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  1. #1
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    2009 MBAA Series

    Now that the MBAA series is over, it would be nice to get some feedback on what can be done to improve the series for next year. It's ok to point out problems, but provide suggestions on how solve them.

    Thanks,
    Art Macfarland
    2008 MBAA Competition Chair

  2. #2
    A plethora of pinatas
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    I thought the season went very well. A few hicups here and there, but there were addressed and overcome.

    Some ideas for imporoving the series next year...

    - Bring wave starts back. It is difficult for racers to know who they are racing against or what position they are in when you hit the trailhead when several different classes are mixed together at the start line.

    - Bring call-ups back. It regonizes the leaders and brings a little more prestige to the overall all series standings.

    Thanks again to all the people who work hard to put on the series!
    Marty

  3. #3
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    This was my first year of racing and I would like to thank everyone who volunteered so much of their own time and energy to make the eight races around the state happen. My suggestions:
    -continue using Red Rock Racing as the timer
    -expand the use of new race venues when possible to showcase those areas of the state
    -increase the spread between coming in 1st and the rest; it should count more to win a race; it should not be like NASCAR
    -give more notice for race course changes (the start not the rest of what happened) like race 7 in Flagstaff

    Thanks Art for stepping in to coordinate the Flagstaff Finale. See you on the trails.

  4. #4
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    I'll give some feedback on the MBAA races from an outsiders standpoint, doubt anything will come of it but since you asked here goes.

    I would love to race in some of these events but I have only done one of them (Estrella). Why? The courses. I realize it's cross country racing but why does cross country equate to road rides on dirt? I'm not saying that the courses should have 10 foot drops or gap jumps but how about putting a little "mountain" back into mountain biking? Some time ago I remember talking to a few of the expert / pro level racers and they barely even touch their mountain bikes except on race day, training is 98% road riding. If you want more of the mountain biking crowd to show up, make it a little more mountain. In my opinion mountain bike racing should be measuring a persons mountain biking skills, this includes a bit of technical skill, these races are about flat out speed only...which basically equates to road biking only with a dirty path instead of asphalt.

    Please don't take this as an MBAA bashing, I realize that alot of people enjoy what it is and that's great, you guys also seem to do a great job at hosting these events. I just wanted to add my two cents.
    JRA

  5. #5
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    My big issue is the prizes. I have a problem with the dinky little medal that is given out. What is the difference between first and second? The medal is the same! I think we pay enough in entry fees that we could get a MUCH BETTER PRIZE. I have raced BMX for years and pay much lower entry fees and get much better prizes. Good grief in BMX if you go to a national race your entry fee is $45.00 and if you win you get a trophy that is 4 FEET TALL. Local races have about a $25.00 fee and the trophys are almost as good. The medals that were given out for the state championship winners were outstanding! I won second at Sea Otter a few years ago and received the same medal and I was very happy.
    www.29er918.blogspot.com

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eabos
    I'll give some feedback on the MBAA races from an outsiders standpoint, doubt anything will come of it but since you asked here goes.

    I would love to race in some of these events but I have only done one of them (Estrella). Why? The courses. I realize it's cross country racing but why does cross country equate to road rides on dirt? I'm not saying that the courses should have 10 foot drops or gap jumps but how about putting a little "mountain" back into mountain biking? Some time ago I remember talking to a few of the expert / pro level racers and they barely even touch their mountain bikes except on race day, training is 98% road riding. If you want more of the mountain biking crowd to show up, make it a little more mountain. In my opinion mountain bike racing should be measuring a persons mountain biking skills, this includes a bit of technical skill, these races are about flat out speed only...which basically equates to road biking only with a dirty path instead of asphalt.

    Please don't take this as an MBAA bashing, I realize that alot of people enjoy what it is and that's great, you guys also seem to do a great job at hosting these events. I just wanted to add my two cents.

    I just wanted to piggy back on this comment.

