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Southern Scene: What do we do from here?

Discussion in 'The South' started by spoke80, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. spoke80

    spoke80 Turbo Monkey

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    Since I first logged on to this website I have read numerous threads and posts about how wack the race scene is in the south.

    My question is what do you all propose to do about it? No more blame game I would like to hear some real "proactive" solutions. If we all can't get toghether on this and pull weight than get use to what we have.
     
    #1 -   Sep 6, 2005

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  2. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    im pretty new to this forum, but i have been riding and racing mt. bikes for just over 20 yrs. and as some of you know, i have a lot to say. terry: you dont know how glad i am that you were the spark that got this subject going. and ben you are 100% right. this forum is the perfect place for us to start to work togther and solve these problems. here in knoxville our fist major hurdle is "real and substancial support" from the cycling buisnesses. in texas there was not a bike shop in the state that wasnt actively involved in racing. every shop around had a team. you would show up at a race and it was billboard city with all the team jerseys. the shop i raced for had excellent sponser hook-ups. we had to buy our frames from specialized at an employee puchase rate, shimano parts were free, specialized shoes, hemets,tires etc... were all part of the deal. shorts and clothing were free. there is slim chance of that happening in this town with any form of racing, let alone downhilling. but with no racing around here there is no incentive to get stuff like that going. i dont know what else to do ben. yall know sometimes im not the easiest person to try to deal with ,but a lot of that has to do with my steadfast refusal to allow others to claim glory off the hard work of others. but i will bend over backwards to help anyone that i see truly has their heart in it. past expeirience has shown me that egos and the desire for profit are big roadblocks in what some of us are working for. we need more people with passion that will help get and keep the ball rolling. not dissapear when its time to really pull their weight. so all i can do is keep building and hope for a "re-awakening" by some of the people amongst us who have deserted our ranks.
     
    #2 -   Sep 6, 2005
  3. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    i guess what im really trying to say, is all this has to start with the local bike shops. they put themselves in the position of being the "hub of activity". thats good buisness. i think they should be throwing more into the pot that keeps things cooking. the bike zoo and the s.c.o. have a track record of doing that, but its nothing that will ever be geared for our style of riding. i hope you dont see this as laying the blame on any one in particular. but this is the real situation we find ourselves in in this town.
     
    #3 -   Sep 6, 2005
  4. profro

    profro Turbo Monkey

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    Well...

    I agree with Joey in part about the shops, but I also agree that there isn't much incentive since there's no racing. I think some of the biggest differences between here and Texas (since I lived there too) is that Southerners are closed-off, untrusting folk. We don't openly let others in to our "groups" and I think the shops are part of that.

    However, I think we need to think small and sucessful. Races like ETSU are fun and still the competition can be tough. Grandeous ideas of a huge series with long prize lists and payouts needs to be put on the back burner until we can put on a few good races that gets people excited about racing again. Grassroots stuff with music, cook-outs, low cost, and lots of riding should get everyone excited again.

    I was out at Bigfoot tonight and raked from the triple-step-down to the end and its still in great shape. I was thinking of throwing an open race like Terry had mentioned that would run a lot of motos so everyone can get in a ton of riding. Super low entry fee with a little payout.
     
    #4 -   Sep 6, 2005
  5. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    doug ;you are absolutely right. starting small is our only choice. as much as i dont want to get back in the race promoting side of it. if that is what it takes, then so be it. but as far as any races at the rock, they have to be aimed at taking care of the racers that show up. proper pay=outs etc... taking the $$$ and running just cant be allowed to happen again. it should be left up there to be taken away by the racers themselves. and a slice shaved off for the rescue squad. and mike: posing in the parking lot isnt why were up there. we are there to RIDE. not standing around listening to music. im doing my best to stop the farting around beween runs. 3-4 runs an hour is the only way to go. anything less and it turns into a circle jerk. up here a quiet parking lot is a blessing.
     
    #5 -   Sep 6, 2005
  6. profro

    profro Turbo Monkey

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    Sometimes, ecspecially at the end of the racing season I don't care for 3-4 runs an hour. Its not fun... for me. I suppose we should go at the speed of the shuttle driver and his truck. If you're not ready, then sit out a run. Nothing wrong with that. :)
     
    #6 -   Sep 6, 2005
  7. GravityFreakTJ

    GravityFreakTJ leg shavin roadie

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    Doug that sounds like it would be a blast :thumb: .Let me know if you can pull something together.
     
