www.coloradocycling.org.

Presidential Blog

5/9/17

Greetings from 40,000 feet on my way to Phoenix.  A big Shout Out to Hobbit Legs Karl Pelletier who’s smugly upgraded himself and sitting in First Class while I am back in row 25.  He’s refusing to share any of his premium snacks with me, so perhaps I may just let Yvonne know he needs an upgrade of a different kind…

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Race season is here.  And somehow I got stuck with a nasty cold that whacked me for a couple of weeks.  So I missed the Oz road race.  But not really, I still went.

Not only do we need more moto officials, but we need more support cars / follow vehicles.  I remember when I started racing over a decade ago, and every group had a follow car.  You killed yourself to be in the main group because you knew once you were out, you were also out of wheels.  Let’s get back to that!  Next road race, every team should volunteer up a follow car. #makefollowcarscoolagain

And while we’re at it, every team should volunteer up someone to be an official. 

(ED note -- We had a successful motoref clinic in Brighton on Sunday, and now have 5 new motorefs! However, we want more, more; we're still not satisfied...)

I decided to be self-deputized and serve as the official as well as the follow car.  Luckily Shawn Farrell wasn’t there to tell me I couldn’t do it, so I did.  And what did I see?  For 99% of the time I saw a group of men racing clean, safe and proper.  But I have to admit I was blown away when I saw probably the most flagrant yellow line violation ever.  A guy in a dark kit with a horizontal stripe moved well left of the yellow line and advanced at least 4 slots, probably more.  I laid on my horn as he rolled up without a care in the world.  To be honest, it was really disappointing behavior to witness.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get his number, but you know who you are, feel free to drop me a note of apology. #dontbethatracer

But that was the only bad part.  The rest of the day I was picking up stranded cyclists, swapping out wheels, picking up lost water bottles and generally helping out where I could.  I didn’t get to race, but I had a blast nonetheless.  I also got to meet some new people, and got to spend some time with my pals.  I have to tell you one story, because it is a classic.

Sherman Towsley double flatted his tubulars and was out.  He was part of a larger group of guys who were punctured, and one guy even lost his brand spankin’ new Garmin.  I asked him how much was the Garmin, he said $250.  I corrected him and said “no, it was $500.”  Helping people feel better is sort of my gift. 

As we were packed like sardines in my truck, I was working to catch back up to the field and we started talking about the tremendous costs we (they) were about to experience.  Lost Garmin, broken carbon wheels, there was even a broken frame.  So, me being me, I said, well actually proclaimed, that “all damages incurred on the dirt section of Oz would be covered by BRAC, so long as said damages occurred in front of the follow vehicle and said riders were abandoning the race.”  I then passed out my BRAC business cards.   

Everyone laughed, and for a few minutes the carnage was put into perspective.  No one died, we still were watching a race, talking total smack to our friends and were so lucky to have this kind of life in the first place.

Then it happened.  Maybe he was just still recovering from being hypoxic.  Maybe he was just low on blood sugar.  Maybe he was allowing his blonde to show through. I just don’t know (OK, blonde cyclists, relax, that was a joke).  Serious as a heart attack, Sherman asked me what he needs to do in order to get his frame and wheels fixed, courtesy of BRAC.  OMG, really?  Really Sherman?  SMH.   

So if you missed the race, I am sorry.  It was a good one.  It was also a good day to still go to a bike race and have a good time.  Try it, you’ll like it. 

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So, the bad yellow line behavior is inexcusable, and I hope these words of warning will encourage that small % of you to think before you pull such a lame move. 

But I’m also getting emails from both women and men telling me about “Rider X” or “Rider Y” and how BRAC needs to do something about their dangerous racing behavior.  So here’s the deal, let’s get this straight right now:  It is your responsibility to report bad behavior to the Race Officials AT THE RACE.  This is the first step in the process of helping everyone have a safe and fun racing experience.  The Officials are there to help educate those that either don’t know the rules, the etiquette, or the importance of safety.  These are great people who will do a wonderful job of smoothing over any problems.  Talk to them, and thank them for their service.

If that doesn’t work, then there are ways to escalate the corrections, and that is also where the Officials shine. 

So my personal advice is when you witness bad behavior, talk to the person right then and there.  I’ve been the giver and the recipient of such advice myself; it’s how we learn.  And I’d also say try to be tactful when you talk.  I’ve found that when I roll up to a guy and say “Dude, you’re a great bike handler, but all these other guys are not.  If you keep jumping around left to right like that someone is going to get hurt.  Please stop it”,  it’s received much better than “HEY!  F@#$%^% don’t do that S@#%$^!!!!”  And in full disclosure, I have said both of those things in the heat of the race.  So it’s a process.  

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#crossiscoming     We had a very productive series of Town Hall meetings for Road, and that launched the new race groups.  We’ve been doing a similar thing for CX, but have not had a member wide meeting.  You guys want to do that and talk about how we can make CX racing better?

Let me and Shawn know! operations@coloradocycling.org and President@coloradocycling.org

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We have a Board of Directors meeting this week, and I am excited to get together with the team and talk about how we are doing.  One challenge, and it will come out in the minutes, is that USAC has had a slight problem with their website and accounting, and well, they are not paying us our surcharges until they can get it figured out.  Now, before you panic, relax.  We have plenty of cash on hand; we’re all good.  I also am positive USAC isn’t going to fold, crash and burn.  I have no doubt that USAC will get their deal figured out and we’ll be made whole.  But it does lead into a large question, and that is: “What does BRAC do, and what does USAC do?”

USAC sets the National policy, and oversees the National Championships and really is driven to grow the sport at the top end with Elite, Developmental riders, Olympians, etc.  BRAC is in charge of everything local.  Upgrades, official assignments, calendar management / conflicting race date resolution, season long points races (Cup and Best All Around Rider competitions), local policies such as race groups, results, communication, that kind of thing.  In essence you could say that USAC is the Corporate Headquarters, and BRAC is the Field Office. 

Make sense?  I get a lot of comments from racers who think USAC does the lion share of the work, but it’s actually BRAC who does virtually everything you see, touch and taste on Colorado soil. 

And we are busy. 

  • We are working on marketing to out of state racers to get them to come here and play
  • We are working on being at events to show non-racers how much fun racing can be
  • Did you get one of our posters with the race calendar on it to hang up in your local bike shop or a poster card for your refrigerator?  Get one from Shawn!

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There’s a lot more going on, but that’s probably enough for now.  Enter up this weekend for the Wheels of Thunder Crit… you are a bike racer, so go race your bike. 

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4/11/17

Manners.  It’s what our moms taught us from a very young age.  Keep your elbows off the table (why, I like them there as an adult), use your inside voice, respect your elders and those in authority, say thank you and please.  It’s not that hard, but our society seems to be slipping away.

But not us!

This past weekend we had the quintessential Boulder Roubaix and you all acted like a great bunch of folks.  I got a report from the officials who worked the race, and they said you all obeyed the centerline rule rather well, and when the moto offered up instructions on neutralizing fields for others to pass, it went about as good as you could hope for.  Well done, racers! 

I raced it, sort of. Got 2 laps out of 3 complete, and then my legs just exploded in a crampfest.  I was dehydrated and nervous coming in, so I pretty much know why, but it was a tough pill to swallow nonetheless.  But, it really did open my eyes to all the collateral beauty around me that day.  For example:

  • I got to see my best pal Betz out on the road, he had a mechanical and was out of the hunt.  I’ve never seen him so happy and it was awesome to see him in his new sparkly Stages kit.
  • I got to see my good friend Matt Segur look like he has the form of his life.  Why some people are gifted with leanness and others of us have to go to Africa to get a tapeworm is beyond me.   
  • I had done a silly FB post about washing my bike before the race, and several of the guys commented on how clean it was, then we all decided it didn’t do me a bit of good so I should have just raced it with mud.  That was hilarious.
  • I got to see Chris Grealish and talk about what a great race he put on.
  • I got to chat for just a bit with Larry Grossman, and also got to hear he and Dave Towle talk about me and Modern Market and BRAC, and all the positive stuff that’s happening.  It was a little embarrassing to hear, but it felt good inside for sure. (Editor’s note: Dave Towle did not refer to Doug as a legend in the sport, however.)
  • I got to chit chat with Clint and Boups who were being, well, Clint and Boups.  Just spending time with them even for a moment makes the sun come out a little. How can it not?  Author’s note: Clint said we have to let the mailman pass through the parking zone on the road next time.  Apparently the Postmaster was none too happy, but the mail will go through!  
  • I got to pinch the behinds of my teammates and competitors during the race, and got offers on ways I can make extra money.  Gonna think on that a bit, could be a new business!
  • My buddy Garrick raced, and he hurt just as much as I did.  After it was over, we both knew we’d been through something special. 
  • I got to see my pal Sherman win a badass race in the 50 open.  He beat a certain Pro Tour Rider who’s initials are Michael Carter; not many can say that.  One of my favorite pics is me and Sherman at City Park, laying our bikes over on that roundabout like we were racing motorcycles.  It was just so cool to see all his hard work pay off, loved that.  
  • I got to watch Lynn Taylor scold Steven Truesdale for talking to me instead of giving the Collegiate Men’s A racers the bell lap.  I’m still laughing on that one.

Do you see a pattern here?  The race was not just about pinning on a number and finishing top 10.  It’s more than that.  And you guys make it more than that.  We have to share this with the world, we cannot keep all of this to ourselves.  Invite a friend to come give this a try!

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Women.  We all love them.  And we love it when they race their bikes… Fast with pony tails flying in the wind, and pain seen all around.   Yes, yes we do.

This past Thursday night I had the honor of being at an All Woman cycling clinic that Becky Furuta (Team Novo-Nordisk), Primal and a whole host of other folks put together.  The place was packed, standing room only with over 175 women there to learn about racing and riding, bike maintenance, nutrition and share stories of all forms of cycling. 

Shawn and I told the story of BRAC, and how we are here to help, how we can show them where to start, what races to do, what clubs to join, etc.  When I asked the crowd how many had NEVER raced their bike before, a clear 75% raised their hands.  This was a great opportunity to share the racing world with so many non racers!  After my talk, I slunk off to the sidelines to serve drinks, pick up trash and pretty much just watch the evening unfold.  The beer and wine flowed freely, the food was plenty (starting with www.modernmarket.com and ending with Basil Docs) and a good time was had by all. 

We need more of these events, so if you have a passion for getting together a few hundred people to talk about racing, give me a ring and let’s put something on.  This was a blast, and I do think it brought new racers into the fold.  A big thank you to all involved for doing this and allowing me to be a small part. 

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That’s probably enough for now, jump om your bike, find a race to try and see what happens.  I can honestly say that you don’t have to be competitive to reap all the benefits that this sport has to offer.

Game on,

DCG

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3/18/17

Well, 2017 is off to an excellent start.  I’ve been a little busy with a few things and am finally getting a chance to sit still long enough to catch my breath.  Work has been a bear, training has been solid, and in early March I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Tucson logging big miles, slugging it out with my teammates at our training camp.  We not only rode hard, but we practiced different tactics by setting up various scenarios that typically play out in races.  And, truth be known, we had a few beers.  A few.  Thanks to my team for setting that up, I’d encourage all of you to do this same kind of thing.  I saw that the Primal Men were out in Moab, and Groove was in Tucson; it’s not as hard as you think to grab a VRBO house someplace warm and pretend you are a Pro.   

I hope your year is off to a great start as well, and I hope that you’re not too hung over from St. Patrick’s Day to get out and ride. 

Let me give you a quick update on a few of the highlights:

1. The USAC summit in Colorado Springs was a great opportunity for Race Directors, Officials and your BRAC Leadership to get together and learn about some of the new things happening in racing:

-- The Race Clean program is getting expanded, look for more tests across the country and in your own back yard.  Or maybe your own bathroom… hard to say. 

-- We now have new tools to detect motors inside bikes.  I’m telling you, if I had a bike with a motor I’d take that thing to EVERY Meridian or Wadsworth Worlds ride I could, just to level the playing field a little.  However, I’d never pin on a number and race it, I’m sure none of you would, either, but it’s good that we have more equipment.

-- I loved hearing and learning from the other Local Associations (LA’s).  It was really cool to hear how LA’s such as Washington, California, Texas, and the Eastern Seaboard do things.  What really struck me was this: At BRAC, we are always looking at our structure and figuring out how we can best grow bike racing here at home.  A year ago, there was a push to try and make BRAC a low service, low cost model, sort of like the Spirit Airlines of racing.  The argument was that other LA’s are lean and mean, we should be too.  Guess what?  The other LA’s are finding that the lean and mean model isn’t making sense, and they’ve been trying to become more like us all the time.  It was like deja vu all over again.  Everyone knows that racing is down nationwide, but Colorado is down less, so many eyes are looking at us to see what we’re doing right and how we have been able to buck the trend.  I was so grateful to have the chance to share a few things like our world class race kit, official’s programs and our focus on keeping racers involved, among many others, with the LA’s.  I think we are all stronger because of the time spent, we’re going to #makeracinggreatagain!  Thanks to the team at USAC for making that all happen.

2. Speaking of #makeracinggreatagain (my pal Yoda was the one who made up that hashtag), some of you may notice that the calendar has a few extra empty weekends in it as compared to years past.  You might also notice that a race or two that you love is missing.  What’s up with that?  There are lots of reasons races come and go, many of them unavoidable.  Venues are lost due to the government needing the roads.  Teams get tired with the same people asked to shoulder the burden each year.  All that is normal.  We really need to focus on the new races area to replace the natural attrition over time.  That’s, as you might have guessed, is where YOU come in.  BRAC thrives as a grassroots organization by having every club put on an event.  So, put one on!  Don’t piggyback with me at Hess, go do your own race.  Find that cool course and make it happen, it’s not nearly as hard as you think; I promise.  And BRAC will help you navigate the maze with advice and even seed capital to help you on your journey.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is on this, and several others are stepping up, too!  Mark your calendars and block off August 19, a Saturday.  You’re going to be racing a brand new crit on a closed course with sweeping turns, not much elevation change and, aside from having a robust Beginners Program, we’re having a single speed race.  Yes: Single.  Speed.  Boom. 

3. Beginning Racers!  Whoa, have we got an amazing schedule for you!  Seems like almost every race has a beginner clinic followed by a beginner race.  Now is the time to invite your friend or coworker out to give this racing thing a try.  They can get a little instruction, make a few turns and see if they get bit by the bug.  I don’t think there is any better way to grow the sport, and this is where you come in.  Clubs, you need to be on the front line of getting new racers into the sport.  I am challenging you to bring in new racers, how many can you round up?  N+1.   

BRAC is helping you make this happen. Your club is listed on our website as a contact for folks to reach out to if they are looking for a team.  Is your contact info up to date and accurate?  Is the info on your club accurate?  Meaning are you a Masters Team or a Women’s Team?  Help us out here, check out your info and drop us a line with any edits.  We will help you!

4. Women!  Mark your calendars for 4/6/17 because we’re having a night of bikes and brews because “Women Bike, Women Lead.”  Check out the info on the calendar at www.coloradocycling.org and plan to come out for a great night of community, empowerment and hands on learning skills like bike maintenance and so much more.  A big Thank You to Becky Furuta for driving this event… I’m thrilled to be able to play a small role in this!  If you are a woman racer, or if you even know a woman (any woman, really) then invite her to come to the Primal World Headquarters in Cherry Creek for this special event.

And it’s not just this event, there are more and more clinics as I mentioned above, this is truly an exciting time in the racing community!  BE A PART OF IT!  CLIP IN!

5. HEY!  Get your license already, would you?  I mean, we’re already into the season so I have no clue as to what you’re waiting on.  A personal invitation from I, your beloved King Julian?  OK, consider yourself invited.  As a reminder, you must join USAC and get a racing license at www.usacycling.org and hopefully their website will sell you a license and ALSO sell you a measly $25 BRAC membership.  If something doesn’t work right, then just click on over to www.coloradocycling.org and get your membership there.  Don’t be like about 15 guys on my own team, get your license more than 24 hours prior to your first race of the season.  CLIP IN BABY!

6. We have us a couple of nifty new sponsors you need to check out. 

-- 1Up Aerial Drone Services, Inc. is a great company that can get aerial footage of your race, your team, or just you and your dog riding along in the hills like the Sound of Music.  They will produce a video, help give you some ideas on promotion, and generally offer up a cool new perspective on our sport.  In fact, you might have seen some of their pics on the BRAC website?  Check them out at www.1updrones.com

 

-- Bemer.  No, not a BMW, not Dr. Evil’s “laser.”  Bemer is a well-established company in Europe that is now expanding into the USA.  Their technology is an amazing recovery device that uses pulsed electromagnetic waves to help increase circulation to tissues of all kinds.  If you want a great way to help survive intense workouts, or maybe the Boulder Stage Race, this is something you should check out.  Look at their short video about the Bemer team at RAAM last year,  and they’re also going to be making appearances at select races this year showing us all how they can help speed recovery and help you get the most out of your training. 

-- FasCat Coaching. They are creating customized training plans for our riders, specific to certain events, such as the State TT championship and other big Colorado races. Check them out at FasCatCoaching.com

Take a moment and check these folks out, they’re passionate about your sport and working to make it better for you. 

 

 

 

They say good things come in 6’s, so that’s probably enough for now.  I’m looking forward to seeing you at my first race of the season, the Louisville Crit.  I’m getting a little late start, but I promise to do my part and spend my kid’s college education fund on racing.  Together we will #makeracinggreatagain… 

Your pal,

DCG

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1/24/17

Well, I must say that I am excited about where we are today and where we are going in 2017.

