• Early Season Hotness … Drenched

    by  • February 24, 2011 • norcal scene, opinionate, race coverage • 31 Comments

    Snelling Road Race ~ are you ready for this?

    Who knows what the weather will end up being for this Saturday’s mysteriously popular Snelling Road Race. There could be rain, there could be snow … hell, there could be frogs dropping from the sky, for all I know.  But, racers will show ~ and punish themselves by under-dressing against the chilled rain, or smothering all fashion sense with layers of uber-poof jackets and rubbermaid rain capes.

    Snelling is a bit of Belgium-lite racing for us Norcal softies.  The race has windblown a few riders sideways on more than a few occassions, and pummeled many a carbonium frame into submission with well placed potholes and wheel seeking rocks strategically landmined. But mostly, it’s Belgy-like because Snelling is Norcal’s early season proving grounds for the hard riders … with speeds, distances, and aggression whipping the cream of the year’s crop to surface, giving all an early taste of what’s to come.

    This year’s edition looks to have a strong chance of rain, but winds barely reaching the teens.  The 8am waves will have temps below freezing … which will likely reduce field sizes significantly.  But, with the pre-reg requirements now in full effect and providing cash in hand to the promoter, they won’t mind too much.

    Which brings me to Bullshit Promoter Point #1: adding a $7 penalty for week-of ONLINE REGISTRATION.  From the race flyer, registeration:

    On-line at www.sportsbaseonline.com, from January 11, 2011 7pm PST to February 20, 2011 for above fees plus on-line surcharge. From Feb 21-23 the fee on-line is $7 additional. No on-line entry after midnight PST Wednesday Feb 23.

    Adding a $7 fee for registering online in the week before an event is ridiculous.  The deadline for reg is 3 days before the race … how much time does one need to print out the reg sheets and prepare?

    The additional fee is crappier than the roadgrimed effluvium we’ll be wiping off our faces from those cowpattied country bumpkin roads.
    .

    P1/2 … Yahoo deleted

    The CalGiant Berries are fielding a 14-strong team for the Snelling RR.  Which brings me to Bullshit Promoter Point #2limit your team sizes to 10 per field, for f*cks sake.

    Having more than 10 riders per team, per field is asking for trouble.  It negatively impacts more than just racing tactics – it also screws with the safety of a race, especially in a race buffeted by winds and diving through narrow sections of road.  If you’ve got 6 riders blocking the front end of a field, with 6 more attacking to form a break … chaos will ensue with other riders/teams jostling for position and advancement.  Honestly, I think 8 riders per team, per field should be the maximum for local races … but, getting a promoter to stop extorting a $7 week-of online reg fee is about as likely as getting them to stop sucking down race entry fees no matter if it inhibits the quality or safety of an event.

    Now, I loves me some CalGiant – great team, great organization, great launching pad for young riders looking to make the commitment to the life.  But, until a promoter like Velopromo gets their eyes off their wallet, maybe we’ll need to police ourselves.

    Speaking of policing ourselves … how about we don’t have another 30 rider mash-up in the first kilometer of Snelling this year?  Last year, under peaceful skies and relatively mild winds … a quarter of the field fell on themselves in the opening minute of the race when guys dove for wheels and fought for position when there was absolutely no need.

    oi veh.

    This year, with the CalGiant Armada in effect – of course, they will be dictating (but more importantly – SEEN to be dictating) the race’s tactics and speeds.  With the degenerative decline of the Yahoo’ligans in Norcal, there doesn’t appear to be a PRE-REG’d team big enough to force attention away from the Berries.

    With Reaney, Mattis, and Moore – CalGiant has three of the most decorated, hardened battle veterans in the nation leading an already immensely strong team for the Snelling Road Race.  Hopefully the team will be classy about how they stack the breaks and let the other kids in the playground have a taste of the front end of things.

    But look to their young phenoms to be out and ravenous for results … guys like John Bennett, the STAZ, Brandon Trafton, and Jared Barrilleaux will be hard to keep in the pack. And they don’t even have Evan Huffman registered …

    Fremont Bank, McGuire Cycling, Metromint, Webcor, and the interesting Form Fitness squads will be among a handful of smaller teams and individuals fighting against the machine.  Legendary gladiator Eric Wohlberg will be again in the Form Fitness colors and should be worth a few berries out amongst the farmlands.

