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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

In preparation for next year's TBF races in the winter/spring I wanted to get some input to help make the races better. A lot of you race PC and other NorCal races but not TBF, so what changes could be made to TBF races that might attract you to come out? What is it that you think keeps people from doing those races? Specifically to the 3 race MTB Challenge series.

Also, if you have attended the TBF races in the past, what do you like about them and what could be done better?

Upcoming races:
1/24/10 - MTB Kick Start
2/7/10 - MTB Challenge #1
2/21/10 - MTB Challenge #2
3/7/10 - MTB Challenge #3

Thanks for any input!
 

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Lusus Naturae
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Personally I would like to see the route avoid going into huge mud wading pools when there are obvious choices for re-routing around them. I don't think the sound of my drivetrain eating itself to death with sand is a very beautiful one, so whenever there is any chance of a wet course, I avoid the place.

Aside from that, the races are great.
 

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more skier than biker
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$40 online registration and $50 day off registration.....that is what, TWICE, the cost of Prairie City races? PLUS you have to pay to park, how much is that now, $10? So if someone decides day of race or day before race that they want to have a go at it, they are looking at $60 out of pocket.

I think that's a major reason right there why a lot of people race PC, but not the TBF races.

I raced a few last year and they were really fun. I always have a good time at them, but they are kind of expensive. And aside from the few I did last year, I've never done them in the past because in the winter, I am usually skiing every weekend and that takes a priority for me over my mtb racing.

Also -- Prairie City as more of a "series" vibe to it. I don't think many people even know that the TBF 3 race "Challenge" seres is just that....a series. Maybe it's the way the results are presented on the website or something, I dunno, but maybe more of a spotlight can be shined on the fact that it's a series with overall winners and points are awarded to how you place. Does it describe anywhere on the website how points are calculated? Also, if someone doesn't race all 3 races in the series, their results should still be tabulated in the overall. As it stands now, if someone places top 3 in 2 races, but then skips the final race for whatever reason, they don't even show up in the final series standings even though they'd probably still be ranked fairly high up.

The only other minor comment I have is that as a single speeder, I never understood why we do less laps than the Expert group. It would be cool if there were Expert SS and Sport SS groups. As it stands now, if a SS'er wants to race the longer distance, they have to race in the geared Expert category. (Not a big deal for some of course, but I know some SS'ers want to race directly against other SS'ers.)
 

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Tyrone Shoelaces said:
$40 online registration and $50 day off registration.....that is what, TWICE, the cost of Prairie City races? PLUS you have to pay to park, how much is that now, $10? So if someone decides day of race or day before race that they want to have a go at it, they are looking at $60 out of pocket.

I think that's a major reason right there why a lot of people race PC, but not the TBF races.

I raced a few last year and they were really fun. I always have a good time at them, but they are kind of expensive. And aside from the few I did last year, I've never done them in the past because in the winter, I am usually skiing every weekend and that takes a priority for me over my mtb racing.
This..

Ive only done one (TBF50), and appreciated the water bottle, t-shirt, and hat, but I'd rather save a few bucks instead. The food and beer after the TBF50 was great, but I'd probably skip that too for a regular length XC race. I was considering trying more, but I also have a long drive from the bay area (add gas $).
 

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It's about showing up.
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Great Production

I've been racing my High School kids there for 8 years and it is a first rate production. The course is generally well marked and keeps developing for interest and safety. The course has variety and challenges for all level of racers. The event is well organized and manages to support the mass of racers without forgetting the little things. I always feel aas if I am visiting friends.

I generally have my team do a pre-NorCal High School Racing League season race at TBF as a rust-breaker in February though I don't press for a full race effort. Goals then are to get out on a closed course and test gear and techniques. For the new racers it is a chance to sample the kinds of things one can do at speed without the pressures of a 1200 person event that NorCal can be. The League has long used the venue for one of its official races for the variety of features on the course and it's ability to support our throng.

I have come to refer to this course as the Mini-Golf course of mtb racing; it has something for everyone. That monicker, however, means no disrespect. Some of the fastest and most skilled racers ever to come out of the League have been challenged at races here to manage the changing surfaces and the elements. Great racing happens here.