The year-end Club Council and Cyclocross Awards Party were held this past weekend, a little departure from how we have done things in the past.  Did you show up?  Many of you did, but I also noticed quite a few of you were absent.  You missed your podium presentation for the Best CX Rider and Best CX Team.  I hope you’ll put it on your calendar for next year and come join us in the fun!

We had a good showing for the Club Council meeting, too.  As you might not know, the Club Council is who owns/runs/controls BRAC.  They approve the budget and schedule of fees and give the overall direction.  They elect and engage the Board of Directors to figure out how to get the direction executed each year.  The Board consists of 10 people with 5 seats up for election annually, so while we don’t have term limits, the fact that up to half of the leadership can change each year does present a challenge.  This year we had 3 of us willing to stay on for another 2-year term, and I am pleased to say that both Lynn Taylor and myself were reelected.  Michael Chamberlain was not retained in office, so please join me in thanking him for his service over this past year, he worked tirelessly for all of us.

Who are the new Board members?  It’s awesome… we have 3 new people that I think are going to be great contributors:

Jon Heidemann.  Coach, racer, race director, junior development champion, rancher, all around good guy.  When I first got into cycling all those years ago, there was Jon, making a difference in a quiet but effective manner.  So thrilled to have him on the Board. And, he did not hesitate to roll up his sleeves and get to work, less than ten minutes after being elected. Now that is what I call living up to your campaign speech!

Lance Panigutti.  Professional Race Director, entrepreneur, athlete, creative thinker.  Lance has been involved with BRAC for a decade and puts on a plethora of race opportunities for all of us.  I am excited to have him contribute to the effort with his rolodex of people and ideas to make 2017 the best ever.

Troy Reynolds.  Team sponsor (think Reynolds Roofing), team president, racer, ex-racer, then racer again.  He looks at things from all sides and we have gained a solid asset in Troy.  Plus, he brings the Cool Factor like none of us can.  

The Club Council also approved a bylaw change and even gave me grammar lessons while we tweaked the language in real time.  The budget and schedule of fees were reviewed and the CC approved the budget and decided to increase the income item via Surcharges by $.25 each.  The voting was almost unanimous for these items, it’s just another example of why I love this group of people.  Somehow, we are reconciling the diverse viewpoints into a vision on how we will go forward.  Well done.

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Now what?

Safety.  We are almost inside 60 days to racing season, and it’s time to get Safety on your mind and in your Club Meetings.  We all need to be talking about this.  

We have some new groupings at crits that will mix up some folks who may never have raced together before.  It pretty much happened across all categories, so we are all in the same boat.  Let’s be safe.  Specifically:

  1. Be predictable in your trajectory.  Relax, no one wants undue risk because of a racer who is riding erratically.
  2. Protect your front wheel.  Don’t overlap it with the person in front of you.  One small move as described in #1 above and several people could be on the deck.  Protect your space.
  3. Be careful when passing lapped riders.  Those that lose contact with the group are fighting their own personal battle, their own personal race.  They earned it, they paid for it.  So, when you come by those racers, give them a lot of warning and let them know where you are and what you’re doing.  Make room for them and pass at a safe distance. 
  4. It’s your job to be a Mentor.  Yes, really.  We are bringing lots of new folks into racing who are not as experienced as you are.  That means it is up to the established racers to help educate the new racers on safety.  Don’t be a jerk about it, but when you see something, say something.  Try and help the new people grow in this sport that we all love.
    1. And on that note, be welcoming to newcomers, even if you don’t know them.  Cheer them on, congratulate them afterwards, give them a reason to come back.  You were a 4 once, maybe even a 5.
  5. Attend a clinic.  We put on numerous clinics each year.  Women, men, juniors, everyone can attend a clinic designed to help them get more fun out of racing.  Sign up.  Tell your friends. 
  6. Above all, race hard.  Go forward.  Take chances with an attack.  String it out.  Live life in the moment, right then, right there.

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1/16/17

I’m convinced that now, more than ever, when we come together as an Association, we can do anything. For years, we have struggled with balancing the needs of an incredibly diverse membership: Racers, Officials, Race Directors, Parents, etc. The list is endless.  Everyone has needs, and everyone’s needs are legitimate.  It’s the balancing of those needs that can be a formidable task. 

 

But we did it.  We made real change, somehow reconciling the needs of all the parties, coming together to find solutions.  For that, I am so very proud of you.  Everyone who tried over the years to make this change deserves our thanks.  Several years ago, I (and several members of the Board at the time) sat on a committee that worked tirelessly for months to fix the race group combinations, and the solution that evolved was incomplete at best.  Then later, when you asked me to serve on the Board, this was one of my agenda items.  We set to work with soliciting input, forming an Advisory Council that had representation from all disciplines and categories, holding many listening meetings over months and months, and then finally wrapping things up with the Town Hall meeting last weekend.  Standing room only at the Library… well done folks! 

But it wasn’t just that, no, we continued (and continue) to listen to all the great feedback we received via dozens of emails, phone calls, and face to face meetings afterwards.  I cannot emphasize how broad the input has been, and how constructive, too.

So, here’s what we have come up with:

 

There’s a ton of rationale that went into this table. Opportunities to race, safety of competition, keeping events interesting, and recognizing that we have riders of widely different abilities (like skiers that stay on the green runs vs tackle the double diamonds, hence my little graphic). There isn’t the time and space to dissect each thought and comment we received, but here are the highlights:

  •  The race day had to be shortened.  We have experienced Category Bloat over time and while I believe this has helped us “shrink less” than our Nation as far as participation goes, it became unsustainable.  This reduced our starts by 2, the argument could even be made that it was really 2.5. 
    • Race Directors who are limited for time can now have a condensed day and still be Cup, something that Racers have continually showed is important.
    • Race Directors who have more time CAN RUN RACES INDIVIDUALLY!  There’s nothing saying an RD MUST combine races. 
  • Remember, slashes in the table represent 2 distinct scoring systems and prize lists.  1 start, multiple races inside a race. 
  • Changing the Junior groupings to work towards a U19 concept allows those that are looking to upgrade and race in bigger fields to do so. 
  • Keeping our Masters categories in 10 year increments for metabolic reasons.
  • Larger field sizes will make for a more robust, satisfying race experience   
  • This preserves a lot of the race groups that are in existence now, so the shock of changing categories or subsets, or let’s face it, change in general, is lessened. 
  • Safety is a big concern.  We believe that Cat 3’s will mostly race in the SM 3-4, but when they do test the waters in the P1-2-3 they will be absolutely certain that this will be much different than a 3-4 race.  It’s your opportunity as P1-2 men AND women to offer legitimate mentoring to those who are coming up the ranks in your sport.  This can be a growth opportunity.  

 

Will everyone be happy?  No.  But it’s unreasonable to think that everyone will ever be happy.  What we do know is that this meets the needs of our Association now, today.  Will things change again?  Absolutely.  Will we learn from this?  Absolutely.  Will you need to get a little outside of your comfort zone and try something new?  Yes, yes you will.  This is our chance to glue on some new tires, so to speak, and enjoy the grassroots racing that Colorado represents so well.

And if you’re reading this from out of state, get in your car and come race with us, we have so much to offer!

Yours Most Truly,

Douglas C. Gordon, The Entire Board of Directors, and BRAC Staff

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12/31/16

What a wild couple of weeks.  Wrapped up my business for the year, had a wonderful Christmas with the family, and closed down my bike racing season.  I think this might have been the latest I’ve ever raced, it was a full, robust season with all kinds of great things.  I sincerely hope each and every one of you have had a great season as well. 

If you raced late, then you get like a week for your off season, and now it is back to work.  We are only 90 days away from RACING!  Get you a little base, some wonderfully pleasant LT intervals and hang on, it’s going to be a good one. 

Kind of like the business of BRAC.  Back to the grindstone.  And it’s not like it let up all that much anyways…

January 7, 2017, a Saturday.  Get it on the calendar, this will be the most important work we do together by far.  We must shorten the race day, and we’re going to do it.  You will be affected.  It will make a difference to you in 2017 and beyond, so you need to attend the workshop.  The location is a library in Thornton. We start at 10AM and when we have come up with a solution we can stop.  Kind of like The Rules, you don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired. 

What will this look like?  That’s up to us, you and me and that other people you see racing… the women, the men, the Juniors.  Together we will solve the problem and forge a solution.  We will shorten the race day, in a meaningful way.  Here’s where we stand now, look at all these race groups:

SM 1-2

SM 3

SM 4

SM 5 (run concurrently with MM 40+/5)

SW 1-2

SW 3 

SW 4 (and now USAC has added a women’s cat 5)

MM 40+/1-2-3

MM 50+

MM 60+ (run concurrently with MM 70+)

MM 40+/4

MM 50+/4

MM 40+/3  

MW 40+

MW 50+

MW 60+

JM 9-10

JM 11-12

JM 13-14

JM 15-16

JM 17-18

JW 9-10

JW 11-12

JW 13-14

JW 15-16

JW 17-18 

That’s 26 groups and it is just not manageable any longer.  We should balance everyone’s needs, too.  The sport must have new people coming in all the time to grow our numbers as well as replace the folks who fall away.  We need Juniors to come try the sport, we need adults to be invited out to race, and we need to keep those who do race, racing.  It’s a tough thing to balance for sure.

The elite groups want to see bigger fields, some of the masters’ groups want smaller fields.  The older racers don’t want to race with the younger racers.  The younger racers have some of the biggest fields anyways (i.e. SM 4), while some fields have barely been able to field double digit numbers (SW 1-2).  And I personally think that combining fields and scoring separate has not been successful.  The racing dynamic changes and I think both groups lose out on the essence of racing against one’s peers. 

You think you know how to solve this?  Good.  Enlighten us by showing up at the meeting.  The good news is that if this works it will grow racing a lot.  If it doesn’t, we can always change it again for 2018. I’ll buy the bagels.

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12/8/16

Ginger Ale.  I wonder what it is about that drink that is so appealing?  I mean, how many of you buy it and keep it on hand at your house?  Few is my guess.  But how many of you order it all the time when you fly?  I’m that way, I don’t keep it at home much but in the air I am a ginger ale snob.  Canada Dry.  There is no substitute.  And when Shawn Farrell shows up at my house, it is a solid mixer with Makers Mark.

And why am I wasting your time with this?  Well, because Barry Lee owes me a drink, and I’m thinking ginger ale right about now.  See, Barry hosted the Regional CX Championships this past weekend and I won my race.  It’s one of the 8 signs of the apocalypse, but it happened.  Wait for the frogs and locusts next.  And what I won was this cool glass with an inscription telling me to sit under a shady tree and enjoy a drink on him.  So, pay up, Barry! 

I hope everyone came out to race on Saturday, it was cold and the frost was melting as the day went on.  The officials had their hands full, there were 3 races that came down to a photo finish and holy cow was it exciting.  Some of the best bike handlers and power riders were on hand to bludgeon each other for 45 minutes +/-.   A big Thank You to all of the folks who worked so hard to put on that event… it took an army!

If you missed it, then there’s still chance for you to race your bike NEXT weekend.  In fact, you could race it 2x if you want.  The State Championships are here!  Enter up! 

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Rainbows.  OMG we have us some serious amounts of rainbows here in Colorado.  Congratulations to EVERYONE who made the flight across the Pond to go race at the World Championships.  That is so awesome, when you get home I want to hear all about it!

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Our next BOD meeting is coming up this week, and I’m looking forward to it.  We’ve got a full agenda on tap with a much-anticipated report from the technical committee.  Who is that you might ask?  Those are the folks who work so hard behind the scenes to help the officials officiate and make the sport fair and open.  Think of them as the ones who work on all the fine details to make the “back end” of the race work smooth.  They are officials themselves, so they set the standard for what a race must have to be legit.  For instance, they require a high-speed camera to back up the results at CX races.  Now, almost never does it get used, but this weekend that thing got a workout!  3 photo finishes.  Whoa.  Had the TC not made that guideline, 6 racers on Saturday would have been a little irked at their results.  In this case, the soul of the sport came to life, 1 pixel at a time.  As racers, we almost always only see the front end, so when you see an official next time, thank them for their efforts. 

We’re also setting a date for the Workshop I mentioned in my last post, so be on the lookout for that.  And again, thank you for sending me and Shawn your feedback ad opinions on the groupings.  It has been great to get so many concise letters from teams both large and small. 

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That’s probably all for now, once we have some news from the BOD meeting I’ll be in touch again.  In the meantime, enter up at the races, we only have 3 left I believe?  Oh, the HORROR!

I, your Beloved President Julian 

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11/30/16

I think I sort of hit the wall here over Thanksgiving.  Maybe it was the daily beer consumption, maybe it was the relaxing on the beach in Florida with my extended family, and there’s even a small chance that maybe it was the turkey and general overeating for 7 days, but suffice it to say I’m ready to go ahead and put up my bikes for a little while and recover.  Anyone else get that way?  I went to Florida for a trip and while I took my bike and rode every day, when I came back to race the Giddy Up CX race in Parker, I felt the fatigue. 

But I still had fun and it was all worth it.  It was 26 degrees when I got on my bike, but by the time the race started it had warmed up quite a bit.  They blew the whistle and off we went.

I used this race to try and learn from my competitors.  I wanted to watch them corner and see if I could follow their lines and get some schooling.  It worked great and I found myself following Thom Lieurance for several laps.  I told him I just wanted to follow and learn since I was a Cat 4, and we worked together well for most of the race.  There was one corner, however, that we both struggled with.  Now, supposedly the corner was there each lap, but I swear it kept moving and sprung up out of nowhere 5 different times.  We both joked about how we ought to know better and carve it correctly, but we always seemed to take it a little too quickly.  Except on lap 4.  He killed it, I rolled it, it was like that 325-yard golf shot that makes you keep coming back for more. 

So on the final lap my inner jokester came out and I started talking trash to him, telling him to go faster, this is his corner, go faster, faster!  I don’t think he meant to give into my taunting, but as bike racers this is what we do… search for speed.  Well it worked, he went too fast and I slipped by him on the inside much to everyone’s laughter.  I gave the spot back since it was kind of sneaky what happened, and at the finish we sprinted each other for a glorious 18th and 19th place. 

*Slightly* off the podium apparently, but the fact was that we were both Racing our bikes, and that made all the difference.  We’re going to have to work a little harder if we are going to get signed by a pro team. 

Why am I telling you this?  Because I want you to remember how much fun this is and get out and race your cross bike 2 more times.  Saturday is the race up in Westminster, and then Sunday is the State Championships.  This is the race you’ve been waiting for all season!  Show up, throw down, have a beer when it’s all over (I’m buying) and toast the season.  As Frank Sinatra sang, “It was a very good year…”

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Back to work.  So I want to thank all of you who commented back to me and Shawn on my last blog post about race groups and starts, your feedback was excellent.  Everyone except those of you who said I was better suited for the strider race.  That was just unkind.  Keep it coming.

So far, the summary is that everyone agrees we need to shorten the race day, and that all categories should be eliminated or combined and scored separate, except for the one they race in.  Problem solved.  J  We also have confirmed what was thought of before, and that is the faster racers are ok having bigger fields with slower racers in it while the slower racers want smaller fields with only the slower racers in it. 

Towards that end, next week at the BOD meeting we are going to set a date for a Race Group workshop.  This will most likely be an all day affair where nothing but the groups will be discussed, and the day will not end without a new schedule and grouping matrix created.  It will not make everyone happy.  It will not make everyone mad, but EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND THE WORKSHOP.  Specifically, I want to call out the teams with a lot of masters and women racers to attend.  Teams with masters 3’s, 4’s and older 4’s.  Teams with MM60+ racers, teams with MM 50+ racers.  Things are going to change, for the better, and we want YOU to be a part of that process.

Keep an eye out for Shawn’s email blasts that will detail the workshop info.

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Now the bad news.  After a long talk with my family, and many more long talks with my colleagues and friends, I have decided that there is enough margin in my life at this point to continue serving you, the BRAC membership.  The fact of the matter is that the workload has dropped dramatically now that Dr. Farrell and Yvonne have things well in hand.  Also, we now are using teleconferencing more for our meetings, so that burden is lighter.  There’s still massive work to be done, and I want to keep being a part of that change. 

My goals for the next 2 years are twofold:

  1. Create a safe, sustainable race grouping matrix/schedule.  We’re doing that now, and for sure it will be a big upset to the apple cart, but the good news is that we can change it as we experience how it actually performs in real life. 
  2. I want to bring multi day racing to Colorado to attract not only our own membership to get off the couch and race, but also attract racers in from out of state to come and see why this is ground zero for the best racing in America (‘Murica).  We can do this if we work together; I am convinced this can happen.

So, there you have it. 

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Now get out and ride your bike.  Race it in fact.  But if you cannot race it this weekend, then if nothing else route your training ride by the course on Saturday and come cheer on your teammates and friends.  Make it a big day, this is a big sport we love. 

11/10/16

Well, that was certainly exciting, huh?  If your candidate got hosed, or if your candidate won, or if you voted for the candidate who had the same chance of winning as I do in the 50 Open, I promise it is going to be ok. 

America is the land of opportunity, the land of freedom.  I think we have forgotten that a little.  Our pal John Haley has a rifle strapped to his chest right now, fighting in Iraq for us to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy.  Let that sink in just a bit…

Now is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get on with the hard work of fixing things like:

  1. How are we going to shorten the race day to make it easier to put on a race?
  2. How are we going to get more people racing their bikes?
  3. How are we going to get more people on bikes, period?

Let me toss out an idea for item #1 above.  Just for discussion, just to get you thinking.  I’m only going to address the Masters Men (MM) right now, Senior Men and Senior/Masters Women can be for a later time.

Current Status

What if we did….?

