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Talk me off the ledge (Race Promotion)

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Talk me off the ledge (Race Promotion)

Old 01-15-19, 08:02 AM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
These would be normal questions and a seemingly fun endeavor when I thought there was return. Instead it's "don't have photos. I am busy working on bikes and moving trainers and working pits, etc when podiums are done. You can look for podium shots but then you're going to have to secure permission from every person who shot them before you can use them. Most will want to be paid for their effort. That makes sense but when the $ spent starts to approach the $ we are trying to get I start to question the value of a bunch of podium shots of local people doing amateur races. We have 69 licensed racers across like 8 disciplines. I don't know who finished in the top 10 of cat 4 field in the backwater crit 8 months ago. I also don't have a patience to cull all the data for every one of the 69 racers from USA Cycling or Crossresults and Roadresults. State championships - in order to figure that out I have to pull up flyers and figure out which category championship was awarded in which race then cull the results and figure out who was what category at the time and where they live to see if they qualify. What events we're hositng? Good question. Which ones are we participating in? All of them. How many is that? Who knows we on't have a good calendar and the ones we do have list races that I know are going to fold this year. As for the bike shop - I am a bike shop. You've been on the team for 2 years. I'm obviously doing a great job of letting that be known."
Perhaps you could create a Google spreadsheet and require people to update it with their race performance as part of their team participation?

If they don't upload their info and share photos, maybe they don't get sponsored by Psimet next year?
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Old 01-15-19, 12:21 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Perhaps you could create a Google spreadsheet and require people to update it with their race performance as part of their team participation?

If they don't upload their info and share photos, maybe they don't get sponsored by Psimet next year?
Ah - there's the sticky. What is "sponsored by"?

We don't charge dues or fees. We don't pay for kits. We don't pay for entries. I give massive discounts to people that come to me for service/parts (sidenote - I have always been jealous about shops that say '10% off for team members'. It implies they have steady pricing and truly don't give a crap about current internet market pricing on anything. Me caring means I have to price everything for everyone individually all the time).

I made a simple rule at the beginning: all you have to do is race. This means our team is made up of people who race - not people who live near each other who like bikes and sometimes race. Result: great participation but impossible to serve everyone from one location.

I drag 450 sq ft of enclosed tent space to just about every major race in the area. Heated when it's cold. Usually with pour over coffee on site as well. Tools, work stand, 2-3 Feedback event racks, chairs, etc.

The sponsorship money goes towards tents, fixing what's broken, fuel, etc. Then it goes towards running the races.

Every now and then I get a prima donna masters racer that will be upset I didn't give him free kits and pay for his entries because he's a big shot who won a lot of the Masters 3/4 races in some series that actually had fields of 30-something deep. Usually that racer will be the same that makes 6 figures and does this right now but will leave for another hobby when this bores him in a couple of years.

So no one individually "gets" anything for being on the team. Oh I do hand out 2 free entries to the cross cup every year. Worth an easy $300-$600.

So....saying someone isn't "sponsored" by me the following year seems to be an empty threat. Only thing I could do is throw them off the team. Even then if I'm not mistaken people can still register any way they want when they renew licenses and I sure as hell can't stop them from toeing the line in my kit...

Back to the original issue of having race results tracked, I would LOVE to see that happen. Over the last 10 years I have seen mild progress along that front. Some years during the road season someone will really get their crap together and step up to keep track. I am at that point where I need someone to step up to do that. Along with other things.

Something dawned on me while typing this. I was talking with the owner of the shop about a mile from my shop. He also has a team. They are fairly large and active but more mtb oriented. He said his wife had started to ask him to spend more time at home. He isn't racing as much and just wants to hand the keys of the already packed and equipped team van to someone else on the team. That person would have to drive to the races, set up, pack up, and drive it back after the races. After multiple team meetings no one is willing to do it.

xXx - the largest team in Chicago and Illinois for years. They have a lot of money and charge something like $250 in annual dues. They have something like 4 or 5 tents. They are the complete opposite of my model. They have no one who spearheads everything. As such they rely on different directors for every race they do, every activity. Committees, etc. Yet they can't ever seem to get a tent to a single race. They end up shaking in our tent then by the end of the season we've recruited some of them. We are sister teams in a way. I am their wheel sponsor so it is all in good faith but it's really interesting to watch the train wreck logistics that come from too many people and no leaders spearheading.