    #7 -   Sep 6, 2005
  8. motomike

    motomike Turbo Monkey

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    Last I heard(couple months ago), Matt was trying to get another venue to race at in Wilkesboro, NC. I'm all about some low budget, high fun races. Any the 3-4 run idea is great!
     
    #8 -   Sep 6, 2005
  9. GravityFreakTJ

    GravityFreakTJ leg shavin roadie

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    Uh oh.....calling Joey numnuts is bad karma for you :sneaky:
     
    #9 -   Sep 6, 2005
  10. spoke80

    spoke80 Turbo Monkey

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    I'm not interested in jibber jabber we need solutions. Stick to the program people. :mumble:
     
  11. frznnomad

    frznnomad Turbo Monkey

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    i think a big thing is organization that is the biggest problem that the two races that ive attend seem to be lacking. one was fontana and there were so many problems with that race i cant really consider that a good first time experiance. sugar was much better in the layout and getting riders sent off and also keeping the race moving. the main problem with sugar was that everyone raced on the same course except for sport and beginer women and jr begginer and kids. it would be nice if they added different trails for each class, or atleast that was what i was getting from everyone else and i agree with them.

    ohh and profro i like your idea of the low cost low prize idea. we race to hang out with others like us, to be riding, and to see where we stand in the mountain bike community. so guys lets get it done and lets see if we can turn this stuff around. :thumb: :thumb:
     
  12. manimal

    manimal Ociffer Tackleberry

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    um....i can lift heavy things.




    but seriously, i think mike c. and some of us triad locals have have tossed around the idea of a local "fun race" at hobby sometime in the fall for a few years now. it's more like a large group ride with some competition thrown in. i think we need more organized events like that to get the fun back into it. i enjoy racing the usual events but it does get kind of old paying all that $$ for travel and race fee to just get 2 race runs in. why not make it like a college party format. throw out a bunch of fliers, make up some corny awards and scwhag and just have a good time whether 5 or 50 show up. if we get a group of core riders together doing these kind of fun races it'll add to the real ones during the season.
    another idea to help with the maintenance of a course is to have a pre-season race where you can either show up early and help work on the course or pay the standard entry fee. (this will work better for DS/4x) have the race start in the afternoon and have work time in the morning to fix/modify/groom the course, that way everyone has input and can claim some pride/ownership in the scene.
    "hey man....yeah..i got 3rd at hobby, but building that sick step-up before the race was cool"
     
  13. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    well said manimal ; ben is right, lets keep this thread alive and free of babble. and doug ; dont forget some of us do ride just for the pure joy of riding. i kno i speak for"T", ziska and a whole truck load of others when i say wre there to get a bunch of runs in while were there. but im also there to support you as best i can to help you develop your racing talents. btu back to the subject, alot of us are not in a political posittion to sway shop owners or work with race organizers. but you all have your favorite trail system. help out this winter. (weather permitting.) you can also use that time working together to share ideas and work towards solving some of these issues. if we backslide back into relying on the same old people to do most of the work, them we wil be right back in the same boat next year. doug,jeremy and all the serious racers i dont know deserve better. and T.J. p.m.s calling me names dont bother me in the least.
     
  14. tgaines72

    tgaines72 Monkey

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    I am moving to Knoxville next month and I look forward to riding with the Knoxville crew.

    I am not into racing but would be glad to help put on some of the races. I enjoy the benefit of having races in the area. The race generated traffic always seems to improve trails.
     
  15. Raaar

    Raaar Monkey

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    Before moving back east I lived in So. Cal & raced in Mexico for several years. The "grass roots" style events you guys are talking about was what it was all about down there. Grills were fired up, Corona was abundant, and everyone was stoked to be out there. Fees were always very low and you ussually got a T-shirt or hat out of the deal. If you placed, you often recieved a pretty cool hand-made trophy & maybe a little schwag. Each class also had a points system and the rider with the most points at the end of the year ussually got something pretty sweet.

    Tons of guys from So Cal raced in Mexico because it was cheap, fun, and the courses were insane compared to the typical groomed Norba venues. I would love to see a scene like that developed in the SE & would definatly be up to donate some time & effort to the cause.