    I have to disagree with you Eabos, although respectfully. I hear this a lot, that many mountain bikers think that XC is a bunch of roadies who hit the dirt a few times a year. What I see are the fastest guys flying through tech stuff very much as if they know a thing or two about riding on the dirt. Yes, many of the top guys spend much of their time on the road, but the majority that I’ve talked to have extensive experience on the dirt.

    I felt there was a very good mix as far as the course selection goes, with only a couple of exceptions. Doing the White Tanks backwards made that a whole new trail, much more techy, still it had its flat sections, but the tech parts were much harder than I expected.

    Esrtella has it's techy parts for sure.

    McDowell Mountain Park is not Very tech but it's still a great course.

    I loved Serra Vista, it was a great mix of tech and some good hills thrown in, the CAT II course could have been longer.

    I wish the Prescott course was somewhere other than the Alto track, but still that is a challenging course, very hilly and fun, but no real tech.

    Next, and last for me was the Payson/Rim Lakes course, long flat and boring, MBAA could have done better on the one.

    Although I did not race the final, I plan to get to Flag soon and ride that course, cause it looks like a fun course.

    I was determined to do all the races this year, but I could not make the last two. The second half of the season the fields grew much smaller. It seemed that only the fastest guy were showing up for these last races, at least for CAT II. Making me feel like I'm slow or somthing (yeah I know I'm kinda slow), even though I did get faster as the season progressed. I guess what I'm saying is that there are only 10 guys that can be in the top ten, and only five in the top five, it seemed that there were very few of us who never finished in the top ten but still raced consistently. I raced 6 of the eight, with one being a DNF. I'll be back next year though; I hope I can crack the top ten before I have to move up in age group.
    Last edited by surfndav; 06-19-2009 at 07:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    I dont agree with you eabos. I have raced DH, BMX, 4X, & XC for years, and I dont have a problem with the courses. YES, I do 75% of my training on the road, BUT I did the same when I was racing DH all the time. If you talk to most of the top pros they to do most of their training on the road.
    I race XC and 24 hr type races now but ANYTIME I get onto my DH bike I dont miss a step because my XC bike makes me a better rider. I have to read the trail better on my XC bike than I do when I have 7-8 inches of travel under me.
    Also you have to think.....On an XC coures WITH A XC BIKE the coures is harder. Sure if I ride my ALL MTN bike, and i'm with a coupe of friends the courses would be no big deal. BUT when i'm on my 23 lb 29er hard tail with 25 other guys wanting the same line its a eye opener. AND THATS WHEN THE DH SKILL COME IN AND THE TRUE MTN BIKERS SHINE!
    www.29er918.blogspot.com

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  8. #8
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    I also agree that the courses are not completely flat roadie courses. Sure an easy day spinning around McDowell race loops might not be bombing down National. But race pace on the Sport loop in a pack of 20 guys through all the turns trying to pass and not be passed is not an easy thing.

    I only did White Tanks, Estrella and the last two Flag courses. Cat 2 distance was a little short at the second to last Flag race, but the course was great on the last race and definitely had some techy sections (two endos for me and running off trail into a tree).

    Other than the timing delay on the White Tanks race which got handled well after. I think the races went well.

    Minor gripes:
    Minimal tee shirt availability. I supposedly registered too late and missed getting one of the sweet red tees at the White Tanks race. Tees are great marketing - I wear my race tees all the time - have one for the promoting the whole season and have available for first couple of races.

    Make courses as challenging as possible within reason, but keep distances longer. No one wants to drive to 2 hrs possible pay for overnight stay to race for 1hr and 15mins.

    Dont increase cost for race day registration. I think you turn away a lot of locals who at the last minute want to race, but dont want to have to pay the upcharge. Not sure how much extra work this is but I notice at the DCB races where there is no upcharge a lot of people are signing up day of. Obviously you dont know if all your participants sign up earlier to avoid the fee but something to look at.

    Have more info on the site re locating results on the Redrock site. They are posting results as early as the evening of the races, while MBAA takes a couple of days for results to show up.

    Brit.