For cyclocross they finally paid a shop that drives a service van to every race to throw their tent in there and set it up and take it down for them at each race. I would have done it but my Honda Element is too full as it is.

Point is that I know I have staked the place in local cycling because I am stubborn. I refuse to not show up. When someone "beats us" (has a bigger or better team, better accommodations at the race, seemingly more support) I try not to worry as I know I will outlast them and still be here. I have come to realize that very few to no one else will ever take it as seriously as I do. Especially not on my team. I know others but they run other teams and I see them every weekend.

The crisis of faith that started this thread is really a lot of me asking myself "when is it enough?" Am I going to be OK if I just call it quits and walk away. Am I ok with seeing everything I built disappear overnight with absolutely no fanfare? Forgotten in less time than it takes to write the sappy goodbye note for the social media accounts? It's tough. Tough enough I don't think I could have done it before the last year or so. Strangely I think I am able to do it at any point now. It will hurt for sure but I will be happy. ......

.....and then by acknowledging that I am OK with it I realize I don't really need to end it. It's weird viscous loop - rather cycling cycle. Meh....I'm avoiding the re-vamp work on my website.
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Old 01-15-19, 12:31 PM
  #153  
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I say tell the whiners to STFU, you need to HTFU and do what is necessary to keep going or I am going to be Mel Gibson.

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Old 01-15-19, 12:42 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I say tell the whiners to STFU, you need to HTFU and do what is necessary to keep going or I am going to be Mel Gibson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v38MMDYEMw
YAS! That me.
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Old 01-15-19, 12:49 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Point is that I know I have staked the place in local cycling because I am stubborn. I refuse to not show up. When someone "beats us" (has a bigger or better team, better accommodations at the race, seemingly more support) I try not to worry as I know I will outlast them and still be here. I have come to realize that very few to no one else will ever take it as seriously as I do. Especially not on my team. I know others but they run other teams and I see them every weekend.

The crisis of faith that started this thread is really a lot of me asking myself "when is it enough?" Am I going to be OK if I just call it quits and walk away. Am I ok with seeing everything I built disappear overnight with absolutely no fanfare? Forgotten in less time than it takes to write the sappy goodbye note for the social media accounts? It's tough. Tough enough I don't think I could have done it before the last year or so. Strangely I think I am able to do it at any point now. It will hurt for sure but I will be happy. ......

.....and then by acknowledging that I am OK with it I realize I don't really need to end it. It's weird viscous loop - rather cycling cycle. Meh....I'm avoiding the re-vamp work on my website.
I guess my question at this point is, How much of your business is derived from your "team sponsorship" and how much business is generated from being there and putting on events? If you can draw a direct line from the race support and team sponsorship to your bottom line, then it's probably worth doing. But if you were to drop that support and have no impact on your business, then maybe it's time to take a break.
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Old 01-15-19, 12:55 PM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I guess my question at this point is, How much of your business is derived from your "team sponsorship" and how much business is generated from being there and putting on events? If you can draw a direct line from the race support and team sponsorship to your bottom line, then it's probably worth doing. But if you were to drop that support and have no impact on your business, then maybe it's time to take a break.
The two just don't exist without each other.

The business isn't a singular focused one. We got so spread out. Coffee, Sevice, Bikes, Wheels, Race promotion, etc. I wish I had that answer. Some of you may remember when I was selling a lot more wheels all over the country and into other countries in fact. I started the team and then I started to realize that I owned a wheel company and people on my own team weren't racing on them. I know I couldn't guilt them into buying them. So I got serious about local market. As a result many races now I will have as much as 1/3 of the starting field. That's beyond huge for such a small business. Problem is it's worn out. The name and brand have been ubiquitous locally for a long time. I'm retreating and reformulating. getting back to what was/is good. Building wheels.