MM 40+/1-2-3

MM 40+ 1-2-3-4 (Open)

MM 50+/1-2-3

MM 50+ 1-2-3-4 (Open)

MM 60+ / MM 70+

 

MM 40+/3

MM 40+/3-4

MM 40+/4

MM 40+/4-5 & “Intro to Racing”

MM 50+/4

 

MM 40+5 (usually run concurrent with SM5)

 

 

This idea, like all ideas, has pros and cons.  In no particular order, here are some thoughts:

  1. Reduces 7 starts to 4, dropping around 3 hours out of the schedule.  For crits, this would be a huge deal.  Allows race directors to possibly retain venues or get new ones that were previously not interested in giving up their park for 14 hours.
  2. Fewer categories could mean we no longer need to combine groups.
  3. Fewer categories ought to generate larger field sizes.
  4. Allows Cat 4 men to choose any race they want.  Generally they will self select based on risk tolerance and perceived compatibility with a group.  Less risk tolerant or less fit 4’s still have a home. 

I’d probably include a rule that says any master racer over the age of 60 can enter up in any race he deems appropriate (subject to USAC rules, of course).  Having said that, would many of you enter up in the 4/5 race?

Speaking of the 4/5 race, if 4’s get upset with 5’s in “their” race, then they just need to remember that not too long ago we didn’t even have 5’s.  They were 4’s.

The 60+ racer may have an issue with the race distances.  Generally, 60+ lengths are shorter than 50+ or 40+. 

A more simplified category list with also adding a label such as “Intro to Racing” could potentially make it easier to market to non-racers and let them more easily identify the appropriate race to enter.

The BRAC Advisory Council has given some great input and direction on this matter, and the above idea is strictly for discussion.  What do you think?  Feel free to drop me or Shawn a line.  We’ll share it with the Board as well as the other folks helping make this change and see what we can develop. 

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I had a teammate tell me something very ugly the other day.  It broke my heart.  He told me that we were getting close to the end of Cyclocross Season. 

How can that possibly be?  We’re not even into the bad snowy fall weather yet. 

I sincerely hope you are taking the time to enter up at some of these incredible races.  Last weekend I got to race the tried and true Feedback Cup course, and the hosts did an amazing job of making the race go in totally interesting and unique pathways. 

And then I got to race my ‘Cross bike on a GOLF COURSE!  No one chased me off like last time, I blasted into, through and over sand traps, and had one of my best races of the season.  I also got to watch my teammates and other friends race their bikes with the wind in their hair.  OK, so Nate has no hair at all, but he led his race wire to wire for the win and it was still glorious.

These are memories you can create for you and your family. Don’t let the fall slip away without coming out to the remaining handful of races.  The State Championships are December 10-11 and then before you know it, Christmas will be here. 

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12/1/16 marks the 1st day when you and your club can renew their licenses and memberships online.  A few things to remember:

  1. Your USAC license is done online at www.usacycling.org
  2. Your BRAC membership can be done at the same time, just pay attention to the online directions.
  3. Your club must renew its USAC membership online at www.usacycling.org but must renew its BRAC membership at www.coloradocycling.org. USA Cycling does not currently process local association affiliations for clubs.

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2017 is getting close, lots of big changes coming and you’ll want to stay tuned to keep up with all the excitement… Now get outside and go ride, and race, your bike! 

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10/21/16

Getting ready for a Board meeting tonight and man do we have a lot to chat about.  Mostly it is in preparation for next week’s Race Director’s meeting.  We’ve gotten quite a few races penciled in on the 2017 calendar and at this point there are multiple races vying for the same dates, so it will be a process on how to get those conflicts worked out. 

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Speaking of Boards, have you decided that you want to serve on the Board of Directors?  It’s a great, rewarding experience knowing that you’re doing your part to help grow cycling for everyone.  If you have even half considered it, reach out to me and let’s talk.  I can fill you in on the details on what it’s like and what kind of time commitment is involved. 

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I had an amazing weekend racing my bike, you have got to hear this story.  So there I was, getting all excited for the US Open, and my race the next day was at 8:20AM.  So, I loaded up all my swag in the truck and locked the bike in the cabin overnight.  Only thing is that I temporarily placed my skewer on the running board during the loading process.  And then forgot.

Fast forward to the next morning and I’m at Valmont, the sun is rising, the birds are singing, and OMG I don’t have a skewer.  And not just any skewer, it’s this goofy Focus thing that is a through axle and QR all in one.  I panic a little and start asking everyone who has a Focus bike, multiple times, if they have an extra front skewer.  Ummmm, no.

Then I go to the support tent who has Focus bikes.  None that they would loan me. 

At one point a super nice guy offered to let me race his bike.  Honest.  He was going to let me, the King of Crashing, borrow his bike.  Talk about what I love so much about the CX community.  I politely declined and pretty much had written off my race.  I’d hand up water to my guys, get in some good watching and reload for another day.

Then it happened.  Ken calls me at 8:01 and says he found a skewer.  As it turned out, a certain racer was trying to borrow a pump and was denied at one tent, and went over to Ken’s tent.  Ken noticed his Focus and asked the question.  He was in the 50+ right after my race and was willing to let me use the skewer on his pit bike.  It was awesome. 

I get my teammate to pin me up while I put on my shoes and get all of 8 minutes of warm up.  Warm ups are overrated. 

They blow the whistle and I go faster backwards than forwards, miss every turn because I had no idea what the course was like.  I mean, I’ve raced Valmont many times, but the course was new to me and I had no idea where I was going next.  Eventually after a few times up the stairs I settled in and figured that my race “was what is was” and it was my time to just practice the flow, see if I could go faster and at the same time find that sweet spot you hit just before heart failure. 

And it worked.  Best finish for me so far this season, my pal Brent Murphy got some cool pics, and I didn’t crash.  Not once.  I owe it all to the people who were so kind to help a fellow racer not lose the day.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This is why I love bike racing.  Well, that and the beer.    

********************* 

I had a good lunch yesterday with Jay Zorn (Cross of the North) and Shawn Farrell (BRAC ED).  We talked all things cyclocross and had a few pretty interesting ideas surface.  We’ll be talking about it a lot in the coming months, but here’s a crazy idea:

What if we started several groups together in order to get larger fields?  Meaning we might have, say, 3 categories on the course with the same start time.  We’d do call ups by USAC ranking, but the judging would be sliced and diced by those 3 groups. 

Cons:

  1. I would be starting with people who are not in “my” race. 
  2. I would have to navigate traffic.
  3. Officials would have more scoring burden, chip timing could end up being more important and not every RD wants chip timing.

 Pros:

  1. We could shorten the race day significantly.  
  2. We could do away with such an early and cold start to racing, and stop racing sooner each day. 
  3. We would get to learn to navigate traffic better which has value when you race Nationals.
  4. Still have every racer scored in “their” race.  
  5. CX races end up single file a lot anyway, so we can utilize course time / real estate more efficiently, leading to less burden on the team who promotes it as well as the officials.
  6. Races might be more fun to watch because the grid would be full and racers would be coming by often.
  7. (addition from Shawn -- We  could have longer races, with a 20 minute gap instead of a ten minute gap. This means nobody would need to get pulled. Even riders almost a lap down at 1 to go would be given the bell)

 I think there are a million more pros and cons, this is just a limited blurb to get you to think a little out of the box.  Ruminate on it…

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Shawn had an interesting meeting this week with a Drone company.  Who knows where it will lead, but wouldn’t it be fun to have overhead footage of the finishing sprints in our races?  You could compare it side by side to the footage of Andre and Cav and see how you and your group compare…

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That’s all I’ve got for now, but I hope you entered up for this weekend’s races, they are sure to be jam packed with fun, cider… and suffering.   Do it!

I, Your Beloved King Julian,

DCG

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10/12/16

Happy Columbus Day.  I hope you are taking the time to spend it with friends and family and recover from an awesome weekend of racing. 

Is it possible to be hungover from too much racing?  Not sure, but I’m experimenting to find out.  I tested myself this weekend with 3 days of cross racing.  I learned a few things that I wanted to share with you:

  1. In a race, it is possible to hit the deck multiple times, remove your back wheel and pull out an orange stake and 8’ of course tape from your cassette partway through, and still call it a success. 
  2. Racing under the lights is a whole new experience, and you need to do it at least once in your life.  Chances are after you do it once, you’ll want to do it again. 
  3. Racing the 50 open is no different than racing the 40/4.  It starts hard and fast, I crash, then race all alone.  Seriously, in cross I think your category means less because you are racing all by yourself mostly.  Certainly on paper the finishing results are different, but the race experience of going hard, trying to be as smooth as possible, testing the limits, it’s all the same.  So I guess my point here is that if you have the chance to race but “your” category is at a time that is hard on your schedule, just pick another one you are eligible for and do it!
  4. The sight of Aaron and Clint shirtless with BBQ tongs in hand at the start, announcing what the handups menu will be is an image burned into my retinas forever.  It was a little slice of heaven in that moment in time.  The international flags flying in the wind, the smells of grilling, the sounds of cowbells and live music was just awesome.  If you missed the 2016 Cross of the North, you blew it.  That’s what Larry said, and I have to agree. 

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Growth and our Sport

You might have noticed a theme that I blog about, and that is encouraging folks to go race.  Make no mistake, this is my blog so I write about things on my mind, and racer numbers are one of those subjects. It’s on the entire BRAC leaderships mind, too, but they don’t have to write a blog. 

Nationally, racing is down 12-13%.  Colorado racing is only down in the single digits, so we are doing things better than the rest of the country. 

At this point, no one has a really good idea as to why numbers are down, but there are no shortages of theories.  A few that seem to have merit:

  1. Bike racing is experiencing the hangover of the post Lance years.  We had record numbers of new people getting into the sport due to his exposure, and now that things are “different” in that area, folks are less interested in cycling.
  2. People have more options today to do other things.  Hiking, recreational riding, family activities, there’s no shortage of other things to do than bike race.  This plays into my next point. 
  3. Naturally, people come in and out of the sport.  A smaller % of those that try the sport stick to it over the long haul.  You can look at my family for that example.  We started when Susannah got into racing in 2005.  Both my daughters raced the kid’s races, we bought them bikes but after the races got to be more than 1 lap, they lost interest.  That’s ok.  Now, 12 years later, I am the only one still racing in our family (36 races so far in 2016 in case you care).  Erin is at college on an Equestrian team, Meghan is fully engaged in elite lacrosse, and Susannah is off in the horse world.  I think it is common for folks to come in, try the sport, have fun with it for a few years and then fall away.  They’re still riding, but not training and racing like before. 
  4. People have too many choices to race.  They have 2 days each weekend, many mid-week options, and the season goes on forever.  There’s no sense of urgency because there are so many races and the average cyclist only does a handful.  This theory, however, still doesn’t explain why racer days are down.

There are a lot more reasons folks offer up for the decline, so if you have one that isn’t listed above, don’t sweat it.  The reasons are less important than the cure. 

What’s the cure?  We need more new people racing. 

How did you get into racing?  I am willing to bet that the vast majority of you got into the sport through a friend.  We had some exposure and knew the sport existed, but it was another person who got us into going fast on a bike with a number.  They showed us where to find info, they may have even taken us to our first race, they helped us join a club (and let me tell you, clubs are the absolute key to this whole deal).  This is grassroots cycling, the very definition! 

We need to pour some fertilizer on our roots.  We need to invite our friends who don’t race.  We need to meet folks at recreational rides and share with them this amazing sport.  We need to bring our neighbors to a race, enter them up, pin on their number for them and then cheer them on.  If we will do that, we will see growth. 

Clubs need to have significant outreach, too.  It doesn’t help a whole lot for us to cannibalize riders from another team, all that does is stir the pot.  We need to find new riders from outside the racing sphere.  Ever do a charity ride and have some guy or gal ride by you like no tomorrow?  Invite them to race.  Ever see that same rider on the bike path each morning laying down some smack on the commute?  Invite them to a local race.  How about the kids at school?  We have races for everyone, all we need to do is get them out.

So what is BRAC doing?  We are outreaching at events like the Triple Bypass and Veloswap, handing out coupons for free or significantly discounted races.  We need to do even more events like these.  The next phase I’d like to see us enter into is advertising in non-racing channels.  Wouldn’t it be great if we had ads in the back of Bicycling magazine?  How about triathlon channels?  I think the opportunities are there, we need to have a budget to support those efforts.  

How about out of state racers?  Look at Tulsa Tough, for instance.  They did an amazing job of building a local race into a nationwide magnet.  We can do that too!  To help this happen, we are flying in the Race Director from Tulsa Tough to come talk to our Race Directors on how they did it. 

At the end of it all, it comes down to us as individuals working to draw new non-racers into the sport.  We need to work this angle personally, and via clubs, all grassroots. 

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I had a great time at the Rocky Mountain Road Cup Awards Party, did you?  It was fun to see so many teams representing the various divisions, it was a real treat to see so many champions in one spot.  Congratulations to everyone on a successful 2016 Road Season!

Aside from free flowing beer, a taco bar and potentially unhealthy brownies, we also had some GREAT entries in the 2017 State Champion Jersey design contest.  Man, you guys came out with some great ideas.  Congratulations to Robert Thayer who came up with the winning entry: 

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Did you guys notice that BRAC gave away $5,000 to help new races get off the ground?  We did.  And you can get a slice of that money next year.  Want to put on a race?  We can help you both logistically and to a degree, financially.  If there’s a need you have, to help you get over the hurdle we stand at the ready to help. 

There were very few requests for financial aid this season, but I am convinced there will be more next year.  We’re all about developing new racing and are committed to helping YOU make that happen.  If you are on the fence and not sure, give me a shout and let’s talk!

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Speaking of races, we are almost ready for the Race Director’s meeting coming up on the 27th.  Please consider this your personal invitation.  “But Doug, I am not a Race Director. Do you mean to tell me that I am allowed to come?”  Yes, yes you are.  In fact, I want you there.  This meeting, like everything we do, is open to everyone.  Come on down to Rocky Mountain PBS on the 27th around 6 pm for a really educational event.

We are very excited to announce that we are having 2 guest speakers this year to help our RD’s up their game and make racing better for everyone. 

-Malcom McCollam with Tulsa Tough is going to share how he and his team were able to create one of the most epic multi day races in the country.  He has grown this event into a national, cult like status and BRAC wants to see Colorado Racing be on this same level.  The fact is that we have a lot to offer, and in 2017 I want to see us do something really special with our calendar. 

-Stefanie Larson with USA Cycling will be on hand to share with us national trends and give some insight on how USAC can help make race directors’ jobs easier.  If you ever wondered what USAC does or why they do what they do, this is a great chance to meet someone who is in the know.

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That’s mostly good enough for now.  I hope everyone is in full CX mode and is excited to race the US Open up at VALMONT this coming weekend!  It’s going to be awesome, you need to enter up.  Test yourself.  what could possibly go wrong?

DCG

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9/8/16

BANG!  The Road and Track Seasons are over, and Cross season is HERE!  Time to get out the knobby tires, let some air pressure out (figuratively) and rip it up on the dirt.  Have you been doing that?  I have, and holy cow is it fun. 

I raced last night, and the Chief Referee, John, said that we had 91 guys in the race.  Holy caruncas, Batman, that is a lot of racing.  The Back 2 Basics CX race is really a great deal, you should come out and give it a try.  Inspired Training is giving a little clinic before the race, and then the races are short and fast, or short and slow, all depending on your mood.  It’s the perfect primer for what is sure to be an excellent CX season. 

We got us a new race!  Unfortunately, I’m out of town, but this Saturday is the brand new out of the box still has that new car smell race at Rueter-Hess reservoir.  Enter up; the weather should be perfect, and how many chances do we get to go play on new courses?  Good luck!

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HEY!  Who’s an artist out there?  Have you taken a swipe at designing the 2017 State Championship Jersey?  Well you need to!  We’re hosting a contest and you’ll have to ask Shawn, but I think the person who wins gets like a million dollars or something.  Or maybe a license, not sure.  Probably cash.  Surely it’s the million.  Whatever it is, it’s worth your time for sure.  You can get your talent shown for all the world to see. Children and puppies will adore you.

Download the template  and pull out your crayons, pencils or graphic art software and let’s see what you’ve got!

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One of the things that has been shown to help racers get the most out of the sport is to be involved with a team.  Racing unattached has its good parts, but we’ve seen that getting involved with a team leads to a much deeper and longer relationship with racing. 

What can your club do to attract new members?

  • Get involved at the group rides (Meridian, Bus Stop, Worlds, etc.) and talk to folks who haven’t taken up the racing part of riding.  Invite them to a ride with your team, and see if there’s a match.    
  • Approach those unattached guys or ladies at the races and invite them to ride with your team.  I mean, you’re lined up together already, all you need is to reach out and invite!  And every week some unattached rider wins one of the races, so what a chance to pick up a ringer for your team.
  • Host group rides from your sponsor’s place of business, and get your sponsor to help advertise the event.
    • Who wouldn’t want some Great Divide beer after a ride with new friends?
    • Who wouldn’t want lunch at Modern Market after 50 miles of rolling fun? 
    • This adds value to your sponsors and at the same time gets your team some new prospects. 

**************************************

The 2016 Road and Track Season is over, and our panel of mathematicians are furiously working to compute Pi to 591 digits.  When they’re done, they’ll then calculate the Rocky Mountain Road Cup Team and Rider competitions, and Colorado Track Cup competitions and gear up for the season end awards party. 

Put it on your calendar, 3 weeks from NOW on September 30th.  Great Divide Brewing in LoHi.  More info to be blasted as we get closer, all you have to do now is put it on your task list. 

******************

That’s about all I have to blab bout now, plus I think I lost you up above when I mentioned food and beer.

Congratulations to everyone on a successful road and track season, and I am so very excited to watch you race at the upcoming CX events.  Game on! 