  9. #9
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    First off, thanks to the entire MBAA team for a great series. This is my first time racing…ever…and I had a blast. As such, consider all my comments minor as I only have this series as a basis. First suggestions, then compliments:

    SUGGESTIONS:

    - Goody Bags: Love the goody bags. Personally I like clothing that I can wear as a badge of honor (T-Shirts, Socks). Not so hip on the other items (Cooler, Hat, Back Pack, Patch Kit), but I appreciate the attempt to mix it up. You could easily start a new Forum thread and ask for suggestions on give-aways. I’ll bet you will get a ton of ideas and opinions.
    - Course Route: I think its been mentioned a few times, but anything you can do to firm up the course the weekend before the race is great. Perhaps you can give some volunteer points to some locals that can ride the routes with their GPS units and dump that into TopFusion or Google Earth.
    - Award Ceremony: I don’t suspect I’ll be on the podium in the near future, but anything you can do to speed that up would be great. Many times, it seemed to really drag on. One suggestion may be to announce all the names and places for a category at one time. So for each category announce all the names and places at one time and have them all come up at once, versus announcing 5th place, wait for clap, wait for them to walk up get medal, then announce 4th, wait for clap, etc
    - Forum: It would be great if you could use this forum, or create a forum on MBAA.net specifically for each race. It’s a great way for riders to get feedback on the course from other folks, especially if you don’t have a chance to pre-ride. As soon as you post the preliminary route, create a forum post and let folks use it to communicate.

    COMPLIMENTS:

    - This Forum Post: Great job placing this post. I love the fact that you are willing to listening to our thoughts…good and bad.
    - Goody Bags: Love them! See above for comments.
    - Raffle: Love the raffles! It always amazes me the amount of goodies you guys provide. Plus it gives me incentive to hang around.
    - Courses: I’m just a CAT3, first year, but I enjoyed all the courses. Good mixture of speed, climbs, technical, altitude, and areas to pass, etc
    - Web Site: Great job updating the site with good info in a timely manner.

  10. #10
    It's a Sledgehammer.
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    I enjoyed the series racing Cat 2 for the first time in 10 years of not racing.
    Some of the starts, like prescott, were a little out of control... maybe missing
    staff or volunteers? I missed both flag races due to schedule conflict, but I hear
    they were fun.

    More cool tee's would be nice.
    Redrock timing was awesome with the results up that night!
    the day-of pricing is a travesty.

    The start times being the same all year was the BEST... i absolutely love
    knowing that in the back of my head while preparing the week before.

    If I was you guys, I would emulate what all the "cool" races do like Epic rides.
    The courses are fine, during an XC race you are riding at your body's limit so
    it's a challenge to ride a sidewalk. That said, I do better on the rougher courses
    that slow the speedkings down and allow the super-d guys like me to shine.

    XC racing is a staggering challenge, I got my ass kicked over and over.. The
    cat 2 pace is ferocious... I might go marathon next year.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9-18 Fast
    My big issue is the prizes. I have a problem with the dinky little medal that is given out. What is the difference between first and second? The medal is the same! I think we pay enough in entry fees that we could get a MUCH BETTER PRIZE. I have raced BMX for years and pay much lower entry fees and get much better prizes. Good grief in BMX if you go to a national race your entry fee is $45.00 and if you win you get a trophy that is 4 FEET TALL. Local races have about a $25.00 fee and the trophys are almost as good. The medals that were given out for the state championship winners were outstanding! I won second at Sea Otter a few years ago and received the same medal and I was very happy.
    I second that. I'd like a medal like the series final medal for all the regular races and a trophy for the final.

    And the series final prises were terrable. Okay, the first place award is alright, but all the others were trash (thats where mine will probably end up). A cheap messanger bag with MBAA on it? C'mom were mountain bikers. You shoulda taken the stuff that was raffled off and given it to the winners who really deserved it.

