Thursday, April 20, 2006

Whose butt is it, anyway?

So I'm perusing the flyer for a local race and I notice that first place for my class pays $5 less than what the entry fee is. I don't know. There's probably a good reason for this, but it sure seems like a good old-fashioned dissin' to me. Yeah, I'm happy that they are listening to physiologists and giving us geezers a class we can be competitive in. But more than likely they're also listening to pollsters and they know that enough guys my age still want to mix it up at something besides bass fishing. But here's the thing: USCF entry fees are spiraling out of control anyway, especially when they are exploitative by their very nature. My thesis here is that entry fees are a user tax that is being levied upon racers for stuff they have already paid for: bicycles & gear, roads, and a race governing body and we're not getting our money's worth.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. If you want to race for money, be realistic, asshole.

But come on. The industry passes along all their costs: manufacturing, research & development, advertising, promotion and retail profit margin. We pay all of that. Then the governing body, the USCF, passes along all their costs, which we pay in the form of dues and per-rider fees at races. And after paying out all this money, we allow ouselves to be mini billboards riding around with logos pasted all over the place. Then we go to races and pay entry fees to race all this stuff we've already paid for on roads we've already paid for through taxes.

All I'm saying is how come the folks who are making a living off of this industry (bikes) and this pursuit (USCF) aren't sharing the wealth a bit more? I don't want money from them. I want them to do a better job of promoting this sport so that local folks will see it as what it is, which is a public service. And maybe then local businesses will be more likely to pony up some cash for really cool races with all the trimmings.

Basically, bike racers have a bad image. Bike shop people even hate us. What's up with that? When's the last time you saw a USCF-sponsored ad or a bike industry-sponsored ad in your local newspaper that extolled the virtues of bike racing?

Here's one they could do: A picture of a couple of our juniors (Luke and Jan would be good) and they're leaning on their bikes and looking directly into the camera and they're looking tough like you always see guys on promos for rock bands looking. You know, like they're trying to scare the old folks or get some chick to think they're deep and brooding rebels. And the headline will be something to the effect of, "These guys have to spend 20 hours a week riding their bikes so they can race. Do you want them to stop?" Then down below, it would say, "Support local bike racing--it keeps kids on the streets."

You know, if the USCF and the bike industry did stuff like that, I wouldn't mind paying those damned entry fees and rolling around with logos plastered all over both my bike and my butt. Later.

9 Comments:

Blogger FastGuppy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:20 PM  
Blogger FastGuppy said...

Oh sorry to bad.

Jim your blog is 20x better then Luke M or buttheads.

You should wright for them.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Here here Jimmy, totally agree.

5:53 AM  
Blogger JimmyMc said...

Thanks, Gup, and don't forget who gave you that name. And by the way, you also would be a good poster child for bike racing. Unfortunately you're a cute white kid--not menacing-looking enough.

6:34 AM  
Blogger the rev said...

"it keeps kids on the streets." - it is either in a recent VeloNews or CycleSport where I saw the ad you want Jimmiez. I'll dig it up scan it in and you can photoshop the local boys' faces in.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Butthead said...

I gave you that name Guppy and you better not forget it.

9:47 AM  
Blogger JimmyMc said...

Rev: I want to see that ad in local newspapers, not bike rags, and I want to see the industry putting it there. The next frame I buy will be the builder who does that.

Butthead: I gave guppy that name, though I will concede that you are the one who made it stick.

10:45 AM  
Blogger porkchop said...

I was going to go the mentioned race till you pointed out the payout scheme.

Funny thing is - most races don't make money. We'll be totally happy if we break even for the State RR weekend. There's a good article in this months velonews on race promoters. The high entry fees clubs charge usually return nominal gains when compared to the work it takes to put on a race.

Let's talk about the amount of money the USCF charges to put on a race under their protective umbrella.

2:28 PM  
Blogger phil said...

People make money - and then they keep it. Anyway, its tough to scare people when you are wearing faggot clothes.

10:42 PM  

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