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  1. #1
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    XC racing series in Washington State

    Info/discussion thread on the state of XC racing in Washingtion.

    Questions asked by a racer new to the state:
    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    Just moved to Seattle from Austin, TX.

    Seattle is a great city and Washington state is just incredibly beautiful.

    Some really nice trails, too!

    So, I'm a Cat 1 XC racer and have enjoyed the USACycling sanctioned TMBRA series immensely.


    I'm sort of of surprised and disappointed that the state of Washington has ZERO in the way of USACycling/Norba Cross Country racing.

    No sanctioned series for men/women/junior racers who are training/racing to qualify for national events.


    Any idea why Oregon has OBRA and Washington state has..... no WBRA?

    Do Washington XC riders not like to compete?


    Love to hear your thoughts.

    Bottom line question:

    Why are there no serious USACycling sanctioned regional race series in the state? Races that will allow Washington state XC racers to qualify to compete on the national level?


    Thanks!

    Even..........Wisconsin, for crying out loud. Wisconsin!

    http://www.wors.org/news/
    Last edited by shiggy; 08-05-2010 at 10:31 AM. Reason: merged posts for info thread
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Also mtbwashington.com, for a calendar of some of the other races (and the Indie races) and buduracing.com. The Indie Series is over for the season and BuDu Racing's main series is in the spring. A lot of people do it as training for the Indie Series - that's the main event for traditional XC racing around here.

    We've got two 'cross series and a bunch of one-off races too.
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  4. #4
    I should be out riding
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    No NORBA/USAC isn't a bad thing at all. OR has been pretty much OBRA only for years now, and it just keeps growing and getting better. The WA calendar seems packed with early season events that are mostly short courses. It'd be great to see WA have the variety of courses and events that OR has.

    The WA sort of equivalent of OBRA is the Washington State Bicycle Association, but they're mostly road/track/cross focused. http://www.wsbaracing.com/.

  5. #5
    I should be out riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    Thanks, but I have no interest in cross or road racing.

    I thought I was specific about the races being USA Cycling sanctioned.

    None are.
    Other than costing more, what difference is there between a USAC sanctioned race and independent one?

    Plenty of room on the calendar for you to promote one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA

    Why are there no serious USACycling sanctioned regional race series in the state???

    Because a race doesn't have to be USA cycling sanctioned to be competitive and fun?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz Domino
    Because a race doesn't have to be USA cycling sanctioned to be competitive and fun?

    How do you race XC in Washington State and make it on the list to qualify for nationals?

    If your goal/passion/idea of fun as a racer is to go up against the very best and very fastest racers, you gotta go to nationals, right?



    http://www.usacycling.org/events/201...t=01&age=45-49
    Maybe we just don't care and we'd rather ride for fun?

    Someone ask Heitman how he made the national team as a junior racing in Seattle? Or, how Knapp got on the NORBA circuit.

    Geez....

  8. #8
    Squeaky Wheel
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    I guess USA Cycling does not really care about Washington State. Or maybe it's the other way around

  9. #9
    I should be out riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    Maybe we just don't care and we'd rather ride for fun?

    Someone ask Heitman how he made the national team as a junior racing in Seattle? Or, how Knapp got on the NORBA circuit.

    Geez....
    To be fair, both of those guys were racing back when there were NORBA races all over WA.

  10. #10
    I should be out riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    How do you race XC in Washington State and make it on the list to qualify for nationals?

    If your goal/passion/idea of fun as a racer is to go up against the very best and very fastest racers, you gotta go to nationals, right?



    http://www.usacycling.org/events/201...t=01&age=45-49
    Travel I guess?

    Actually if you want to go up against the very best and fastest racers, head up north for the Test of Metal. Personally I could care less about natz. I hardly ever race anymore, and when I do, it's the prospect of a fun course that draws me. From the pics online, I'd about 1000 times rather race the cap forest classic then the national course in CO. I'd send my $ to Evergreen, FOCF, COTA or OBRA any day before USAC.

    I think singlespeed cyclocross worlds are in Seattle this year though. Probably not USAC sanctioned though.

    You'd really have better luck with this over at mtbwashington.com

  11. #11
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    If you want a state with a great USA Cycling sanctioned series, do yourself a favor and check out Texas. I heard you can qualify for nationals there. That's right: NATIONALS!!! Of course take my advice with a grain of salt since I'm just an ill-informed rube from the pacific NW that only rides bikes for fun, and knows nothing about the paying to ride crowded trails scene.

    p.s. Enjoy Shark Week.