*****************************************

8/25/16

Earplugs.  One of my best inflight investments.  Now someone needs to invent something to keep the kids from playing with their tray tables.  We need to do a crowd funding thing and get that done.

**************************

Speak of Crowd Funding… it’s here!  The 2017 State Championship Jersey design contest!  Think you got a little artsy in you?  We want it!  We want you to design the coolest, most awesome kick tail kind of State Championship jersey ever made.  Here are the ground rules:

  1. Need to use the BRAC logo prominently.
  2. Need to use our Sponsors Logos prominently (currently)
    1. Pactimo
    2. Team Evergreen 
    3. COBRAS
  3. Nothing that your mom and grandmother would be upset seeing.
  4. Classy, something to showcase Colorado Racing! 
  5. You can sign it, or otherwise mark it so everyone knows you created it.  However, your mark is not to be prominent. 

The contest will showcase the top designs at the Rocky Mountain Road Cup awards party and we’ll pick one from there.  See the link on the front page for the contest info and click here for a download of the template.  Hurry up, the party is at the end of September, just a short 30 days away.    

Good luck!

****************************** 

Today is John Leybourne’s birthday.  No idea how old he is, but I’ve known him since I got into racing over a decade ago.  Now that he has a family, he doesn’t race much, things have changed.  So what does he do?  Now he’s involved with the Colorado Junior Challenge, the only Stage Race for Juniors in the state.  What an awesome deal that is. 

Then there’s Rich Klusman.  Another racer who I met on the first day I went on a group ride.  We raced together for a long time, then he moved to California.  We even met out there a couple times at NRC races when I was the mechanic (aka slave) for my wife’s pro team.  Lo and behold, he just moved back to Colorado without a word, and shows up at the Lucky Pie Crit and we got to race together again! 

My point is that the racing scene is cyclical for sure (no pun intended).  People come, people go, but a you don’t have to leave it completely.  Get involved, even if you’re not racing.  We need all kinds of help at the races like marshals (we’ll talk about that next), registration, marketing.  Especially marketing, that’s really where we, as Race Directors, need some help.  I’m convinced that we have so many people who just need to know about racing and what a thrill it is, we simply have to reach them.  So if you’re a marketing guru and have some pro bono capacity, ping me! 

****************************

Let’s talk about course marshals.  We all know them, we’ve all been them.  Nothing is more important than this job.  So if you’re a marshal, please take that responsibility seriously.  At 2 different crits I raced this year, marshals didn’t have the courses secure and allowed 2 mothers with strollers and 2 guys on bikes riding backwards on the course, all while we were racing at speed.

Luckily the entire peloton moved out of the way on all 4 occasions, but it’s not any kind of an exaggeration to say that someone could have gotten killed.  Pretty serious stuff, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping us all safe while we race our bikes.  Please just keep your phone in your pocket, keep your head on a swivel and assess the threats before they happen.  We are trusting you with our lives.    

*****************************

What a great meeting I went to the other night.  Our Advisory Committee met and we had a loose discussion on what BRAC’s true mission should be, and the role BRAC should play in that mission.  We heard some great wisdom from people who have been involved for years, even decades.  We heard some fascinating input from folks who have been racing for much less time.  We got some great affirmation that a lot of the things we have been working on as an association are important, and we got some great new ideas, too.  Shawn will be talking more about that, but take a peek at the minutes when you get a chance, it was time well spent.  Thank you so much to everyone who attended.

******************************

The road season is almost over.  We still have Steamboat, and everyone ought to race it.  Stage races are very special, and you don’t get a more special venue than Steamboat Springs.  Fun for the whole family.  Unfortunately for me, my schedule won’t allow me to race it so send some pics, ok?

My road season ended on a high note at the Lucky Pie crit in Louisville.  My form was great, my placing was mediocre, but man did I have fun.  My coach and I had been working on some things on the bike, and I was able to apply them in 50 minutes of tactical racing.  While he was in Rio with 3 of his athletes racing the road race, I made sure he knew how his favorite pupil did.  J   

After the race I got to share a meal with new and old friends, eat some great Lucky Pie pizza and top it off with some Sweet Cow ice cream.  Who cares, my diet can begin tomorrow.  A great way to wrap up my season.  Kudos to Sonic Boom for putting on such a quality event. 

We need more of these events, and BRAC wants to help you do one.  Are you thinking you want to put on a race and not just hook on to another club so you can check a box on your club’s eligibility?  Call me.  We are thrilled to help new races get off the ground.  And it’s not just me, we have a whole host of resources to get you going. 

I’ve been where you are; 12 years ago I got roped into helping out with registration at Lookout Mountain and the Fed Center, Adventure Cycling / ColoBikeLaw’s races.  We had some great mentors.  Then, over time, I ventured out and started the Best on Hess™ time trial.  I’m fortunate in that I have had the chance to learn from some really smart people over the years, and can help you bypass a lot of the learning curve.  Putting on a race is a challenge, but it’s not nearly as bad as doing those 3x15@LT intervals in January. 

It’s not as bad as you think, if you're interested, let’s talk.     

*************************

Oh my word, Cyclocross season is upon us.  Or is it Cyclo-cross?  I guess at the end of the day we spell it “FUN.”

The Back to Basics series kicked off with none other than Jeremy Powers racing.  Of course, he was also spotted racing Sonic Boom, so his secret training regime is now known: Race Crits.  Smart guy. 

B2B had a ton of racers come out and enjoy Hero Mud conditions in Golden.  If you’re looking to sharpen up your skills, Inspired Training is  teaching a little clinic before the race, it’s a great opportunity to get more out of this great sport.

And who wouldn’t want to race CX?  For me, it’s the closest thing I can get to riding my bike like a kid again.  Dirt, grass, corners, jumps, it’s so cleansing mentally and the best part is that because it goes single file so quickly, no one knows how poorly I am doing.  I could be 2 laps down and no one would ever know.  OK, so the judges know, but no one reads results anyway.  This is a good deal.  We should get our friends to try it, huh?

So here’s my challenge to you: Bring a friend with you to at least 1 CX race this season.  Carpool.  Help them get registered.  Pin on their number for them.  Buy them a beer after.  Then, I want you to tell me about it.  I want to hear the stories, I really do!

******************************

The end of season Rocky Mountain Road and Track Cup party is all set!  We’re changing up the venue this time around and meeting at Great Divide’s new place in Denver.  Put it on your calendar, September 30th, 2016.  A Friday.  Rumor has it there will be food trucks, pizza and beer.  And recognition to the top riders and teams of 2016.  Cannot wait to see you there! 

***************************

Well, the kid is still screaming behind me and I’m out of things to say.  Good luck to everyone racing at Steamboat, I’ll see you at the B2B CX races and all the mud that a Colorado fall CX season has to offer… 

**********************************

8/10/16

Well, here we go again.  I’m all kinds of jazzed up from an amazing set of races, and now I’m stuck on a plane with 3 babies… 1 in front, one next to me with her parents, and 1 behind.  I may have to type louder to drown out the noise, so just turn down the volume on your computer.

Holy cow, what a weekend!  We had one of the most exciting races of the season in Littleton Saturday night.  The crowds were lining the race course, screaming in excitement.  Even folks who had no idea on how a race works were there, mesmerized by the spectacle. 

As soon as my race was over I cleaned up and watched the women, it was amazing.  The sun was setting, the race was fast, and there was just a vibe and energy that was not to be missed.  And they laid down some serious smack.  Vicious attacks, a break, then chasing.  Over and over for an hour they pummeled each other in what was so very exciting to see.  Kudos.

And then there were the men.  80 minutes of pure single-file pain-dispensation.  Breaks, chasing, attacks, chasing, all in the dark of night with just some strategic lights to show the racers the way.  I was glued.  And then it happened.  United Health Care took control of the race at 4 to go and delivered a textbook lead-out train that gave me goosebumps to watch.  A well-deserved podium sweep! 

If you missed this race, you missed out on something very special.  Special to race, special to watch.  Do yourself a favor next year and put this on your calendar.  Even if you don’t race it, you have got to go see it up close and in person.  Kudos to Stages Cycling for swinging for the fences to put on an amazing event.

Then bright and early Sunday morning we ventured out to Keenesburg for the State Championship Time Trial.  BRAC’s finest were on hand to lay down 40k of pain, each against the clock.  I was there to make the podium presentations, it was an honor to hand out swag, Pactimo jerseys and money to the winners.  Well done to everyone who came out!

But even more so, it was a real treat to step in and help the Littleton Masters bring the race to maturity.  As some of you might not know, Yvonne has had some family issues come up, and she was unable to attend like she always does.  Please keep her and her family in your deepest thoughts and prayers.   But, always the consummate professional, she had the entire race gift wrapped so the volunteers could step in and not miss a beat.  Funny how it took about 4 of us to do the job she does by herself!  Big kudos to Bob, Alan, Ed, Bruce, Mia as all the other Great Divide and Schwab guys, I was humbled to be a small part of the day. 

And then there’s the OLYMPICS!  Colorado was represented so well all over the cycling world.  Men, women, it has been an incredible time for sure.  Been a little tough to see the action from only 1 source, but the good news is I also got to watch ping pong and volleyball.  Huge congratulations to those of you who are in Rio making us all proud!! (Hold the presses – Kristin Armstrong just took the gold in the women’s TT at 42 years of age!!!)

And speaking of proud, I just have to say that it’s pretty cool when our own Executive Director, Shawn Farrell, is a Commissaire at the Tour of Utah.  I still don’t know exactly what he does other than keep motorcycles from running over the racers, but that’s another story.  Actually, I do know what he does and I do know the respect he has across the globe, literally, for his work.  And between the stages he’s still running updates and working on BRAC business.  Amazing. (Note from Shawn – about keeping motorcycles from running over racers…. yeah, about that…)

And also how about Lynn Taylor, our beloved Secretary?  She is in Indiana working as the Race Secretary for Masters Track Nationals.  Talk about a prestigious assignment.  We’re so lucky to have her watching over our archives, rules and regulations.  You have no idea how valuable her efforts are, but I do.  Whenever we get into discussions on rules and policies, it has been great to have her able to quickly bring up the admin side of things to keep us on the straight and narrow.   

And I can keep going, and going, but look at Marco Vasquez for just a moment.  That guy is Chief Referee for some of the biggest races in America, literally, and we get him helping us out on the Board, too. 

See a pattern here?  We have some heavy hitters who work awfully hard to drive the BRAC train down the tracks.  You would be well served and in great company if you want to join us. 

********************

Having said all of that, let’s work on a few items, ok?

  1.  Coming soon will be the 2017 State Championship Jersey Design Contest!  We’re going to put out some clothing templates and let all you amazing artists really go crazy and come up with the 2017 jersey design.  Keep your eyes out for the announcement, and tell all your friends!  We want to get as many quality designs as we can and really have some fun with this. 
  2. Road season is winding down, and we are in the process of planning the 2016 Rocky Mountain Road Cup Awards Party.  Got any ideas on where you might like to have it?  What kind of event should it be?  Shoot us a line at operations@coloradocycling.org if you want to sound off.
  3. It goes without saying that you need to keep racing your bike all the way through Steamboat.  And you know what?  If they don’t have your favorite category, then you just need to enter up in another one that you are eligible for.  Even if it’s a harder group.  I raced Littleton with the 40 Open and lived to tell about it.  So can you.  Enter up, pin on a number.     
  4. Have you thought of serving on the Board of Directors at all?  There will be some vacancies coming up, including my spot, and it is a great time in our sport to go to the front and take a pull.  Ping me at President@coloradocycling.org and we can talk about what all is involved with helping guide us into the future.  

At this point things are going well, so enjoy the end of summer, get out and RACE your bike, and cherish these times.  Soon enough winter will be here and we all know what that means…

See you at the races,

DCG 

***************************************8

7/25/16

Great.  The Tour is over, and now what am I going to do with all my free time?  HA!  Free time, what a concept…  To cope with this crazy deal, I have been recording it and am still not finished, so don’t tell me who won.  I hope Cav got the yellow jersey back, I mean, he won it on day 1 and it would be cool if he took it back on the last day.  But again, don’t spoil it for me, I have to watch about 6 more stages. 

I have to tell you, I’m also a little melancholy about the season.  I’m excited for Cyclocross, but in looking at the calendar we’re running low on summer time.  All the more reason to make sure you enter up and race your bike now while there’s still road racing to be had.  Heck, we have TWO this weekend!!

As a Board and Staff, we have been pretty busy working on other cycling related stuff. 

  • We set up an outreach marketing opportunity with the Triple Bypass.  BRAC staffed an aid station as well as provided marshals and handed out coupons for new racers to give the sport a try.  Guess what?  We already have gotten a handful back.  Talk about cool… we are actively getting some new folks to give this sport a whirl.  More events please!
  • State Championships are in full swing, we just handed out all kinds of awards at Mt. Evans this past weekend.  Amazing weather, and maybe it is just me but the times for the racers seemed amazingly, blazingly fast.  That is so cool to see, I hope you all were able to take part in what is absolutely one of the most iconic races in North America. 
  • There’s more State Championships on tap, so that reminds me to ask you a question:
    • Should a State Championship be something you have to qualify for?
    • Should a State Championship be open to everyone as it is now?
    • I’m simply curious… nothing more than that.
  • We’ve been given some help to examine bikes, so watch for an iPad coming to a race near you. 
  • Our general working group is set, we’ll be meeting shortly to dig into the hot button issues facing us today.  What are they?  Here are but a few:
    • How do we increase racers racing?
    • How can we shrink the race day so Race Directors and officials don’t kill themselves with 12 hour days? 
    • We’ve shrunk the race day already; can we do that some more but still have a product that consumers (racers) will buy (race)?
    • What does the future of bike racing look like?  Gravel grinders, Road Races, TT’s, MTB, CX, etc.  And how can we help those disciplines grow?
    • If a 27.5 full suspension falls in the forest, and no one is there, does it still make a sound?
  • We’ve been digging into some data on looking at racer participation.  One path we are going down involves trying to ascertain why you didn’t race a certain race.  Kind of hard to prove a negative to a degree, but what we want to know is, why did you skip a certain race?  Was it scheduling, was it cost, was it course type, or something else?  Shawn is going to be reaching out shortly to some of you, so when you see his email and a link to a survey, it would mean an awful lot to us if you’d take the time to fill it out.  Thanks.

If you’ve been reading this, then I think it goes to show that you care about bike racing in Colorado.  Have you ever thought about helping out?  This fall the Association’s Board will have several vacancies coming up, and if you want to contribute, this will be an excellent way to get that done.  I signed up for 2 years, and it has been a great experience.  After my term is up, I’m going to step back into my role as leader for my own Masters team, but I’ll continue to serve on a committee simply as a member of BRAC.  If you are even the remotest bit curious as to what happens or what kind of commitment it takes, ping me direct and we can chat. 

OK, put down the mouse and turn off the computer.  Go race your bike! 

 

************************************************

6/30/16

Did you get entered up for the ALL NEW COURSE at Wheels of Thunder?  I hope so, but if not you can still race… race day registration is all set for this one, show up!

***********

I’ve been remiss in calling attention to our athletes who have upgraded, so let me do a little clean up below…

Check out all these AWESOME racers who are moving up the ladder in the sport!  We’ve got some new licensees, and we’ve got quite a few who have rung the bell for a Cat 1 License.  Well done, this is so fantastic to see. The woman standing atop the podium to the right, just won the State Criterium Championships for SW 1-2.  You can find her name in the table below, twice!  A few weeks ago she was a cat 4. Incredible. 

Shawn Farrell will buy each of you, who are old enough, a beer.  The only caveat is that you have to enjoy it with him.  (I wonder if Shawn will even see that?) (Ummm, note from Shawn. Who does Doug think posts this on the website? The Great Pumpkin?) 

