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Old 04-22-07, 08:45 PM   #1
Bud Bent
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Senior Games Fiasco

My first Senior Games did not go smoothly. Everything seemed fine when I arrived at the Texas Motor Speedway Saturday morning. The race routes were to be on a public road that makes a 5 mile loop around the racetrack, and everyone was gathered in a gated parking lot on this road. There was a PA system, canopies over the registration tables, an ambulance, and 70 riders getting ready to race. I was one of just three recumbent riders.

The first hint that there was trouble in paradise came shortly before the first race was scheduled to start, when the Texas Motor Speedway people showed up, and unceremoniously evicted us from the parking lot, then locked the gate. We were instructed to park beside the road we were to race on (right next to the No Parking signs). They also locked the large restroom facilities which were just across the road, leaving some distant porta-potties as the only remaining restrooms (the porta-potties didn't seem all that far away to those of us with bikes, but the non-riders were complaining about it).

We were told the Fort Worth Police, who were supposed to be there to help with traffic, weren't there, but that there were plenty of volunteers to control traffic, and the races started. We raced the 5k time trial, then the 10k time trial, then the 20k road race. The other two events were supposed to be today. With all the cones marking the routes, and volunteers handling traffic, I didn't see any problems with the races, other than a down rider near the finish line of the road race. I stopped to check my times in the 5k and 10k time trials, but left while they were still working on the road race results. That would prove to be a serious mistake, because they canceled the remainder of the races right after I left, and I made a 45 minute drive back to the Texas Motor Speedway this morning to find that out.

I don't know exactly why, but as was explained to me, the ambulance left when we were evicted from the parking lot. When a rider crashed near the end of the road race, and was lying injured in the road, with no police or emt's close by to respond, the race organizers apparently considered the liability possibilities, and thought better of continuing the races with no police or emt support.

The Senior Games rely on volunteers to conduct the different sports, and the volunteers running the cycling events of the Dallas Area Senior Games didn't get the job done very well this year. Hopefully, others in this forum who enter the Senior Games events, will have better luck with their local volunteers.
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Old 04-23-07, 04:49 AM   #2
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So I guess the first question to ask is were the organizers of the event really tied in with the Texas Motor Speedway management or not.
I'm assuming that the speedway parking lots are private property and prior permission was needed. If they were not officially part of the games then perhaps they would have been if properly approached. If they were, than some negative reaction from the local riding public is called for.
Unfortunately I have been involved in events where the organizers, even though well meaning, assumed that certain facilities could be used as public property
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Old 04-23-07, 06:16 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear that what should have been a great day turned out to be so disappointing. Hope the crashed rider got the attention he or she needed.
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