Friday, April 29, 2011

Unsanctioned

I think of any event/race put on without the constraints of USAC to be an unsanctioned event.  Maybe that's using the term too loosely but it feels right to me, so I go with it.  As of late, my interest in sanctioned events (excluding cx racing) has really decreased.  Road races seem the same every year and the time and cost associated with them doesn't rank high on my satisfaction scale.  MTB racing is fun, until you start sanctioning it and people take it too seriously.

I've really enjoyed putting together the Ronde the last two years.  I've also really enjoyed taking part in other unsanctioned events like the Rapha Gentleman's Ride, D2R2, and SSapalooza.  So, I challenge you, Boston area racers/riders, to create other fun, unsanctioned events.  Give me more reasons to put off buying a USAC license this year.

Some ideas:

- mtb tt (3-5 mile loops)
- 3-4 person ttt (50+ miles)
- invite only, mass start road race (60+ miles)
- 2-3 person cx style ride (like the Ronde, there are lots of trails out there yet to be exposed)

9 comments:

Ted Packard said...

Two years ago I put on the School Street Hill Climb, 900' up an alleged 17% grade on School Street across Mass ave from Quad Cycles in Arlington. Probably do it again this summer. Winning time 44 seconds. It was blatant copy of the Major Taylor Hill Climb out in Worcester.

rosey said...

yup, those are the kind of events that we need more of. people can ride over there, it's social, but yet you're still worked after you finish.

good for you guys, keeping it up.

RMM said...

I have thought long and hard about putting on unsanctioned events. Like you, I have been putting on an unsanctioned event for years and I will continue to do so.

While I perfectly comfortable organizing these events for my friends and riders who are in my immediate circle of acquaintances, I become uneasy when strangers attend.

While we have been lucky enough to avoid injuries so far, I fear that someone will make a bad decision and get hurt and then try to hold me or one of my associates responsible.

Generally, unsanctioned events are less organized and require riders to ride with increased awareness and caution. Again, I know and trust my friends. But I have found that outsiders sometimes lack the skills (mental and physical) required to safely ride in unsanctioned events.

My policy is "invite only" or one warning and then you are banned. I also require a signed non-competitive event release.

Like you, I have found these events to be a great juxtaposition to full-on sanctioned races. Even though the results aren't published and there are no upgrade points, the rivalries are real and the resultant competitions are as hard fought.

Yeah, we need to organize more of these. We also need to find ways to protect ourselves and our friends from the inherent risks associated with these events.

rosey said...

RMM, I agree that legal protection is important. I had a lawyer friend whose wife hosts sporting events on their property review the Ronde waiver to make sure it was appropriate. I did have to say no to people for this year's edition because I'm not comfortable
a. with more than 100 people
b. people that I, or my close friends don't know and can't vouch for

We do our best to make sure people understand this is a fun event but that it is up to the riders to be responsible for their own safety. At a point, there is not much more you can do.

So, when are you gonna throw a summertime race/ride? The marathon event sounded fun. How about a choose your route, point to point type of race? I know Aumiller has some ideas on that too.

RMM said...

I have considered doing a "race" from Boston to the top of Mt. Wachusett and back. This was the plan for my original "F Battenkill" ride.

Toad the 12 sprocket said...

Great idea. I really like the team format, handicapped for time, like the Ronde.

What to you think of a two-person TT like the old Baracchi Trophy?

Self navigation and mechanical support, and mixed terrain, of course.

tiny said...

Huh... sorry to come late to this conversation, and I have to warn you that I'm going to be a little negative, so I apologize in advance:

I'm an attorney, so I certainly understand people's concern over liability...

That said, I'm disappointed to hear about some of the restrictions being put in place... I loved RdR and had a wonderful time, but I guess now I know I won't be welcomed back in the future unless I find someone who knows Rosey (it was only by accident that I got a invite from a friend of a friend who had an "in" this year). I understand why a person would want to have some limits... but it still makes me sad nonetheless.

rosey said...

tiny, as i'm sure you understand, i'm not trying to be restrictive with the event, just trying to make sure those signing up have the same understanding of the event as i do and that no one gets involved and then has a bad time or an injury because they didn't fully appreciate what they were signing up for.

i hope you join us again next year. if you've done the event, finished and said, i wanna do it again, then you get it, and you're ok in my book! consider yourself a friend of rosey's now ;)

RMM said...

Tiny:

Similar to Rosey, I don't try to restrict access, but I vet participants by having them sign a release and discussing the event and its demands/dangers with me beforehand. I have had riders decide not to participate because after having the talk and preriding the course the riders decided that they were not comfortable. While I felt bad that I was unable to accommodate the riders, I was glad that they were able to make the decision not to ride before any problems occurred.

Furthermore, I have an explicit "2 strikes and you are banned" policy for unsafe riders events to minimize problems caused by overly aggressive riding and poor decision making. There are a number of riders who have a strike already and I will ban them for life for any further infractions. While riders sign a release, I still view it as my responsibility to do my best to insure everyone's safety and I take this very seriously.