Sunday, November 16, 2008

Economy shaping sports landscape

Officials from the Tour de Georgia, one of the marquee road cycling races in the United States, canceled the event for 2009 because of lack of sponsorship. They plan to host the weeklong race in 2010 if the economy is back on track, said Phil Jacobs, a member of the Tour de Georgia Foundation’s board of directors.

“It’s going to be a very tough year for everyone, no matter what business you are in,” Jacobs said in a telephone interview. “We worked long and hard, but just didn’t have a choice but to skip the race in 2009.” More here.

I see some more potential for underground, grassroots races. Anyone willing to start hosting more races across Arizona? We need more FOTP, AZSS, AZt300, PEE, AES, etc....

Why pay when you can ride for free?


Tom Purvis said...

Yeah bro, no-fee no-waiver is the future. I don't plan to pay an entry fee in '09. Hoping to see a bunch of you AES dewds this winter.

Lynda Wallenfels said...

Does the AZ strip up here by St George count? There are some epic routes and terrain there calling out for some mad mtbers. Strip-AZZ- hundred?

Anonymous said...

I'll contend that pay races still have their place in the world as something to cultivate the next generation of riders.

Most of the free races appeal to the most experienced, honed riders (us cool blogger types who know what we're doing) which is fair, but being "underground" might not do much to promote Cycling.

The participants in these events, largely, cut their teeth on rides and races that targeted their beginner and sport-level involvement. (shop rides, races, festivals)

It's my hope to see underground events that can appeal to the intermediate level riders. (blasphemy!) Perhaps I'm volunteering myself- it's part of the plan for what will be the San Jacinto Enduro. We will likely host the event on a timed basis rather than a set course distance. Checkpoints might be used- the more you can get to and check off the list, the better your ranking. No categories, but more starters. More finishers too. A baseline expectation might be the ability to ride, say, 30 miles? I dunno. That's a start anyhow.

Chad said...

Well said, Brendan. I am not discounting the paid races that are in Arizona or elsewhere. Nonetheless, none of these "paid races" appeal to endurance racers like ourselves (I used quotes b/c there are def some paid races that appeal to me like the Trans Rockies, I just don't have the cash for these kind of races). On the other hand, I think the underground races might only be strengthening the cyclists that desire to go above the limit, to ride to a immortal status in their own mind. I like to race with people with like-minded goals, ergo it only seems appropriate to race in small series where like-minded cyclists. I am not a weekend warrior like some rather a thirsty, perhaps foolish, cyclist that lives and breathes singletrack. How I got to this state is still unbeknown to me, perhaps it is the influence that you all that read this blog have on me.

That said, I do believe we need to see more intermediate style, grassroots races in the southwest (as you so eloquently said). I'd love to be able to attend any race that you put on out in SoCal!

Anonymous said...


Sometimes I like to get all high & mighty advocating for "cycling" rather than "me."

Perhaps I'll put something on here in Cali... or perhaps I'll help you put something on in Tucson?


chollaball said...

the underground races definitely go from big rides to insane rides with little in between. Look how popular the 1-lap option was for Crazy 88? As someone not quite comfortable with the 12 hr centuries, 6 hrs is a welcome alternative.

UltraRob said...

I got laid off today so now I have time to train for some crazy stuff. I just hope I'll have a job in time to be able to afford gas to get there.


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