Is Road Racing dead? How can we ressurect/build cycling as a niche sport?


#62

Sounds like Grattan ?? Great fun that race series


#63

Are you talking about grattan raceway?


#64

Jinx. Lol

I race grattan for a few year back in my junior years… 1997-1999 if I remember correct.


#66

I presume you race Cat 1? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#67

And it always coincides with Newport Half/Marathon weekend which I typically do and attracts over 2000 people.


#69

One thing is that as in general population has been more cycling forward with the introduction of bike share, online racing, cycling classes.

So really we really have way more cyclist than before, I think cities need to have something like the five borough tour in NYC, it’s something very basic and beginner. After than introducing them something a little bit more competitive and so on.

We lack the introduction to competitive cycling to young kids and adult. Also people tend to do online races because not only it’s save but the “community” behind it. We need to bring that back to real life, a real community, which lead to competitive group ride and eventually for them to seek out races.

Start from the root, and then fix the organization!


#70

@Levi_gaswint cool but…

I was actually raised in the 70’s and 80’s and coached (different sport) by an industry/history of over training, more is better, if you’re not crawling home your not trying hard enough BULLSH!T. That attitude doesn’t work. While necessary at times not all the time. Thankfully training is way more pragmatic and thought out these days. Perhaps overthought by those getting in but, at least there is information readily available to new people who want to learn and get better at what ever sport.

As far as road racing is concerned…yeah it is tough and meant to be. I actually happen to think that’s a big part of why road racing is waning. It’s hard to get dropped. But, any event whether gravel, tour, fondo, mountain, cross etc…if you really race them they are as tough as any road race. People get dropped from the gun but, they just hook up with the 5000 people behind and continue on. The point is that those events are much more conducive, for a million reasons, to be more inviting and fun on and especially off the bike. Many like me are super competitive but can easily turn that BS off when not appropriate. It seems like the new people getting in to the sport think a bit like your post came off ie…“War”. This is just pedaling a bike. Moving O2. It’s about the farthest thing from war I can think of but, I get what you’re trying to say.

For the record, I think the millennial generation is more in tune, empathetic and aware of what’s going on than my f’d up generation which just continued the old ways of the f’d up generations before us.

IMHO road racing needs to change to attract more people in general and especially the young crowd which by the way is entering mountain bike racing in record numbers. Those kids are super competitive and crushing it just like you describe road racing. There are reasons why numbers are higher at other events/races. It has nothing to do with being tough or how tough the event is.


#71

After reading this, I’m scratching my head and wondering what exactly it adds to this discussion, aside from “look at me, I am a badass.” If that was your intent to toot your own horn, great - point came across loud and clear. Are you saying road racing is dying because we are suddenly becoming softer and less barbaric?

I’m also left thinking that you should consider switching to decaf, and probably would benefit from anger management classes. And for the love of god, please use capital letters at the beginnings of sentences.


#73

I think it offers a valuable piece of evidence around a thought pattern that turn many people off to racing.


#74

Without making any judgments about what personally motivates you, this type of “Pro Cat 3” mentality can drive a lot of people away from the sport. I guarantee you that a lot of actual professional riders don’t view the sport in these terms.

Many, many people are drawn to the sport due to its solitary nature and the great opportunity to push your own limits. The challenge is the same whether you’re Chris Froome or a Cat 5 racer: you’re trying to push your body to the edge, while your legs, lungs and heart are all screaming at you to stop. That never goes away, you just get faster, as they say. In my humble opinion, I think a lot of people fall in love with that never-ending internal struggle.

At the end of the day, pretty much everyone on this forum (with some exceptions) is a middle aged man riding around on overpriced chunks of carbon in lycra for fun. We’re all here because we want to get faster–and there isn’t anything wrong that. But equating that with going to war is way over the top in my opinion.


#75

hahahaha ok im crazy. removed due to lack of adding to the discussion as pointed out by the majority


#76

Nailed it. Very few with pro aspirations here, and I think that’s important to remember. We ride because we love to ride (or suffer, or see improvement, etc…)

So… why not share that passion for riding and give back to the local racing scene? Or pass it along to juniors looking to get started? :grinning:


#77

Yup, good point. And I would also say that a lot of “new” types of riding such as mixed surface riding is just very different from road racing. The bikes are evolving to fit ever larger tires, which allows people to ride on more diverse surfaces. This type of riding resembles road races less and less, though, and in the minds of many enthusiasts the Dirty Kanza has a cachet similar to the Tour de France.


#78

I live in NYC where you can race 3x a week in the season and people keep talking about how road racing is declining and how gravel is killing it. But honestly I don’t see it, we do see low turnout at some races but the major ones still sell out. IMO, I’d prefer to actually see less races and then have a bit more production around the big ones.

I also don’t really buy the argument that gravel is killing road racing, In the long term I think it may actually draw more people into cycling that then try their hand in road racing.


#79

Heard an interesting take today on CyclingTips Podcast on how Sky $50M going away could really help get more sponsorship dollars into the mix. Worth listening to. No, it is not dead. I think it is gonna grow.


#80

Well you live in a city with 5 trillion people and not one gravel road for 1000 miles so that stands to reason.:wink::grin: Kidding. I hope you’re right. I totally agree with your last paragraph. Similarly many of us are hoping there will be some NICA cross over at some point…


#81

We need to vote the “American Crit” guy into the head of USA Cycling, he’ll fix it!


#82

Tulsa Tough is about to sell out in less than an hour.


#83

There are actually a decent amount of gravel roads just north of the city, where most cyclist ride anyways. My general point though is that while people are complaining that road racing is dead and there aren’t enough officials and stuff like that… I kind of feel that we’re actually seeing a larger quantity of races, however the quality is certainly going down… Which is sad, I’d much rather train for a cool rolling road race than do the same local crit circuit for the 100th time.


#84

Every major city should have a velodrome. Is that too much to ask?
I tried a couple times to sign up for road races but it was hard to find them. Went to the USAC website which directed me to the Florida cycling website which was not well maintained. The calendar was completely empty. I asked my LBS and they had no idea other than directing me to those websites. I am not jumping through hoops to find races! I get emails all the time about tri and run races to join. I can go to various websites and be directed to all sorts of run races. Why are cycling races hidden?