    Last week’s Pine Flat and Cantua road races showed that the Marc Pro-Strava is a power stacked contingent and a squad to watch for 2011.  The races also showed that Sierra Pacific’s Vincent Owens and Joe Galloway will be heavy factors in any hardman’s event, as well.  It will be interesting to see if those riders, or the biggest sensation of the Norcal pre-season thus far, Logan Loader, will race at Snelling and throw their wildness into the mix.
    .

    Women’s P1/2 … TIBCO emerges

    The women’s field at Snelling will be lacking the taste of PeanutButter&Co, as they have a VIP event in Marin planned for Saturday.   The battle of the Norcal superteams will have to wait until the MERCO Stage Race.  But this weekened, the team to beat will be the TIBCO riders as they conclude their training camp for the 2011 season.

     

    Last year the TIBCO team pulled a super-class move by splitting their squad into different jerseys and racing against each other in the women’s field.  I think it’s a safe bet they’ll do the same this year if they get more riders into the field.

    The pre-reg lists show strong squads from Metromint, Webcor, Red Racing, and Fremont Bank for this Saturday’s race.  Fremont Bank has been the dominant squad in this pre-season, with Susannah Breen taking another 2 wins for the team at Cantua and Pine Flat.  But Snelling will be a bigger test for the all the regional women’s teams, and good indication of who will be prepared for the big show at MERCO the following week.

    Another rider worth watching is the new transfer to the HDR/Lombardi squad, Ruth Winder.  Winder has shown growing form in her last year as a junior and has an instinctive ability to position herself well in the wind and for the attacks.  Look for a good punch from the Lafayette rider.
    .

    Masters … old guys are boring, but they race asses off

    The 35+ races thus far in Norcal have been heavy with Safeway riders at the top end of things.  Jon Eropkin took Pine Flat over the weekend, with Dan Martin notching a victory for the team at Cantua, as well.   They will have their hands full with a very strong and coordinated Thirsty Bear squad in effect for Snelling, however.

    Fielding similarly strong teams will be Sacto area squads from FolsomBikes/Mercedes and Rocknasium.  And the Simple Green/Bike Religion squad from SoCal should not be underestimated.

    The 45+ fields can add to those teams riders from Davis Bike Club, Webcor/Alto Velo, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley.

    - – - – -

    Dress warm, ride safe, see you out there.

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    31 Responses to Early Season Hotness … Drenched

    1. Anonymous Ex-Pro
      February 24, 2011 at

      Michael,

      I would like to call bullshit on your bullshit. Taking potshots at Velo Promo because of late fees is incredibly myopic. But you come from the ultra-liberal, shoot anyone in authority first, don’t ask questions ever, over-entitlement mentality. A promoter is not trying to rape and pillage with late fees. A promoter is trying to shake folks sitting on the fence. In this case about 80 people registered in that last week netting about $500 in late fees. Oh yeah, Velo Promo is evil and growing rich on our poor backs. To some extent knowing the total field size long enough in advance allows right-sizing support staff, officials, porta-potties, etc. But let’s not leave room that this may be a reasoned decision, let’s attack someone’s character. Just so we all know, exactly how many events with greater than 800 participants have you promoted? Because of course you are speaking from knowledge and experience and not merely talking out your pie hole, right?

      To your second point no promoter can tell a team how many riders they can have in a field because the rules under which this event is held do not allow such limitations. But don’t bother informing yourself of facts before you pontificate, it is less controversial to reflect that it is a good idea and we should lobby USAC for a rule change. Much easier to point fingers like an entitled ignoramus. You might as well blame Velo Promo for the weather.

      You are obviously bitter toward Velo Promo and using this forum as a bully pulpit. Grow a set of balls or borrow them from your GFs purse and address Velo Promo directly instead of being a nasally, whiny biatch.

    2. Matt Tufts
      February 24, 2011 at

      Wow! Weather or not you agree or disagree with Hernando, at least have the balls to leave your name instead of “anonymous ex-pro”

    3. HERNANDO!!!
      February 24, 2011 at

      Ex-pro/current douche,

      1. yes, I suppose you might consider me ‘ultra-liberal.’ I prefer the term democratic socialist. but, we nitpick.

      The entitlement, ask questions, shoot anyone in authority business sounds a bit projection-y … but, if you want to toss that in, i’m not offended. it’s not accurate, but i’m not offended.