    Single speeders always get the short end of the stick too. We had to wait till the VERY END to be given our awards. By then everyone had left, so what was the point of even standing on the podium? You need to do the single speeders with there respective categories, Advanced with all the other Cat1s and Novice with all the Cat2s. Not after the Cat3s and Rock Crushers

    All the races should be finalized before the season starts. No changing courses and venues mid season. I almost went to the flagstaff final on the 6th because that was the origanal date.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback. Not making any promises, but we will discuss everyone's feedback during one of the next couple of MBAA board meetings. See you at the races.
    Art

  13. #13
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    I had a blast this year and have to give tons of kudos to the MBAA folks and Red Rock Racing. I did all 8 races and really enjoyed the year. Results were up so much faster this year, which was great...thanks! I also really enjoyed some of the new courses. Sierra Vista and both Flagstaff courses were a blast! Not a big fan of the Mogollon course, but that may have been because I didn't have a great day there.

    My main suggestion is to only drop 1 race for the series to arrive at a series winner. Dropping 3 races is way too many - that's practically half the series and doesn't truly reward the most consistent.

    As far as some of the complaints about prizes...I have to disagree. I especially liked getting money off the next race for a top 3 finish. And I like the messenger bag, too. I don't really care too much about the goody bag stuff or prizes as long as the entry fees are reasonable. I've put on races in the past and there is WAY more effort and expense to it than most of us realize.

  14. #14
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    I thought the series was very well run this year...from packet pick up to results being online super quick. Really glad to race on some different courses too, like sierra vista, mogollon and the two flag courses. I have been doing this series since 1996 and have seen many people come and go as well as many changes. some good, some not. Some years had huge fields, others would get 7 pro/semipros. overall, I would say this was a good year. However, i have some suggestions. This might ramble on, but here goes....can we spread the races apart in the beginning of the year, say 3 to 5 weeks apart, then have the races get closer together, say 2 to 3 weeks apart towards the end? Seemed there were races really close together in Jan and Feb, but dropped off Mar til June. This would allow racers to get more training in during the early season between races, then race more often later when we are fine tuning the end of the season. If we could have the first race early in Feb, that would be great too. I did really appreciate the season going into June however, since N. AZ has great courses and the weather is great and many racers are finally finding their legs. Having two races in Flag on a true mountain also was great. This balances out the series between desert terrain and in the woods terrain. As far as a race length goes, I feel the early season races are way too long time wise. Shooting for a 2 hour race at the start of the year would be great. I don't mind racing 2:20ish, but when we are racing the first race of the year at WT's doing 5 laps where some are finishing at 2.5 hrs, that seems a bit much. Then, some races are 1.5 hrs mid season, and some years the state champs race has been 1.5 hrs?? And, no, i am not the only one who feels this way, as the majority of pro racers have said the same thing. Remember, my opinions are from the view point of racing Semipro and pro for the last 4 years, others may disagree on the time length issue. Bringing back call ups would be really nice too. That used to happen, but has gone away. Seems it brings a bit more exposure to the racers and their sponsors, and would allow the top 10 to not stress about getting a front row spot during warm up. not sure how many would feel about this next point, but here goes. I read about the TX series and WORS series on Velonews, etc, and they make a big deal out of how many elite racers they have in their series. however, they categorize elite as expert and pro. when they report that so and so won the race out of 50 elite racers, it implies that the entire 50 riders were pro, when only about 10 really were. would it be possible to start all "elite" racers together in AZ? Lump all expert age categories and pro together, calling up the top 10 in each sub category??? Seems this would make the race seem more like a larger NORBA national (yes, NORBA ntl, I am that old) and may get people psyched to race against the "pros." Then, perhaps someone would report to national media that AZ has large elite fiels, which we would if we combined expert and pro. I guess part of what I am saying, is that AZ does have a good series, with a pretty deep pro field and would love to get more recognition, like the TX, WI and MSC series. Heck, we even had the Schultz brothers race a couple races, thats pretty cool, except when you are trying to keep pace with them! whew,,,that was a lot. will be surprised if anyone read this far. hey how bout short track at a few of the races, make a weekend out of it?? stage races?? Overall, a fine season and series, thank you to all who put your time and effort into this thankless job!!! I get the easy end, showing up and racing. Now I have lots of time off until cross season in October. Speaking of which, lets get mroe out to the AZ Cross series: mtb friendly, family friendly, spectator friendly, good organization, fun courses (a few up in Flag this year), great sportsmanship, and of course the Purple Pimp!! Yeah, thats for you Marty!
    Thanks,
    John Sawasky

