Tuesday Coffee Talk - No one is watching

Where are the fans?

This past Sunday Colorado was lucky enough to hold another run of the Koppenberg Race. The race was fairly well attended with about mid 500's in terms of registration and the pro's field had an good representation of elite riders in our area. The weather was great...hell it was perfect considering how the last 30 days had been in Colorado yet at is with many Colorado races few turned out to watch, less than 50 during the 3rd wave on the hill.

Why is it Flagstaff can pack on nearly 20,000 spectators and spend nearly a full day to watch a field go by once? Watching a pro level race like that is exciting as the race usually gets to take advantage of roads that would have never been opened up to normal racing. But is it that much better? It is better but a difference of 20,000 to 50 does not reflect the quality of racing Colorado has to offer crowds. But still few showed up, why?

"Cycling is a participation sport, if you like it you should be out racing it!" I agree with that statement but the total registration for the race did not exceed 5000 so again, where is the gap? That section of the hill could have been just as fun as any pro race with (at least) hundreds of fans, music, beer, and all that goes on with the energy of watching a great race. Sure their speed might have been a few mph slower than that what Lance Armstrong could have done had he done the Koppenberg in his "prime years" but does it matter? It's a beautiful day, on a epic race course, away from city regulations... this hill could and should be rockin!

This conversation can go in many directions but one thing I hear often on 303 is how crappy courses are and how expensive the registration fees are. We are partly to blame... and I am talking not only to the racers but ALL CYCLISTS. If we gave Colorado races 10% the love we gave the USAPro Challenge it would completely change the landscape of racing in Colorado. Imagine 2,000 fans on the Koppenberg hill! Get those numbers and the quality of the field (which is good) will go to awesome and probably double if not triple in size.

I leave you with this one request. In 2013 add this to your list of todo's
- If you are a racer - attend and watch one race (field) that you are not racing
- If you don't race - attend and watch one race (MTB, Road or Cross)
- Tell and cycling friend (who might not ever consider racing) to watch a great race (we have at least 1 great event a month (at least).

Tell us your opinion on this

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Here's an idea

Kris - here's an idea for you. Why don't you start a website dedicated to FOLLOWING of, vs. participating in, the local pro/am bike racing scene? You could feature the teams and riders, events, sponsors, etc, and get the grass growing!

I do agree that more events need to be held in conjuction with existing festivals and other gatherings where people may have more than just a passing interest in watching a race. I know parking and logistics could be problematic but those are relatively low hurdles to overcome.