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Bubba CX and USA Cycling


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Poll: USAC Racing

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Would you race Bubba if it were USAC sanctioned

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#1 Fujiteam

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:31 AM

I was talking to a few racers after the Super Prestige and it seems like I am not alone in wanting USAC cycling at the Bubba series.

Where I am coming from is that if I want to race outside of St Louis none of my results translate.  Getting an upgrade to a higher licenses is nearly impossible.

For those that don't know a USAC race would require a license ($10/day or $70/year).  A license covers Road, MTB, CX, Track, BMX.

I just want to know how many other people want USAC cycling vs. don't want it.

#2 rich pierce

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 07:32 PM

Does this mean it's not USA Cycling and no license needed?
Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

#3 cleeland

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:08 PM

You are correct, @Rich Pierce. No license required.

The poll asks the wrong question. Sanctioning comes with tangible costs not only to the promoter but also to the riders. The question should be "will you race bubba if it costs $X more and you have to buy a license?"

Also, since it's not usacycling, handups are no longer 100% illegal.
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#4 ka375

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:04 AM

I appreciate Fujiteams ambitions, but I will race in Bubba regardless if USAC sanctioned. To me the series is a fun league to get together with other cyclists. Maybe there could be a USAC sanctioned CX event in STL during the fall that would provide a way to get upgrade points Of course what I'm really saying is there somebody willing to take on the effort and responsibility of producing such an event.
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#5 Fujiteam

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

@cleeland, thanks for the suggestion.

I have taken feeds (bacon) in front of USAC officials.  The hand up rule is hit or miss, but I understand what happens if they in force the rule.

@ka375 one issue with sprinkling in USAC races is that Bubba take every single weekend from mid October to December.  There is really no room for another promoter to do anything.  I hear that Super prestige is going to expand next season and they are going to get races on the calendar 1/1/17 to effectively 'block' Bubba.

I do enjoy the series and don't want to lose it.  I think an ideal situation would be for the current Bubba promoter to transition to a series promoter and maybe do a few races.  Then shops/teams step in on some dates and manage the individual race.  It would spread the work load around and get more people involved.

#6 Kracko

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 03:29 PM

I plan on trying some CX races this fall, I personally like that BUBBA is not USAC sanctioned, Points or upgrades aren't a concern for me and if I had to have a USAC license I probably would not race, Same goes for MTB races. It's not a cost issue for me but more a stance against our regional USAC official from Minnesota who made many derogatory comments to me when trying to promote a race. I wont support the organization.  

As far as another promoter or shop taking on a select amount of races, That assumes a shop or a team wants to do this, The time required to put on races is significant.  Mike does a great job with the event, My vote is to keep it non USAC.  David K.

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#7 schwinnusa

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 02:33 AM

This has been a topic that I have discussed for the past year so I figure I will put my thoughts on the table.  I race for fun and have been for some time.  That being said my main complaint with Bubba not being sanctioned is what was mentioned previously about not having points if you are outside of STL.  Last fall I moved to Chicago and the races up here are all call ups.  So since my results for Bubba last year (which I do pretty well) are non existent my starting position for every race so far has been pretty poor.  This causes a lot of moving up through the ranks and steadily building up points for better starts.  Which I don't mind as it makes every race a bigger challenge as I am fighting for two things , placement and points for better starts.  Also, in bigger events it too causes poorer start positions as those are done from points as well.  That being said the ChiCross cup series is a completely different setup than Bubba where , as someone mentioned previously, several shops are involved and the participation is much much higher.  Literally every race has over 700 registrations so that leads to a profitable race for the promoters and higher and deeper payouts.  So I understand the reasoning behind not wanting to be part of USAC with the fees associated with that but it does make riders from STL at a disadvantage if they ever want to take a weekend to race elsewhere and achieve similar results.  I will also throw in that some of the venues we race at in STL are absolutely amazing (Slyvan Springs, Queeny, The Fort) and offer so much more than Chicago, so there is a lot to offer in the cross scene.  Just gotta boost that participation to make it profitable.

#8 Fujiteam

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 11:59 AM

@Kracko  thanks for your response.  That is unfortunate that you had such a bad experience.  I hope you have a blast 'trying' some CX this fall.  I hope 'trying' will lead to you loving the discipline.  It is a blast.

#9 cleeland

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 12:02 PM

Riders from STL will always be at a disadvantage going to places where participation is higher because fighting for position will not be something they've had to do, for the most part.

Bubba used to be USAC.  Last year was the first year it wasn't. I think its participation numbers were either even or up from prior years.

With regard to others' taking the time to put on a race that is USAC--I say go for it!  Most of the Bubbas are Sunday...so go for a Saturday and there's no conflict.  There are so many great possible venues in MO/SoIL.  Mike has always been helpful sharing knowledge with people who want to promote (used to call it "race in a box"), and there are several other people who've promoted in the past and would likely be happy to share their war stories (Rich Pierce and Jeff Yielding and Mark French come to mind right off the top of my head).  Shoot...maybe somebody would want to revive the Vildrijden CoIL if the supportive mayor is still in office.