  15. #15
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    I'm a Cat 2 racer returning to competition after a 10-year hiatus, and by and large I loved the series and truly appreciate all of the volunteers that help make this happen. I echo a number of comments made previously; longer races are better, lower entry fees would be nice, but that's not a big deal, more T-shirts for early entry. I still have a jersey from winning a championship series...could we give jerseys as prizes? Very practical and would be worn as a badge of honor.

    I also like how MBAA mixed up the venues and moved the courses around. Is there an option to race west of Flagstaff; A-1 Mountain, Williams??? I didn't travel down to Sierra Vista, but I attended all of the other races. I would prefer courses that are entirely public lands and open to riding year-round. While I appreciate that Fort Huachuca opened their base to allow racing, I much prefer venues where I can ride whenevery my travels happen to bring me to that part of the state. If I make a trip down to southern Arizona this fall, I want to be able to take my bike. In that sense, I'd rather have a course on public lands (Gardner Canyon) where I have access to ride whenever instead of having a course that is locked up for 99% of the year.

    ...just my two cents. Again I really appreciate the effort that everyone puts into this series.

  16. #16
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    Best feedback someone could hope for

    At the final race in Flag a racer was talking to myself and one of the Red Rock staff....he suddenly said, "I don't want to complain but, well, again, I'm not a complainer and don't take this too hard, and I'm not trying to be critical, but.....my only complaint is that THE SEASON IS OVER AND I HAVE TO WAIT 8 MONTHS UNTIL THE NEXT RACE!!!!!"

    Now, that said it all!!!
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  17. #17
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    FYI Ft Huachuca is an "open" post. All you need to do is show ID and proof of auto insurance and you can ride the trails anytime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer Head
    I didn't travel down to Sierra Vista, but I attended all of the other races. I would prefer courses that are entirely public lands and open to riding year-round. While I appreciate that Fort Huachuca opened their base to allow racing, I much prefer venues where I can ride whenevery my travels happen to bring me to that part of the state. If I make a trip down to southern Arizona this fall, I want to be able to take my bike. In that sense, I'd rather have a course on public lands (Gardner Canyon) where I have access to ride whenever instead of having a course that is locked up for 99% of the year.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCRob
    I especially liked getting money off the next race for a top 3 finish.
    XCRob- You got money off the next race for a top 3 finish? I finished in the top 3 in all of my races and never received such a thing. Was it because I was a Cat 3? Man, that would have been nice...

  19. #19
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    First of all, as many have said here, thank you for a great season and all of the hard work MBAA and Red Rock put into having the series. This is my first time racing and I made it to 6 of the 8 races. I had a blast and I think I'm hooked.

    Compliments:
    - Thanks for taking us to different parts of the state and seeing new courses. That was fun.
    - Organization: most of the races seemed pretty organized
    - The raffle: I won a pair of glasses and it was fun to see other people win stuff. If I have to pay $40 + I guess it's good to get something.
    - Having a goody bag (more on this in the Suggestions)

    Top 3 Suggestions:
    - My most important suggestion is to include a couple of technical courses in the season. I totally agree with the people that said that a flat and easy course is not that easy when ridden at race pace (like the Mogollon course), but that's not the point. The point is to include a range of courses that will highlight different types of riders strengths at different times. There were 2 sections on the Cat 3 course on the race 8 that were technical. I think there should be a few races with similar technical features as part of it.
    - Second most important: Try to lower the entry fee. If that means less in the way of the raffle, or prizes, or all the stuff that was tossed around at the last race, say all the better. Maybe with a lower entry fee, you'll get more riders and take in as much money anyway.
    - Third most important suggestion: Prizes, as others said. The medals are fine, and a fun momento, but maybe give the first place, and maybe second place winner also, one of the raffle prizes, or maybe money off the next race (XCRob made it sound like this was already the case... not for Cat 3?). I know I was a lowly Cat 3, but when I got first, second or third place it would have been cool to get something a little more than 5th place.