  12. #12
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    I know nothing about bike racing but I do have a question. Is USA Cycling like the US Ski Team? They take cool things and do their best to ruin them?

  13. #13
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    Oh yeah and since you're here maybe it's time for you to re-asses your goals. Maybe dominating the CREAM PUFF or Cap Forest 50/100 could make you happy.

  14. #14
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    If you're gonna travel you might as well look in to those Toonie races held on Wednesday nights in a little town north of here called Whistler. I guess folks up there are pretty serious about their biking. Then again it is in Canada so they probably won't give you USACycling points although if they did you'd clearly be ranked #1 with the current exchange rate taken into account.

  15. #15
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    Racing doesn't really seem to be a priority to much of the overall mountain bike population. Don't get me wrong, the racers that race are passionate and supportive, but racers are only a small percent of our community's population.

    As a race promoter having just recently put on a great race in one of the best areas in our state for riding, it is a little disheartening to see only 100 racers show up. With such low turnout, the added expense of making the race sanctioned by USA Cycling would most certainly put many races in red. Now our state is at the point where let's say I sanction the race, nobody is going to want to race it because they would have to fork out another $60 or more to acquire a USAC license to do so. Until several race promoters band together and agree to make the leap to sanction most races in our state, I see going USAC as an obstacle to greater racer turnout. There are pros and cons to USAC and I ambivalent on the whole topic. But what I do know is that I promote races out of the love for mountain biking and racing and I don't need to make any money doing so, but I can't afford to loose money. Sad, so sad.......

    On a positive note, there is some talk about sanctioning a race or two to help those out that really do want to participate in Nationals.

  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    How do you race XC in Washington State and make it on the list to qualify for nationals?

    If your goal/passion/idea of fun as a racer is to go up against the very best and very fastest racers, you gotta go to nationals, right?



    http://www.usacycling.org/events/201...t=01&age=45-49
    You are going to find very few USAC sanctioned races in the PNW. Even most of the road and 'cross events are not USAC.

    We (promoters and riders) were screwed by the USCF years ago, went our own way, and found we had no need for the national body. They just cost us time and money with ZERO return except for the 5-10 top riders in the area.

    There are riders being developed here that go on the national level racing. Once they reach a higher level, they travel to USAC races elsewhere, just as they would have to anyway.

    To go to nationals you just need to finish in the top 15 in your class at the state or regional championship. There is always a promotor that adds this to one of their events, often as a special "USAC" class. Because so few riders care about nationals, finish and you qualify. You are rarely going to find 10 Cat 1 racers per age group on the start line.

    You do need to learn how to climb, though.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    Even..........Wisconsin, for crying out loud. Wisconsin!

    http://www.wors.org/news/
    Texas and Wisconsin are the exceptions, not the rule. Even Colorado, the home of USAC, does not have a big series.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaMiller
    Racing doesn't really seem to be a priority to much of the overall mountain bike population. Don't get me wrong, the racers that race are passionate and supportive, but racers are only a small percent of our community's population.
    Perhaps that's because racers are often viewed by mountain biking community at large as a bunch of self absorbed elitists? I've seen some BRI racers come out to Evergreen trail work parties before, and there certainly are a handful of active trail supporters within racing community, but by and large, we don't see a whole lot of top racers doing anything to give back to the sport when others are fighting to save the MTB access to the areas where racers get to ride. Holding cross races at very popular public parks like St. Ed without restoring the torn up lawn, causing the anti-biking sentiment to rise withing the stewards of the park is a prime example.

    You, as a promoter, could easily change the perception like this by working with organizations like Evergreen to promote and encourage racers to give back to the trails they like to race at. Better collaboration within larger MTB community will go a long way...

  19. #19
    Just roll it......
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    I'm glad someone said it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser
    Perhaps that's because racers are often viewed by mountain biking community at large as a bunch of self absorbed elitists? I've seen some BRI racers come out to Evergreen trail work parties before, and there certainly are a handful of active trail supporters within racing community, but by and large, we don't see a whole lot of top racers doing anything to give back to the sport when others are fighting to save the MTB access to the areas where racers get to ride. Holding cross races at very popular public parks like St. Ed without restoring the torn up lawn, causing the anti-biking sentiment to rise withing the stewards of the park is a prime example.

