Is this a bad thing (norba's new schindig)?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is this a bad thing (norba's new schindig)?

    Maybe I'm rehashing an old topic (slightly), but how does this affect ultra endurance races?
    https://www.velonews.com/pr/prn/articles/11125.0.html
    I can see standardization of prize money being a benefit. What they are trying to achieve seems kinda vague to me.
    Any ideas??
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  2. #2
    Harmonius Wrench
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    It all comes down to money

    All events added to the calendar must meet pro prize purse requirements specific to each calendar tier set by either the UCI or USA Cycling. The endurance calendar will be broken down into four separate tiers based on the amount of prize money and/or UCI points available at each event. Gravity events will fall into one of two tiers, while Ultra-endurance events will all be classified the same.
    If I am reading these forums correctly, there already exists a resistence to high entry fees, (I speak at the risk of being banned, but here goes...) so, it would seem to be counter-intuitive for event promoters to join in the NORBA fun if it means that you have to pony up the big bucks to get the prize money where they want it to be.

    And even if the promoters do join up, who are they going to get to ride in the ultra endurance races or longer endurance races that don't already participate? Okay, yeah......there will be a series, sure. But how many of these athletes are sponsored to the degree that they can afford to get to all of the races on the series calendar? (Assuming that they get alot of promoters to sign on)

    What it sounds like to me is that NORBA and USA Cycling have seen the emergence of a thriving, independant, racing scene that they aren't a part of. With the relative success of the 100 mile endurance race series this past summer, the temptation to get in the action is greater for them. XC and traditional NORBA racing isn't growing and the endurance racing/ ultra endurance racing is growing like crazy, (or so it would seem).

    Will it work? Well, it's going to take alot of race promoters that are willing to submit themselves and their events to "The Plan". What's in it for them? That's the real question here. Without the races to put on the calendar, it is all a moot point.
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  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    I agree with you, Ted. From a promoter's point of view USACycling has always been more of a hindrance than a help. Many demands. Little benefit for the organizers or riders below the Elite level. Events depend on - and exist for IMO - the non-elite participant.
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  4. #4
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    Not a norba fan

    But there were a few events this summer where i bought my one day $5 membership.... I dont see the point in joining....

    Alot of the events I already do dont have any entry, teeshirts, shwag ect....

    So i dont really care one way or another....

    Just would hate to see this type of racing get ruined
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  5. #5
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    Well, since I already am banned....

    I think this stupid....atleast right now. NORBA is going to have to prove themselves in the endurance ring. By the way, NORBA is half the reason I turned to enduro racing.

    Lets see here....
    NORBA National XC race the last time I did one: $40 for 1.5 hours of racing
    Yearly NORBA license: $65
    Regional based 12 hour event: $35 for 12 hours of pain.

    I know what I am going to support.
    Thats what is cool about being a racer...you have a choice.
    Last edited by KERKOVEJ; 11-04-2006 at 04:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ
    I think this stupid. NORBA is half the reason I turned to enduro racing.
    They also have no clue about what endurance events are about. Even though the UCI (nearly as clueless) rules require that Marathon events be held in point-to-point (or single loop) courses the NORBA races are regularly held on two to seven lap courses! The route used for last year's marathon race at Mammoth was about the same distance as was used for the XC races there in the '80s.
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  7. #7
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    Allright talk to me

    I am in the process of coordinating the Cailfornia State endurance series. NORBA is not quite the bad animal alot of people have imagined. At least I dont think so! After some one on one with NORBA, I think NORBA is pretty neutral. At this point and time my events are my own and I owe nothing to noone but I am thinking of going the NORBA way. I am curious as to what you guys think and why. Let me know!!!!
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  8. #8
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANOACLAN
    I am in the process of coordinating the Cailfornia State endurance series. NORBA is not quite the bad animal alot of people have imagined. At least I dont think so! After some one on one with NORBA, I think NORBA is pretty neutral. At this point and time my events are my own and I owe nothing to noone but I am thinking of going the NORBA way. I am curious as to what you guys think and why. Let me know!!!!
    Just seems that from talking with folks locally (Midwest) that put on events with USA cycling say that USA cycling requires a "cut" from the event...event & racer insurance, license fees, paying the race official, etc, etc, etc.

    I know people who have not raced USA Cycling events due to having to pay money on top of the entry free to race. Just seems like there is nickel and diming going on.

    I guess, if you can pull off your event with out NORBA why use them? I don't think people go searching out NORBA events anymore like back in the day. They just want a good event that is run well and is a fun time.

