Struggle for attendance in woman's fields?

I got this email today (and probably all club owners did as well). In short it states how they have received no pre-registration entries for the woman's open field at Prospect Criterium for this weekend, August 8th. The notice is that this promoter has included the woman's field over the Men's Cat 4 field that would have very likely filled up while so for 0 woman have signed up, meaning this might cost them lots of lost revenue.

Is selecting the woman's open field over the men's cat 4 field a good thing or not?

Also, is it fair to judge a turn out by the number of pre-registered riders? I can't remember the last time I pre-registered for a race

Hi!

As of today, the womens open field at the Prospect Criterium has no women signed up. Since we are the Masters State Championship race, I have to run every Masters Category with a 15 minute warm up period before each race. These categories alone take up the allowed time for a race day. I have petitioned the ACA, and am paying extra fees to be allowed extra hours of racing. With the these hours of extra racing the following categories have been chosen: Men Pro,1,2; Senior Men Cat 3; Women Open field.

The womens field was choosen at the cost of a 90 rider Senior Mens Cat 4 field, which most likely would have filled to capacity. As an ambasador of womens cycling I have done this so please show your support and sign up for the race.

We look forward to a fun day of racing and hope to see you there.

Thank you,

Whitey DeBroux
www.vicsespresso.com

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10 Comments

Online preregistration is

Online preregistration is fairly rare for Colorado races, so some people (myself included) don't even pay attention when it is available. Looking at the preregistered riders in other categories, participation looks low across the board. A scary sight for a promoter, but some of it can be chalked up to CO racers simply not being accustomed to having online registration. There will probably still be a lot of day-of entries.

On the other hand, with senior state championships last weekend and next weekend, and Vic's not being a BAR/BAT race for the SW 1/2, it probably won't get a full field. Some women's teams only reimburse riders for BAR/BAT race entry fees. Also, the prize list for Sunday's crit in Highlands Ranch is more attractive to the racer choosing between the two crits. Still, I'm thankful the promoter included a category for non-masters women (getting shut out of the last Longmont crit was a bummer). I'll be out there racing.

You must not be paying

You must not be paying attention in general. The large majority of races this year in CO have offered online pre registration. Either with Bikereg or Madsync. I am not saying it is a good idea, or you should registered, but most promoters are offering it.

Re:

Ah, you're right. Looking back at the last 6 weekend races, 4 offered online reg and 2 did not. (I'm assuming Longmont didn't because there's no link to anything on the ACA calendar.) In that case, I agree with Anonymous #1 that many people don't pre-reg because there's a low chance of getting shut out of your race.

And Anonymous #1, good or bad, BAR/BAT races are going to generally attract more participants, at least for some categories. Racers have to choose their races somehow, and when your team supports BAR/BAT races, then BAR/BAT races will be a priority. I can't attend every race just out of the goodness of my heart, just as promoters can't include every category every race. I wish I could race every race, and I'll bet most promoters don't like to shut out categories, but we both can't ignore the financial side of bike racing. That said, I'll be out there racing on Saturday.

I don't like paying an extra

I don't like paying an extra charge to register in advance, and for Prospect using bikereg, they add $2.80. Why spend ~$33 to pre-register when you can pay $35 day-of and not run the risk of losing your $$ if you have to cancel at the last moment? Hardly any reason to pre-register if you know your category will not fill.

Promoters: If pre-reg is really an advantage for you, then please don't penalize the racers for helping you out. Use an online system that doesn't make the racer pay extra. I will say at Prospect, they are allowing racers to use old-fashioned mail-in registration to avoid the surcharge, which is a reasonable way to deal with this.

1. CO races don't fill up,

1. CO races don't fill up, that is why people don't pre-reg. They do not have to. As pointed out when pre reg saves you a mighty $2.20, why is it worth it?

2. Promoters stop using Bikereg.com. The $2.80 fee is rip off. If the race is $30, it should be $30 to prereg. End of story.

3. To the lady who said it is not BAR/BAT, so that is why the attendance is low, shame on everyone who thinks that. Attitudes like that just make BAR/BAT worse. Support good races, regardless.

4. Women cannot have it both ways. You cannot complain that Longmont did not have your race, but then not support Poospect. That being said we also need to wait and see what the #'s look like after the event.

5. The new BAR/BAT system rewards larger catagories, as they get run for their color day and as optional catagories. For the reccord 45 plus men have not been run at several races, juniors have gotten the shaft a lot, no cat. 4 men at Prospect, no 35 plus men next Saturday, all women got shafted at Lousiville, and no pro/1 men at City Park. We did this so 35 cat.3 and 45 4's could be added.

Men 4 only had 27 riders

Men 4 only had 27 riders last year not 90.

... Most Women 1-2-3s don't want to race with W4s. Most W4s don't want to "race" against 1-2s. Should of just made it a W 1-2-3.

Late July - August Crit OVERLOAD - 8 Crits in 5 Weeks. Numbers are going to go down as most people will only race one a weekend...

here's my .02

I'm planning to go do the W35+, but here are some thoughts. I recognise what the promoter is trying to do here, but honestly owing to these various issues, they'd likely indeed have been better off holding a SM4. I don't really want to hang around all day just to serve as packfill, either

1) I don't tend to preregister for events. So call me lazy and financially incompetent, but unless there's some incentive, like fields filling/closing, from what I've seen (as a promoter in the past, myself), roadies just don't tend to preregister. There are just too many variables, up to and including whether there's a snowstorm/torrential downpour, etc... going on when I wake up. Besides, I won't preregister for a race on BikeReg unless there is no other option. They upcharge and that fee does not go back to the promoter. Fees suck. I'd MUCH rather pay a late fee to the promoter (a local cool team who could use the income) than some faceless corporate entity/credit card tycoon.

2) Women's Open does not tend to be a very popular category especially late summer and especially this year now that there's been some history and proof for splitting women's categories. The 1/2 women don't want to race with the 4s, the 3's don't want to race with either (as evidenced by large SW3 fields when they do separate us), and the 4's don't want to be stuck racing with the pros. That may sound entitled so whatever, but in this region especially, combined women's fields are not a great idea, and particularly on that type of course. From what I'm told, it's so short that there's a good chance of getting dropped, and a better chance that anyone dropped is going to be pulled within a few laps. So if I'm not much of a crit racer to begin with, why would I bother with a six corner technical crit that there's a good chance I'll be racing ten minutes of?

3) it's late in the season and if there's no incentive to race (i.e. championships, big prize list, whatever) people are fried and doing other stuff. Field sizes pretty much implode in this region in august outside of a few really special events. I am still 50/50 on whether I'll even show up for this one, honestly.

Agree

" Fees suck. I'd MUCH rather pay a late fee to the promoter (a local cool team who could use the income) than some faceless corporate entity/credit card tycoon."

Good point.