Racer

Discipline

New Category:

Mark D Swofford

cx

1

Spencer B Powlison

cx

1

Dylan  Stucki

cx

1

Jayson B Jacobs

cx

1

Nicolas J Jimenez

cx

1

Mark D Swofford

cx

2

Brian  France

cx

2

Erin  Quinn

cx

3

Oinatz  Uribe

cx

3

Michael  DeGroot

cx

3

Tim  Hodges

cx

3

Justin B Holle

cx

3

Tom  Keller

cx

3

Finn M Gullickson

cx

3

Karen T Dunne

cx

3

Jasmin A Glaesser

cx

3

Caleb M Schroder

cx

4

Eric M Lee

cx

4

Ryan C Fitzgerald

cx

4

Jeff C MacNair

cx

4

Jeff  Knight

cx

4

Brandan  Hickey

cx

4

Jonah B Howe

cx

4

Nick W Kadlec

cx

4

Jonathan P Workman

cx

4

Cameron M Connor

cx

4

Everett D Durbin

cx

4

Andrew  Wacker

cx

4

Michael  McGann

cx

4

Alex P Deibold

cx

4

Nick J Sherwood

cx

4

Justin D Green

cx

4

Thomas  Eng

cx

4

John  McKibbon

cx

4

Riley J Williams

cx

4

Graham  Outlaw

cx

4

Nicholas L Kulesa

cx

4

Scott  DeJong

 cx

4

Brent R Brown

cx

4

Hugh  MacEachran

cx

4

Jay  Carson

cx

4

Tony  Prete

cx

5

Everett D Durbin

cx

5

Christopher H Blevins

road

1

Matthew  DeAngelis

road

1

Russell R Finsterwald

road

1

Luis Felipe  Montoya

road

1

Alex E Driscoll

road

1

Jasmin A Glaesser

road

1

Spencer S Martin

road

1

Jessica M Bobeck

road

1

Thomas K Herman

road

1

Nicolas J Jimenez

road

1

Kyle B Thomas

road

1

Jenna E MacPherson

road

2

Cameron M Connor

road

2

Cody M Hoggatt

road

2

Kevin  Callahan

road

2

Matt  Blakely

road

2

Maxwell D Huddleston

road

2

Paula J Findlay

road

2

Will V McBryde

road

2

Spencer  Downing

road

2

Zackary J Jensen

road

2

Jenna J Stauffer

road

2

Brannan M Fix

road

2

Jake  Barker

Road

2

Justin J Little

Road

2

Emily Jordan

Road

2

Kendrick  Boots

Road

2

Michael  DeGroot

Road

3

Ava  Hachmann

Road

3

Tom E Ober

Road

3

Andy D Farley

Road

3

Jennifer K Cubillas

road

3

Wiley T Melton

road

3

Cody R Cupp

road

3

Anders F Winslow

road

3

Jason D West

road

3

Stuart D Mann

road

3

Mike  Woodard

road

3

Scott B Fliegelman

road

3

Paula J Findlay

road

2

Sterling D Watson

road

3

Brad  Loyd

road

3

Jonathan D Wells

road

3

Karen T Dunne

road

3

Andy L Bennett

road

3

Brad  Bingham

road

3

Casey A Bernal

road

3

Emily E Jordan

road

3

Pano  Garry

road

3

Pete D Jones

road

3

W Grant G Ellwood

road

3

Douglas  Gibula

road

3

Omar A Dickenson

Road

3

Gabriel A Gutierrez Flores

Road

3

Zacharey L Elzi

Road

3

Denzel  Stephenson

Road

3

Ross M Ellwood

road

3

Jack R Tanner

road

3

Gayle R Connell

road

3

Adam V Pochon

road

3

Nathan A Miller

road

3

David  Boynton

road

3

Anton A Smirnov

road

3

Laura T Leonard

Road

3

Nathan  Pawlak

Road

3

Clio S Castruccio

Road

3

Natalia V Ptas

Road

3

J Keith  Collins

Road

3

Dustin A Evans

Road

3

Kenneth A Lang

Road

3

Sofia  Gomez Villafane

road

3

Orion L Stewart

road

3

Fredd  Corpuz

road

3

William A Raatz

road

3

Justin  Diamond

road

3

Austin M Hinson

road

4

Quinn R Simmons

road

4

Josh B Lawrence

road

4

Devin M Asbury

road

4

Eric A Miller

road

4

Eric G Welch

road

4

Michael  DeGroot

road

Yousef M Hamzeh

road

4

Eric M Lee

road

4

Derek N Hall

road

4

Steven D Lykens

road

4

Ociel  Borjas

road

4

Perry S Marshall

road

4

John J von Plutzner

road

4

Jonathan P Workman

road

4

Everett D Durbin

road

4

Wiley T Melton

road

4

Keith W Jackson

road

4

Isaac C Ross

road

4

Jack R Tanner

road

4

Michael  McGann

road

4

Henry P York

road

4

Gaetano F Pasquino

road

4

Todd  Langley

road

4

Sam G Everett

road

4

Ryan X Stowers

road

4

Tony  Nitti

road

4

Nick J Sherwood

road

4

Harley  Moore

road

4

Ross M Ellwood

Road

3

Sam j Mancini

Road

4

James  Rottman

Road

4

Eli M Cashman

Road

4

Todd  Teren

Road

4

Duncan L Hetzer

Road

4

Francesco  Cangialosi

Road

4

Paxton B Hyde

Road

4

Blake J Ollweiler

Road

4

Chris C Byrne

Road

4

Samuel Martin

Road

4

Gorimir  Zhelnin

Road

4

Samuel P Furness

Road

4

Brian M Aiken

Road

4

Gabriel S Jaramillo

Road

4

Chris D Kuhn

Road

4

Zachary C Brittain

Road

4

Michael A Dudzic

Road

4

Nolan  Jenkins

Road

4

Charles M Shobe

Road

4

Scott  Steinbrecher

Road

4

Janz  Rondon

Road

4

Keith W Abbey

Road

4

Morgan P Brown

Road

4

Tyler J Rickett

Road

4

Riley J Williams

Road

4

Mateo  Gallegos

Road

4

Joseph D Clemens

Road

4

Christopher J Dolan

Road

4

Nathan  Pawlak

Road

3

Graham  Outlaw

Road

4

Alex  E Kowalsky

Road

4

Michael D Murphy

Road

4

Ron  Chavez

Road

4

Clinton D Waara

Road

4

Mark E Johnson

Road

4

Andrew  Ross

Road

4

Daniel E McBride

Road

4

Nicholas L Kulesa

Road

4

Scott  DeJong

Road

4

Brent R Brown

Road

4

Paxton P Wiers

Road

4

Chad S Sigler

Road

4

Benjamin H Donnelly

Road

4

Eric J Morgan

Road

4

Chris m Gonzales

Road

4

Nathan V Landrey

Road

4

Travis  Palmer

Road

4

Tyler G Peterson

Road

4

Josh s Allen

Road

4

Shane D Garland

Road

4

Hugh  MacEachran

Road

4

Josh G Rivas

Road

4

Jay  Carson

Road

4

Joe  Dailey

Road

4

Brad T Tyra

Track

1

Jasmin A Glaesser

Track

1

Justin D Widhalm

Track

1

George M Jordan

track

1

Austin m Hinson

track

2

Andre J Szlendak

track

3

Brian  Davis

track

3

John R Nolan

track

3

Thomas F Rathbun

track

3

Joe D Lavelle

track

3

Isaac C Ross

track

3

Jonathan  Cavner

track

3

Erin T Witter

track

3

Nathaniel F Stafford

track

3

Karen T Dunne

track

3

Aaron B Casey

track

3

Mindee  Stevenson

track

3

Mollie  Brewer

track

3

Sarah M Fader

track

3

Matthew M Gates

track

3

Colby R Lange

track

3

Carson  Wille

track

3

Alex E Driscoll

track

3

Claire A Olsen

track

3

Daniel P McAuliffe

track

4

Brian P Gorman

track

4

Dan F Carragher

track

4

Jonathan  Cavner

track

3

Steven R Truesdale  Jr.

Track

4

Thomas F Rathbun

Track

3

J.T  Evans

Track

4

Robert E Massey

Track

4

John R Nolan

Track

3

Sterling D Watson

Track

4

Michael S Chamberlin

Track

4

Jeff J Helms

Track

4

Eric A Fossell

Track

4

Scott W Enger

Track

4

David W Bell

Track

4

Jillian P Bearden

Track

4

Simon K Lynn

Track

4

Ben  Haughton

Track

4

Travis O Nicks

Track

4

Erik  Herrera

Track

4

Taylor J Harrington

Track

4

Jonathan F Copsey

Track

4

Ryan X Stowers

Track

4

Philip  Olsen

Track

4

Dan J Dombeck

Track

4

Evan R Kinney

Track

4

Maxwell  Mirk

Track

4

Noah Y SiegelStone

Track

4

Austin W Sinclair

Track

4

Gordon  Saur

Track

4

Zacharey L Elz

i track

4

Andrew J Simons

track

4

Nicholas  Boni

Track

4

William  Brossmer

Track

4

Ethan Q Cefus

Track

4

Hayden J Christopher

Track

4

Maxwell D Huddleston

Track

4

John P Mansell

Track

4

David  Burton

Track

4

Colby R Lange

Track

4

Kenneth J Altshuler

Track

4

Michael S Szatkowski

Track

4

Paul  Franco

Track

4

Chris B Lundberg

Track

4

Chris W Fuller

Track

4

Maciej  Wojciechowski

Track

4

Sean  Power

Track

4

Walter V Hester

Track

4

Matthew D Joyner

Track

4

John J vonPlutzner

Track

4

Daniel A Crespo

Track

4

Clark C Maxon

Track

4

************************************

6/10/16

Well by now you should have pinned on a number on multiple occasions, and I really hope your season is going well.  It’s been so much fun for me to go and race with my friends, and make new ones.  It’s been a blast watching some of my friends absolutely blossom into better racers than even they thought possible.  Well done! 

So what has BRAC been up to?  A lot, even though race season is in full swing.  Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some of the things we’re working on:

  • The Beginning Racer Program is up and going.  This is where we offer up a FREE mini clinic of sorts and help folks learn more about this thing called Racing.  Then we race them in a real live race and debrief when it’s all over.  This is just the thing we need to bring in new folks, so when you see your friends who ride but don’t race, INVITE THEM!  Held each week for the next little while at the Peak to Peak midweek race series in Golden. 
  • At the other end of the racing spectrum, it’s no secret that BRAC members collectively OWNED the National Championships!!!  Without getting crazy and name dropping, we had Elite National Champions and Masters National Champions (and Podium Finishers) all over the place back in North Carolina.  I’ve never been so excited to see people I know from local racing (some of which I watched grow up) go back and be such a force on the National Level.  Cannot wait to see all the new Stars and Stripes adorning your kits at the next race!
  • Speaking of kits, our partners at Pactimo have shipped the State Champion jerseys, look for those coming soon to a Championship Race near you.  And now it is almost time for the 2017 State Champion Jersey Design Contest!  For 2017, we’re going to put the design out there to you, the creative membership and I am pumped to see what you guys come up with.  The winner will get $1,000,000 and a free BRAC Membership AND, if that’s not enough, a free 2017 USAC license.  OK, so maybe, potentially, 1 of those prizes isn’t real, but the only way you’ll know for sure is to submit a design.  The rules:
    • It has to look ever so pro
    • No bad language or photos, that’s what email is for
    • Must use our sponsors logos in a prominent, but sleek fashion
    • It should be something that everyone sees and says, “whoa, that racer is kind of a big deal.”
    • Other than that, it’s fair game!
  • We’ve wrapped up the Cyclocross Listening Town Hall meetings, and we have gotten all kinds of good input.  Thanks to everyone who attended!  Now we’re moving on to the Sustainability side of things, and that looks to be a lively debate indeed.  What should BRAC look like going forward?  This is OUR organization, and we all have the chance to shape it.  Be on the lookout for the upcoming meetings, as with all that we do, EVERYONE is welcome to attend.  We’re going to make sure we have a solid representation on the panel, so if you want to be a part of shaping the future, reach out to myself or Shawn directly.  
  • BRAC is excited to have the chance to reach out to riders of all types at the upcoming Triple Bypass ride!  We will be hosting an Aid Station and we’ll have the chance to talk with cyclists about giving the sport a try.  I think it’s going to be a great chance to meet some new folks and share the sport.
  • Have you seen all the action at the 2 awesome tracks we have?  We’re in the thick of it now, and each week Shawn tells you only a snippet of what’s going on there.  You should check it out.  It’s one of my summer goals to carve out some time and give it a try. Lets figure out some time to go do it together, huh?
  • I’m excited to see all kinds of new races hit the ground running.  Oz, Element, Parker, and even Wheels of Thunder has gotten a new venue up north!  This is an awesome deal, and your Club can do this as well.  Don’t think that creating a new race is too hard,  there are opportunities out there, and the racing community gets a shot in the arm every time a new venue comes alive.  How about a new race someplace in Colorado Springs?  How about something in Brighton?  Have you ridden the rolling hills of the Black Forest?  If you’re thinking that you might be open to taking a swipe at a grassroots cycling event in Colorado, or Wyoming for that matter, give me a ring and let’s see what we can do!
  • The tried and true races are also very exciting, it’s not just about new races.  Mt. Evans is coming up at the end of July, and I have a feeling this one’s going to be the best Mt. Evans ever.  In fact, July is loaded with State Championships (Mt Evans for Hill Climb, Salida for Masters RR, and Bannock for Junior criterium), as well as several other classic events like Sunshine Hill Climb, Longmont Criterium, and Boulder Orhopedic criterium. You so need to enter up.  Challenge yourself, step outside of your comfort zone and try a race that you don’t think you’ll do well at.  Try racing on the Track!  Try a crit.  Try a multi-day race.  Try a hill climb.  I think you’ll find that you will get a kick out of doing something new that pushes your limits. 

That’s probably enough for now.  Put down your phone, get off social media, get back on your bike, race it like you stole it, and enjoy the wind in your hair (or bald skull) that only comes from riding a bike.

Your pal,

DCG

************************************************************

4/24/16

Sometimes I get a little unsure as to why I am doing this.  The personal cost is high, there’s a lot of hours spent doing the work of BRAC and it takes away from a whole host of other things...  Like family, work, trying to produce 2 races, manage a team and also deal with my own training.  

But then it happens, and I get reminded all over again why what we are doing is so important. 

I raced the Clasica de Rio Grande this weekend (and the Fed Center for that matter) and on lap 3, we passed a female racer who was on her own, out on the prairie.  She was off the back, with no hope of regaining her peloton, no hope of making the podium.  But guess what?  She was giving it all she had.  Tough reserve, never weakening, she was “racing” her bike.  I thought that was about as cool as it gets.  As we passed her, I yelled out “Good job!!!!” and mentioned her team name so she knew I meant her.  I have no idea if she heard me, but I hope she did and I hope it gave her a little wind in her sails.

Then I also talked to a buddy of mine who is having heart issues.  Like the kind that kill you.  He’s just trying to race to give himself an outlet, and to try and hold onto some fitness while he and his Doctor get it all figured out. 

And then another guy I race with / against shared with me his struggles to simply survive a race due to his thyroid. 

It pushed a reset button of sorts for me because we all race for different reasons.  Some race for the pure aggression of the sport, some only race to push themselves and the contest is not outward but inward.  Some strive to be the best in the World, some strive to be better than they were last week and never have even a passing thought of finishing in the top half of a race. 

And all of those people and reasons matter, all are equally important.  And let me tell, you, it’s a daunting task to try and reconcile all of those into a sustainable racing scene.  But reconcile we are doing, and it’s not over.  So next time you see an official, a staff member or a Board member, take the time to talk with them about how you see racing, and see if you can take a glimpse into racing from someone else’s point of view.  BRAC isn’t some nebulous group of people calling the shots from some ivory tower, BRAC is all of us, collectively.   

***************************

Alright, enough of that sappy stuff.  Let’s give you an update as to where we are.

  1. Racing season is here, and I hope you’re on form and enjoying the weather.  I also hope the weather this week cooperates and we can still race the Koppenberg.  Enter up.
  2. The KHMTT series is in full swing, this is a great chance to get in some intensity mid-week in a closed, safe environment.  If you are on the fence, get off and get in
  3. The Women’s Clinic is this Saturday, and it affords racers of all skill levels the chance to get together, share some community and learn a whole host of things that will make you more confident, safe, and help you have a better racing experience.  If you happen to not be female, then flip the link to a female you know who might be interested in getting better, or just seeing what racing is all about!  Sign up right now before all the spots are gone at 
  4. And our educational opportunities are NOT just for Women and Juniors!  We are kicking off the Beginning Racer Program which will be held in conjunction with existing races on the calendar.  It, too, will be a great outreach opportunity for you to invite that certain friend of yours who has heard about you racing your bike but just doesn’t know where to start.  Start here, with us!
  5. Speaking of safety, the Centerline Rule has gotten a lot of press lately, and you may know the back story but at the risk of repeating it, let’s review:
  • In America, we travel on the right side of the road.  That means oncoming traffic is on the left and if you go head to head with a car, or a semi, or a cattle trailer, you will die.  That thin yellow line is all you have to keep you on this green earth, so it’s kind of important to respect it.
  • Apparently all kinds of Governmental agencies like the State, the County and even the Parks folks think that keeping people alive is a good thing.  As such, they get very upset when we, as racers, do things to increase that risk.  So much so that they are sometimes not too keen to let us run our sport on public lands. 
  • We NEED new venues to keep racing exciting, fun and fresh.  We also NEED to keep our existing venues happy so that we can continue to enjoy this great sport that we all love. 

So all I can say is that it’s a really good thing to be a good steward of the resources we’ve been given.  This past weekend, from my own view, we were pretty darn good and that should make you proud, and it also should be the norm.  And, in full disclosure, I ran over the yellow line a few times up in Weld County, and each time I tapped my brakes, lost a spot and got back over.  The officials have a big job to keep us safe, and I am grateful they give up so much of their time to let us do our little thing.  When you see what they make for a full day’s work, it’s a joke.  I dare say very few of us would work so hard for so little.  Thank you.

That’s probably enough for now, I’ve got to wrap up a presentation for tomorrow night’s Town Council meeting. 

Race hard,

DCG

******************************************************************************

3-21-16

Well I had the opportunity to go to AZ for a  training camp with my team.  We had a lot of fun, rode some big miles and, I won’t lie, we all gained weight. Now it’s back to work and Spring is technically here but the weather seems as bipolar as ever.  Kudo’s to the Lookout Mountain folks for getting the race rescheduled, that wasn’t easy. 

I figured I’d check in on just a few of the happenings now that road season is here.   