    Heck, it would be cool just to see a large group of like-minded riders get together for some good natured riding and competition. Everyone around here is all about the XC....
     
  16. TM1

    TM1 Monkey

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    One of the big issues is numbers. I see the same names coming up on most of the races around the southeast. Businesses need to see business. And, numbers draw business. If the shops aren't getting behind the competitions it's probably because they're behind in the rent. In Cali and Texas there are simply more bikers.

    What we need is to start making efforts to bring more people into the sport, starting with the kids. It's a round robin thing that starts with programs and competitions that cater to the youth. Things like well run BMX parks and the IMBA kids programs. Manimal is on the right track. His kid rides, which inspires more kids. He is fully behind the local competitions and is out there doing for his community. The more we do as individuals and the better organized we are, the better it's going to be to get more parks going and more people riding.

    I can think of a dozens of people who are doing more than their share to contribute and some of them are shop owners. For example; Merritt at Recycles in Greensboro spent years working to get the dirt jump park at Country Park. If it weren't for Lyons Park in Raleigh and the proactive groups of riders the triangle wouldn't have the biking community and the 100 miles of legal singletrack that it does. Things are growing around the Southeast and it will get better. Not neccesarily on the shoulders of the bike shops, but, by the hard work of each of us. I know dhbuilder was basicly a one-man show for a long time and look what he's accomplished. Now he's got support and drawing people from all over. I think the key to making things happen is to be truely passionate for the sport, look beyond our self interests, work for the sake of the others, and apply our creative talents to do the most good for the long haul.

    I'd really like to see Knoxville and Chattanooga develope their bike scene. With the new expanded SORBA and SOFA it's moving in that direction. It's really up to the people how things turn out. I'll be retireing back to my mountain in Tenn in a few years. And, would love to go home to an active group of riders getting excited about building and riding around my place on Walden Ridge.
     
  17. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    we'll be waitin!
     
  18. motomike

    motomike Turbo Monkey

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    Maybe we should start working with Sugar to make a good national next year? That might open up some eyes and get things rolling around here...
     
  19. TM1

    TM1 Monkey

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    Couldn't hurt. Butch was one of the people I was thinking about.
     
  20. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Those are my thoughts as well.
    Whether the location is good or not is really not the point.
    The fact is the Southeast is getting a National, and if we want it to be good, the racers are gonna have to be involved, especially with coursebuilding.
    The main thing the Southeast needs is unification. We need to work together.
    Also, I really hope that we can have some type of series next year.
    It would be ideal if Maxxis would do it, and provide a series promoter.
    And we have to race again up at Windrock. To step it up in the Southeast we need to race on the best courses.
    I will do WHATEVER I can to help, as I do not want to have another season like this one. Giddy Up.
     
  21. frznnomad

    frznnomad Turbo Monkey

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    im with jeremy and mike. ill do whatever is needed of me to make next years race season as good if not better than the one i had this year. my experiances with the two i went to this year were awsome and i want it to be better. so let me know how i can help and ill do what i can from here fellas. lets get this ball rolling and make sugar a worthy mountain for nationals. :thumb:
     
  22. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    butch & jeremy: this is a standing offer for when the time comes to get sugar ready for the national. i'd be honored to help do whatever trail work is needed to make that event happen. just let me know.
     
  23. BKQuill

    BKQuill Turbo Monkey

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    Ditto!!!
    Just say when,where,what, etc.

    Being that this was my first year of any type of MTBing, I really can't comment on the subject, cause I didn't know any different. But whatever I can do to help the SE scene grow, I'll do my best.

    I will say this, I was surprised after I "learned" how slacked (for lack of a better word) the SE is compared to other parts of the country, CONSIDERING, that we have so much to offer down here. I would like to that change as everyone here would as well. I will be checking here to see if we might be able to offer anything for 2006, I doubt it, but it's worth a shot, and it would benefit the direction that we have been looking at.

    Sorry about the rant, now back to your regular schedule program...

