crit is $43.00. Most groups are 40 Minutes to 55 Minutes.