 

  • The new website launch was a success, we had minimal disruption and the data is all right there for your review.  I’m very excited to have this new communication tool, and am really looking forward to having it work, trouble free, for years to come.  
  • Have you seen the incredible focus we’ve put on Junior Racing?  Look at the schedule. We’ve got a Track Camp coming up at the US Olympic Training Center, we’ve been having focus group meetings, and set some budgets.  Shawn also reworked one of our sponsorship deals to drive more funding to Juniors.  This is a great time in our history, and I’m very pleased with where we are headed. 
  • We’ve got some new races on the calendar, both out on the prairie and in town.  Colorado needs new road races, so be sure to support them even if you think they don’t fit your body type.  The 3 Days in Parker needs help, too, with the logistics of the actual race, as well as the planning leading up to the Father’s Day Event no one will want to miss.  If your club needs some volunteer hours, give me a shout! 
  • Cherry Creek Time Trial, better known as the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial (KHMTT) is about to get started.  BRAC needs some help with registration, so if you are available on some Wednesday nights, contact Shawn Farrell.  It’s going to be a GREAT race, get signed up ASAP! 
  • As you might recall, we set aside some funds in the budget for outreach.  Getting new, non-racing cyclists to give the sport a try is an area we’re targeting for growth in 2016.  As part of that strategy, BRAC will be manning an aid station at the Triple Bypass this year.  This is our chance to support cyclists and reach a great segment of the market and get them to give racing a go.  What does this mean for you?  Another chance to check off the box for volunteering.  If you want to be the face of BRAC at this historic event, contact Shawn Farrell (you notice a theme here?) 
  • An outreach activity I participated in was the filming of the “Blue Collar Banker” at Elevate Bikes and Boards a couple weeks ago.  It was pretty cool to see how a reality TV series was filmed from behind the scenes, and I got to meet a lot of nice folks.  When the show airs this summer, let me know if you notice a bald, short guy in the clip…  In the meantime, Brian Klees is looking to sponsor a racing team.  If you’re looking to partner with a shop, give him a shout at 720-296-7255 or email him
  • The Beginning Racer Program is getting set up for 2016.  Our own Jennifer Sharp is driving the process, and we want this to be another great way to get new folks racing.  Got a friend who you think should race?  Invite them out to one of the special races this year that will be geared towards new racers.  There will be some educational discussion before the race, then “on the bike” help, then a post-race debrief.  It costs nothing, and the Race Directors who are hosting these events are giving up valuable course time to make them happen.  If you want to know more details like the schedule, or how you can help make this a success, email Jen Sharp.   

I think that’s about enough for now.  Get out on your bike, sweat a little, and be ready to unleash some serious speed at the races! 

*************************

3-2-16

Well, here I am at 37,000 feet again and finally have a chance to come up for air.  How have you been?  I’'ve been good, but busy.  We'’ve had a whirlwind start to the year, and I am absolutely jazzed to be kicking off the road season this weekend. 

But alas, I won’t be racing, I’ will be doing my hair, putting on makeup so I’'ll look just perfect for The Discovery Channel.  That’s right, I am about to be famous.  This Saturday they'’re filming a reality series called Blue Collar Banker, and they’'ve remodeled Elevate Bikes and Boards, and Saturday is their Grand Opening.  I am pretty interested in learning more about their business and the show, so this Saturday I’'ll be there talking to folks about how easy it is to try this great sport of racing.  I’'ll have the BRAC table and marketing materials with me, so if I somehow talk some folks into coming out to try a race, you have to promise to welcome them with open arms and cheer them on.  Want to join me at the shop?  DO!  Here's the link

**************

Juniors are a big focus for the long term growth of our sport, and I am pleased to report that Shawn has gotten our Junior focus group off to a good start on several levels.  He’'s been doing a lot of listening and I’'m pretty excited about some of the ideas that are percolating.  With a targeted effort, we can indeed bring more kids into the sport, and that’'s good for everyone.

****************

The website is here!  After struggling with a lot of behind the scenes items breaking and giving you, the racer, inaccurate info, our new website is up and going.  Yes, the feel is different, but it is so much more than a new template on an old platform.  We redid it from the ground up.  The points and results tracking are better, but more importantly, flexible so that as we change things in the coming years, the website calculator can change with us.  Dig in and take it for a spin, The organization and info is much better and more complete, You can get to what you want a lot faster, and most importantly, it can now serve as a solid marketing tool to attract new racers, as well as encourage out of area racers to come to Colorado. 

***************

The CX Race Directors meeting was a success.  But before I explain, let me remind you that every BRAC meeting we have is open to EVERYONE.  Even if you’re not a Board Member, you can come to a Board meeting.  Even if you’re not a Race Director, you can come to an RD meeting.  We operate with full transparency, and everyone is welcome to come see what and how we do the business of growing cycling. 

So anyway, we all met up in Centennial the other evening and hammered out the 2016 CX policy.  We shuffled the start times a little, We grouped a few things differently and generally made the race day schedule better.  Keep in mind that the schedule is only a suggestion.  Any RD is welcome to run his or her race in any way (s)he sees fit.  If they want to juggle different start times, that’s all good, It just has to be approved by the Chief Referee running the event and BRAC.  And as we say in contracts, “Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

We took a long look at the start times and had a few things we wanted to ensure: First, that juniors and masters would race at a similar time.  That way we can encourage families to come out and race.  Second, we tried to get race durations closer to what you’ll see if you go to Nationals.  We had some great feedback and I think we have a solid schedule produced.

We also made the CX Cup a lot more fair.  We want to reward performance, not participation, but the truth is we want the Cup to serve as a tool to encourage more racing as a whole.  As such, it’'s a fine line we balance.  So this year we’'re going to make it so that around 75% of the possible races can count towards your Cup standings.  As an example, let’s say that there’ are 20 races on the calendar.  We’'ll make the call just before the season starts as to how many races will count, but let’s say we call it 15.  That means if you race all 20 (and you should), then your best 15 races will count.  If you skip a few and only do 16, then still your best 15 count.  But, if you slack off, drink beer and only race 3, well, then those 3 count and off you go.  But, you should race more than 15 because everyone knows that beer and ‘cross go together like peanut butter and jelly, so why just drink beer when you can do both!

***************

We’'ve got some new races on the calendar, and I am counting on you ALL to pin on a number and support the sport.  The only way we’re going to keep racing fresh and exciting is to get out and find new venues!  Towards that end, John Haley was in the initial stages of putting together a 3-day race in Parker.  When he got the call to serve our country overseas, my team took up the challenge and stepped in to do the race.  It’'s Father’s Day Weekend, so I am SURE you can get a pass to race your bike.  Friday 4PM TT, Saturday a tough road race and Sunday a fun quick crit.  Lots of points will be on the line as this is one of the only Omniums on the calendar.  If your team would like to help us promote this grass roots event, reach out to me because we’'re going to need a lot of help. 

******************

I think that just about covers it.  1. Race your bike at Frostbite this weekend.  2. Come by the bike shop afterwards and get on TV.  3. Get involved with something that’s bigger than you think you can handle… You’ll love the growth it produces.

See you soon,

I, Your Beloved President Gordon

*************

1-20-16

Greetings from 37,000 over Colorado Springs.  Hard to believe but I am on a plane… again.  It’s been a busy off season, the normal rhythm of wrapping up the year at work, packing up the family and moving, trips to Cali for lacrosse and sneaking in a few rides (I’ve been told that training now really helps with racing later, so I am giving it a try).  You know, regular stuff.   

I know you’ve missed me; I’ve missed you too.  Really.  ;)

What have we been up to?  We’re jumping in with both feet on the 2 working groups, the general one and the junior one.  They’re starting their work here shortly.  We’re also making nice progress on the new website, I saw a draft of the layout / concept yesterday and it looks cool as all get out.  The new board is on task, and we even have an opportunity to get another new member to replace Garrett as he moves to Arizona with an exciting career move.  Things are going in the right direction.   

I’ve also achieved my goal of backing down and getting out of the way to let Shawn and Yvonne charge ahead and its working rather well.  Shawn’s plate is jammed with all kinds of stuff such as prepping the race kit for another season, getting the awards for the CX Cup, and more than enough other activities to choke a gopher.  

The big challenge we need now is on the racing front.  We NEED a state time trial course.  BRAC sacrificed the traditional date to accommodate new racing, so now we need a course.  40k is best, give Yvonne a shout at membership@coloradocycling.org if you can help.  We need you.

On a selfish note, my own team has a new title sponsor, and we’re upping the ante with the racing experience in Colorado.  In order to do so, we need to partner with a few teams to hold the 3 Days at Parker Omnium.  If you want to help, not just volunteer for a few hours so you can check a box, we need to talk.  There’s a lot of planning to do and logistics to work out, but the governments are way excited for the event; I think it will be just the shot in the arm that Grassroots Racing is ready for.  Want to see more Grassroots mayhem?  Ping me!

CX.  Everyone knows it’s the kind of fun that’ll make you call home and ask momma to cook you up some bacon.  The season is over, and how did we do?  At Nationals, our Colorado Racers crushed it!  And we are now sending a bunch of juniors over the pond to race Worlds!  And I’m not talking Wadsworth Worlds, Byron.  I am so excited to send these kids off, BRAC is contributing a little grant money, we just need more to give away!  Well done and good luck to those who are racing their bikes!

So how do we celebrate this kind of season?  A PARTY!!  Not this Saturday but next Saturday the 30th we will all descend upon www.churchrancheventscenter.com for our Cyclocross Awards Party.  It’ll be a little scaled back from the Road Party, but still loaded with all the things you want: Food, a cash bar, friends, awards, memories of a great season and beer from Great Divide.  6:00 PM.  Don’t be late. 

I’d say that’s a plenty for now, time for me to go back and pay some bills.  See you in about 10 days!

Your pal,

DCG

Ps- and by my account, BRAC owes me like $14.  $10 for the Wi-Fi on the plane and 4 for parking the other day when I met with some race directors.  Pay up, Farrell.   (note from Farrell – I hope you kept your receipts.)

 

 ***********************************************************************************************************

12-7-15

Well, who had the chance to get outside this weekend?  I went up to Longmont for the race and while I was just a spectator, I had a great time.  The men’s 50+ was a slugfest, after one of the guys in the lead group had a chain suck, it came down to a group of 3 in the end.  Seriously good watching.  The only thing that would have made it better was if there had been a waffle truck.  So if you own one, or know of one, let’s talk.  We need this for all of our CX races. 

I hope you got the chance to get out and race, or at the very least ride.

****************************

I was a busy guy too, Sunday we had the Club Council meeting where we brought everyone up to speed on the events of the past year and shared with them our plans going forward.  There was some pretty frank and direct discussions, and while it went long we did have a lot to go over.  And it didn’t stop there, afterwards my phone blew up with folks calling me to give me a piece of their mind, encouragement as well as constructive criticism.  Finally, I sort of turned it off and went for beers with our newest Board member Mike as well as Clint, Shawn and Mike from Basil Doc’s. 

Clint told me that my blog was too long, and that I needed to shorten it up with bullets, so here you go:

- Clint is a Ph.D.

- He makes helmets

- The End

But I know what he means.  However, this little forum serves a valuable purpose because it’s here that I want to keep the membership (you) informed on the things we’re doing.  There’s nothing worse than an uninformed member for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it forces us to rehash and re-explain what we’ve been working on and basically go back over the efforts we’ve already put forth.  So yes, this’ll get long, sometimes it’ll be short, but always it’ll have value if you choose to read it.

************************

Clip in, it’s time to ride.

-- We have formed a working group for Junior Growth.  Shawn has a team of 3 supporters and they’re going to be working up comprehensive plans and strategies to execute them; I’m really excited to see where we go from here.  Juniors are the lifeblood of our sport, and without them we won’t have a sport, so this is mission critical.  

 -- We are forming a larger working group to look at making BRAC more effective.  If you want to be involved, then you need to reach out to Shawn right now and get in on the action.  He can be reached at execdir@coloradocycling.org.  This is your chance to get in the game, do it. 

*******************

With that being said, we talk a lot about transparency, and it’s in everything we do.   Virtually all our meetings are open, and we post the minutes afterwards.  We reach out one on one to listen, and we reach out with our Town Hall style meetings where we solicit input in a group setting.  Consider this another invitation (yours) to be a part of the solutions rather than being part of the problem. 

*****************************

We got us some new victims, I mean Board Members out of yesterday’s meeting, too!  Welcome Mike McGuinn, Susan Adamkovics and Melisa Link to the team!  I’m very excited to have Susan bring her wealth of financial knowledge to take over as our new Treasurer.  If you were at the meeting, it was clear how important this job is and how great a job that Dominic did.  Melisa brings a great skillset to us for business development.  I see great things from her to help us grow in the partnership department.  And Mike is a Racer, an Official as well as a Junior Racer Dad so I look forward to his collaboration as well.  We’ve got some great stuff going on right now, that’s for sure.  Melisa’s specialty is marketing and business development. She will be helping us with the sponsorship team.

Outgoing board members Dominic Palazzo, Mike Beck and Jeff Hammond will be missed, and their service is greatly appreciated.  Luckily I’ll get to see them at the races still, so it’s not like I’m losing a friend.

When you see ANY of these folks at a race or a meeting, please be sure and introduce yourself and say thank you for their efforts.  This is a volunteer gig, and they’re racers just like you with families and jobs, and keeping connected with our membership is something we all love.

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So that’s about it.  Get off the computer, put down the coffee/espresso/donut/beer and go get on your bike/skis/snowshoes. 

 

See you soon, DCG

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12-4-15

So I had a little back issue at my last race and have been laid up and off the bike.  It’s times like these that are kind of odd for me… I love to race, but the demands of my other life have taken over and filled the gap.  This is simply the natural ebb and flow of things.  Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever.  At least I hope selling a house, buying a new one and getting a mortgage won’t last forever.  If you find yourself a little lost and lonely over Christmas, come on over and you can help us pack.   

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So what’s next? 

This weekend is a cool race up in Longmont, and then on Sunday the Club Council meeting is on tap.  Should be a great time. You might not know it, but the Club Council is actually how BRAC is governed.  The CC votes on stuff and then the Board and Staff work to implement it.  I’m looking forward to getting together and having some great, productive dialogue and updating everyone on what we’ve been up to.

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On that same note, Shawn and I met with Lance and Tony Panigutti from Without Limits yesterday.  As you might recall, they are the point of contact for a group of RD’s who are unhappy with how things are going right now.  At any rate, we had a very productive meeting, and it was great to get together and go over the things we’re doing because we’re listening and acting. 

We revamped the budget, got things leaned up and jumped through a lot of hoops to address some issues.  But that’s not where we ended things.  This is just the beginning of change, so clip in and get ready.

We’re going to form a working group (I call it that because “Committee” can sometimes be code for “all talk and no do,” and that’s not happening) that will consist of Pro RD’s, Non-Pro RD’s, Racers and Club Leaders (think Presidents, or Board members of clubs, that kind of thing), officials and Board Members.  We’re going to focus on making BRAC the best it can be not for just now, but forever.  We’re going to come up with a 1, 3 and 5 year plan on what future leadership can do to keep us going in the right direction.  Nothing will be off the table for change: Masters, Seniors, Women, Juniors, Race Schedule, Race Groups, Income and Expenses, Technical, Cup Policy, and whatever else we end up prioritizing. 

It’s going to be a lot of work.  But it’s worth it.  We’ve made great progress on this stuff already, so this is the perfect time to kick in the afterburners and hit the higher trajectory.  I put that in there so that you rocket scientists would like it. 

Would you like to be involved?  Yes, yes you would.  And you’re going to reach out to me and say “Doug, I’ve been sitting in for long enough, I’m ready to take my turn at the front and pull.” 

So, let’s talk on Sunday, or if I can swing it I’m going to try and go up to the race in Longmont tomorrow and cheer you on.  Yes, you.  You are a bike racer, ergo you will be racing tomorrow.

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A little housekeeping. 

Earlier in my blog when I was discussing the argument that the $2.50 Racer Surcharge was seen as a tax, and that RD’s are complaining that this is killing their profits, I used Salida as an example.  I had (and have) a really good idea that this race made a lot of money.  And good for them, that is what we need!  But my frustration is that when I hear complaints about how races are needing to keep the surcharge, and then I ask for the backup to see just how much cash is being lost, but no one will produce a report, it makes it hard to empathize. 

The fact is, in that example that I chose to use (since it was one I had direct involvement in), I misspoke. 

Without Limits was contracted to run the race by the Salida Cycling Club.  They were the hired gun in the deal and as a vendor, they don’t have any such P&L to give me.  No one gave them one, either.  My words didn’t come across the right way and I made a mistake.  So my apologies to John and Without Limits for that error. 

The other miscommunication concerned insurance at a race.  I was pointing out that without an umbrella organization to pull the racing community together, there was a legitimate chance that RD’s could end up underinsured and then a racer who sought legal relief would be at risk.  As it turned out, that particular race did have a $5MM policy, not the $1MM they had previously told me.  

So there you have it, direct from me.  J    

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10/6/15

The website was down?  Did anyone notice?  I?m guessing that yes, you all did.  I?m so thankful for the team that attacked the problem and got us back online, and it goes to underscore, again, why we need an overhaul and update.  We need a failsafe site, and this proved that we don?t have that today.  We?re working on that solution now!

So with that in mind, we really need your input next Tuesday!  We?re meeting at the epicenter of the universe of cycling, Boulder, at 1113 Spruce Street, 6:30-8:30 PM.  We have some fun changes to the BAR/BAT program, and we desperately want your input.  Show up; I am pumped to get some improvements for 2016!

And how about our Juniors?  CX season is in full swing and we are seeing great turnout.  I love that, and I want so much more.  More kids getting into the sport.  More kids racing, more kids just having fun on their bikes.  More kids up off the couch, off their phones and pedaling.  How?  We reach out.  We invite friends to come race.  We cheer them on when they do.  We make the whole race day experience fun and easy.  Race directors take note: Easy to park, easy to register, and easy to understand how things work, where to go, how they can warm up, etc.  Think of it as a concierge kind of thing.  Existing racers take note: encourage the new kids (heck, this goes for all racers, really), be friendly, have fun.  It?s easy to get stressed out before you race, I get that and do it myself.  Just remember to treat others the way you?d want, and remember how nervous and lost you were when you started.  Parents take note: You are the ultimate ambassadors for this awesome sport and family.  You can spot new racers a mile away, offer up some help and guidance, make them feel valued, because they are.  Just know that no one is chewing my ear off on behavior, it?s just common sense on how we can really do great things together.