Got some team changes on the horizon that should help. Apart from that I've been shutting down the races that I was questioning hosting at the start of this. I'm down to one road crit and then 2 days of cyclocross in november. That's a positive change IMHO.
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Old 01-16-19, 05:09 AM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Back to the original issue of having race results tracked, I would LOVE to see that happen. Over the last 10 years I have seen mild progress along that front. Some years during the road season someone will really get their crap together and step up to keep track. I am at that point where I need someone to step up to do that. Along with other things.
https://www.road-results.com/team/10259
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Old 01-16-19, 01:12 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
Awesome. Thanks. Doesn't have a lot of results and noticed that's because we don't do a good job at resolving the team name appropriately in USA Cycling. Spelling variants are missed, etc.

Using it though.
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Old 01-16-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Awesome. Thanks. Doesn't have a lot of results and noticed that's because we don't do a good job at resolving the team name appropriately in USA Cycling. Spelling variants are missed, etc.

Using it though.
yeah, it's a page that's produced automatically so it's very dependent on team names being entered right. on my old team we used to have debates for the first four months of the season about what the proper team name is.
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Old 01-17-19, 01:14 PM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Awesome. Thanks. Doesn't have a lot of results and noticed that's because we don't do a good job at resolving the team name appropriately in USA Cycling. Spelling variants are missed, etc.
Using it though.
Along with what Mike said, on the page he linked you to, hit the "Also Known As" blue button in the top right of the screen and you can manually update and integrate the data. I found over 20 variants of your team's name in less than 15 seconds.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:06 AM
  #161  
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Now word that one of the biggest crits in Texas has been canceled. Bike the Bricks in McKinney, TX (suburb of Dallas). This was a race that had a $1000 pay out for races like Cat 4.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:22 AM
  #162  
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We just published our Illinois Cup Schedule and it was immediately attacked by a masters racer for not being to his liking in terms of dates. He feels it's too cold during the early season to have cup races. I tried to remind him that we don't pick dates but that the races do and we can only pick from the races that are left on the calendar that actually apply. I also reminded him that for some reason everyone switches to cross in August. Yet he insists that we would be better off if this competition just went away and does not plan on racing in April or May....because that helps races.

I reminded him he could put $10k of his own money at risk to the whims of the weather and Masters racer's egos at any point in the calendar if he'd like.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:25 AM
  #163  
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I feel closer every day to just walking away from it.

If I do I want it to make a splash.

I would also want it to be for good. Not like Pros who retire but still race national events. <-- not like there is anything wrong with that but it's just not my style.

I made a good move by cancelling one of our races for this year. Next year I might cancel 2 more and just stick to one race.
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Old 03-20-19, 03:42 PM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
We just published our Illinois Cup Schedule and it was immediately attacked by a masters racer for not being to his liking in terms of dates. He feels it's too cold during the early season to have cup races. I tried to remind him that we don't pick dates but that the races do and we can only pick from the races that are left on the calendar that actually apply. I also reminded him that for some reason everyone switches to cross in August. Yet he insists that we would be better off if this competition just went away and does not plan on racing in April or May....because that helps races.

I reminded him he could put $10k of his own money at risk to the whims of the weather and Masters racer's egos at any point in the calendar if he'd like.
Masters guys are the worst!
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Old 03-20-19, 06:43 PM
  #165  
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2nd biggest crit gone too. Matrix challenge. Dallas. Which was also the state championship last year.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:54 PM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Masters guys are the worst!
As a masters racer ... I agree.

Our district championship schedule was released a week or so ago and received plenty of complaints.
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Old 03-21-19, 07:26 AM
  #167  
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Yep. It's true.
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Old 03-21-19, 01:33 PM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by hack View Post

As a masters racer ... I agree.

