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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MTB Race Points System to Award Responsible Riders

I'm researching ways to encourage mountain bike racers to support their local MTB advocacy clubs.

There is a program developed by JORBA which is called "The Pay Dirt" program which awards points to mountain bike race participants who engage in 10 hours or more of trail work. This can help any racers standings in a race series.

I was thinking one step further would be to award points to mountain bike race participants who support their local MTB advocacy clubs and additional extra points for those who are IMBA members.

Anyone know of a race promoter doing anything similar?

Anyone care to brain storm a pilot program?

How many points should be awarded for local club supporters and IMBA supporters?
 

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Pauly
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Uhh .. No.

OK. Flame me all you want but consider this: Maybe races should be a time for racers to test their racing ability.

Would it seem fair to you to be beaten in points by an equal rider who gained the favor of the sponsor(s) by participating in their non-race programs thereby adding a few points to their total ?

I want everyone to leave their agenda (agendas?) at home on raceday. Just race on raceday.

Pualy
 

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I'm a unitard!
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Pauly F said:
OK. Flame me all you want but consider this: Maybe races should be a time for racers to test their racing ability.

Would it seem fair to you to be beaten in points by an equal rider who gained the favor of the sponsor(s) by participating in their non-race programs thereby adding a few points to their total ?

I want everyone to leave their agenda (agendas?) at home on raceday. Just race on raceday.

Pualy
I agree with this. We used to have a paydirt program here in Colorado. It really didn't work. People abused the system, and it really didn't get people involved beyond the one thing they had to do to get the points.

A race series should be about determining the best racer for the series, not the best volunteer.

Now if you can come up with some other incentive to join those groups (besides the obvious), that's a different story.
 

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Trail Sanitizer
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I too would avoid something like the Pay Dirt plan. The idea of extra schwag is a good one. Besides, the only people interested in the Pay Dirt points would be those relative few in the hunt for a series win. Opening it up to more racers would provide greater benefit not only to those racers but also the advocacy group.
 

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I'll have to agree with the masses here; I think this is generally a bad idea.

I like the thought of getting more people involved in trail work somehow but substituting trail work for ability is not a way to do it. In fact, you're more likely to discourage more people from racing than you are going to encourage people to do trail work.
 

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I generally agree with the above comments. We have a paydirt system in place here in Indiana also. I do trail work anyway, so for me it is no big deal to submit the hours and get the points. However, I totally agree that races and series titles should be decided by those who race the best or most consistently.
 

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Still learning
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By all means have a separate competition which might include these volunteer contributions. But as many have already said, giving outside points for racing is a bad idea.
 

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I got beat for 1st place in the series because I didn't do paydirt. Racing is racing, plain and simple. There shouldn't be anything else involved. Discounts on race fees are ok, but not points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your input. I would have to agree to keep racing about racing and have a seperate reward for trail volunteers. I liked the concept of the pay dirt program and would like to figure out a way to reward racers who also help maintain their local trails...it is extra effort on their part.

Racing does put a strain on the venue though. Perhaps the race promoters could donate part of the proceeds to the local club that maintains the trails so that they could pay people to repair/maintain the trails before and after the race?

What do you think?
 

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I think most of you have missed the point. Paydirt doesn't determine the best rider, it gives an incentive for a racer to take a day off in his or her training to give back to the trails. It also makes sure that there is a place to have a mountain bike race the next year. It has made a huge and possitive diference here in NJ, but does take a few years to get accepted. It is not designed to make the best volunteer a winner, but to award the top racer who still takes the time to preserve his or her own sport.
 

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pixy said:
I think most of you have missed the point. Paydirt doesn't determine the best rider, it gives an incentive for a racer to take a day off in his or her training to give back to the trails. It also makes sure that there is a place to have a mountain bike race the next year. It has made a huge and possitive diference here in NJ, but does take a few years to get accepted. It is not designed to make the best volunteer a winner, but to award the top racer who still takes the time to preserve his or her own sport.
I disagree; I believe most - if not all - of us got the point of what it was trying to accomplish, we just all - rather unanimously I might add - agree that it's a bad idea. Racers can be incentivised through the use of discounts on races, recognition and other methods but, when it comes to determining a points champion for a race series, there is absolutely no reason that any activity that takes place OFF the track should have any bearing whatsoever on what occurs ON the track.
 

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Pauly
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pixy: I understand your point. I just don't agree with it.

I wholeheartedly accept your point(s) about the importance of preserving riding and racing venues ( I inderstand that without them we won't be riding and racing at all).

Awarding race points for anything other than racing proficiency just dilutes the true nature of what racing is. Other incentives mentioned by CranxOC sound like they would motivate racers - especially free race entries. How about some free race entries to less attended events (like late in the season events or "far away from everyone" events) where the points are easier to get? I'd comprimise on that idea for sure.

Pauly F. Sportinwood
Atlanta, GA

"They won't laugh this year!"
 

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I am trying to find enough time to just train and occasionally race. I would be pissed if I clearly beat a fellow racer multiple times and he/she still beat me at the end of the year because of pay dirt points. In fact, I would not come back to that organization.

I think there are other incentives for the pay dirt program that does not discount the racer's hard training.
 

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Bluemaxx said:
I am trying to find enough time to just train and occasionally race. I would be pissed if I clearly beat a fellow racer multiple times and he/she still beat me at the end of the year because of pay dirt points. In fact, I would not come back to that organization.

I think there are other incentives for the pay dirt program that does not discount the racer's hard training.
[soapbox]Sounds rather selfish to me. How hard is it to support IMBA trail access advocacy for everyone, support your local bike club to grow the sport in your area, or fix up the trails you ride all the time. I'm sorry but I don't have any sympathy for someone who isn't giving back to sport. :nono: As far as race points go, I don't think paydirt should bump you from mid-pack to the top of the heap but I don't think there's anything wrong with giving a slight edge to those who are doing what everyone should be doing anyway. [/soapbox]
 

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I tend to agree with the majority of the opinions presented here. I'm highly supportive of the idea of trying to create an additional incentive to get people out to do trail work, but do not think series points is the correct answer. In the DC area we have two races that run a benefit scheme for doing trail work.

The Greenbrier Challenge offers discount entry to those attending a dedicated trailwork session before the race. When my schedule allows, I make a point of being there. I'm glad to know that the organizer cares about trail work and that at the end of the day the standings will be determined by my performance on race day.

Another local series, the Cranky Monkey, runs a Pay Dirt system in which series points are awarded for showing up for certain trail maintence days. I find that Pay Dirt has three impacts on me as a racer. First, while I love this series, I'm less inclined to do the entire series because I can never judge where I stand in the series based on my results. Second, I'm less likely to do the entire series because I care less about shooting for a certain position in the final standings because I know that the final standings are not necessarily indicative of one's performance in the races. Third, I'm actually less likely to do trail maintence on a Pay Dirt day because I feel like a thief getting series points that way.

I really like some of the other incentive ideas offered here. One structure that I think would be interesting would be to offer schwag prizes for the combination of trail work and racing without calling the receipients series winners and something less valuable (in a monetary sense) such as medals, trophies, etc to those who win the series based on performances in the races. That way the person who gives the most in a cumulative sense gets the most back while also recognizing each individual's physical performance. Of course there is nothing saying the same person could not win the series and the "combined" prize.
 
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