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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, I've been shot down with proposal number one. Our city parks manager is about 99years past due for retirement and won't take on anything new. He found a couple lame excuses not to allow a cross race in his park. One being turf damage. I saw truck tracks from retreiving the snow makers for the sledding hills exactly where he claims a race would cause irreparable harm (rant over, phew!)

OK, new venue: I've got a course which is REALLY long, about 6 miles. It goes through a town park, 2 high schools, state forest, gravel hiking path, abandoned bike path and then back to the starting town park. I'd say 20% pavement, 30% grass, 40% gravel trail and 10% singletrack. Really, I know singletrack isn't "In the spirit of cross" (I saw a guy pre-ride and leave a race mumbling about this once), but if I'm to host a race, it can't easily be avoided in this course. It's at it's minimum, 2 bike widths wide and I'd clear any brush which grows up this summer before race day. It's got a 500' elevation gain which is a ball-buster on 1/2grass and 1/2 paved.

I like the course, but I will trail ride too unlike some who ride more conventional style cross only. I haven't tried to establish a lap time, but imagine at least 18 minutes. Probably 4 laps for "A"'s, 2 laps for "C"'s and that's all. Combine the fields and do a fixed number of laps?

My other option is to limit to the town park only, but it's completely flat and full of baseball fields I'd need to avoid. Not a fun course imaginable, but I could theoretically make something small there.

So, would you show knowing in advance this was the set-up? If it means anything, this is in Connecticut.

Thanks.
Dave
 

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Course

Just go ahead and try it. If you had seen some of the jungle cross courses that I have done or seen in Nor Cal, they sure didn't meet the criteria of typical cross courses. So, don't worry about it; it is tough enough to find a course in the first place.
 

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Agreed

motta said:
You could make the race longer, ala the 50 mile Ironcross held in Pennsylvania this year. People raved about that race. Mass start 8 laps may the strongest win.
I'm a fan of "conventional" cross race courses, but hope to do the Iron Cross in PA this year. While I would discourage you from running a traditional cyclocross race on a course like this, I'd STRONGLY encourage you to put on a race anyway!!!

If your only choice is an unconventional course, then you've got to market it as an unconventional race:

# Cross market to both cyclocrossers & mountain bikers. Think of Dirt Rag subscribers, not just Velo News types.

# Aim for something epic. I like Motta's 8 lap, all-one-field suggestion, though you could also pick winners in various categories out of that field.

# Try to pick a date just outside (and preferably just before) the traditional cyclocross season, and market it as a last, glorious endurance builder before the 60-minute cut & thrust of cyclocross season. Iron Cross is facing some criticism this year for picking October 17, well into the early part of 'cross season around here.

For a race like this, that 10% singletrack is a definite feature, not a drawback, as long as it's reasonably rideable on a cyclocross bike. Iron Cross, for example, is taking out one difficult, technical downhill this year that last year sent one of the better 'crossers around here to the hospital and ended his season before it even started.

Of course, the downside of running a one-off race like this is that you've got to spend a bit more time explaining to prospective racers just what they're going to be doing, and employ some innovative marketing. It also wouldn't be fair to have a race like this as a part of any regional cyclocross series, since it'd be significantly different than a cyclocross race.

I hope that advice makes sense; one the one hand, you wouldn't be putting on a "cyclocross" race, on the other, you'd be staging an event that people would talk about all year long. Anyway, good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reality check.

triangleforge said:
I'm a fan of "conventional" cross race courses, but hope to do the Iron Cross in PA this year. While I would discourage you from running a traditional cyclocross race on a course like this, I'd STRONGLY encourage you to put on a race anyway!!!

If your only choice is an unconventional course, then you've got to market it as an unconventional race:

# Cross market to both cyclocrossers & mountain bikers. Think of Dirt Rag subscribers, not just Velo News types.

# Aim for something epic. I like Motta's 8 lap, all-one-field suggestion, though you could also pick winners in various categories out of that field.

# Try to pick a date just outside (and preferably just before) the traditional cyclocross season, and market it as a last, glorious endurance builder before the 60-minute cut & thrust of cyclocross season. Iron Cross is facing some criticism this year for picking October 17, well into the early part of 'cross season around here.

For a race like this, that 10% singletrack is a definite feature, not a drawback, as long as it's reasonably rideable on a cyclocross bike. Iron Cross, for example, is taking out one difficult, technical downhill this year that last year sent one of the better 'crossers around here to the hospital and ended his season before it even started.

Of course, the downside of running a one-off race like this is that you've got to spend a bit more time explaining to prospective racers just what they're going to be doing, and employ some innovative marketing. It also wouldn't be fair to have a race like this as a part of any regional cyclocross series, since it'd be significantly different than a cyclocross race.