      2. your suggestion of size of fields impacting promotion decisions: the field size of snelling is consistent and can be planned for. the addition of 80 riders in the final week does not affect either the number of portos, or the staffing requirements. It’s a fee with no merit.

      3. limiting field size: of course promoters can limit field sizes. Quality events do it all the time. The specific USAC rule allowing team size limitations is [1H3] “Team-limited Races. USA Cycling may designate a race as team-limited. At such events USA Cycling may specify an upper limit on the number of entries to be accepted from any club or team. This applies whether entry is on an individual or team basis. This information should be included in the official race announcement.”

      4. blaming Velopromo for the weather: Sure, why not.

      5. promoting 800 participant events, bitter towards Velopromo, borrowing balls, or nasally bitching: oh waah, waah, waaah.

    4. JoLien
      February 24, 2011 at

      Love the posters/illustrations, Hernando…Your blogs are always fun to read. Thanks for the humor and thanks for standing up for the democratic socialists-:)

    5. Anonymous
      February 24, 2011 at

      Hey, I say ALL late fees are BULLSHIT! and a late fee in the last week of online reg?? total extortion. At races that are nowhere near full…..REFUSE TO PAY LATE FEES
      believe me the promoters don’t want to turn away the money.

    6. Anonymous Ex-Pro
      February 24, 2011 at

      2. Nope 80 peeps does not effect those things. But not encouraging every field other than those that typically sell out to wait for the last minutes does. At 800 riders, 400 waiting until the last week DOES matter. “Fee with no merit”. No merit to who? You? The fee certainly has a merit to the promoter who has a wee bit more experience and is quite intelligent about these things. Just stating something does no make it true. All across the calendar the entire year, Pro/1/2 ‘s and other fields that don’t sell out early show that folks wait until the last minute. A late fee discourages that. But suggesting that this is greedy is over the line. Sure I get it, you want to be sensational and over the top. Here you are wrong. Who would know authoritatively? Someone who actually promotes big events. Not you.

      3) 1H3. Oft-quotes, almost always misunderstood. “USA Cycling may. . .” This is for NRC and A level races Miguelito. Certainly no promoter in NorCal does this so Velo Promo not doing it really isn’t a relevant nitpick. Certainly not something to single a promoter out for not anticipating a team being rambunctious in their registration.

      Inciting criticism and dissatisfaction for a promoter is beneath you Michael. Especially when your arguments are invalid/illogical.

      This is nothing more than a bully pulpit rant. Please continue with the personal attacks. Don’t speak to the facts. Pick people apart instead.

      All for the love of the sport, right?

    7. Tim
      February 24, 2011 at

      Eh, late charges, no late charges. For most racers they’re a moot point. Outside of the prosies and a few other categories, many races are sold out and have wait lists within hours of registration opening.

      Eight of Snelling’s 12 fields are full, so unless you’re a P/1/2 or a M35+ 1/2/3, or a Junior, you’re out of luck.

    8. HERNANDO!!!
      February 24, 2011 at

      No, the late fee has no merit. My argument/logic stands – the limited number of additional entries in the final week of the event do nothing to inhibit a promoter from a) securing an additional porto from their provider; or, b) securing an additional staff person if needed. But again – Snelling’s (as this week’s example) attendance is VERY consistent and able to be predicted, planned for.

      Um, the rule is in 1H – event permitting. No where in the rule does it eliminate non NRC or A level races. So, unless you can find me the rule stating otherwise, you’re wrong.

      Them’s speaking to the facts.

      And yes, it is for the love of the sport. You quote the lack of p1/2 registrations year round – could it be that many younger p1/2 riders are scrounging for the fees, week in and week out to pay for these events?

      Isn’t it time we love the sport enough to support young p1/2 riders and reduce fees for them instead of compounding them with online and late surcharges?

      Snelling isn’t a “big event” in my opinion – it’s a well attended event. The logistics behind an event aren’t rocket science. In fact, many promoting groups/clubs are sprouting up and taking market share away from Velopromo. I hope that this continues to a) provide more/better racing opportunities for riders; and b) move VP to improve their promotion of events.

