Thursday, December 17, 2009

Popularity Kills: My Excuses for Canceling the Battenkill Alternative Ride

I owe my readership an apology.

My last post intimated that I was organizing a challenging bicycle ride for April 10th of 2010, the same day as Battenkill. In fact I was.

While I was investigating routes and formats, I was inundated with positive responses. Friends as far-flung as Tennessee (isn’t that where you are now Zach?) planned on traveling to Cambridge to participate. Normally, positive responses are a good thing. In this case it was not. Given the sheer number of riders who are ready to drop Battenkill and come do a gentlemen’s race, the event has to be cancelled for a number of reasons.

1. This is impossible to do safely. I don’t see how we can responsibly have a 50+ person ride on local roads without marshals (see below). Sure we could do it, but it is a recipe for disaster. Can you imagine the chaos at the townlines and on the KOM’s?

2. This was not going to be a race. It was going to be a giant loop. So we can’t act like a race and have rolling enclosures, marshals, etc.

3. Since it is not a race, I hadn’t planned on charging anyone beyond a few dollars to cover a couple of neutral rest stops/feedzones stocked with tools, tubes, food and drinks. As such, this ride had no budget (see insurance below).

4. Insurance. I would never invite strangers on an organized ride without insuring the ride. People who I don’t know have contacted me about the ride, which began to make me think about liability. As structured, this ride is uninsurable at a reasonable rate.

5. I am comfortable with how most of my friends and teammates ride bicycles; I became concerned when strangers indicated that they were planning on doing “my” ride. We all know what sketchy riding looks like and how dangerous it can be. How would I ever screen these people out when I don’t even know half the potential riders? And what about riders who can’t handle the distance or the pace? Can we really have a “no drop” ride with dozens of competitive cyclists across multiple categories? Are we to abandon the unfit out in central Mass and hope that they get home OK?

So, if you are a reader of mine and had planned on doing this ride, I apologize. I am not up to the task of organizing it.

If you want to take up the reins and organize a ride, I’ll be happy to post it here. Otherwise, you should contact your teammates and friends and organize a barnburner of your own for April 10th.

BTW, be sure to check the comments sections of the previous two posts about Battenkill (here and here), there have been a few interesting developments in the last few days.

13 comments:

zack said...

Kentucky!

Now I need to find me another excuse to come up to New England and ride.

Does this mean you'll do the Battenkill now but register as something stealthy like Robert Kittery?

LC said...

Fleche NE, $35 per team. There's your organized epic ride right there

gus c said...

damn mcrzy! i was counting on this ride, i even told my wife already! well, then i'll do a 200km randonee by myself. your heart was in the right place, though.

Anonymous said...

Tour of the Battenkill registration has been open for 1.5 hours and has 925 registrants. Looks like the $75 wasn't such a big deal afterall.....Dieter wins guys ;-)

Anonymous said...

A fool and their money are soon parted.

In this case, make it 925 fools.

Anonymous said...

No one wins here but when the next promoter decides to raise the stakes and others follow we all lose.
Norton has 5 times the payout for less then half the fee!

S Davis said...

The real winner would seem to be CRCA, at least in the cat 4, with 55 entries from its many drone clubs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for paying the $75 you idiots. Now every promoter has their eye on raising fees! Say goodbye to the $30 road race.

Anonymous said...

The local circuit races already struggle to fill fields at $30. How do you figure these promoters have a free ticket to raise fees? It ain't gonna happen. I would not pay more than $30 to do five 10 mile laps. I will pay $75 to do Battenkill though. Uniqueness of the product...

Anonymous said...

Talk about profit margins -- right now $101700 in.Which is a low estimate and a payout of $14098 =
$87602 after race payout. Now thats approx 486 portapotty rentals at $180 a piece.
Unique? Maybe western Mass should gets its act together and throw an event that kicks this ones ass.

Anonymous said...

re: profict margins

you, sir, have no clue.

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