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  1. #1
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    I'm still forming my opinion but am interested in what others think, especially those who are not race promoters and don't participate in the races. There are a lot of races in the Ranger and Grandfather districts these days compare to 10 or even 5 years ago. So much that there's been posts complaining about race tape, posts about racer etiquette, a post by a promoter asking about tape cleanup, and concentration of traffic and user conflict. I'm sure the race promoters and race participants don't think there are too many races, but what about the other mountain bikers... your thoughts?

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  2. #2
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    Most of the races have people spread out over a lot of trail, so unless someone is trying to hike say Cove Creek at the start of the Swank, I don't think that racers really interfere with other forest users very much.

    I do like the recent trend of promoters to offer some shorter events. Not all of us are cut out for 60-70 miles of Pisgah in one day. Races like the 55 and the new Couch Potato give more people a chance to finish an event.
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  3. #3
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    How many races are there?

  4. #4
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    These are the ones I can think of:


    P36 (hours not miles)
    PMBAR
    P111
    P55

    Jerdon Mtn. Challenge
    ORAMM

    ATR Races in Spring and Fall

    Pisgah Stage Race (5 days)

    Couch Potato
    Swank
    Double Dare

    Monster Cross (no trails involved)


    Did I miss anything?
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  5. #5
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    I don't think there are too many and I don't race (although I may do one for the fun of it).
    I have encountered a few racers on the trails but it has never been an issue.
    As far as race tape goes, other than during active races, I have not seen it other than during active races and it really does not bother me.

    Most the complaints about races, race tape, etc are probably from people that have nothing better to do.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I can see why some people would be upset by a few hundred racers coming down the trail as they hike, since it could detract from the experience of being "away from it all."
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  7. #7
    drunken pirate
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    Races are inherently good for the sport and the region. The few negative impacts of races are greatly out weighed by the positive.

    The biggest problem - poor trail etiquette - is representative of mountain bikers in the region as a whole and is far from limited to the race environment. If anything I think races are the perfect opportunity to try and teach proper trail etiquette. Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.

    I do think that the local race market has reached its saturation point though.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Most the complaints about races, race tape, etc are probably from people that have nothing better to do.
    Bingo.

  9. #9
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.
    +1. I mainly ride on the East side of town where other riders are so rare you always wave and say "Hi." When I'm at Bent Creek, I make a game out of counting how many people completely ignore waves. The place often has a big 'roadie' vibe.

    On the other hand, when I race, I've encountered some of the best manners I've ever seen on bikes.

  10. #10
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    I started riding seriously in 1994 in Arizona, participating/ sucking in one of the premier XC series of all time (Cactus Cup). We also had one the original endurance events around the Peaks in Flagstaff.
    I moved here in 1997; there were no races on the good trails. None. Zero. So many great trails, but I remember riding around fantasizing about races that could be held. Knobscorcher at Tsali was it and there'd be a hundred plus in the Sport Class. Camp Carolina had already quit hosting, I think.
    Then, slowly, races started popping up. Entrepeneurs figured out what the rules were. Land managers started working with the entrepeneurs. The free market has supported events as they developed. If it becomes "too much" either the land managers or said free market will tell us so.
    Enjoy what we got, because eventually it's going to change.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    I can see why some people would be upset by a few hundred racers coming down the trail as they hike, since it could detract from the experience of being "away from it all."
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.
    Not saying I don't see bad etiquette but I ride Bent Creek all the time and I do not see a lot of it out there. When I do, it seems to normally be by somebody who is new on a bike. The reality is you can't expect trail etiquette to be instinctive. It has to be learned.

    Of course there are several out there that know the rules of etiquette and yet still ignore them and you may have bumped in to a series of them that day. lol
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
    Big Mac
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I started riding seriously in 1994 in Arizona, participating/ sucking in one of the premier XC series of all time (Cactus Cup). We also had one the original endurance events around the Peaks in Flagstaff.
    I moved here in 1997; there were no races on the good trails. None. Zero. So many great trails, but I remember riding around fantasizing about races that could be held. Knobscorcher at Tsali was it and there'd be a hundred plus in the Sport Class. Camp Carolina had already quit hosting, I think.
    Then, slowly, races started popping up. Entrepeneurs figured out what the rules were. Land managers started working with the entrepeneurs. The free market has supported events as they developed. If it becomes "too much" either the land managers or said free market will tell us so.
    Enjoy what we got, because eventually it's going to change.
    Wolf Laurel and Cataloochie both hosted a race series in the 90's. but I agree with what you say here, especially the part about racing being an educational opportunity concerning trail etiquette. And that is something that we really need around here.

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    You should especially agree with me sucking in 1994. I believe I finished DFL in three consecutive events. That takes its own set of skills.

  15. #15
    Big Mac
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Not saying I don't see bad etiquette but I ride Bent Creek all the time and I do not see a lot of it out there. When I do, it seems to normally be by somebody who is new on a bike. The reality is you can't expect trail etiquette to be instinctive. It has to be learned.

    Of course there are several out there that know the rules of etiquette and yet still ignore them and you may have bumped in to a series of them that day. lol
    I see plenty of pusquits at BC. But I see them everywhere. The ratio of pusquits to good guy is probably the same, BC just has so many more users that the pusquit numbers can sometimes be staggering.

  16. #16
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    Little for instance.

    Someone wants to hike from the bottom of Heartbreak to the parkway. They decide they are going to do this the same day as ORAMM, unknowingly. So you're telling me it's not possible that they are going to be passed by a shitload of racers (X out of 500 total)? Really? Think it's not possible?

    I'm not against racing. I have every intention of being one the few hundred this year.
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  17. #17
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    I suppose it "could" happen.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
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    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    "You can make some of the people happy some of the time, but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    I get passed by hundreds of racers every time I enter a race.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by "CHIEF" View Post
    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    Yes, but I believe the promoters also pay money to the forest service.
    I have also seen crews stay behind to work/repair the trail after the race.
    Not to mention I believe many mountain bikers also do a lot of volunteering to repair trails at other times.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I get passed by hundreds of racers every time I enter a race.
    lol, does it upset you or are you ok with it?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    pusquits
    I gotta ask...what's a "pusquit?" Googled and and all I got were your posts and some French folks.

  22. #22
    Big Mac
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I gotta ask...what's a "pusquit?" Googled and and all I got were your posts and some French folks.
    Ha! It's a word I made up years ago. A pusquit takes many meanings, but basically it's a doo doo head. A turd of sorts.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by "CHIEF" View Post
    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    I have to disagree with you on that one. Horses have done way more damage to trails than bikes.

    Lack of trail etiquette is an issue for sure, but like others have said, it isn't limited to the races. Races bring tourists and money to the area, and let people know that mountain biking is a big part of the community.

  24. #24
    Big Mac
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    You don't wanna be a pusquit.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Horses have done way more damage to trails than bikes.
    I will agree and disagree.

    I single horse does do way more damage than a single bike.
    However, I would image the as a whole it may be the other way around.

    I just wish the horses were made to wear bun-bags.
    I get tired of dodging horse poop.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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