    Just my 2

  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANOACLAN
    I am in the process of coordinating the Cailfornia State endurance series. NORBA is not quite the bad animal alot of people have imagined. At least I dont think so! After some one on one with NORBA, I think NORBA is pretty neutral. At this point and time my events are my own and I owe nothing to noone but I am thinking of going the NORBA way. I am curious as to what you guys think and why. Let me know!!!!
    In Oregon I could (I have stopped promoting events) get the insurance I needed for ~$2 per rider through the Oregon Bicycle Racing Assoc.(OBRA), took two weeks to get with no hassles. An annual OBBRA membership is $20 (with permanent race number plates) or $5 for a one-day good for any class. Out of state riders do not need to be members (or pay $5 for a one-day some years). No official needed. Course equipment available for a minor fee if needed. Takes no cut of the purses.
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  10. #10
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    My question to you

    what will it add to your race, and your attendee's experience? If you add a $50+ license to be able to race your race, well endurance events are already expensive and that may be the final straw for some folks, something to consider.

    I think the comments above address the situation very well. This vein of cycling is growing in popularity and these orgs want to get involved. Not that getting involved is a bad thing it's just the fact that their current methods are lacking in the value they provide to promotors and racers. At the end of any NORBA or USA Cycling event it's nothing that these orgs do that make my experience more pleasurable, generally just a little lighter in the pocket book.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Roger (the only USACycling license I buy is the $25 end of the year for CX)

  11. #11
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    How much does NORBA care??

    Here's how much. As a promoter with two events in this year's California State Champsionship series, we got an advance e-mail regarding this "exciting new development" about ten days ago. That very day I replied to the e-mail and left voice mails to NORBA, trying to get more information about the series and what it really means to Team Bigfoot for the upcoming season. So far, no response, despite two more e-mails.

    Which goes a lonnnnnng way toward illustrating just how much NORBA cares about its promoters and racers.

  12. #12
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    The right direction?

    I was excited when I first heard about USA Cycling wanting to put some effort into mountain bike racing here in the USA. I would love to see the whole scene explode into the festival kind of events that we had years ago. The only way I see this happening is to attract corporate sponsors from outside of the biking industry to cover some of the costs without having to pass them along to the racers. This would mean that the events would have to attract more than just the racers but actual spectators. How does this fit in to the sort of underground vibe that a lot of ultra-endurance events have right now?
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  13. #13
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Sea Otter

    Quote Originally Posted by saltydog
    I was excited when I first heard about USA Cycling wanting to put some effort into mountain bike racing here in the USA. I would love to see the whole scene explode into the festival kind of events that we had years ago. The only way I see this happening is to attract corporate sponsors from outside of the biking industry to cover some of the costs without having to pass them along to the racers. This would mean that the events would have to attract more than just the racers but actual spectators. How does this fit in to the sort of underground vibe that a lot of ultra-endurance events have right now?
    It's called Sea Otter. Possibly the most lame course in mtb history. Spectator friendly though, and lots of Festival atmousphere.
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  14. #14
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    It's called Sea Otter. Possibly the most lame course in mtb history. Spectator friendly though, and lots of Festival atmousphere.
    I like the Sea Otter XC course. Big loop, fun to ride and fast if not technical. Not spectator friendly (the short track, DH, DS is though). The festival is a huge part of Sea Otter's success (I have watched maybe 2 hours of racing there in 5 years) along with the accessibility of the race courses for a wide range of rider abilities.

    Endurance racing will never be "spectator-friendly" even if it was held on tiny lap courses. It is about the riding, not the watching. If you insist on "S-F" events try cyclcocross. It does not get much better.
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  15. #15

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    i love festivals

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    It's called Sea Otter. Possibly the most lame course in mtb history. Spectator friendly though, and lots of Festival atmousphere.
    i like partys. i like beer. i like mountain bikes. i think we need to have a mountain bike race with a side stage that bands play live music on, maybe a beer garden with some good eats and then lots of cool people on mountain bikes racing around having a good time. I think being spectator friendly is important, otherwise you end up with the boring events that NORBA puts on. No one except racers show up for, you watch them start and then you dont see them for another couple ours. Not fun.

    If you think about it, nascar and f1 racing would be pretty darn boring if the cars all started and then you didnt see them come around the track for another hour or two. USA Cycling and NORBA should take note of how NASCAR and F1 put on races... they cater to the athletes sure, but they also cater to the spectators and make sure they have good show for them.

    I honestly think Sea Otter is the closest event to the NASCAR model. Even if its a lame course, they are successful at getting around 20K people to show up, spectate, ride, hang out and buy stuff.

    I say come on USA Cycling, lets see what you got.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedrikvomir
    I say come on USA Cycling, lets see what you got.
    I suspect a press release and little more to back it up.

    They added the marathon race to the national series, what 3 years ago? What has been done to add to this genre? How long has the NORBA 24 Hour Championships been around?...again nothing more done to add to the genre. This one does irritate me a bit because you have to have an annual license to participate, but this is one of two or three NORBA sanctioned races I do, so I really don't need an annual license. Then I submit a request for an upgrade to semi-pro after landing myself on the NORBA 24 hour national championship podium....the response: You don't have the results to qualify. I got the sponsors anyway, but gees all I wanted to do was pay more for a license I don't really need.