    Brian
     
  24. brokeONE

    brokeONE Monkey

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    When Madhra first started ,it was the best year of racing the south east has had. So I think everyone should base it off that and just fix the problems they had with the series. One of the main reasons people don't put on races is that at every race there is people bitching that the race is unorganized or the course is too easy. You don't need to pay out to the winners . Give that money to the venues. If people are showing up to win money there in the WRONG sport. Races should be more of a big party, like they used to be when racing was fun. Most people I talk to that has quit racing told me theres just no vibe anymore. Hell I can't remember the last time I heard Butch arguing with someone, or seeing Joe Moore trying some ungodly stunt. Now that is when it was fun.
     
  25. seabass

    seabass Chimp

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    I ran into Profro at the Haw Ridge the other night and this subject came up. I think DH turnouts have been hurt by the shift to courses with big man made jumps and terrain that very few mountainbikers can handle. The newer courses require not only huge skills, but huge bikes that can only be used for one thing.

    Should downhill courses be dumbed down? Only if you want larger turnouts.
     
  26. bigdrop05

    bigdrop05 Monkey

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    So people are afraid of the newer style- slow,steep,technical courses is what you are saying...I can agree with that somewhat...
    Windrock for example is intimidating at first,but after you walk it--ride it-practice it, & ask for tips from peeps that do 100+ runs a year there, it's not the big monster that your mind thinks it is.

    Sport courses are fun............
    my .02
     
  27. seabass

    seabass Chimp

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    Not sure if afraid is the right word or not. For me it's not so much fear as it is respect. The risk/reward thing is way out of whack for my level of risk tolerence. I guess the question that would pop into most "Downhillers" minds would be "Well, if you're not willing to risk it don't race downhill". My answer (and many others) would be "Ok, I won't".

    I can, and on occasion, do ride Windrock. If I wanted to spend a bit more time there I feel confident I could make runs as fast as most of the guys, but it goes back to the respect thing. All but one Windrock regular has had a serious injury up there at some point and thats just not something I am willing to risk.

    Bigdrop05, think you're last line about sport courses sums it up best. Fun is what most people are looking for in their hobby. Modern downhill racing has become a young fearless mans sport.

    Maybe I'm just old and soft. I miss the Good ole' days when we used to actually race in (gasp!) lycra. :D
     
  28. profro

    profro Turbo Monkey

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    In relation to Seabass, the mid-atlantic and diablo domination series run one course for every class. Having a really good laid-out track that challenges everyone is pretty cool. Riding a course and racing a course, at speed, are two different things. Snakerock for example. It is the "easiest" we have at Windrock. Yet it would be a huge challange to any pro in the country to race fast.

    However, there are a lot of guys who shouldn't be in the expert class that are. But thats NORBA's problem, we can't fix that.

    Then again, the tougher courses (really we are only talking about Windrock) do help the upper level guys prepare for national caliber tracks.
     
  29. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Yep, and I totally see where Seabass is coming from.
    Also, sometimes it is not the rider who has limitations, but his bike.
    For example, at Dark Mtn. I saw a ton of cats racing on 5 and 6 inch travel bikes because that is all they have.
    If you want your race to have a big turnout, you have to cater at least the sport course to these type of guys, because there is alot of them. And in all honesty, you should be able to race competitively on a 6 inch rig.
     
  30. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    As soon as I hear a time, I will let you know and meet you there.
    I know it did not get used this year, but it would have been awesome to have you "get the trail right" that we cut up there last year.
    With a little work and your trail expertise, it would have ripped.
     
  31. TM1

    TM1 Monkey

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    Let's face it. The bar has been getting raised faster than most riders can keep up with. I don't know if its' all the videos of the world class riders pushing it or what. But, it's real. And, it don't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon with stuff like the Monster parks going up across the country.

    The gap between the Big Boys and the rest of the world is just getting bigger. I think that's a natural thing as a sport matures. Maturation has it's growing pains and leaving most of us in the dust is just part of it.

    The nature of competitions is to let the cream rise to the top. But, in a sport like DH Mt biking, if we exclude the masses, there's nobody left to pay entry fees. So, there has to some compromises made. Cause if you take the fun out of racing you got nothing.

    What I suggest is like what profro indicated, "Riding a course and racing a course, at speed, is two different things." We need more local courses designed to challenge our best riders and still allow the rest to work on their skills at there own pace. Kinda like training place so more riders can go ride Windrock without being scared to death and compete at speed and not be in way over their heads. I know that is exactly what I have been trying to do here at Tar. And, I thinks it's working. Just check out the performance of a young Wes Wiggins and how well some of the other triangle riders have been doing. You will see them at Windrock at some point and they will do well.
     