You guys would really have to screw things up to keep me from utilizing this course. The fees (kids are cheaper and we always pre-register), the welcome, the parking, the chili, and the proximity to the Bay Area make it a very attractive event.

If I were to cite one aspect which would keep me from using TBF it would be very wet weather. Of course this is something over which you have no control and it is not the weather per se but the effect on the course. Once the weather gets really wet the soupy mixture of granite and water permeates everything and is really destructive. I've seen brand new sets of brake pads, rim brake or disc, disappear in one lap. The grit pulls lube out of the drivetrain, with chainsuck and not infrequent damage the result. Subsequent deep cleaning, refurbishing of pads, cables and housings, replacing of drivetrain components, and relubing cannot be ignored. Multiply that times 12-15 racers on one squad and it adds up. That said the option to come to TBF is carefully weighed and we have yet to cancel. However, we have a few pretty expensive new racing rigs and I will encourage the racers to use their "mud bikes" under certain conditions.
 

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I've only done one as well (tbf 50miler) and agree I could go without a shirt/bottle/hat/etc. Especially if it dropped the cost 10-20bucks.

Other than that, you guys put on a pretty awesome racing series and I had a really fun time.
edit:

"Use of headphones or other listening devices during ALL portions of the race ARE NOT ALLOWED."

^I didn't feel comfortable wearing my headphones and ipod on my first race (even though I really wanted too..) because of this rule. I get to the starting line and ALOT of people are using them. Enforce the rule or ditch it, because next time, I'm bringing mine too :)
 

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The barrier could be cost. The race fee is not that bad but when you add parking it feels expensive. If you pay early and combine all three races, the fee goes to $35/race. For what you get it is not a bad deal. Some will say, why pay that kind of $$ to race at Granite Bay. I train there occassionally and I love pinning the swoopy corners...it is just a fun place to ride/race. Can it ruin your drive train when it is wet?....Yes, however, any wet race can wreck havoc on moving parts....I bet my LBS is still counting the $$ earned after the Coolest 24...

TBF is a series but not in the sense of Prairie City. To me Prairie City is a shorter anerobic mid-week training race I get to share with my best biking buddies. The per race cost of PC should be less than a TBF which at the expert level is almost half the distance.

I understand the State may charge for parking at both the Cool Mtn Bike race and Coolest 24 this year.....maybe it is time to consider the purchase of a season parking pass.
 

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Crazed Country Rebel
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Clintox50 said:
Hey all,

In preparation for next year's TBF races in the winter/spring I wanted to get some input to help make the races better. A lot of you race PC and other NorCal races but not TBF, so what changes could be made to TBF races that might attract you to come out? What is it that you think keeps people from doing those races? Specifically to the 3 race MTB Challenge series.

Also, if you have attended the TBF races in the past, what do you like about them and what could be done better?

Upcoming races:
1/24/10 - MTB Kick Start
2/7/10 - MTB Challenge #1
2/21/10 - MTB Challenge #2
3/7/10 - MTB Challenge #3

Thanks for any input!
It seems like you offer an awefull lot for the price - $50 to race and get fed? That ain't bad. But it may not be what people want.

Can you make the swag optional?

Also - do me a favor and post up the dates for the races a week or so beforehand. You'll probably end up getting a few of us slackers who are no good at planning ahead...;)

PS - can you post some pics from previous years? I've never seen the course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Tyrone Shoelaces said:
$40 online registration and $50 day off registration.....that is what, TWICE, the cost of Prairie City races? PLUS you have to pay to park, how much is that now, $10? So if someone decides day of race or day before race that they want to have a go at it, they are looking at $60 out of pocket.

I think that's a major reason right there why a lot of people race PC, but not the TBF races.
This is the main reason for me. I race out at PC because it's fun and inexpensive. I don't want to spend $50-$60 to race TBF when I'm just racing for something fun and different to do anyway.
 

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Ride it 'til it breaks
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TBF does many races, but not many MTB races. I'd like to go to some (and I may do the friday night races next summer), but there are too few to choose from. And how are they advertised? I didn't hear about the Friday night races until I rode with someone that had a number for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
darthbobby said:
And how are they advertised?
One thing we're trying to figure out is where people look to find races. TBF's races are on the ncnca calendar and mtbcalendar.com. TBF is also on facebook now and are active about providing updates and notifying of upcoming events too. Most LBS' have the posters with all the TBF events too. But I think like you said, there's still a lot of people that just don't know about them.