    It could be a great thing if NORBA got involved in endurance racing full on and actually did something to promote the sport, but I suspect 99% of the effort we will see was put into this press release.

    Eddie O

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie O
    Then I submit a request for an upgrade to semi-pro after landing myself on the NORBA 24 hour national championship podium....the response: You don't have the results to qualify.
    Eddie O
    I didn't realize they were so picky about going semi-pro. From USACycling.org:

    Expert men riders may be eligible to be upgraded to Semi-Pro after a combination of achieving these minimum race results: two top-five finishes at NORBA National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) events; three top-three finishes in American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) events; four top-three finishes at a State or Regional Championship event. Overall finish times are factored into upgrade requests. Riders must submit their upgrade requests either online or to the NORBA Region Manager for their state.

    Unhhhh, race a bunch of our races all over the country, perform well enough, and then go pro. What? Your focus is endurance racing, and you don't quite have time for that? Sorry.
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  18. #18
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    The license situation does indeed suck. On the license it combines XC and endurance, when in fact these are two very different disciplines. I have asked USA Cycling several times whether they plan to seperate these into two disciplines on the license but I never get a response. Maybe with the advent of an ultra-endurance calendar we'll have more of an arguement for ourselves. It is frustrating though as many potential sponsers won't even read your resume unless you have at leat a semi-pro license (and certainly more than the top 5 at nationals deserve some industry support).

  19. #19
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    and just to complain a little more...
    I live in Florida which makes it really hard to go to NMBS races which are all out west, except one.

  20. #20

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    Usac

    I think the only time the governing body really matters is when you are seeking UCI points to get on the Worlds or Olympic team. Since endurance racing has no such system anyways, I don't see how USAC can add any value. Like Roger said, it all comes down to what do you want from a race, and how does USAC add to that? Case in point - the most happenin' cyclocross scene in the country is in Oregon, and they booted USAC in favor of OBRA.

    I think a year from now the enduro scene will look no different than it would have if NORBA had done nothing at all. There are many folks out there "pulling on the oar" to make this sport better and I don't see NORBA in that group. Their PR indicates as much - they are focused on the elite pros. The other 99.8% of the racers won't notice one way or the other.

  21. #21
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    Damn, I just got the email from USACycling last night announcing that United will no longer give discounted rates (and two free bike vouchers) to members next year. It was the reason I was going to re-up next year. I saved a buttload of money going to Utah for the E100 last summer with the program (more than my license cost me). Poop. Glad I didn't jump the gun and renew too soon.
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  22. #22
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    If you want to see the effects a governing body will have on endurance racing, read up on what is going down with Jason Sager and Bart Gillespie. Two stand up racers who are being bent over by USADA.

    It's a crock.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by janiszew
    and just to complain a little more...
    I live in Florida which makes it really hard to go to NMBS races which are all out west, except one.
    It's where a lot of MOUNTAINS are too... though I recall some big overpasses in FLA!



    It would be nice to spread the NMBS series around the whole country. NOVA is a great start in the southwest, Snowmass in CO, Mt. Snow in the NE and so on.....

    On point - overall I feel it's long overdue that NORBA split out gravity and endurance events. Endurance being all things self-propelled uphill and down. Whether it's marathon/24/XC/STXC it will help to have those events split from gravity. There was a thread a while back we kicked ALL this around in, started by a guy pimpin himself for a NORBA management spot.
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  24. #24

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    If some of the endurance events do jump onboard and therefore require a NORBA license, then I think that a license should last for 2-5 years. By doing the traditional NORBA races, it is possible to race everyother weekend, but there arent't that many endurance races available, much less accessible. But then again, I agree with most everyone else that I don't see the use. With all of the events you sign up for all the liability anyway and since my goal is always to just finish with a smile on my face (or something close) then it would merely be additional expense to me.

    It isn't NORBA bringing racers to the shorter races, but more the opposite. I don't see any way that tide would change in the endurance events. Money brings pros to races. Fun and challenging courses bring the rest of us.

  25. #25
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    Just say "NO" to NORBA

    keep the costs down. keep it simple (grass-roots). keep it fun. we don't need the "officials", we don't need the points & rankings. we don't need their "rules".
    the only "value" NORBA may bring to the table is rider insurance, which, if actually desired/needed, can be purchased independently of them--& likely for less.
    i ditched NORBA years ago when they became too proud. i recall the last letter i received from them came across like "we're doing you a favor just by being here. now, send in your dues or else."
    all the cool long-distance rides i've done (or have wanted to do) have had nothing to do w/NORBA. we don't need them, but they appear to want us. peep on 'em.
    steve in Tallahassee, FL
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