    Other, more minor, suggestions:
    - The suggestions that Bike_Muchacho mentioned echo my sentiments very well.
    - Good bag: Do t-shirts (or nothing if it will save on the fee) instead of the lunch bags, coffee mug, and other knick knacks. Or offer the t-shirts at cost $5 or $10 for those that want them. Otherwise you get a discount on the entry fee.
    - As others have mentioned, as much as possible GPS the course beforehand.
    - How about leaders jersey to let whoever one the last race wear during the race? (wash them in between races?)
    - Take us to Tucson if possible. I heard there were some reasons why MBAA got kicked out of a spot there, from some loud racers getting drunk. Maybe we can try again.
    - Maybe don't do the 3 Phoenix courses??? Find other ones, like Tucson? I don't hear of anyone (Cat3 to Cat1) liking Estrella at all.
    - Do the Phoenix courses backwards if you have to do them. (White Tanks was fun in reverse)

    Overall the series was great and I hope this helps and you don't see it as all complaints. Keep up the good work.

  20. #20
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    Well, this is my fourth season racing CAT 2 in the MBAA, and I must say this year has been great. Finished 4th in state and going to race SS Novice next year. Here's my 2 cents:

    Pros:
    Red Rock Co is amazing at getting the results posted quickly. Both at the races and on the web. This is a great improvement over the past couple of years.

    Timing. Race start times between all the different classes reduced course clutter. Alot of the women I spoke with were extremely happy this year because they were not getting run over by the Pro and Expert men. I didn't have to run over any woman on the course either : )

    Eight races!!! Fricken Awesome!!!

    All the volunteers especially that Pimp in Purple that roots on all the racers! You need to be out at more races!!!!

    Cons:
    Award ceremony. There's gotta be a faster way.

    Sandbaggers. Probably never gonna go away but this year we had a Pro roadie racing in CAT 2 beating everyone by at least 5 minutes. MBAA found out and moved him up to CAT 1.

    Bring call-ups back. It regonizes the leaders and brings a little more prestige to the overall all series standings.

    Only allow racers to drop 2 races and not 3. Let the people who race the entire series get the credit they deserve.

    Have all volunteer points and trail maintenance points posted prior to last race. After the last race I thought that I had 3rd in state, only to find out that I was beat by 3.5 points by someone who did volunteer time the same day. Racers should all know where they and others sit prior to going into the last race.

    On the courses. We need to keep the roadies off of trail maintenance. It's seems like more and more each year the techy spots on the trails become less techy. Places on the trails that I've spent time practicing to clear, and finally when I'm able to clear them, they change. This is mountain bike racing, and if I wanted a smooth ride, I'd by a road bike. If you roadies want a smooth ride, stay on the road.

    Also, to all of you guys that go out and put "placements" on the course to make the techy sections easier. Shame on you!!!!

    See you next year with one gear!

  21. #21
    swashbucklerette
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    This was my first year racing with MBAA. I've done a bunch of running races and triathlons (including the ones put on by Red Rock), so I felt MBAA was very well organized based on what I've seen of other events.

    Goodie bags - Loved that the schwag rotated and was different each time. I have a billion T-shirts because just about every race gives away shirts, so I was glad there was only 1 of those with MBAA.

    Medals - I like them, and like that they go 5 deep because I'm in an age group that has a huge spread (19-39).

    Points - I think if a rider stops to help an injured rider, and DNFs because of that, they should be given 20 points (same as volunteering and trail work). They shouldn't be penalized with 0 points because they stopped to help. I also like the idea of trail work and volunteering being done before the last race of the year. I like that the last championship race is worth 1.5 X more.