Lots of opportunities.  Bubba gives people a chance to race who might not, otherwise (e.g., a co-worker of mine who probably wouldn't bother coming out if he had to pony up for a license), and there are a bevy of Saturdays available throughout the season (especially after early December this year).  Don't forget that CX season extends all the way into Jan/Feb.

Finally, regarding seeding for races elsewhere, if you're actually moving to another location and planning to do a lot of races there, ask the promoter if they'll take crossresults rankings into consideration for starting position.
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#10 cleeland

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 12:04 PM

View PostFujiteam, on 06 October 2016 - 08:22 AM, said:

one issue with sprinkling in USAC races is that Bubba take every single weekend from mid October to December.  There is really no room for another promoter to do anything.
Every weekend has two days; Bubba uses only one of them (unless I missed a double event on the calendar this year).  Promote a race on the other day in the weekend.
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#11 rich pierce

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 07:10 PM

For folks hoping to compete regionally or nationally then USAC points sure make sense.  However I do not think that whether or not a race series is USAC affects numbers on race day.  For racers who have been around for decades, it feels like everything has been tried locally in road racing, MTB racing, cyclocross and track.

Participation is not solely dependent on factors promoters control.  It often seems to be a mystery. Chicago and St. Louis are quite different- as an example, our club organized a spring road race, Hillsboro-Roubaix in Hillsboro IL for 14 years.  Though about an hour from STL and I am guessing 3 or 4 from Chicago, we always had more Chicago racers than STL racers.  Reasons?  Chicago racers we're excited to come "south" and race a rural road race in their state, I guess.

Locally we have seen cx grow from a couple races a year to a solid series and some high quality stand-alone races, even including a UCI event. Participation is going to vary from 70 to 200 racers here, and is pretty stable and a fun scene.

I would be happy to help organize a cx race on the backside of Spanish Lake. It has terrific terrain. If somebody wants to put on a Saturday race there let me know.
Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

#12 tileman

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 01:05 PM

Ramblings:

As Cleeland said, last year was the first year the Bubbas were not USAC.  I found this out when I came to register for Queeny.  My main concern was insurance.  As I understand, the insurance cost and fee structure at USAC was getting to be too high.  Each Bubba was considered a separate event and not a series so fees were far higher.

Evidently the insurance was taken care of but was communicated through Facebook.  I do not do Facebook so I didn't find out about it for some time.  I returned for Creve Coeur.

Wild Track only charges $25 and they are USAC.  What we don't know is how many of their people are volunteers vs paid employees.  I am assuming, and we know what that means, that Big Shark pays many of its staff for set up and running the race.  That translates to a much higher cost to put on a race and may account for the higher price.  Sometimes but not always the more rural the race, it seems the less expensive it is, guessing the parks don't charge as much.  Some offer discounts for prereg.  Some offer lower reg fees for cat 4/5.

I did 10 cx races last year.  Of those 10, 2 were Bubbas.  Of the 8 USAC races I did, 2 were not reported to USAC or to Crossresults.  So I did 4 races, 40%, that results didn't count for call ups.

Of the 10, I think 3 used USAC for call ups and then I think they used Crossresults.com.  Not totally sure about the crossresults part.

Of the 10, the closest race was Queeny at 2:20  from my house.  Farthest was Montrose Harbour in Chicago at 61/2 hrs.

From that and especially if you know my results, I do it for fun.  $5 more for the race isn't going to bother me too much when I have to travel so much already.  Though, gas prices soaring to $4/gal might.

Now coulda woulda shoulda....I'm not that good, but if Bubba had been all USAC, I might have had a 2-3 position better start and that might have gotten me a row closer.  Would my results have been better?  Maybe.  I sure wouldn't have been waiting in line as long at the flyover in Lville.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, an escalator would have been faster and an interesting addition.  I wonder if JPow can stair hop up and escalator?

I do know others that would have benefited from more USAC points at the bigger races.  For them, it might have made a 3 row difference, that is at least 18 people!

Now if all promoters would use Crossresults.com....

I am grateful for the job that Big Shark does.  I think the races are fun and inviting.  They do a great job of making it easy to get started in racing.  St Vincent's was fun.  Hope to be at Sylvan Springs next Sunday.

#13 Fujiteam

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:43 AM

@tileman  I have some insight into the insurance.  If you are a USAC race insurance is handled on a rider by rider basis for each rider individually.  If a rider does two races the fee is only applied once.  What I believe Bubba does is get a balloon policy at a fixed total amount.  They have to decide how large the policy needs to be based on assumed rider numbers.  Talking to the wild trax promoter, he ran the numbers for his race and was within $0.50/rider.  Additionally you have to pay for each USAC official at a race, but that is a flat rate for the entire day (as far as I know).

#14 Coathangeroflove

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 07:23 AM

My two cents:

1) I thought StL Biking was dead.

2) People used to complain about Bubba being USAC. Now USAC is gone, and here we are.

