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Old 02-06-07, 10:01 AM   #1
jbhowat
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What would you like to see in a regional one-stop bike racing website.

A friend of mine and I have thrown then idea around of starting a kind of cycling portal website for our state. News, results, races, teams, media, etc. I'm curious what you guys would like to see. Colorado has 2 (sort of 3 or more) road-racing calendars.

One goal of the site would be to compile all of that with one easy to use online calendar. In a lot of areas finding all of the races is pretty easy, but here it isn't really. We have both ACA and USCF, and in addition its sometimes difficult to find USCF races at all, and sometimes hard to find the flyers for any race (they aren't always linked from ACA). Of course I'd also include the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference schedule (most of them have USCF races...).

Of course, going along with that it would be cool to have all of the results able to compiled in one place.

Event coverage is something else I'd like to focus on. Bikeforums has made me realize that a lot of cyclists are very enthusiastic and very good at writing what the race was like from a first hand experience. While a "news" type article of the event would be required, I also think it would be neat to allow people to write in and have their perspectives published - possibly people who we decide are excellent, consistant and influential writers could be given a "blog" spot.

The site would focus on both amateur and professional cycling in my state, however I'd say it would be geared towards the amateur - since there are often times more major avenues of coverage for professional racing (Velonews, for example).

We're also hoping to take user-submitted / our own photos and video of races.

Links would be a must to try to make a one-stop portal. Hopefully links to all of the locally based pro and amateur teams, links to road-friendly bike shops, and of course the major governing bodies in the area.

Eventually it would be cool to have weekly training tips or what-have-you, although that would come later.



The idea would be to have the site be ad-free, non-profit kind of deal. If the site ever grew to the point where the couple-dollars a month I pay for hosting wouldn't cover it (I get 200GB space and 2TB of x-fer). It would mean the site is popular enough that finding ways to cover server-costs would be pretty easy.

I'd like to have a well-organized site that people find aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. I really dislike cyclingnews and pez for that very reason, and Velonews isn't a whole lot better.



If this was your area, what would you like to see to make a site like this your go-to for local cycling news, and the other things mentioned? I'm open to any suggestions...
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Old 02-06-07, 10:22 AM   #2
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as far as money, try asking for voluntary donations to cover hosting expenses. It would also be nice to offer small amounts for submission of usable photos and writing articles. Even paying someone $10 to write a quick article shows that they are appreciated.

As far as content, I'd like to see something like reading the sports page of the newspaper. Make it well organized, but put the newest and coolest happenings at the top in bold, headlines links. Race coverage is a must, but coaching tips would be cool, as well as product reviews.

As far as making it regional, don't try to divide it up too much. Maybe divide the continental USA into 6 segments: North and South by West, Central snd East.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:34 AM   #3
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Sponsorship by LBSs, start local, then regional. Bike Clubs could donate too maybe?

Definitely make this a worldwide site. If you are making the technology to do this, just make it accessable to everybody. Go big or go home. The more people CAN use your site, the more people WILL use your site.

Sounds neat.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:36 AM   #4
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^^ Sounds good.

To clarify a little bit. There isn't really a plan right now to cover OTHER regions, this would focus on basically one state - Colorado, with some coverage of races that a lot of amateurs in Colorado go to (Dead Dog Classic in Wyo for one). I'd also like to include national coverage of results by Colorado-based pro teams, and maybe user-submitted articles and results about their "away" races. For example I raced in the Illinois state championship road race last summer and I would probably include stuff like that if someone wrote an article - I know a lot of people try to catch races out-of-state when they are traveling or visiting relatives. A lot of Cat 3 and above guys travel to Chicago to do Superweek as well.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:36 AM   #5
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Take a look at www.floridacycling.com

Its not perfect, but it's getting better, and really is a pretty handy tool for getting information about races.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:43 AM   #6
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I do have the technology to make this a world-wide site, but I feel like thats taking a huge leap. I'd like to make the coverage more personal - with articles submitted by riders, etc.

I feel we've got a really great platform to build the site on, and its still in development as far as the design aspect (graphics, theme, etc) - but the architecture is already built and usable.