LADIES!!  I just have to say that I love to see a whole flock of pony tails lining up to lay down some smack.  Anyone who knows me knows my history and passion for women?s racing. We have come just so far? let?s take it to the next level.  We need more women, and you all have that power.  Invite your friends to come give it a try.  CX is the perfect venue, but so are TT?s and road races and even crits.  All it takes is one friend asking another to come out and do something crazy.  Take a chance. 

So let?s just take a quick look back at where we have been so far:

  1. Strict adherence to the 2015 budget, and a strong stance on fiscal responsibility. We are entrusted with a lot of money, and we treat every penny like it is our last. Every time we write a check, the question is asked: how does this grow cycling? Can we do this in a sustainable manner? Folks, we have to have everything balance out at zero. We cannot blow cash on something and not have a plan to refill the bucket. And when we decide to spend a nickel, we spend a nickel, not a dime.
  2. We have a plan to refill the bucket, the 2016 budget is done and ready for release? and was all done in September! And in case you are wondering, no, the dues are not going up.
  3. CX schedule and Cup policy all straightened out.
  4. 2016?s Road Groupings are set, now all we need to do it get the BAR/BAT competition fixed.
  5. Racing at the BVV Track has exploded, new folks are trying it and loving it (I am going to try it in 2016 for sure!)
  6. We?ve got a few NEW races cooking right now, 1 is a 3-day Omnium and the other is a 1-day race. Kudos to those people that heeded the call to bring new racing and new venues to Colorado. Your efforts are AWESOME and we stand with you and are ready to help.
  7. The race kit has been organized, stocked and is an amazing asset to the clubs who put on races.
    1. And we are in the final stages of ordering a new trailer you can use for officials as well as podiums, announcing, etc. We are giving you the tools to put on a totally PRO race!
    2. The race kit has stayed organized thanks to our super organizer Shelley Hartman! Trust me, no one wants to get a phone call from her letting them know they didn?t put something back right. Ouch. But that?s what?s needed.
  8. The website is getting rehabbed. New carpet, paint and light fixtures are just a few of the changes. Oh, and smart phone interfacing and text results capabilities are in there too.
  9. Officials are getting trained, dispatched and supported to grow the sport as well. Thank them when you have a chance, they make literally $8.75 - $12.50/hour. Would you hang at a race all day and make sure 50 places are scored perfectly for $80? Please keep that in mind when you place 24th and the paper shows 27th. Just FYI?
  10. The 2015 Road season is over, so now it?s time for the PARTY! Mark down 11/6/15 as your date with me. We?ll have some great awards, a cash bar, fun music and great food. But I am not a good dancer, so please don?t ask. This is all going to happen at a really nice venue that you?ll love. See the website and flyer for all the details.
  11. We?ve hired a permanent Executive Director. He has questionable humor, but it?ll have to do. Shawn actually has a wealth of experience and we?re lucky to have him to lean on. I?m not going to say any more, he gets to be a complete PITA when he thinks I like him.
  12. The Board of Directors is functioning like a team. A very good team in fact. We meet monthly, and are at the point right now where we are wondering if that is really needed. When we meet for 2.5 hours, we get a lot done, great ideas come up and things actually happen. Other than when I served on a condo HOA Board (which totally sucked, BTW), I have no experience with other Boards, or any past Board at BRAC so maybe this is the norm. What I can say is that it makes this whole gig a lot easier to take when you have the support of a solid team who cares about cycling, not their own interests.
  13. You, our members that consist of racers, officials, race directors, mechanics and even just enthusiasts, are well informed on what?s going on. Between the website, the emails and this blog, you know what the deal is.

So now the plane is on final approach into Charlotte, so I gotta go.  But I thank you for keeping up with the happenings, and look forward to seeing you next week in Boulder to work on finalizing the 2016 BAT/BAT competition!

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9/25/15

Oh my word, where do I even start?  There is just a total boatload of stuff going on with BRAC these days, want to peek behind the curtain?  In no particular order:

The Road Season is over, so now what? PARTY! Looks like 11/6 is our date, and on Wednesday of this week I?m checking out the facility we plan to use (sort of up by the Butterfly Pavillion at 104th and 36). Kim Nordquist is working out all the details, should be an excellent time. More details as they surface.

CX season is in full swing! We?ve seen a ton of new folks come out for clinics, and then race. This is great for the sport, and there have been growing pains to be sure. But, keep in mind the fact that when it comes to race day experiences, that falls squarely on the race director hosting the event and the officials charged with safety and results. Have a great time at an event? Thank them! So many people incorrectly think that BRAC is in charge of every little detail but we really are more of an advisor rather than the actual director. I appreciate the happy and not so happy feedback, and we listen to it, but 90% of the time it really is the RD?s kudos to get.

On that same CX theme, can anyone tell me why BRAC seems to control the CX daily schedule of order? We don?t do that in Road, why are we doing it in CX? I think we ought to let each RD choose the order they want to run their categories. What do you think?

Did you see all the pics from the Junior CX camp? They had an awesome time and got a lot done. By the looks of the photos, those racers ought to be sleeping really well these days! Getting kids out to race is so awesome on many different levels: healthy for the kids, creates lifelong habits, teaches social interaction skills such as how to be a gracious competitor and above all it provides a fun outlet for growth. Be sure and cheer the Juniors on when they?re out there giving it their all.

I?m hearing from folks who are coming out to race specifically because they were invited by a friend. Keep it up, this is Grassroots Racing at its best! Just remember that if they don?t have a USAC license, then they are automatically slotted to Cat 5 status (women to 4). This means they need to race either the open or SS, or something designated with a 5 on it. 40+/4? No. 50/4? No. 5? Yes. Help them out with good advice. J

We got some good feedback from folks who were interested in revamping the Road Cup policy, and we?re going to have another fact finding meeting here soon, stay tuned for that. I just have got to get some time freed up on my calendar, this gig takes a huge effort from the whole team.

We?re going to need a Treasurer. Dominic Palazzo has done a great job getting us back on track, organized and categorized, and holding everyone to fiscal responsibility. He has been just what the Doctor ordered, so to speak. His term is up, and he?s ready to turn the reins over to someone else. Are you a CPA or have some financial training? Do you like QuickBooks? If so, then we need to talk. It?s an elected Board position, 2 years is the term. It doesn?t pay well, in fact it doesn't pay anything other than the Thanks of a grateful Association. But you?ll be famous, and you?re needed.

The BOD is also discussing changing how the Board is created and maintained. As the above note shows with our treasurer, often times we are in need of specific skill sets. If we lose a Treasurer we need a new one, and there?s no guarantee that anyone running for the open spots will have financial skills. For the long term health of BRAC, we?re looking at swapping out 2 elected positions and making them appointed positions. That way the BOD can appoint someone who would be willing to serve that have the skills needed at the time. Lots to think about, but it is an example of how we are looking far into the future to try and make BRAC as bulletproof and sustainable as humanly possible.

We are almost ready to sign the contract to revamp the website. You might recall that our site is not just a simple WordPress communication piece, but rather it has a massive back end calculator that has to keep up with our points tabulations. It slices, it dices, it?s not your father?s Buick as they say. That project is in contract negotiations now, hopefully we?ll get a final document that will let us kick it off this week.

There?s a basket full of other activities we have cooking, it can be overwhelming at times. So if I had to pick 1 item that we need to attack with more volunteers it would be setting the policy for points and the season long reward program (BAR/BAT). If you?ve got the passion for racing, then please show up to the next meeting and help us hash it out. I guarantee it won?t be a long drawn out affair where nothing gets done, if there?s one thing we have been doing really well it?s evaluating and then acting in a manner that puts BRAC in the best position for success.

See you at the races,
Your Beloved President Gordon
(and if you don?t have a sense of humor to get that, you need to rent Madagascar. If you still don?t get it, then there?s no hope for you!)

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8/25/15

What a road season we have had, huh?  Kind of got a little lull right now as we prep for Steamboat, and then that?s it.  Boom.  Over.  Pow.  Back to reality, oh, there goes gravity... 

I have to say, I am looking back and really digging what we have done so far as an association this year.

We had a robust calendar, had some great things with the Beginning Racer Program, we saw the race in Salida saved by you, our great members, and holy cow did we see some high class races.  The Ridge at 38, certainly Littleton come to mind and then we even had the Pro Challenge where we saw our own members race!  I?d list all of them here, but between the men and the women, we had 34 past and present BRAC members in the race? that is just amazing!

Take a look at this:

-Danny Summerhill popped some wheelies and crashed out of the break, all the while smiling and facebooking the adventure for us to see.

-Greg Daniel was a huge animator in the break, and then on stage 7 he led the charge on the closing circuits.

-And what about Mini Phinney?  A beautiful thing to see Taylor back at it, wearing the yellow jersey and then taking 2nd on stage 7 right in front of us. 

These were our Junior racers when I was just getting started.  If anyone doubts how important Junior racing is, all they need to do is look here.  We knew they were going places, it is just so exciting to see where they are today and where they will go tomorrow.  My advice for them is just this: Make good choices on how you race, who you befriend, and remember that your future will be bright even after cycling, so continually think about tomorrow and plan your moves with the long term in mind.   And then also this: when in doubt, attack.  J

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And just because the Road season is winding down, doesn?t mean we?re done racing.  Ohhhhh no, far from it, Punkin?.  CX season is starting up this weekend, can you believe it?  I am so excited to race some cross, if anyone knows how I can manage 2 things, it would really make my season the best ever:  1, I really need to figure out how to get a call up.  Every race it?s the same: all the fast guys get seeded in front of me.  Then they leave me and I never see them again.  If I could start closer to the front, I?d have a better shot at making the top 90%.  The 2nd thing is to figure out how to get more beer afterwards.  So, when you see me after a race, be sure and say ?Doug, come sit down with us in our chairs and have a beer.  We?ll wash your bike and call your family to tell them you?re ok.?  See why I love cross?  I have a dream.  

So after you race Steamboat (and you better) you need to enter up in some Cross.  We have clinics galore, races out the wazoo, and a guaranteed fun time? but you have to enter. 

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OK, so, this whole Presidential / leadership / BRAC thing is also moving in the right direction.  We?re about to get together for a brainstorming meeting on what the Rocky Mountain Rod Cup (aka BAR/BAT) should look like next year.  As a cyclist, I am absolutely convinced you have an opinion and are just ITCHING to get it off your chest.  So, this is your chance. 

Thursday, 9/3/15

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Bemis Library (6014 S. Datura St., Littleton, CO 80120) (or Click here for the Google Map)

 The conference room holds about 20 folks, so come early.

This is a brainstorming meeting where we will put out all kinds of ideas on how to mix up the season long points race and make it better than ever before.  In my own, not so humble opinion, the Cup race has gotten a little flat and I want to invigorate the scene with something new, fresh and exciting.  Something that motivates everyone to race hard, all season long.  Show up with some ideas, no matter how odd it might seem.  I believe we are going to collaborate and pick up all kinds of good concepts.

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We?re also working on the budget.  WHO DOESN?T LOVE BUDGETS???  I love budgets.  At my house, all 3 of my women look at it, talk it over, and then judiciously spend only what is needed.  As I said earlier, I have a dream.

In BRAC?s case we are ahead of budget for 2015, and for that I am grateful.  But we?re stepping up our game in 2016, and it all starts now with planning for tomorrow.  We?re going to add in money, for instance, to grow the Race Clean program.  You?ve told us you want more testing, especially in Masters, and we will deliver.  We?re also looking to boost the money we have for Junior racing.  We want more kids racing bikes, period.  Camps are a great way to do that, and so far we have really struggled to get the Junior Camps to break even.  If we?re going to do this for decades to come (remember my advice to think long term) we have to get it to a sustainable level.  We?re going to get that done. 

Our charge is to grow grassroots cycling, and time and time again we see that growth comes from getting new folks to try racing.  The Beginning Racer Program is a great way to get new folks out to give it a try.  As such, we?re looking to grow that program in 2016.  You know what you can do to grow the sport?  Invite someone to come try a race.  Find a TT, or maybe a fun RR that?s easy, and get your buddy to enter up in the 5 or the 4 race.  Statistics have shown that people try racing most of the time via an invitation from a friend.  I?d like to see if we can give some sort of coupon out where if you bring a buddy in the 5 race who has never raced, you get a little bonus (like a free bike with electronic shifting and ceramic bearings in hand made aero carbon tubulars).  Stuff like that has to be built into the budget. 

We also are looking to hold the line on costs.  Not sure if you notice, when the BOD meets we don?t order in food very often.  We also meet at several free meeting spaces that are generously donated by all sorts of friends to cycling.  I don?t think this was ever an issue in the past, but know that we are continuing on in a pretty frugal manner. 

And you get all of this stuff, effort, programs, organization, points tracking, upgrade gifting all for the low, low price of $25.  Twenty-Five.  Cheap. 

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Speaking of UPGRADES!  YES!  Look who kicked some tail and moved up the ladder? I?m so very excited for these guys and ladies.  I know several of you have said you want to race through Steamboat in your current category, and know that I support that.  Just give Yvonne a jingle when you get home and she?ll get you moved up.  Well done RACERS!

Vito, Errin

Brunk, Chip-William

Wens, Steven

Thomas, Daryl (and his other brother)

Keller, Thomas

Kotarbinski, Matthew (CAT 2!!!)

Schmidtmann, Max

McKernan, Heather (CAT 2!!!)

Pask, Ryan

Kondler, Matthias

Sigman, Darryl (and his other brother)

Sasserville, Paul

Sotebeer, Drew

Warbritton, Donny

So there you have it.  That?s about all I have to get off my chest right now.  As always, I love meeting you at the races since I don?t know all 2,721 of you.  Let?s pin on a number, beat the daylights out of each other in the dirt and then bask in the afterglow of a job well done with a cold beverage.  You?re buying.

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8/8/15

Well, that was fun?

We saw some awesome action at the Boulder Orth Crit, and Mt. Evans was 50 years? EPIC, and then we had Bannock crank out some Champions, and Littleton, our own little love child, bring us the only NCC Crit in Colorado!  Well done!

___________________________

Over the past 2 weeks, aside from crashing my bike at Littleton and getting my head handed to me at Bannock, I?ve spent hours working with the Town of Parker exploring a 3-day omnium in their neighborhood.  It looks really promising, I?ll say that much!  A nice TT on a new road, a fun road race on what is basically a circuit that has 75% new roads (all paved), and then a crit that looks to be easy, safe and fun all at the same time.  Stay tuned for info on that.

But it totally underscores a point: We need NEW courses!  We have got to keep racing fresh and fun, because going back to the same roads over, and over, and over gets stale.    

You need to make that happen, dude!  If you want some help in talking to governments, or help in making plans and don?t know where to start? CALL ME!  BRAC has a wealth of help just itching to be unleashed.  We won?t do it for you, but we?ll stand with you to make it happen. 

___________________________

On that same note, it looks like there are a boatload of clubs who haven?t fulfilled their commitments to be in good standing.  You?ve gotten an email from Yvonne already on this, don?t make us send Guido down to your place of business to ?discuss? the matter.  Get on it, please. 

___________________________

So? look who is doing awesome and made the leap to upgrade their license!!!  I?m so proud of these 34 men and women, they deserve your respect and congratulations when you see them. 

Are you personally close to upgrading?  Got enough voluntary points but are wanting to hit the wall and be forced into upgrading?  Well, that?s ok too, I support you in that effort, just don?t skip racing just so you can finish out at Steamboat or something in the lower category.  Know what I mean?  Race your bike, make something happen.  No mercy, no prisoners.  Do it.  Upgrading is a badge of honor, it should be celebrated, so give these folks a pat on the back.  Not the butt, the back.  Unless they?re totally hot and single and you are willing to take the risk of police action. 

 

 

 

 

Glover

Reid

Yancey

Kate

Torre

Zane

Mjoen

Michelle

Clarke

Lucas

Arend

Kristie

Kendall

David

Stewart

Orion

Meinerz

Sue

Wright

Robert

London

Ian

johnson

Andrew

Brunner

Eric

Haas

Stephen

Witter

Erin

Kendall

David

Unverrich

Rod

Barber

Justin

Sheehan

Riley

Mitchell

Garrick

Guala

John

Turney

Steven

Zoerner

Ashley

Freeman

Maxl

Schmidtmann

Petra

Sax

Rachel

Baughman

Corey

Clyne

Margot

Mega

Evan

McGeough

Cormac

Thaut

Jared

Seymour

Greg

Carrigan

James

Morris

Marta

________________________________

The State Championship jerseys are IN!  If you earned one, Shawn will be coordinating getting it to you.  Right now he?s in Utah for the Tour, but will be back on Monday. 

Ever wonder what kind of a big deal he is?  He?s a Comissaire for the tour of Utah, and has also been traveling internationally officiating some pretty big races.  Right now he?s got his head sticking out the sunroof of a car, directing the caravan and relegating riders for sticky bottles.  We?re lucky to have someone with his knowledge on staff.  He ?gets it? and has plenty of experience dealing with our little quirks.  Well, mine at least. 

_______________________________

So what now?  We?ve got the Lucky Pie Crit this weekend, and you just need to get entered.  The Race director is emailing me every 10 minutes asking me to wave a magic wand and get you to sign up.  The course is new, they took out the Swirling Vortex of Death Corner so there?s no reason for you not to enter up here.  Right now I?m slated for a top 10 out of 35.  Unless I crash, again.  I liked it better when I was predicted to win it out of 4? I tell you what: You enter up, we do like 4 laps, then I?ll buy everyone beers and we will have a grand old time watching everyone else suffer. 