      A ‘big event’ is one that, for starters, has a podium. Another element might be providing media coverage of results to assist teams in providing marketing impressions to their financial/product sponsors. Another might be providing prize money … but again, a better start might be just reducing entry fees to young, aspiring riders and the teams that support them.

    9. dflbrad
      February 24, 2011 at

      how do races like snelling fill up? when is there to many racers? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    10. Tim
      February 24, 2011 at

      Not sure what you’re asking dflbrad. There’s field limits of 50 for many fields, and when there’s several hundred racer who can fit in that category, they’ll fill quickly. Those limits are set based on the course, assumed rider ability levels, and by USAC rules (limiting beginning category fields).

    11. Anonymous Ex-Pro
      February 24, 2011 at

      Your argument fails because you beg the question. Again, you are using a straw man argument. Puzzle me this Batman. . . Do late fees discourage late registration? Yes or no? If so to what extent? If not offer some facts for socialism’s sake.

      I know it may be difficult for you to track a discussion and not change the topic but your arguments only highlight the real issue that if someone pays the late fee it is their own procrastination. Broadening the argument will be good once we actually finish the two topics before us, limiting team sizes and late fees. I know you like changing the subject to deflect your lack of actual knowledge on a subject. How about the Raiders defense this year? Puhleeze.

      Quoting a rulebook is not authoritative. How that rule is interpretted and practiced is what matters. Precedence. Point to a single instance of a non-NRC or A level race in NorCal limiting team size. Just ONE. Buehler? Ferris Buehler? You CANNOT because NOBODY does it. Why is that I wonder? If you are still confused call USAC and ask them the intent of the rule. We’ll all wait right here for you. Waiting…..

      Poor bike racers should be taken care of because they are poor and struggling. Thus, socialism and there you have it. A political and philosophical question, NOT one of morals as you suggest. Because to make it big I have to ride 4-5 hours per day. I can’t work a job and do that. Someone should pay my way so I can follow my dream.

      So if a poor, starving Cat 1 is having difficulty scraping pennies he can save $7 by registering early and another $3+ for registering by SNAIL MAIL. I think Robert may be the ONLY promoter in NorCal that accepts mail entries still and that favors the poor Cat 1′s you mention. That is a $10+ discount by mailing a check in early. Certainly this skill of being organized and prepared will serve them well in the pro peloton. Or should we be surrogate parents and hand them things and take care of them because they are a poor bike racer? But we are way ahead of ourselves. What actually is the age demographic of the P/1/2 field at Snelling? Last year there were 120 entrants and how many were U23? Of those that were U23, how many were from sponsored teams like Yahoo!. You have nothing.

      I think it generous to say that 20 riders in the Pro/1/2 field last year were “young, aspiring riders” who had to scrounge to pay their own way. So a promoter should reduce the price for the other 100 so the 20 can get a discount? So who manages and administers this socialistic bike race registration program? You? Let’s take a vote, everyone in favor paying higher fees in YOUR field so Pro/1/2′s can race cheap please raise your hand. Yeah, not seeing many hands Michael. Socialism is great theoretically and also, no, strike that, just theoretically.

      I am sure you fighting for the little guy serves your social circle and that you get all the young guys to pat you on the back for fighting their cause but bad-mouthing Velo Promo for to get those pats on the back is sensationalism and poor form. We, OK, I expect better from you Michael. Bashing a promoter does not demonstrate love for the sport.

      EVERY parent knows that giving things to children does not teach responsibility nor appreciation. It breeds entitlement. And it also breeds the sound of “whaaaaa” that we are hearing now.

      I am glad that you refer to this post as shit talk because it is indicative of what end of the digestive tract these ramblings and OPINIONs come from. Thanks for playing fair.

    12. Tripp
      February 24, 2011 at

      First, accuweather.com is forecast winds as high as 18 mph from the NW by the start of the afternoon fields. As a Sacramento guy, I like any race that involves wind pushing fields into the gutter-I know how to ride in those conditions and a lot of other guys don’t. So watch out-the wind might make an appearance later in the day.

      I think that late fees for registering on-line don’t make a lot of sense. If I’m so uncertain about doing a race that I’m not going to register two weeks in advance, then I’m probably just going to wait until the day-of before I hand over my money. So that on-line late fee doesn’t get me to register before hand, it makes me wait until the last moment.

