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View Poll Results: Would you register for a race that didn't have large (or any) payouts?

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  • Yes (I'm a Pro, 1, 2)

    10 17.24%
  • Yes (I'm a Cat 3)

    23 39.66%
  • Yes (I'm a Cat 4/5)

    23 39.66%
  • No (I'm a Pro, 1, 2)

    1 1.72%
  • No (I'm a Cat 3)

    0 0%
  • No (I'm a Cat 4/5)

    1 1.72%
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  1. #1
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    Would you race if there were no payouts?

    I'm currently researching on putting together a weekly (or biweekly) criterium series and our conversations revolve around costs and registration fees. While we can have payouts on the tail end, this may mean increasing registration costs (with resulting lower turnout).

    The question posed is, "Would you register for a race that didn't have large (or any) payouts?*"

    While we all would like a massive check at the end of a race, what is more important to you; racing your bike for no money, or not racing your bike at all?

    At a minimum we have to pay city permits, USAC fee, USAC officials, insurance.

    *assumptions being the registration fee would be low $5-$10, there would be nice prizes, safe setup, good course, and it would be a USAC sanctioned points race

  2. #2
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    I will also clarify. All financials would be public. Not making money on this, every single penny would go back to the series, and I would post the docs on the website.

  3. #3
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    a 4/5 voted 'no?'

  4. #4
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    I think if you're particularly up front, then people will be totally fine with it. The people who get paid aren't generally doing it for the measly $60 or whatever the winner's take is. The payouts are a nice bonus, I think, but not a primary motivation for racing (not even a secondary, I'd say).

    That said, if the difference between no payouts and payouts is ~$5, then you might want to think about slightly upping the fee for payouts. Since you're going to have fees anyway to cover expenses, might as well tack on an extra $5 and do payouts.

  5. #5
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    As I'm a newbie, obviously when I race it's not for the money. You think about runners who participate in various 5ks and such, there's no money to be made but people show up because people like to be out there and active in groups. I think if the fees are reasonable, people are going to show up even if there's no money to be made, but that's just my perspective, more experienced folks may have different expectations. I link below to a local training series here that has low fees and low payouts, I haven't been yet (maybe this weekend), but my impression is it's a well attended series.

    Wells Ave

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    a 4/5 voted 'no?'
    My bad. Toddler playing with my phone.
    "Be the best you possible" - gsteinb

  7. #7
    Senior Member wens's Avatar
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    What are you up against? Weeknight training series, I'd absolutely race without payouts, no question. Weekends, if you're up against a race that's going to pull all the fast guys in the area because of the payout, well, I like racing the fast guys, so good chance I go where they go, even if the chances of me being paid are small.

  8. #8
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    the only money i've ever won in a bike race was because cdr won the sprint and distributed the money among teammates even though i probably did nothing but tailgun the entire time. this was like 4 years ago in my first season racing.

    On that note, if you win money in a race and don't distribute to teammates that were in the race you're probably a jerk.
    Last edited by mike868y; 05-01-15 at 08:16 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by the collective bf.net consciousness
    it depends

  9. #9
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    For a weekly training series, especially weeknights, you can easily do no payouts and have no complaints. You can also run with a small payout to sweeten the pot just a little without having to raise registration to do it. For example, the Nashville wednesday evening crits had/have (I believe there's still a series running) a three-deep payout of something like $20 for first, $10 for second, $5 for third. Basically, if you won you would make back your entry, but that was the extent of it. Any primes were sponsored, and were prizes not cash. The series is officially not really a training series but real crits, with scoring and a series overall and everything, so just a little bit of prize money feels appropriate while keeping it low-key.

    On the other hand, the Wells Ave Sunday morning training crits that have been running in the Boston area for 30 years are real training races - there's the merest effort at recording results, if any at all, no payouts and primes range from pittance to pathetic to food. Candy and muffins or bagels or donuts are pretty common (usually left over from the breakfast for the organizers). If it's cash, it could literally be a quarter, or a nickel, a dollar if you're lucky. None of this is a problem as long as your racers know what to expect and feel like they're getting good value for their registration fee.
    The Workingman's Honest Bicycle Program - Heady talk about bikes, bike racing, bike racers and bike riding. standarddouble.com/whbp

  10. #10
    Not actually Tmonk TMonk's Avatar
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    No way man, I've got bills to pay!
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    so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste

  11. #11
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    I'm a 3 and a race promoter so I see both sides of this.

