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  1. #1
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    Bike Racing Concept Feedback

    I am looking for some genuine feedback on a bike race/participation concept I am developing with my brother. It's called Shadow Racing Series. It'll be very similar to Strava Trail Racing out of the UK. Take a look at the site and it'll help you piece together what we are doing.

    I know (personally) that 'strava-ing' on trails, while others don't know someone is trying to ride competitively, lead to some seemingly arrogant riding styles and safety concerns. With our concept we are trying to refine it to keep a somewhat competitive edge, but still maintain safety and good etiquette on the trails and roads. As there are prizes, we are thinking of having a majority of prizes be random. Some will be for quick times, but we want it to be more about getting out, participating, and trying new trails outside of your comfort radius. We are hoping that will dampen the "win at all costs" mentality.

    We are sincerely asking people to not be Strava$$holes, but asking only does so much, so I need some help on ways to mitigate issues.

    I think its a good idea and people I talk to about it really like the concept. I want to hear the problems with it, and more importantly, what you think can be done to fix those problems.

    Send me your feedback (Bad and Good). Please be constructive instead of the typical forum "Sucks. Go to hell." type of comment. If you think that is sucks, that's fine, but tell me why.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    Maybe encourage Strava night riding, since there will be less folks on the trail (if any).

  3. #3
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    How is this different than just trying to ride fast on various segments with Strava itself? I mean, I get the "we pick a race course" thing, but I just don't see it mattering much to most people - you can already see who's gone fastest on any given segment this week/month/year/whatever and try to beat your own times... not seeing this adding much.

    It is also worth noting that most of the mountain bike segments that are downhill here on the Wasatch front are already marked as hazardous (with good reason, there are other trail users to share the trail with) with only a few exceptions. That is a good policy, so unless you're planning to do only hillclimbs or only use courses that are in the middle of *nowhere*, I think this is a terrible idea: nothing good will come of encouraging people to go shred the downs as fast as possible.

    Why not promote some actual races in cool places? I know, that's actually hard work...

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
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  4. #4
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    I agree that its pretty similar to strava itself. Differences being that its cumulative points from many segments, and an additional reason to go ride somewhere you have possibly never been. I like strava and I like this idea but I also fear it will be another reason for people to be rude on the trail. So far it looks like its uphill only for MTB's which is probably best but then its not really a mountain bike race.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  5. #5
    formerly shabadu
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    I think Walt pretty much nailed what I was thinking. This would amplify bad Strav******* behavior while not providing the fun, social, commraderie that 'real' racing provides. Racing should really only be done on closed courses is the god honest truth, with very few exceptions for things like the Divide Race, CO Trail race, etc.

  6. #6
    DOH!
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    I think Walt pretty much nailed what I was thinking. This would amplify bad Strav******* behavior while not providing the fun, social, camaraderie that 'real' racing provides. Racing should really only be done on closed courses is the god honest truth, with very few exceptions for things like the Divide Race, CO Trail race, etc.
    This.

    On trail, things around here are contentious enough already, without further encouraging Stravatard behavior with a shadow quasi-race "series".

    You see, to make something like this work, you have to assume people will ultimately use common sense when "racing" multi-use trails. And that right there is the problem. After 16 years of riding in this area, I'm seeing more and more riders check courtesy and etiquette at the trailhead; the moment that GPS starts logging, it's me baby me, the rest of you better get the h3ll outta my way.

    Races are great. On a closed course, under supervision. Turn people loose on their own, and you're simply encouraging what many already see as the characteristic bad mountain biking "attitude", as well as our apparent lack of courtesy to the other users we share trail systems with.

  7. #7
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    It is also worth noting that many "social"/free races like Kokopelli have been basically shut down because they did not get the required permits from land management agencies. If you are organizing a competitive event on public lands you are pretty much required to get permits and not charging an entry fee does not change that (KTR was always free but got shut down anyway). I would guess that this counts as an organized competitive event, and as such unless you've got official permission, I'd assume it's illegal.

    Seriously, just kill the idea. You're risking legal problems as well as access to trails for the future.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CortneyJay View Post
    I am looking for some genuine feedback on a bike race/participation concept I am developing with my brother. It's called Shadow Racing Series. It'll be very similar to Strava Trail Racing out of the UK. Take a look at the site and it'll help you piece together what we are doing.

    I know (personally) that 'strava-ing' on trails, while others don't know someone is trying to ride competitively, lead to some seemingly arrogant riding styles and safety concerns. With our concept we are trying to refine it to keep a somewhat competitive edge, but still maintain safety and good etiquette on the trails and roads. As there are prizes, we are thinking of having a majority of prizes be random. Some will be for quick times, but we want it to be more about getting out, participating, and trying new trails outside of your comfort radius. We are hoping that will dampen the "win at all costs" mentality.

    We are sincerely asking people to not be Strava$$holes, but asking only does so much, so I need some help on ways to mitigate issues.

    I think its a good idea and people I talk to about it really like the concept. I want to hear the problems with it, and more importantly, what you think can be done to fix those problems.

    Send me your feedback (Bad and Good). Please be constructive instead of the typical forum "Sucks. Go to hell." type of comment. If you think that is sucks, that's fine, but tell me why.

    Thanks guys!
    Sorry, but you realize this is unmanageable (hence your "we can only do so much" comment/plea). One batch of Stravatards f#cking up our singletrack and running over folks is quite enough. You give WAY more credit to the narcissistic azzholes who will use such a "virtual" race opportunity than you should.

    This virtual race stuff is masturbation for riders who are afraid to race wheel to wheel.

    If you are holding contests of speed on public lands (and you will be doing exactly that by offering prizes) you need liability insurance and permits in every BLM and National Forrest area you list as well.
    Monte
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
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    www.UtahMountainBikingAdventures.com
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    This virtual race stuff is masturbation for riders who are afraid to race wheel to wheel.
    Or a way to race if you happen to work evenings and weekends.

    I like the idea but have to agree that without permits and insurance you are takng a big risk. Strava itself is in the grey area and has faced litigation I am not sure of the outcome of the case of the guy who died racing a strava segment in California. They have a better case that they are not organizing a race because they provide no start line, no finish line, no date, no prizes,

    Again I like the idea but there are just too many ways it can end badly.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

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  10. #10
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    Love the concept. Considered trying to implement something similar among some friends. However, I struggled with some of the above points. I think this would only be possible if it was officially sanctioned and trails were closed to oncoming traffic and/or directional only. I could see this working on some of DV's trails.

    Unfortunately I don't think there's anyway to ensure civility among riders as soon as you throw in the competition aspect.

  11. #11
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    I participate in alley cats, which certainly have their own risks and criticisms. They are underground and usually not-so-legal city races. You will want to talk to people that run more legitimate ones that do go through waivers and all for legality and stuff. Of course cities and public lands are different but that would be a good start.

    You should also consider picking up on some of their point systems. Being the fastest in the races don't necessarily mean you win. There are sometimes things like puzzles, trivia, scavenger hunts, optional checkpoints for more points, etc. Doing something like that would curb the speed demon mentality maybe. The overall attitude is not competitive to the point that one sees in official racing.

    And just serious route planning would be in order since the Wasatch gets real busy and you would need to try and mitigate risk.

    I whole heartedly support your idea, but I'm young, reckless and punk. I won't be participating though as I'm a Luddite and don't have nor care for a smart phone or GPS or whatever you use for it.

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