  32. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    i always tell people that there's no shame in getting off and walking down or around something. the oject of the game is have fun and ride what you can and get down in one piece. if you want to haulass then by all means git after it. it's all about finding the pace that your happy with, and making your skills better in that "zone". that will lead to quicker runs faster than you think. ive watched it happen over and over at the rock. but it takes more than just a few trips on occasion. because aside from someone said a few posts ago, i know i make 400-500 runs here a yr. easily, so do about 4-5 others. were so lucky to have this place in our backyard. it's a hard place to share because it is so far from everywhere else. it's always good to see "fresh meat" in the upper parking lot sat. & sun. mornings.so drag those youngsters up here this fall.
     
  33. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    when "W.R." was started over 5 yrs. ago, the idea was to build a place that was a training ground for people training to ride national and world cup caliber courses. it was never meant to be a mass public d.h. trail system. it still isn't. it is (as long as i'm the one in charge.) and always will be designed for the riders with "expert" and pro skill levels. and don't expect any apologies from me for that "attitude". i'm over 48 yrs. old and i don't have as many good yrs. left like the rest of you guys. i'm not going to waste them on watered down, "built for the masses trails." i'm glad those types of trails are out there, there just not for me.(maybe when i'm 58.)
     
  34. GravityFreakTJ

    GravityFreakTJ leg shavin roadie

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    and guys like me who will never learn :D
     
  35. dhbuilder

    dhbuilder jingoistic xenophobe

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    t.j.: you learn just fine if you'd ride here more. but we know why, because you found out ther's more to mt. biking than just d.h. the ones who won't learn are ones who talk about "W.R." attitudes. and then when you throw down with an answer, they edit their post into oblivion.
     
  36. profro

    profro Turbo Monkey

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    Hey I figured it out.

    Have Mike Hartlove put on the race series. I've done two of his races in the Mid-Atlantic Cup and both have been some of the best organized and run events. The schedules are cool, allow plenty of practice and timing is a snap. Snowshoe's Mayehm race this past weekend was great.

    They ran the "pro" course with modifications (go-arounds) to allow everyone to race it. All Mid-Atlantic Cups do this and it was a huge sucess. I didn't hear anyone complain about a single thing. I was the first and last to hit the lift both days. The riding and scence were SICK! Those looking for good racing should check out the Racer's Edge Online Mid-Atlantic Cup nect year. Plus the word on the grape vine is that Snoeshoe will be running its own series next year. :)
     
  37. frznnomad

    frznnomad Turbo Monkey

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    i know we can do it like fontana was done. lol :D

    ohh and profro that is an awsome idea that will solve all the problems of beginner, sport, and experts racing on the same course, and solve the problem of building new trails. im telling ya these boys are geniuses. (sorry i cant spell worth anything.)
     
  38. TM1

    TM1 Monkey

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    Man I hear ya. I came out of road riding and had both wheels firmly planted when I went Mountain. I was 48 the first time I ever got air under both wheels at the same time. The same year I tore everthing in my right ankle to mince meat and spent a year in a cast and a boot. It will never be 100%. That was 6 years ago and I'm just now getting back into jumping. I cleaned a 7 foot gap last weekend and it felt Soooo GOOD. It's got a lot to do with progressing into a bike that makes it easier.

    Personaly, at 54 with a brittle body, and sucky skills, I can never hope to ever survive the Rock.

    That's a big reason why I build things to be progressive. W.R. shouldn't have to be that way. As long as there are places to ride that are. It makes sence to me to keep W.R. as a regional center that pushes people to a higher level. AND, to have more local sites around that can get you there.

    I love it! Just like I can imagine what to build and make it work by watching the Boys play. The beginner and sport riders need to be there watching the Pros go big on the tough stuff in order to visualize the dynamics of how it works. Much better in real life, on the same course, in a competition than in 2D vids. Being a part of the whole things helps too.
     
  39. seabass

    seabass Chimp

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    Is it?? I can't even name more than a couple Urban DH races.
     
  40. seabass

    seabass Chimp

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    No apologies needed. It will however be the undoing of Windrock and many places like it.