      Someone used to have a policy, I believe, that limited the percentage of the total field that any single team could constitute. I don’t remember if it was a USA Cycling rule that got changed, or a Velopromo policy. I can’t find such a rule anymore, and I do believe that there were races where 35+ 4/5 guys got moved into a “B” field because there were too many of them in the “A” field from a particular team. And if you look at the 35+ 4 “A” field, you will see that there are something like 17 Third Pillar guys in a field with a limit of 50. While I know it is just amateur racing, the reality is that a lot of people spend a lot of time and money on this sport, and having a race where more than a third of the field is from the same team isn’t fun for anyone. It isn’t a situation that arises very frequently, but there should be a mechanism for addressing the situation when it does arise.

    13. HERNANDO!!!
      February 24, 2011 at

      Ex-pro squawks:
      “Quoting a rulebook is not authoritative. How that rule is interpretted and practiced is what matters. Precedence. Point to a single instance of a non-NRC or A level race in NorCal limiting team size. Just ONE. Buehler? Ferris Buehler? You CANNOT because NOBODY does it. Why is that I wonder? If you are still confused call USAC and ask them the intent of the rule.”

      sigh. it is the rule. promoters can do it if pressed to do so. i’m forwarding the notion that we racers CAN press them to do so.

      now that we have established that it within the capacity of promoters to limit team sizes; i argued the WHY of limiting team sizes. – what are your arguments against limiting team sizes?

      as for late fees: here’s a solution you may find agreeable, simply close online registration before the fee increase date. There, you penalize any ‘late-reg’ers’ in that they must show up on event day and risk field closure, or they pay the same fee as all others and pre-reg via online.

      if you don’t like that idea. meh.

      As for subsidizing young p1/2 riders … I defer to how racing in Europe is promoted. Cheap elite racing offered to promote more participation (from all socio-economic levels).

      Perhaps you don’t recall what it’s like to be a 21 year old college student, or what it’s like to try and live in the Bay Area or abroad on a 20′something wage … but it doesn’t offer a lot of expendable income.

      I’m interested in adding to the opportunities for young elite riders, both male and female, to grow as racers. A huge part of that growth is having exposure to well-attended races and be seen by programs like Cal Giant, TIBCO, PB&co, etc.

      Growing the pool of young talent in our area is a worthwhile investment in our sport. Better riders, more stars, more fans, more advertising revenue.

      And fee hikes for other racers doesn’t have to be the solution. There are other solutions available – such as limiting or eliminating PRIZE LISTS for masters categories.

    14. Bring Your Own Roll
      February 24, 2011 at

      My best advice to make your day successful, regardless of category, late fees, 25% of the field being your team, Audi’s as priems for masters racers, is really to bring your own roll of Toilet Paper. I know, makes almost too much sense. You can fit 2 into a 1-gallon ziplock, set-it and forget it in the car for Merco. Gold, seriously gold.

      This advice goes for Snelling, Merco, Redlandz, Kentucky… being the one with the squeezably soft supply is cooler than a Cat 1 upgrade… go ahead, its ok to share.

    15. TR
      February 24, 2011 at

      I always carry a roll in my car. I even carry a pee-bottle.

      If you guys want to complain about reg fees/late fees then you really should take it up with the sea otter folks. Can you say bend over?

    16. gv
      February 24, 2011 at

      me loves this ineffectual but intellectual discourse. Best versus any day, right Paul? You’re such a wanker Phil!

    17. David Albrecht
      February 24, 2011 at

      Hold on a minute Anonymous Ex-Pro…

      You may disagree with Hernando but that is no reason to start name calling or impugning him for his opinions, which I also happen to share.

      I too think a $7.00 late fee is too much and to start charging that a full week in advance of a race is absurd. I don’t buy your argument that a promoter can’t plan adequately without a week of advance preparation. They certainly don’t know how many race day entries they will have on a given day but that rarely seems to keep them from turning away the cash and getting people registered. Some kind of uniformity in the pre-reg process would certainly make everyone’s life easier…

      As an aside I think entry fees in general have gotten out of hand. I understand here is a cost for insurance, permits, police, porta-potties, etc. but $27 to $33 per race? I might be able to accept that if they were giving away an honest cash prize list, but that is not what is happening. How about skipping the prize list entirely and lowering the entry fee? And how many T-shirts can a person possibly wear?