Our district championship schedule was released a week or so ago and received plenty of complaints.
Reading the Red Kite drama it was mildly frustrating seeing a bunch of racers scream and yell about how 'for profit' promoters are ruining the sport.

That's not how it works, none of those dudes are getting rich, and if they do have a windfall of profits from one race, that typically covers 2 unprofitable races. Even if someone makes 30k for a years worth of promoting, that's barely a livable wage.
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Old 03-21-19, 03:02 PM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Reading the Red Kite drama it was mildly frustrating seeing a bunch of racers scream and yell about how 'for profit' promoters are ruining the sport.

That's not how it works, none of those dudes are getting rich, and if they do have a windfall of profits from one race, that typically covers 2 unprofitable races. Even if someone makes 30k for a years worth of promoting, that's barely a livable wage.
My life would be immensely different if I made $30k a year from promoting races. I could actually afford to keep doing this for a while. As it is I feel like it's a day to day existence.

As it is now if you do anything better than break even everyone wants to point a finger at you and blame you for the downfall of the sport. It's always been this way - roadies in general, we are a insufferable bunch of SOBs - it's just that I'm actually hitting my limit with it.
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Old 03-25-19, 12:01 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
I feel closer every day to just walking away from it.

If I do I want it to make a splash.

I would also want it to be for good. Not like Pros who retire but still race national events. <-- not like there is anything wrong with that but it's just not my style.

I made a good move by cancelling one of our races for this year. Next year I might cancel 2 more and just stick to one race.
I got started with cycling in Chicago and was always impressed with the infrastructure and support that there was for racing in the Chicago area. A lot of that was thanks to your work. If you do walk away from it, you will still have made a big impact on the sport at the local level and I just want to thank you, here, for all you have done. It hasn't gone unnoticed. I wouldn't blame you for wanting out at this point. You laid a lot of the groundwork and at some point it is up to others to keep it alive.

I admit to not really doing my part. I was active on the road race scene for a while, but the logistics and the time commitment just got to be too much. I used to make fun of people who trained to "win" group rides, but never toed the line at an actual race. Now I am one of those people. I just don't see myself loading up the car to travel to the far reaches of the Earth every weekend, staying in cheap motels, to pay to race a 30-45min crit - not when there are perfectly good group rides outside my front door.

It is tough out there, and there are no good answers at the amateur level. It would be different, I think, if I were pro caliber. But recreational bike racing has so many challenges.
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Old 03-27-19, 09:19 PM
  #171  
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
I got started with cycling in Chicago and was always impressed with the infrastructure and support that there was for racing in the Chicago area. A lot of that was thanks to your work. If you do walk away from it, you will still have made a big impact on the sport at the local level and I just want to thank you, here, for all you have done. It hasn't gone unnoticed. I wouldn't blame you for wanting out at this point. You laid a lot of the groundwork and at some point it is up to others to keep it alive.

I admit to not really doing my part. I was active on the road race scene for a while, but the logistics and the time commitment just got to be too much. I used to make fun of people who trained to "win" group rides, but never toed the line at an actual race. Now I am one of those people. I just don't see myself loading up the car to travel to the far reaches of the Earth every weekend, staying in cheap motels, to pay to race a 30-45min crit - not when there are perfectly good group rides outside my front door.