I hope that advice makes sense; one the one hand, you wouldn't be putting on a "cyclocross" race, on the other, you'd be staging an event that people would talk about all year long. Anyway, good luck and have fun!
You just espoused the strategy I was going to follow. Even write a website complete with pictures and a GPS map showing the course. Anyone registering knows full well what to expect.

I've ridden the singletrack a couple times in icy / muddy / thawing conditions and it was a bit sketchy. I can't imagine it any worse and it wasn't too bad. I'm not the greatest technical mountain biker either, so if I can ride it, most could too. Besides, CX is about transitions, right?

My date is October 10. There's one more MTB race for halloween and CX has just started. That fits exactly where you advised.

I'd really like to host a classic course race. I just can't seem to find a venue, although I am playing another angle for some cleared but not yet developed urban renewal property where the lots are cleared and the old streets still exist. That could be cool too. What I don't want to perpetuate though is that CX is simply less technical mountain biking. It's not; it's completely different. Many people feel that's why the UCI is banning disc brakes in so much that we're not going to becmoe "MTB light". So I worry that I'm part of the problem now instead of trying to be a race organizer for a cool, different style course.

PS: This is in Groton CT; the urban renewal idea is New London, but that's going to be a tough sell.
 

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awesome, but

this would be awesome. a few laps and done--scoring would be easy, too.

however, if you're running this under a USAC permit, you'll either get complaints and require a USAC ref at the next one, or end up with a ref at this one, and be required to strictly adhere to USAC/USCF cyclocross guidelines. they are very specific, and can be found in the road racing rulebook, online. i think the definition of course width is 6 meters, and i'm not sure, but i think there's also a lap distance restriction. fwiw.

the next series i hold will probably not be run using a USAC permit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm hoping for a wink and a nod

I'm completelt newbie at this, but I've got help. He's run many races and has a couple officials who will close their eyes at such transgressions. I'm hoping that's what will happen here.

As I read the rules, 2 meters (6 would be 18+feel?) is enough width. Damn, that's huge. If I were to go 6m, I'd get 1 circle about 500m on a side. Wouldn't work.

I'm really jazzed to try and run a race. Just really tough to persuade others to see things my way.

Any advice J? I know you chimed in on my earlier thread, but a good stategy would help me. I'm having trouble finding a suitable location for a classic UCI style course. If that's the only way to have a race, I'm SOL.

I had the dream last week. I was in the car figuring out layering, pinning on my number, eating Fig Newtons washing them down with Accelerade and getting jacked up for race day. Damn, October is a long time to wait!

Dave
 

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Im down

What time of the year are you thinking, typical X season? I have been talking with the few riders in the NYC area, about running a spring cross series. Basically illegal group cyclcoross rides in Central Park, Liberty State Park, Prospect Park and perhaps other local areas.
Another idea was to contact Skylands cycling, they have a club owned crit course that for the past two season have held a cyclocross series. Perhaps they would have interest in a spring series? I also have met they boys from Verge at the Augusta series, perhaps they would show interest?

Name the day and time and we'll be there!
 

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Do you need USAC?

I put on two USCF races last year, and might very well end up doing as many as four this year, and my officials were universally great -- extremely professional, but willing to exercise common sense instead of chapter and verse where appropriate. That said, I'm not sure you need to go that route. Since you probably won't fit neatly in a road race/cyclocross/mountain bike category, you may be better off running the race as an independent. There are alternate sources for insurance and the other services USAC provides.

Since it sounds like your race might shape up along similar lines, I'd contact the folks at Yellow Breeches Racing that are putting on the Iron Cross again this year and find out what they're doing about these various issues.

Good Luck & have a great race!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And whatever you learn about insurance

Please share! That would be my primary reason for bringing the USCF into the fold. Without that, I'm not really too interested in their services. I'm also not crazy about paying officals for time, meals and mileage. As you say, I'm not compliant anyway, so..........
 

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pitt83 said:
Please share! That would be my primary reason for bringing the USCF into the fold. Without that, I'm not really too interested in their services. I'm also not crazy about paying officals for time, meals and mileage. As you say, I'm not compliant anyway, so..........
Of course, there's the little issue that it turns out the USAC's (now former) insurance underwriter for the past several years didn't actually have the money to underwrite the insurance, but, you know, bygones...

Start by contacting Mike Kuhn, the organizer of the Iron Cross; his info (and lots of background on his race from 2003) is at:

http://www.highspeedcycling.com/ironcross.html

I'll ask around about names of insurance companies that provide event insurance, but you should also make contact with local mountain bike race promoters -- since most of them go the independent route, they should be able to hook you up with companies that are used to dealing with bike races.

Cheers!
 
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