I think by expanding too quickly the site won't be as complete. Largely this site is going to be myself and maybe one or two others working on it at first. It won't be a paying job for us and I feel like in order to have comprehensive coverage and schedules of amateur racing throughout the country would take an impossible commitment of time and energy. How are we to know anything about the racing scene in Florida, or Texas, or SoCal, etc? In the future if we could get committed correspondents in other areas I'd have no problem expanding the site, but for now I think it needs to stay within Colorado.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Take a look at www.floridacycling.com

Its not perfect, but it's getting better, and really is a pretty handy tool for getting information about races.

Thats exactly what we're trying to do - except with a better layout and more content. Still unsure on a name - we'd like to leave Colorado out of it in case it does take off. So the name should be somewhat ambiguous - not coloradocycling or anything like that.

Our architecture also allows users to easily register for the site and thus could possibly allow a customized front page (maybe show most recent news relating to your area in a certain part of the site, possibly create your own personalized calendar with your training, events, and whatever else - we're still exploring these areas).
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Old 02-06-07, 11:03 AM   #8
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Check out truesport.com.

They had most small races, and pretty much every medium and big race in the Midwest this year. And a lot for other regions, but I'm obviously not too sure of the accuracy with those. And they have some interesting/hilarious narratives from some racers on the site.
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Old 02-06-07, 12:12 PM   #9
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Great idea. Looks like you have covered all the bases. Hope you make it up for the Dead Dog Classic. Maybe we can avoid a forest fire this year and you guys can get back to some good climbing in the Snowy Range.
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Old 02-06-07, 12:12 PM   #10
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I would love for a local bike racing website to have my name listed at the top of a list of finishers. Just once.
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Old 02-06-07, 12:29 PM   #11
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try socalcycling.com
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Old 02-06-07, 12:38 PM   #12
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Sounds like spokepost.com for the Northeast...

wayne
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Old 02-06-07, 03:14 PM   #13
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I hope you are considering working with ACA and the other sites that list races.

I think the problem right now is others have seen the lapses so they have created their own and none seem to have all of the races.

I would hate to see duplication across the different organizations that is just a waste of everyones resources.

I would rather ACA, USCF, and the colleges all just link to a master calendar, it sounds like you would like to be that site they link to.

I am pretty new to the racing scene so I have no idea how cooperative the different orgs are. I would hope that they would all want to see things better organized but fear that petty turf wars would be prevalent.

I'm still trying to figure out why we have both orgs operating. I am hoping someone will come along and explain why the ACA was created in the first place.

Anyways, let us know when the site is up, I'll bookmark it.
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Old 02-06-07, 04:01 PM   #14
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www.mabra.org

Here is the one in my district. The folks who maintain and update it do it on their own time and it takes alot of work on their part so I want to put it out there that I'm in no way criticizing or complaining. We also have a topica list serve for posting messages and announcements. Most events are put up on www.bikereg.com for registration. It would be cool if those were combined to have the schedule, announcements, registration, results, flyers, BAR standings, history, links to member teams websites, etc. in one place. I guess if you combined those aspects, it would be a regional one-stop bike racing website.
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Old 02-06-07, 05:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvfrompc

I'm still trying to figure out why we have both orgs operating. I am hoping someone will come along and explain why the ACA was created in the first place.

This is the short version of the story I heard from a guy who was racing a lot at the time it happened.

Back in the day there was the USCF for bike races within the US. There was also USA Cycling, at the time not affiliated with USCF- which was the Olympic organization.

The USCF and USA Cycling decided to merge into one great, almighty cycling organization - with the USCF serving as a possible feeder to Olympic teams, etc.

This meant a lot of positions (especially within Colorado, where USA Cycling is located) were eliminated and taken by USAC employees.



People at USCF got butt-hurt (possibly rightfully so... I don't know) and basically said f-you USAC we've run the races in Co forever and we'll continue to run them forever. They then formed the ACA with the idea of being a national organization... but it never really caught on outside our area because former USCF people in other regions still had their jobs and there was nobody to take up the cause.

Cat 5 was created after the split, thats why ACA only has 1-4.

I see pros and cons to both, I honestly wish there were more USAC events....

The reason the colleges go with USAC is because NCCA is part of USAC and NCCA is our governing body, to branch off and create another one would mean withdrawing from the national championship, etc.
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Old 02-06-07, 05:48 PM   #16
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Spokepost

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www.spokepost.com
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Old 02-06-07, 06:05 PM   #17
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TXBRA.org is very much like the OP has described. The only downside is the forums which allow people to post anonymously which leads to some pretty childish posts.
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