Then we have the Colorado junior Challenge baby!!!  This is going to be a sweet race for Juniors, and some of the big dogs are coming in from around the country to race, and it?s also a scouting opportunity.  DO NOT MISS OUT! See the flyer here

You might ask, ?But, President Gordon, I am not a Junior; what ever will I do to survive that weekend?  I am a bike racer, I race my bike.?  So glad you asked.  On the 15th you and I are going up to Valmont so all of you can teach me how to race my CX bike.  Then we are all drinking beer.  They have clinics, then a race, then beer.  Just like the question from Field of Dreams: ?Is this heaven?? ?No, it?s Valmont.? Click here for information on Valmont Bike and Beer. 

OK, that?s like way more than I planned on disclosing.  Get on your bike, I?m getting on mine.

I, Your Beloved President Gordon 

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7/20/15

Unless you were living under a rock, you might have noticed I was a little busy this past week, sorry I didn?t get the chance to update the blog.  

The big news is that all of the racing community stepped up and SAVED the Salida Classic.  Wow.  We gathered up 126 volunteers in the span of 36 hours and not only held the race, but I will brag a bit on my volunteers and say we hit it out of the park.  It took everyone being fully committed to make it happen, and I thank them form the bottom of my heart.

 

I also thank you, the racers, for coming out and supporting the event.  The TT went off well, a fun course in the agricultural land outside of Salida.  The crit was a classic downtown park crit, complete with deer on course, wonderful announcing and shady spots to sip a beverage and watch the excitement.  The road race was a beast.  We lengthened the race distances, and that seems to have been well received.  All in all, the event was, in my own opinion, First Class.

 

The Salida Classic really did bring to the surface how much work is required to host an event, and it also showed that unless you are on top of that monster, it can get out of control on you in an instant.  By stepping in how I did, I think you all can see how committed I am to not seeing any races cancelled ever again.  If you?re hosting a race, and you find yourself in trouble, don?t wait until the 11th hour to raise your hand and say you have a problem.  BRAC won?t run your race for you, but we can help, all you need to do is call. 

____________________________

 

Look who also came to the Salida Classic!  BRAC is committed to Race Clean, and is putting its collective money where its mouth is.  Multiple athletes were tested including both P1-2 and Masters.  If your team feels that Doping Control is an investment we should make, give me a call because we have ways where you can write a check and help us expand the program even further.   

_________________________________

We also made some great progress at our last Board of Directors Meeting the other day.  We met out at the Boulder Valley Velodrome and conquered a big list of tasks.  The CX policy is almost ready, and we?re cracking open the books to set the 2016 budget.  2016 Road Cup Policy is about to get overhauled in a big way, so if you care, then you need to reach out to me and be a part of that process.  If you aren?t involved in the creation, then when it comes time for you to add your ?input? after the fact, your words will carry little weight. 

There?s a whole lot more to report on, but my plane is landing and I have to go to work.  I?m thrilled that we?ve had the chance to really do some great things, more to follow?

 

I, your Beloved President.

 

 

************************************************************************ 

7/8/15

Thump thump thump.  Is this thing even on?

So I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend, filled with enough hot dogs, apple pie and soda to choke a horse.  You are too skinny, you need to fill out a little.

In the off chance that you are skinny on purpose, and you used that to your advantage to win a State Championship, then to the right is the mockup of the jersey you?ll be getting from Pactimo!  The order is placed, more news on the arrival date later. 

 

For 2016, we?re going to have a BRAC-wide contest for the jersey design.  The winner will get something better than a water bottle, but most likely less than $1,000,000 (by a lot, actually) for their design.  Worry about that after the Road Season is over.  For now, you keep racing.

 

 

__________________________________

What?s new?  Shawn, Mike Beck and I have been shopping for swag to stick in the race kit.  Flags, banners, etc., but most excitedly we?re looking at kick a$$ trailers that will allow you to have a legit podium stage as well as a place for officials to work from.  Also looking at copious amounts of barriers for the finish line at your race.  It?s time to up the ante on the race experience, and we?re going to help you, as a race director, get that done.  When we know more and have better plans we?ll be in touch. 

 

_________________________________________

 

WTH is the deal with upgrades?  Samantha Lunsky cranked it up to Cat 2 Status, which is so totally AWESOME!!!!!  However, she is the only athlete this week who upgraded, and for that all the rest of you should be horse whipped.  I see you, I see your amazing legs, zero body fat, that killer instinct.  You should upgrade.  ?But Bluto, I?m not ready yet!? you might say.  Yes, yes you are.  I?ll be serious for one moment here, and I have to tell you that when you upgrade, you?re not a fish out of water.  Going from a 4 to a 3 is very similar, in essence it brings the playing field to a more even state.  Most of the folks in there are just like you.  If you?re a 40+ racer, then you have the 40+/3?s to roll into, and it?s no different than the 50/4 and 40/4?s where you were at the front.  Now you can still be at the front, but you have more company.  Forget the points, just ask for the upgrade and find yourself a whole new bunch of kids to take lunch money from.  

_________________________________________

On the home front, the Executive Director search is drawing down.  The committee reviewed a million résumés and has narrowed it down to a handful.  We really hope to have made a decision very soon so the real business of long term strategery (and yeah, I meant to use that word, SNL fans) can accelerate.  Not that we haven?t done a lot, but the fact is that this gig is totally volunteer, and there?s only so much brain power to go around.  There has been a ton of things we have had to do in order to get pointed in the right direction: things like the policy, officials, the schedule, the website cleanup, communications and more.  If you want to serve, we have a place where you can do so, just reach out to any Board Member and we?ll plug you in. 

__________________________________

Race cancellations suck.  I?m very sad to report that the Prospect Crit is not happening this year.  There?s a whole host of reasons, but the end game was that the race was going to lose a lot of money and the club pulled out.  In 2016, I?ll count it as a success if we have zero cancellations, so look for that to be a focus on the Road Calendar meeting this fall.

In the meantime, this underscores how absolutely mission critical it is that YOU show up and race.  If the course is not your specialty, enter up anyway, it?s a chance to test your legs and see what you have or don?t have.  And while you?re at it, thank the folks who put the race on for giving you the opportunity.  Trust me, you have no reason to be nervous on the start line, the RD is the one taking all the risk.  ;)

________________________________________

I guess that?s mostly it for now.  I?m racing on Sunday (cannot race on Saturday, have family stuff) so if you?re there be sure and stop me and say hi.  I?m 5?7?, chubby, balding, love the outdoors and am a Gemini.  Oh wait, that was my other online thing.  Never mind.

 

Race hard, you?ll be glad you did.

 

DCG  

6/29/15

What a super weekend of racing? almost no rain, hot temps and hot racing.  I truly hope you enjoyed it.  But, I?d love to know why more of you weren?t there?  Shoot me a quick note with some feedback as to why you skipped it, I?m actually quite curious.  To those that raced, Well Done!  

____________________________________________

Guess who is crushing it?  Brian Hart (Cat 2), Samuel Fogel (Cat 2 Track) and Ernest Ezis (Cat 3) all UPGRADED!!!  Great job guys, this is awesome!! 

 

Some of these rock stars asked for their upgrade, and now?s the time for you to ask for yours.  There?s this little thing on the website that shows how many points you have, both mandatory and voluntary.  All you need to do is ask, we?ll make sure you can keep progressing upwards.  Want to know the criteria?  Click Here to see what it takes to upgrade.

criteria?  Click Here to see what it takes to upgrade.

______________________________________

 

As part of BRAC?s commitment to a drug-free sport, we participate in the Race Clean program.  Hard evidence of that commitment was seen this weekend when USADA showed up and tested some of the athletes racing at the Boulder Stage Race.  Expect more testing to come to a race near you, and know that USADA has a toll free tip line: 1-877-752-9253  

__________________________________________

 

And did you see how we rocked Road Nationals?  Holy cow, Colorado riders were heads and shoulders above the rest.  For fear of missing someone I won?t name names, but we had so many podiums and racers in general, it was fantastic.  Well done to everyone who rolled out to beautiful Lake Tahoe to lay down a little smack.

_________________________________ 

Cross season is almost here.  You know what that means?  It means you keep racing your road bike until I tell you that you can put it away and get out your CX bike.  Not now, so keep racing.

So what new things can we expect from the season this year?  We had feedback from concerned people that juniors are being raced too much, so it was decided to have junior racing offered only on 1 day each weekend.  It?ll be up to the 2 RD?s that have races that weekend to decide, and BRAC will step in to help make that choice only as a last resort.  Let?s see how this goes over this fall, remember we can always change it if it doesn?t have the desired effect.  If you?re a junior and you and your parents think it?s appropriate, remember you can always race your category on that off day.    

Another upgrade is the splitting of single speed racing into 2 groups.  We?ll have a SS 1-2-3 and a SS 4-5.  The challenge has been that we have some in the SS that could lap the field a few times while others would constantly be looking down trying to figure out why their bike isn?t shifting.  That makes pairing with other races a tough gig.  But now we can roll the SS 4-5 in the AM behind the 50+/4?s, and the SS 1-2-3 in the afternoon all by themselves.  The plan is to split out the male from female times, FYI.  Then on the days without junior racing we can run all the SS?s together in 1 big happy group, but they won?t share the course with anyone.  I am pretty excited, I think this will deliver a better race experience for all involved. 

Having said that? I call upon every rider pinning on a number to adopt an attitude of fair play and professional sportsmanship.  When you are overtaking a rider from another race, politely call up ?course? and come around in a safe, clean manner so as not to affect the other rider.  Likewise, if you are about to be overtaken, do your best to yield the course to that other rider so they can get by you quickly and you can get on with your race.  Pick a place that offers up just the right combo of width and terrain to allow clean movement.  We will all have to get used to sharing the course with other groups, so it?s best to get it figured out and ingrained in our brains now.  Stop and ask me sometime, I have a hilarious story about a guy in another race who refused to yield the course to me?

We still have some work to do on the 2-day State Championship schedule, but I think that will come together soon and most everyone that wants to race both days probably can. 

 

So?.. I know you are champing at the bit (not chomping, just ask Eric Rutter):  

Whew.  OK, that?s plenty enough for now.  Hope everyone has a great Independence Day this Saturday, don?t forget to thank a Veteran for their service.  We?re Free only because they Serve.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Beloved President Douglas

**************************************************************************************

6/23/15 

We are finally getting some legit summer weather, and for that I am grateful.  I am keeping my arm warmers close by, just in case, however.  This weekend is sure to dish up an amazing race scene with the Boulder Stage Race, hope you got entered!  

___________________________

Check out who just upgraded and their new category!!  Well done Racers, I am pumped to see you progress? 

Bruskewitz

Nick

3

Quinney

Adam

3

Beaudin

Chris

2

Hoobler

Jeff

2

Barrett

John

3

Collins

Adam

3

Schrad

Dan

3

Granger

Diane

3

Long

Samuel

3

Mead

Davis

3

Joshua

Krabbe

2

 

 

And if that was not enough, check out everyone who upgraded on the Track!

Dane?apron?

Emde

3

   

Chet

Henry

3

   

Richard

Koo

3

   

Ed

Riedel

3

   

James

Williams

3

   

Stephanie

Lawrence

3

   

Sandra

North

3

   

Jessic

Hoyt

3

   

Now what?  We keep racing.  We keep inviting friends to come race.  We keep up our good behavior and use the porta potties.  And we have fun.  Above all, we enjoy the speed, the wind, the competition, and do our best not to keep that to ourselves.  It?s kind of like MLM? if everyone tells 2 friends, we?ll be rich.   

___________________________________________

 

And now for the real news: We got together as a Board Committee, and then we invited everyone (including you) to participate in the discussion of making our racing scene more sustainable for years to come.  As you know, we have several challenges that are hurting us now:

1.     

In order to keep growing the sport, racers need to race against their peers.  If you give a racer the chance to compete in an environment where they are sort of equal, they will show up.  Gone are the days when we tell racers they have to race a certain race.  They?ll opt to go spend time with the family, go on a hike, etc.  They have choices, and we are selling a product.  If they are interested, they buy.  If not, they don?t.  That is the reality of the marketplace now, and we have to fit bike racing into that mindset if we want to be effective.  The problem is that now we have 27 groups of peers, and that is simply not sustainable.

2.     

With 27 groups, the race venues cannot handle giving everyone their own individual start.  Yes, we really should give discreet starts, and no, it is not wrong to want it.  The issue is it simply cannot happen due to venue limitations and human limitations.  What do we do?  We could offer 50% of the races on Saturday, and 50% of the races on Sunday, and well, if your favorite race is on the wrong day, sorry but you don?t get to race it.  The other option could be to offer everyone?s category at every race.  That has to be balanced with the time limits, so combining categories is the option.  We?ve done that for years, and sometimes it was good and sometimes it wasn?t.  I think that, done right, it can be good.

3.     

Field sizes are economically crippling in some cases.  Course time is expensive, and when you only have 8-12 racers taking up a 45 minute block, Race Directors are losing money.  Lose too much money and that race will disappear.  Lose a lot of money, and that club could disappear.  No one wants that, we want more races, more venues, and growth. 

4.     

Some racers want larger field sizes, and with the addition of new categories they have seen other racers opt to choose a new group.  In this case, the guy who left the old group at least is still racing when he might have hung it up, but the other guy remembers the good old days when he had 100-man fields.  Let me tell you this in no uncertain terms: Both racers are valuable and deserve to get what they want.   

There are about 1,442 more challenges that we are facing, but I think you get the point.  So where do we go from here?  We mix it up and regroup, literally.

So we have put a lot of energy, time and thought into giving Race Directors (RD?s) flexibility so they can offer a quality experience to everyone.  Some RD?s have venues that allow for a really long day, others don?t.  The racer experience suffers when time forces hard choices to be made (think back to Louisville when the 40+1-2-3 wasn?t included), and racers shouldn?t be shut out of an event because their category isn?t offered. 

So what if we could pair the groups so that no one gets blown off the back, the field sizes are better but not unsafe, and yet we still require separate scoring and separate prize lists?  That?s what we did.

Click the link below for the grid as well as an explanation on why we made the decisions we made.  Is it perfect?  No.  Will everyone be happy?  No.  But we do think that this makes the majority of customers (racers) happy because of a few things:

1.     

Now their category is offered at every Cup race.

2.     

They are paired in a more even group, metabolically speaking.

3.     

Some races get lengthened so racers get more for their money.

4.     

The race day is limited to 11 hours or less, allowing officials and clubs an easier time of hosting a race in the first place.

5.     

We still get each category scored separately.  It takes the officials a little more time to deal with it, and we?ll need high speed cameras more often (BRAC owns some, did you know that?), but separate prize lists are still offered. 

You hear me talk, a lot, about Racer Experience.  That?s what we?re selling? an experience.  What does a good experience look like?  It starts with easy and fast registration, then goes to convenient locations and parking, clean and adequate facilities, an interesting course, friendly and helpful staff / volunteers, and on the bike it comes down to being competitive.  Most racers don?t think they?re going to win.  A lot do, but not everyone.  They value safety, and don?t want to get dropped, lapped, and pulled; they want to race their bike the whole time and let the chips fall where they may.  If you ever wonder why the Chief Ref gives you that speech before your race that he will do what he can not to pull lapped riders, it?s because they are trying to give you the best experience possible.     

By grouping the categories correctly, we can enhance the Racer Experience.

Take a look at the grid below and see how we were able to extend the race times yet still get everyone their category. 

I think that?s plenty for now, it is amazing how much work there is to do, and I am so ever grateful for those who have stepped up to take their turn pulling at the front.  Thank you, you know who you are. 

 

DCG

Click here for the proposed road cup grid. 

Well, another awesome weekend of racing is in the books. We had over 400 entries at the Best on Hess ITT/TTT and over 300 at the Guanella Pass State Hill Climb Championships! Well done to those who pinned on a number. I, for one, am exhausted and I didn?t even race.


(These images were stolen from Ryan Muncy Photography and Tierra Plan Racing. Thanks!)

Now what? State TT Championships are this weekend, good luck to everyone headed out to Keenesburg. Did you notice that there is no race on Father?s Day? Well, I ended up doing a little research a while back, and the feedback I got was that this was the ONE day of the year where Dads are virtually guaranteed a hall pass to go race their bikes. How about we get a race on the calendar for next year?

Speaking of next year, this coming Monday night, June 22nd, we?re having another cage match of sorts: We?re going to lock down a revised policy for next year?s road season. We?re going to revamp the Rocky Mountain Road Cup, and we?re also going to revamp what the race days look like.

We have to make a change. We need to grow racing, yet our schedule has gone so far off track that racer groups are getting cut out. We also have stress on how long the race day can be as certain venues are not letting us take over the roads for 15 hours.

So what will this look like? I can say that we?re going to look at pairing the race groups differently. If we can mate up groups better so that metabolically / power wise they are more even, then we can combine them yet score them separate and preserve a quality race experience.

For instance, if you pair me with the Junior men 15-16 (or actually the 13-14?s), I could hang with them and finish mid pack. But if you pair me with the SW 1-2?s, I?m dead. We need to find those combos so we can combine fields and not have racers get shelled and pulled. I?ve heard you, members, I know that some of you want 100-man field sizes, and some of you want no more than 40-50. We will do our best to deliver the best race experience possible to all groups from the 40+ Open to the Cat 5?s.

Want to be a part of that process? Now is your chance. Monday night. 6:00 PM. 2535 Walnut St., Denver, CO. It?s a little grey building a few blocks from Coors Field and right next to the Clocktower Lofts. It even has a cute little bicycle painted on it, so you have no reason to get lost.

Just so you know, we are not going to drag this process out and think on it for months. We?re going to mix things around, do them, and then evaluate in 2016 if it?s working. Come prepared.


I guess that?s mostly it. I?ve been getting some good feedback from the membership, so keep that coming. We can do great things when we work together, and everyone has all of cycling?s best interests at heart.

See you soon,
DCG

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