Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stop yer BItchin'

All it took was one mass e-mail from Steve "Iceman" Brown and social media took it viral. Michiganders all choked up on cabin fever are sitting around bitchin' about Iceman. The race is still 9 months away, but people are complaining about the entry fee. So, it's 75 bucks this year, for the best "event" of the year, and now USAC sanctioned.

What does this mean for 4,400 of the 4,500 racers? They will be covered under USAC insurance this year, their result will show on their member page, and their wallets will be $10 lighter. So what. It's supply and demand. People complain, but those 4,500 slots will be filled within 5 hours (if the system doesn't crash).

Now for Pro's, it is the same $75, but you must have a CAT 1 or Pro license. No biggy, right. If you race mountain bikes, you probably have a license. And look, you'll get a $5 refund. Then there are the roadies who complain. Well, if you are a pro, you already have a $150 UCI license that covers all disciplines. If not, take the $30 bullet and buy a MTB license. If you want to be a MTBer, you must play by the rules.

Get outside of Michigan and let's compare. A Tailwind race is $30. That's cheap. In Colorado, out MSC races are 50-55 for the pro races. Do a XC and short track in a weekend and your rear pocket is three digits lighter. Go test yourself on the national PRO XCT series, your looking at $65 for a XC race. Sea Otter, which is a large number event like Iceman cost me $95 the past few years. And for what? A 3 mile course with 33% concrete. AWESOME!

I've been to a bunch of bike races. Iceman is top notch. It is run well, there is a nice expo, and well put together race, good awards, and a fun after party. Events like this don't flourish if they are run shitty. I pay just as much at other races and get 1/2 the benefits. A better race should cost more as it is much more enjoyable and easy to be around.

For the USAC part, Steve Brown I assume is doing this more for the ease of administrative and insurance reasons. USAC insurance will cover everyone from Steve's family to the Boy Scouts who are handing out Gatorade. I bet there are hundreds of "Certificate of Liability Insurance" forms he has to cover everyone. So, a one-day license which most people will automatically get is $5. That takes him back to $70. Cost per rider from USAC is something like $6.50 they get. Now he's back to $63.50. Below last year, but he has insurance taken care of. Add in 3% inflation, and it is likely a wash.

People can complain, but I bet it will be another fun Iceman this year. I'll be there having a good time at a well run event. And I have to pay another $350 at least to fly back to the Mitten State. Lucky for me, I just got a cheap $270 flight in August for Ore to Shore. I hope to see you on a start line this summer!

And if you need a better reason, just go back and watch the Iceman Experience and hope for Spring.

Watch more video of ICEMAN Cometh Challenge on cyclingdirt.org


Adam said...

its a cumulative affect. eventually there is a straw that breaks the back. for fringe mtb racers such as my self this may very well be it. take it how you want.

Brent said...

I understand what it means for the guys like you who race road and want to cap it off with Iceman. For 99% of the people, it doesn't matter, but has am impact on you. I don't think it will make any difference to participation.

Look at Leadville. $250 plus a non-refundable $15 to the thousands who don't even make it. Or spend $10,000 on a Carmichael camp to get in. People still want to spend money on good events.

Adam said...

They will have no issue hitting their numbers. That's for sure.

I don't see how it being USAC adds value to the race from an outside prospective. It's well attended regardless and paying for a license seems like a bit of a scam(bit of a dig at usacycling). If they are worried about PRO's they should race in their own group. I'm cool with that. Though saying only 30 legitimate PRO's raced vs almost 90 chumps doesn't have quite the ring to it ;)

Argument is moot though. Comes down to it just not being that much fun anymore. Now excuse me I have to go huff some tubular glue and shave my legs!

Brent said...

I'm not a USAC fan, but I see this as either Steve Brown looking for a better and easier way of insurance, or he has some back room deal with Kelly Lusk at USAC. USAC probably want to sanction it so it *looks* like they are growing mountain biking, not killing it.

simonster said...
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