    I rarely win money outside my own races, like virtually never. So for me payout is absolutely a moot point. Sometimes, if I do well and I can afford to do it, I'll just give back the prize money to the promoter. A year like this year, where I'm flat broke, I'll take whatever prize money gladly. In fact I wasn't sure how I was going to pay for my race entries for the next 5-8 races but then realized that I'd sold some bike stuff and that money was still in my PayPal account. That'll pay for about 6-7 races so I registered for the race this weekend. The entry fee money is gone/committed but if the promoter gives me back $30 I'll take it because that's most of another week's entry fee, or two Tuesday races.

    For midweek races, which, according to someone in USAC is the most popular segment of racing now, no prize money. At our local Tues Night Worlds (USAC E series permit) they give a soda to the winner, beer if the winner is over 21 and wants the beer. Sometimes there are soda primes. That's it. No money, no jersey, and they specifically don't post results anywhere so that no one goes bananas trying to get 2nd or whatever (there have been some massive crashes there because someone went bananas for a low place).

    Normally I'll register day-of to give the promoter an extra $10 (and cost me net $7 because I'm not paying the BikeReg fee - I figure I drive them 150 x whatever weeks of fees with my own races so I make them some good money) but I can't do that this year.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  12. #12
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    Also as a data point, Battenkill.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  13. #13
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    What wens said. Weekly training race? No problem. Put a jar at registration for primes and prizes and let the racers decide. Weekend race competing with other races? It depends on your break even point.

    Grolby, you forgot about the bottle primes. I've won $10 in one and $20 in the other.

  14. #14
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    I'd go a step further and say that payouts for anything but the p12 stuff should be disallowed across the board. And I'm a guy who struggles for cash and wins money more weekends than not. It creates more problems than it solves.

  15. #15
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    Unless you are paying out for pack finishes, payouts don't really impact my decision.

    Honestly, I've never even looked at the payouts in a race. I look at the distance from my house, the course features, and attendance. The first two matter way more than the 3rd, but the 3rd comes into play the further the race is from my house.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Grolby, you forgot about the bottle primes. I've won $10 in one and $20 in the other.
    In the old days the bottle primes were the trick - bigger the crowd the more it'd be. One sly teammate (he was 48? but a former Cat 1, his son was a Cat 1) went for a bottle prime in a race I was in. It was in the early 90s so I'm guessing we were paying $15-20 to race, license was maybe $40? He won something like $100. It was like a gold mine.

    In a big, big crit, if there's bottle prime and the bottle's been going around for 20-30 minutes, I'd guess that it might have $200 nowadays.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  17. #17
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    There were crowd primes well over $1000 at Tulsa. A big candy jar full of money. I think I heard $1600 for one of the women's races.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wylde06's Avatar
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    I think it was more for the womens race

  19. #19
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    ^ holy crap
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  20. #20
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    a 4/5 voted 'no?'
    I thought we banned the guy out of phoenix!

    twitter.com/ygduf
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  21. #21
    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    I'd rather race fee's go towards the Domestic Pro's winnings, or rolled into the promoters profits. Promoters make bike racing what it is, so if they can make a good living out of it, I have zero issues with that.

  22. #22
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    I thought we banned the guy out of phoenix!

    My perception is that people ban themselves.

  23. #23
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
    I'd rather race fee's go towards the Domestic Pro's winnings, or rolled into the promoters profits. Promoters make bike racing what it is, so if they can make a good living out of it, I have zero issues with that.
    I totally agree

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I'd go a step further and say that payouts for anything but the p12 stuff should be disallowed across the board. And I'm a guy who struggles for cash and wins money more weekends than not. It creates more problems than it solves.
    Even then, p12 isn't really a category for "making money".

    NRC p/1 races are one thing, but if anyone is making a profit from local/mostly-amateur p/1/2 races I'd like to hear about it.
    cat 1.

    blog

  25. #25
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    There a load of guys who spend summers on ny living in cramped apartments due to the decent payouts and high volume of races. Then then they return home. Is it s lifestyle for you or I? Probably not.

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