3) lotta talk about how to better run a series or a race. There are *plenty* of dates that are open for possible races in this region, and more potential venues than you can shake a stick at. So why not give it a go and get a race together? Make it happen. You'd be surprised how much help you'll get. More races means a stronger, more vibrant scene. You can even make it a USAC race if you want.

#15 dolo

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:35 AM

I woke up kinda early this morning and thought maybe I'd see what all my racing buds over on the east side were up to.  I'd run into a couple of the St. Louis crowd at Jingle Rock and heard that Bubba was non USA Cycling now.  Those of you that know me are aware that I pretty much live in BFE Missouri and have a strange hobby for the area I live in.  I live closer to KC and Iowa than St. Louis, but I've been racing long enough that I know about 99% of the "hardcore" racers in the Midwest, regardless of state/region.  Racing on the west side of the state is different than racing on the east side of the state.  On the west side, the KCA (Kansas Cycling Association) is the big broker in road and cross and a majority of the racers live on the Kansas side of the Metro KC region.  All the road and cross is USAC affiliated.  On the east, St. Louis and MOBRA is the driver in road and cross.  Columbia tends to lean East, although those guys have their own thing going on and I always enjoy racing in their area also.  UFD pretty much rules the MTB scene and gives the promoter the choice of USAC or non-USAC.

In my opinion, St. Louis has always did their own thing and tends to be more a local/area racing scene and not many racers travel to the bigger regional races or national races so "cheapest and closest" has been the big criteria.  I think there were many more racers, at least MTB, that use to travel to the old NORBA events.  I know St. Louis has a strong road scene so those racers should already have a USAC license and be set for cross if someone chooses to promote a USAC race.  I race MTB, cross, and a little road so it is a no brainer for me.  I also do a lot of the large regional and national races so it is also mandatory and necessary for a good starting position.  Anyone reading this post know's how important start position is in cross and the last thing you want at events like Jingle Cross, Montrose Harbor (think passing in sand), or nats, is a back of the pack start and having to negotiate passing while your competition is riding away.  If you are just a local weekend warrior out having some fun fitness at the grassroots level, that is no problem and the local promoter can even semi rank starting positions using results from previous series races.  If you are serious about racing and traveling to larger races, ranking points are very important.  If you start back row, it's real hard to earn the points you need and the "rich get richer" with their privileged, albeit earned, starting positions.  I guess it all comes down to what the masses want for what they are paying.  I've promoted races for years and I have to remind promoters that they are selling a product and racers are consumers.  On any given weekend, I can load up my bikes and drive about any direction on the compass to go race my bike.  I will chose the race that will give me the best bang for my dollar and satisfy my individual needs.  I will race non USAC races if it is a good race.  I'm a old codger masters racer so I like to go to races that have classes for racers for "old farts" like me that allow an equal/fair racing field.

If you follow the suggestions of some of the posters about using some of the Saturdays for racing, which could be USAC events, the hardcores will possibly do both days of racing.  More recreational riders that are time challenged with family, work, reality, are going to pick one day of racing and they will go the cheapest/closest route that is probably part of a series.  Smart promoters have a clue about these details and most do it to support their love of cycling and the cycling community.  Guys like Mike and Rich that have promoted endless years of race events, should be canonized in the "Cycling Sainthood" and probably have take it in the pants financially on more than one occasion.  You won't know if people will race on Saturday and Sunday unless you try.  If it is just one USAC event and racers don't have an annual, they could buy a one day and maybe the promoter could keep the entry reasonable enough to absorb the one day fee.  I think USAC is still trying to figure out the best way to encourage participation and yet not run in the red as an association.  There are more "hoops to jump through" when you permit an event with USAC and some of those items have been mentioned-permit fee, official's fees, paperwork, results submitted in timely fashion with rider fees, etc...

So, I'm not sure if all this "typing with two fingers" settled anything but allow an old man to share his opinion.  I will guarantee you one thing for sure, if you don't get out and support these events, whether it be as a racer, volunteer, sponsor, etc...  and regardless if they are USAC or not, don't whine when they go away.  Say thanks to anyone that allows you to play on your bicycles and act like kids on the weekends.  There is nothing wrong with making constructive suggestions to promoters when it is done in the right way and not just "whiny noise!"  Smart promoters will listen.

I think I've about used my limit for characters but I want to finish with an observation.  As I stated earlier in this post and several on this forum in the past, I am an advocate of masters racing and adding classes that give masters a "age physiology" equal competitive opportunity.  It did my heart good to see the results from the first Bubba race and see the numbers in the "40-49/50+ combined masters classes.  I remember when Bubba added the 50+ and those racers started with the "Virgins" and it was a shorter race.  I stated at the that time that this class would grow and the addition of the 40-49 and longer races would encourage more racers and make those classes competitive.  Fast guys that want more competition can always do a second race with the A's or B's as you call them in St. Louis.  On the west side of the state, the masters classes are large and help pay the bills.  Many pay for that 2nd entry and some racers would probably not be there at all if they didn't have racers their age to line up against.  When it's all said and done, we are all just grown up kids riding around in circles wearing lycra,and no one really cares about our results more than we do.  USAC, non USAC, it sure beats watching tv!




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