      And since you are an ex-pro I am sure you must be familiar with the way things are done in Europe. In Belgium for example it only costs you a couple of dollars (franc van Belge) to race, and most of that is refunded at the end of the day when you return your number. Granted the sport is more mature there and race promotion is viewed more as a service than a method of printing money, but I would like to see us aspire to doing more event promotion merely for the love of the sport, like Rodney Cox does in Chico.

      Rodney puts on races nearly daily in the summer and every weekend year around. They are a staple of the local cycling community there. His events are low-key but well run, well attended (for such a small community) and get this… they are free. (Though donations are gladly accepted)

      He doesn’t do it for the money, he does it to encourage new riders to get involved in cycling and he does it for the love of the sport. He also does some as fund raisers to help junior riders get to the bigger races across the country. How cool is that?

      The truth is that for anyone who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth or doesn’t have well paying day jobs to support their weekend racing habit, bike racing can be an expensive endeavor. You certainly don’t need the latest equipment to be competitive but you do need to come up with gas, lodging, entry fees and race day food which is beyond the means of many aspiring young riders. While most of us have had to bum rides, sleep on the ground and eat ramen noodles to chase our dreams in the sport, that shouldn’t have to be the price of admission.

      I believe us old timers (ex-pros included) have a moral obligation to make it that much easier for the next generation who chooses to follow in our footsteps. We can start by making it more affordable for them to race and then encourage them to race hard and race often…

      The fact is it is still cheaper to buy a ticket to Europe and spend a season racing there than it is to do a season of rinky-dink races in Nor-Cal and that’s truly unfortunate if we want to grow the sport in our own back yard.

      Make no mistake, I appreciate what Velo Promo has done for the sport here. They have been plugging away giving us races since the early 70’s and they have an excellent track record (with maybe the exception of starting on time or having adequate porta-potties).

      I don’t begrudge Bob and his crew at all, but there are increasingly more options out there and I think the dismal fields at Cantua Creek and Pine Flat may be starting to reflect that. Next year I will probably go to one of Rodney’s events instead…

    18. confused????
      February 24, 2011 at

      Wow, who are you people? Race if you want to; don’t if you don’t. Register early for a discount. Register late and expect a fee.

      Grow up people!!!!

      Who do you think you are? Lance Armstrong???

      jeez!!!

    19. Bring Your Own Roll
      February 24, 2011 at

      “As an aside I think entry fees in general have gotten out of hand. I understand here is a cost for insurance, permits, police, porta-potties, etc. but $27 to $33 per race?”

      On the scale of things you can race on a closed course on any sunday, bicycle racing is laughably cheap. $30 is steal, and we all know it. You can’t race a car for $30 ($150/class plus tires, maintenance, gas etc… prize purse: trophy). You can’t race a dirtbike for $30 ($60/class, plus $10 to park, tires, maintenance, etc… prize purse: pat on the back).

      Bicycle Racing is underpriced.

    20. nico
      February 24, 2011 at

      confused???? rules, “Race if you want to; don’t if you don’t. Register early for a discount. Register late and expect a fee.”

    21. anony
      February 24, 2011 at

      I hate when my paycheck doesn’t come in time for me to register early. It’s something that old guys with 2 income households forget. It sucks and to be honest I hope they don’t have to remember it. An ex-pro probably would remember quite well what that struggle is like. Even the best of the best have to constantly decide whether their degree from Stanford would provide for them a little better than a racing career.

      P.S. Teams and sporting organizations absolutely do have socialist attributes. Socialism as understood in this thread is something that ex-pro would have benefited from coming through the ranks whether s/he liked it or not. Unless, of course, s/he was pro before s/he began the sport.

    22. confused????
      February 24, 2011 at

      If you cannot afford the late fee, maybe you ought to rethink your priorities. I suspect you don’t fret as much over the amount you spent for your wheels.

    23. Tyler DIbble
      February 24, 2011 at

      How many think Bob is hiding a sweet new Corvette? I hardly think he is making a killing putting on these races.

      ok, maybe he is more of a Harley guy…

      Race promoters provide a service that you can choose to take advantage of. Or not. It’s up to you. As someone else stated, bicycle racing is pretty cheap if you stick to NCNCA racing.

      If we want to talk about prices, how about we talk about the price of those annoying-ass timing chips? How much of my entry fee is going for that system?