    You, as a promoter, could easily change the perception like this by working with organizations like Evergreen to promote and encourage racers to give back to the trails they like to race at. Better collaboration within larger MTB community will go a long way...
    For the record, there's a thriving DH race scene in WA with NW cup, Fluidride and the East Gravity Series in Spoke-vegas, but again, it's very grass roots oriented and the people putting them on are also doing a lot of the trailwork in their respective areas. This almost never happens in xc racing. Sorry, but it's true. The Pro GRT / NW Cup in Port Angeles in April not only had the top US pro's, but also some of the top World Cup level racers there (Greg Minaar, Dan Atherton, Neethling, Tracy Mosely, Rachel Atherton, etc.) and over 400 people raced that weekend.

    Norba and USAC practically killed DH racing in the US and local promotors are taking it back.

  20. #20
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser
    Perhaps that's because racers are often viewed by mountain biking community at large as a bunch of self absorbed elitists?


    That said, as EB mentioned with DH, NORBA was a big part of the root of the problem: their name spoke for a greater calling than just sanctioning races. But they didn't ever move past racing.

    The League of American Wheelmen got out of amateur bicycle racing more than a hundred years ago; this wasn't an accident.

    It's also not an accident that Cascade Bicycle Club is barely involved with road racing.

    Yeah, sure, there's some overlap and I don't disagree that there couldn't be more. That said, from the perspective of a recreational cyclist, I really don't think there's a lot of value to pursuing it.


    Rolland

  21. #21
    Monkey Wrench
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    Hate to say it, but this thread epitomizes why Washington is more interested in riding bikes for the love of bikes and nature, more than for competition. As much as I like racing for helping me direct my fitness goals, the need to compete isn't my main motivation.

    Washington rides because it loves the outdoors. We do all we can to enjoy our perfect summer months because they are so short. To dedicate every weekend and available riding moment with our heads down sweating with earbuds in place is an attitude that may pass in southern California or the midwest, but I go outside to be outside and be a part of the earth. I'll ride with friends, but I don't want to bury them with a self-pronounced superior strength.

    Events more like Mountain Bike Oregon, but situated in Washington would pull more attendees than a big mountain bike race, and probably be more profitable. (Hint, Hint, Lisa...), and the excitement of Cyclocross can hardly be compared to golf.

    The attitude of "where's my racing?" as opposed to "how can I help foster more racing?" is prevalent in the racing community and turns most riders off of the competitive side of the sport. If you want to bring USAC mountain racing to Washington, take the bull by the horns and bring it. If properly promoted and made fun for all ages and racers, you could probably build a decent scene in the next 3-5 years. If done with a superior "racer" attitude, you will be rebuffed by the cycling community and sent back to Texas.
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    Not USA Cycling sanctioned, but....

    Check out the last couple WA races of the season, even though they are stand-alone races. Consider it training for your other races if you want, but at least give them a go and see what WA style racing is about.

    Capitol Forest Classic: http://focfracing.wordpress.com/
    Capitol Forest 50/100: http://www.capitolforest100.com/

    Though these races won't net you any points toward Nationals, they showcase some great trails in WA and provide an excellent example of the mountain biking community here. On the course, it's about results, but before and after the race it's about community, fun, and the love of bikes. We can be competitive (albeit independent of USA Cycling) build our community and love our riding area all at the same time. A big plus of not being part of a national cycling organization is that more of the race entry fee can go towards the mountain bike community, such as into building and maintaining the trails (as is the case with both of the Capitol Forest races), into helping a fellow mountain biker (such with the White River Revival), into opening access to new riding areas (Methow Cycle and Sport Mountain Challenge 2010) or into youth MTB programs (Duthie Hill Dash) It is too bad that those in WA who have to desire and skills to compete at a national level are not given as much opportunity to do so in their home state, but we do have a strong riding (and racing) community here.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by new to WA
    I'll be there!

    Will you?

    What's your name?

    I'll say hi and goodbye at the start line.
    Not interested in racing. There's a lifetime worth of great trails in this area . Many of which I haven't ridden yet.

    Although you might see me at CREAM PUFF in the next few years since I've heard nothing but great things about the Oakridge trails. It'd be a good way to ride a whole bunch of them; all in one .... race

  24. #24
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    Funny you guys brought up how racers don't work on the trails. My wife just ran through the back trails at Padden Sunday and said the race has trashed the parts they used... nobody has come in and fixed them so they are terrible to run/walk on now.
    "It looks flexy"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay
    Funny you guys brought up how racers don't work on the trails. My wife just ran through the back trails at Padden Sunday and said the race has trashed the parts they used... nobody has come in and fixed them so they are terrible to run/walk on now.
    Not yet fixed. The club up there does many hours of trail work every year.
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