"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - How do you take a local race to the next level?
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10-13-05, 08:19 AM
Ok so my father has been running a hill climb TT for the past 4 years, to raise funds for Habitat for Humanities, and it has grown each year. This year they had 50% more riders than last year and 100% more women than the previous year (still only 8 women).
Winners of each sex got $200 and a King (or Queen) of the Monutain Jacket.
Looking at the times IMO the top guys are flying (IMO no doubt some racer is going to say they can do it faster), with the winning male having an avg speed of 16.67 MPH on the 5 mile climb, and the female at 10.57 (thin female field).
So the question is how can he take this to the next level? How far in advance should he advertise?
How about having it sanctioned by the USCF and getting your local association reps approve it as the "State Championship Hillclimb".
Also, you should always call and/or e-mail every bicycle club (racing and touring) within a few hours drive of the race. Promotion is key.
Lastly, try to coincide it with a crit or RR on the same weekend. Maybe find another club that is ptting on a one-day event and share the weekend.
Have you considered contacting local sponsors for participation? I would take a look at previous local event sponsors and hit them up first since they are proven to participate in local events.
10-13-05, 03:40 PM
The first thing you have to do is decide what you mean by the next level. What is your goal? Is it to make this more of a respected race or to raise more for H for H? Or perhaps just to get more people involved. The roads you may follow are far different depending on your goal.
If the goal is either of the last 2 then looking at ways to get people who have absolutely no interest in actually doing the hill as a TT involved, that ranges from getting local groups to have rides to the start so folks can watch to perhaps having the hill as a ride with associated t shirts for those who sign up (pay) and finish. Shorter options as a TT and perhaps age/weight divisions. (Look at a highly competitive 200 lb rider, why would he sign up as it now stands). Divisional winners would not require a huge prize and almost no extra work (e.g. just paperwork for what special divisions someone fits into).
But all these are useless if making it a top flight race is your goal.
10-14-05, 06:18 AM
Diesel - click the link, he has a bunch of sponsors ranging from car dealerships, to construction companies to gyms, bike shops, hair dressers and Dick's Sporting Goods. I think he has the sponsors covered.
Keith99 - there are already prizes for each age group as well as bicycle type (MTB and Road) and they considered the clydesdale classification but it doesn't look like they did that this year (lord knows at this point I would be in it if I did the race :( ). The main goal of course is to raise money for HtH but I would think that as it grows you could do that better if it got more respectable and thus attracted more riders in turn raising more money.
10-14-05, 07:30 AM
By "next level", I would assume he's wanting bigger crowds and bigger names.
The bigger the purse, the farther they will drive to get there.
It really can be that simple.
If you want the big teams to send riders, they need to know that it'll be worth the drive/flight. And as one of the previous posts mentioned, if yours is the only race in the area that weekend, it's less attractive to distant riders.
I'd say that it's driven by money, but even THAT's no guarantee. I've seen many races with huge prize lists that draw only the locals.
Advertise it everywhere you can. Try to give it some character by stating how TOUGH it is..."Only the strong will live through it!"..... "Your mother warned you about races like this!" . . . . "It's 5 miles straight up!" ..... "Angels greet you when you reach the summit!" and riders will take the challenge.
One last comment: growth is best left to its own speed.
10-14-05, 10:48 AM
Try to get coverage in Velo News. Also, go the USCF web page and find contacts for racing clubs in a several state area around you and contact them with information about your event. Is there a Pennsylvania points series? If there is any sort of year long series, see about becoming part of that.
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