    Timing mats - On the courses where more than one lap is done, a timing mat should be placed where the beginning of the next lap is to make sure everyone does the right number of laps. Red Rock does this for their triathlons.

    Course markings - I thought the courses were well marked. The only thing I would change is to make sure the markings on the map put up online matches the one on the course. For Ft. Huachuca there were animal names, so I memorized that I was doing something like jackrabbit to coyote to badger. Then when we got on the course, it was red, black, green and no other trail names. Please keep putting the distances for each class up online ahead of time too. For most of the season it wasn't a problem, but the last race I had no idea how far we were going. Packing food/water for 24 miles is a bit different than 12.

    Locations - I like that races are located in different areas around the state. Coming from Tucson, I would have liked a few more in this area, but can understand its an issue of getting permits, securing dates, etc and sometimes it doesn't work out.

    Thanks for all of your hard work, and I'll be back next season!

  22. #22
    Beer Drnkr w/bike problem
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    No more than two t-shirts for the season,(one for the first race, one for the second to last is good) although the goody bags were not the greatest it was better than 8 t-shirts for the year, after a couple of seasons there are too many. Different type medals for top five placements would be nice and call ups for the top five in each cat for the line up of each race.
    quit cleaning the course so it's not challenging, if you can't ride it, then hike a bike it. Years back someone aksed an official at Rock Rabbit "when are you going to clean the course and get rid of the loose rocks" the official said "this is mountain biking, we don't clean the trails for you". Now that's how it should be.
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

    E-bikes are Mountain Mopeds

  23. #23
    offtrackmtb
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    This was my first year as well riding these races. I think over all they went incredibly smoothly. I loved having the same start time all year. I think Redrock did a terrific job with the timing, though I would concur w/ Pirate girl on the lap mats - I assume everyone was honest - but at some point someone won't be.

    Poor Tuscon can't seem to get its act together and support any rides, It is sad. I think that the people in Tucson and points south ended up traveling quite a bit. But I also know that venues are where you can find them. I did love going north as the season progressed. I did like the idea of placing the shorter rides toward the start of the season, and the longer at the end - but I also know that venues are what they are. Sierra vista was a bit short. And Prescott I assume has to have a better trail than the one we rode at.

    I thought the award ceremonies were reasonable in length. I too would like to see different colored medals - or something indicating place other than a piece of tape. I loved that the awards went five deep, and I thought the discount/schwag for 1-3 places was fine. I loved that you actually had a podium!

    I was really bummed that there was no hedgehog t-shirt - but that was a personal thing that I will probably get over. I do understand not having 8 t-shirts, but I do feel that the boat was somewhat missed on the other items. Socks - all mountain bikers ruin socks! Just an Idea, and this year headwarmers would not have been amiss! Food - hell snickers bars and M&M's - we all gotta eat.

    I love having a raffle. I hate leaping into the air and scrabbling for schwag - raffles are absolutely the way to go, and I did enjoy them.

    The staff and volunteers were terrific. The late entry was expensive, but I do know why it exists. People who (like me) plan everything at the last second hate to pay more - but then we'll complain about what's in the goody bags - not fair. If anyone should have paid less it should be the people in Southern Arizona who would have had to drive over 100 miles one way to 7 out of 8 races. But again that is a venue thing.

    I do think that the point series was not altogether clear on the website - how it worked - how deep the awards would go, etc.

    By and large I feel that this was a well run series with a nice assortment of trails - I neither thought they were too easy or too hard. I thank all of the race personel for putting on these races, I cannot imagine what a royal PIA it must be. I will absolutely race next year. Thanks!
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    Last edited by offtrackmtb; 06-23-2009 at 07:05 PM.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcodyw
    XCRob- You got money off the next race for a top 3 finish? I finished in the top 3 in all of my races and never received such a thing. Was it because I was a Cat 3? Man, that would have been nice...
    Maybe it was just for Cat 1? That's what I race and top 3 got money off the next entry fee or something from the MBAA swag bag.

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