Where do you guys go to look for races to attend?
 

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Aside from cost, these races are outside of my preferred driving range (from the peninsula).

iheartbicycles said:
It seems like you offer an awefull lot for the price - $50 to race and get fed? That ain't bad. But it may not be what people want.
I disagree. Other local races that cost $30 include good food and beer.
 

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Ride it 'til it breaks
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Clintox50 said:
One thing we're trying to figure out is where people look to find races. TBF's races are on the ncnca calendar and mtbcalendar.com. TBF is also on facebook now and are active about providing updates and notifying of upcoming events too. Most LBS' have the posters with all the TBF events too. But I think like you said, there's still a lot of people that just don't know about them.

Where do you guys go to look for races to attend?
I'm just getting into racing and honestly I don't know where to look for MTB races. Maybe that's why I don't hear about many. :D I get most of my info about MTB happenings from meetup postings (maybe you should be a sponsor for the Hammerin' Wheels ;), we ride the Granite bay trails a lot). Google ads and ads in MTBR will get me to click too...

I do check the TBF website every few months, but I would never have thought that there would be races in the winter. Maybe you could send out emails that announce races of certain types (mtb, running, tri, etc) that we could sign up for on the website.

There are usually posts about specific races in the XC Racing forum here, but those often come up with too little notice.
 

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Agree

Price biggest turn off, especially if you were considering the duo the day before. Would be really great if you had a combo discount when there are back to back weekend events.

The other agree as well, SS class usually big enough in other events to split into expert and sport. Two laps and $50 race day is way off mark

Tyrone Shoelaces said:
$40 online registration and $50 day off registration.....that is what, TWICE, the cost of Prairie City races? PLUS you have to pay to park, how much is that now, $10? So if someone decides day of race or day before race that they want to have a go at it, they are looking at $60 out of pocket.

I think that's a major reason right there why a lot of people race PC, but not the TBF races.

I raced a few last year and they were really fun. I always have a good time at them, but they are kind of expensive. And aside from the few I did last year, I've never done them in the past because in the winter, I am usually skiing every weekend and that takes a priority for me over my mtb racing.

Also -- Prairie City as more of a "series" vibe to it. I don't think many people even know that the TBF 3 race "Challenge" seres is just that....a series. Maybe it's the way the results are presented on the website or something, I dunno, but maybe more of a spotlight can be shined on the fact that it's a series with overall winners and points are awarded to how you place. Does it describe anywhere on the website how points are calculated? Also, if someone doesn't race all 3 races in the series, their results should still be tabulated in the overall. As it stands now, if someone places top 3 in 2 races, but then skips the final race for whatever reason, they don't even show up in the final series standings even though they'd probably still be ranked fairly high up.

The only other minor comment I have is that as a single speeder, I never understood why we do less laps than the Expert group. It would be cool if there were Expert SS and Sport SS groups. As it stands now, if a SS'er wants to race the longer distance, they have to race in the geared Expert category. (Not a big deal for some of course, but I know some SS'ers want to race directly against other SS'ers.)
 

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You're usually in the minority!

:thumbsup:

Sean Allan said:
For me, it's strictly the course, or lack thereof. Any course that I can ride almost as fast on my 'cross bike is not real interesting to me. It's a popular place to ride, so I know I might be in the minority here.
 

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Clintox50...

What about cost? You've asked why don't more people race your event, and I was expecting you to give some type of response to the price concern? (Our permits cost x, etc.) I'm racing the Tbf Xterra event at the end March, so I'll be doing 2 of the Tbf Challenges as warm up events. I've heard the course is boring to the "skill set", expensive for most, and for those in the Bay Area, it's about 1:30 drive.
Price is never a reason for me not to enter an event, especially if it's a venue I love to race or if it fits my race/training schedule, but I will get Pis$%&D OFF, and think I'm getting F&#*'D if after both events I've spent $50-$60 for a 2 lap mediocre venue. Here's to hoping I'm a returning racer to a fun event!
 
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