    24. sluggo
      February 25, 2011 at

      Dibble sucks.

    25. mooney
      February 25, 2011 at

      Dibble smells.

    26. Glen C.
      February 25, 2011 at

      Does using “ex-pro” supposed to lend weight to the post? For all we know you are just another cat 4/5 wannabe like the rest of us, wheel-sucking on Hernando’s blog.

    27. no cents
      February 25, 2011 at

      Love the banter,
      Confused???? Rocks! Keeping it clear and simple. :)

      I like the way Hernando writes, and Ex/pro has a flare as well. Nice!

    28. February 25, 2011 at

      Awesome post Hernie, awesome response – even the ones I metaphorically spit upon! Even as 1.5 income household with 2 kids, dog & fat cat – I can very much relate to the starving racer experience (the main income is from education, whaaa!). Way back, I raced collegiate because a) it was cheaper, b) never had a ‘full field’, c) unless we hit the team-limit (I think 9?), d) it was team oriented, and e) when collegiate season was over, I was in good enough race shape for it to make sense to pay more for a few races that seemed to count.

      I do not see Hernando ‘bad-mouthing’ VP/Bob at all – he is simply voicing his opinion that many also share. IF we got more porta-potties, etc, I’d endorse the late fee. SBOs servers crash… I can express my anger on that, but still value SBO in general.

      Oh, one last bitch point – come on Taleo & 3rd Pillar 4/5 racers – don’t you WANT to split up into 2 squads? You can execute more realistic tactics, less perceived negative racing and earn MORE Series points if you cover 2 fields. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have let them know.

    29. February 25, 2011 at

      I haven’t read all of the comments. But first, I believe promoters should be able to charge whatever late fees they want. If they can set cut-off times for registration, they can by implication extend the cut-off time and assign a fee to those who with to register later. It’s really “bad weather insurance”. The usual: “put on your own race if you don’t like it” applies.

      For team limits: propose a BAR/BAT rule that limits team sizes. No individual or team points if number of team riders is more than 8. That’s rational: it’s an unfair advantage to both teams and riders who are on such over-stuffed teams.

    30. Bernie
      February 26, 2011 at

      Listen to this, I’m a genius!
      Leave the promoters alone!
      If you don’t like the prizes, fields, late fees, etc, don’t attend thier races, then complain about it anyway you want. Especially on your own website. Do it anyway you feel will get results, but if you really want a change, at least consider talking to the promoter first, tell them why you and your team aren’t going, as you would want the same respect if you were the promoter.
      And give ALL the prizes from 35+ and 45+ to the other classes. Is there anybody in 35′s, 45′s or 1-2′s that really needs another t-shirt, pair of socks, or x-small pair of gloves?
      And if you’re a young rider that needs financial help, ask around and then join a team that helps support younger riders, both in a financial manner and by teaching you skills. VOS and Team San Jose are both this way, and I’m sure there are many others. If you expect to work for your support, and don’t assume you just deserve it, you may be surprised how much help the older riders on some teams will provide.
      And I have to say the limiting of team sizes sounds great. Again, talk directly to the promoter and I’m sure a viable solution for everybody can be worked out. I remember doing Dunnigan 2 years ago, and all members of team S switched to the second group because team M and team V were in the first group. They wanted to dominate the race without a challenge, and there was nothing/nobody to stop them. Not so bad if you’re from team S, but the smaller teams deserve a chance, don’t they?
      As much as I don’t believe it seems fair to call someone out, as Ex-Pro says, I have to say really, what do you expect when someone has thier own website? Freedom of speech is a right in this country, and although you may not agree with the method, you have to agree with his right to say it.
      Have the balls, whoever you are on either side of this discussion, to come out from hiding behind your anonymous name or keyboard/monitor and go face whoever irks you and tell them what you think. You may be surprised that what you say has more merit when you actually face the other person and TRY to work out your problems.
      For the rest of you, who take this all way too seriously, I’d suggest finding a different way or maybe a different sport to measure your manhood by.

    31. Tim
      February 28, 2011 at

      Boy, more storms here than at the races. I even saw Hernando himself in stealth mode at Snelling.

      Beautiful race weather came out, so maybe Velo Robert is using those ill-gotten late charges to pay off a weather wizard or something. However he’s done that it worked, both this weekend and last weekend at Cantua and Pine Flat.

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