It is tough out there, and there are no good answers at the amateur level. It would be different, I think, if I were pro caliber. But recreational bike racing has so many challenges.
In general (general) cyclist do it for themselves. Or parents do it for kids. Few in the USA care who else won, was a good racer. Few stay around for the podium or celebrate the winners. Most ignore, or hate them, or have a reason that they should have done better. That is the sport in the USA. As a junior dad in Belgium folks knew my kid, they looked him up. Totally different this side. As such it is very hard to leverage and make money on it because only the racers care. And, it is just math. Women's racing even less - zero care outside of the dads. I posted today we have one (16 year old) of the top female talents in the world. We also have done pretty well in Women's ITT in worlds and Olympics. Few know their names. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but makes it pretty clear cycling business in almost any capacity in the USA is a waste of time. Except some equipment mfgs have figured it out. Good for them.
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Old 03-28-19, 08:21 AM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
In general (general) cyclist do it for themselves. Or parents do it for kids. Few in the USA care who else won, was a good racer. Few stay around for the podium or celebrate the winners. Most ignore, or hate them, or have a reason that they should have done better. That is the sport in the USA. As a junior dad in Belgium folks knew my kid, they looked him up. Totally different this side. As such it is very hard to leverage and make money on it because only the racers care. And, it is just math. Women's racing even less - zero care outside of the dads. I posted today we have one (16 year old) of the top female talents in the world. We also have done pretty well in Women's ITT in worlds and Olympics. Few know their names. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but makes it pretty clear cycling business in almost any capacity in the USA is a waste of time. Except some equipment mfgs have figured it out. Good for them.
If it's who I think it is, she has been tearing it up in Europe the last couple of weeks.
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Old 03-28-19, 10:54 AM
  #173  
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I told my daughter she could probably be on the podium for junior girls in the state champ crit, if she merely enters and finishes. Good chance the field is 3 or less.
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Old 03-28-19, 12:40 PM
  #174  
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
I admit to not really doing my part. I was active on the road race scene for a while, but the logistics and the time commitment just got to be too much. I used to make fun of people who trained to "win" group rides, but never toed the line at an actual race. Now I am one of those people. I just don't see myself loading up the car to travel to the far reaches of the Earth every weekend, staying in cheap motels, to pay to race a 30-45min crit - not when there are perfectly good group rides outside my front door.
I can hear ya on that.

I've got kids. I get only a couple shots a year at choosing wisely what events to do. It has to be a mix of fun, competitiveness, and convenience.

The caveat emptor on the competitive group rides is that they need a strong ring leader. Someone fast enough to be in the main/lead group AND a strong personality as a leader.

I've shown up to a local one twice, and twice had folk flagrantly breaking every rule in the book to keep the pace up. Both times I rode it, we went the wrong way up the road at a T-junction around the island divider to avoid having to slow up for a harder left turn. What if a car is there approaching?

Also, every time someone is a sorry communicator or wants to shave seconds in a turn and doesn't look more than 100 yards down road..........and comes a car leaving the rest of the group to slam on brakes. No communication.

Eff that. If you're on the front of a small break or the main group, call that **** out. Make the bigger person's call to stop the group or slow the group for a proper turn. If you're actually that strong, it shouldn't matter anyway.
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Old 03-29-19, 06:44 AM
  #175  
chicagogal
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I can hear ya on that.

I've got kids. I get only a couple shots a year at choosing wisely what events to do. It has to be a mix of fun, competitiveness, and convenience.

The caveat emptor on the competitive group rides is that they need a strong ring leader. Someone fast enough to be in the main/lead group AND a strong personality as a leader.

I've shown up to a local one twice, and twice had folk flagrantly breaking every rule in the book to keep the pace up. Both times I rode it, we went the wrong way up the road at a T-junction around the island divider to avoid having to slow up for a harder left turn. What if a car is there approaching?

Also, every time someone is a sorry communicator or wants to shave seconds in a turn and doesn't look more than 100 yards down road..........and comes a car leaving the rest of the group to slam on brakes. No communication.

Eff that. If you're on the front of a small break or the main group, call that **** out. Make the bigger person's call to stop the group or slow the group for a proper turn. If you're actually that strong, it shouldn't matter anyway.
Oh for sure! There are some "race rides" that I absolutely will never do because they are notorious for breaking the rules of the road and ignoring basic group ride etiquette. Even the "good" race rides have their bad days. I was in one once where the group decided to swarm a car in a corner. The group was turning right and so was the car. Some riders ended up in front of the car, others behind, and others on either side. Total mess, dangerous, and give cyclists a bad reputation. It was a corner where a selection is often made because it immediately goes up hill, so nobody wanted to open even the slightest gaps and let reason go out the window.... yeah, I pulled out of that ride. Better to live to see another Tuesday night than "win" that week :-)
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