Registration cost is getting out of hand

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nickf
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

First off I know races take money, permits, etc.

Some of these races and events are asking what I would consider a premium to participate. $250 to register for the Asheville Belgium Waffle ride is a bit much. I get it, it's a well put on event, I did it last year when a friend sold me a ticket for a fraction of the price. But it feels like these promotors are just cashing in. I don't need to see washed up pro toeing the line, I could care less. Another MTB races is only 27 miles long, $90. I can do all of these routes by myself unsupported. Don't want to sound like a grouch. I can afford it but a lot of these events I don't see the value in it. I can't be the only one.

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AJS914
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by AJS914

Sadly, all these name brand events are oversold so it's currently a seller's market.

I was looking at Belgium Waffle ride and thinking the same thing. For $250, you'd think they would feed you in gormet style.

robertbb
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

This may be a long shot, but do you think those roads/routes are rideable on 364 other days of the year or are they opened only for a paid-entry one-day-a-year event?

As a bonus, the roads may actually be peaceful and quiet rather than filled with wannabe racers.

spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

indeed.. and I am also not a fan of for example separating BWR CA into 2 days. I dont think I have the want to do the long course this year and it was nice chatting with VeganCyclist and taking a very short pull for Dylan of youtube fame.
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AJS914
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by AJS914

As far as I can tell, for BWR-Ashville, a these are public and forest service roads that anyone can ride all year long.

robertbb
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

AJS914 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:37 am
As far as I can tell, for BWR-Ashville, a these are public and forest service roads that anyone can ride all year long.
If it were me, I'd pick a day based on weather and how quiet it's going to be and just go ride it on my own or with a few mates.

Nothing worse than having to show up on an extreme hot/cold/wet day (or having to bail due to illness).

Also personally can't stand riding these roads with thousands of other cyclists, bottles and gu's and lights strewn across the place... queues for toilets.

And pay hundreds of dollars for the priviledge. Meh!

blaugrana
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:49 pm

by blaugrana

Completely agree, especially considering that for most people these events are a fun challenge, but they (we) don't have a realistic shot at winning. So how much fun does the organization bring compared to just riding the same course another day with some friends? It's hard to argue it's $250 of fun.

I also don't like how these new American gravel events are supposed to be both relevant races for professionals to take part in (for now it's mostly 2nd class or retired pros, though) while being organized as sportives with mass participation and apparently open roads (correct me if I'm wrong). Especially the open road thing would get shot down pretty quickly in Europe, where all sportives that happen on open roads have disclaimers where they make sure to remind you that they aren't competitive events, and usually there is no prize for finishing first. At most they are allowed to time uphill segments.

PeytonM
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by PeytonM

We are seeing the same thing in Australia. Fondo's costs $200-300AUD ($150-200usd). They appear to be selling out too.

My group ride most of these same roads at other times of the year for free.

If you have the race bug, we pay $15aud for club crits. You can crit race 5 nights a week during summer in Sydney.

robertbb
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by robertbb

blaugrana wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:16 am
Completely agree, especially considering that for most people these events are a fun challenge, but they (we) don't have a realistic shot at winning. So how much fun does the organization bring compared to just riding the same course another day with some friends? It's hard to argue it's $250 of fun.
It's bloody stressful! Crazy traffic on the way in, nowhere to park, crazy traffic on the way back out when all you want to do is smash some food/drink and have a stretch.

I can understand if you want to climb and descend some classic European cols (or any alpine type ride anywhere) on fully closed roads so you can take some safer descending lines and not have to drag brakes behind cars. That said, most recreational cyclists have no clue how do descend safely at speed and closed roads simply encourages them to push their limits way beyond where they otherwise would if they had to consider the possibility of cars around every bend. Seen some horrific stacks in my time here in Melbourne when Fred's complete the around the bay in the day in September or whatever and then think they're superman and sign up for 3 peaks a few months later.... which starts with a massive alpine descent down Falls Creek with dewy, often very wet roads... disaster!

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Miller
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by Miller

robertbb wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:08 am
I can understand if you want to climb and descend some classic European cols (or any alpine type ride anywhere) on fully closed roads so you can take some safer descending lines and not have to drag brakes behind cars
Well, as you point out, doing those descents in the presence of 100s of other cyclists can be an edgy experience to say the least. That said, I've signed up for the Marmotte this year, gives me something to aim for and, fingers crossed, everything is beginning to open up again so it should take place.

Sportives can have quite a sense of occasion that makes the event much more of an experience than riding the same route quietly on your own.

robertbb
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by robertbb

Miller wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:22 am
robertbb wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:08 am
I can understand if you want to climb and descend some classic European cols (or any alpine type ride anywhere) on fully closed roads so you can take some safer descending lines and not have to drag brakes behind cars
Well, as you point out, doing those descents in the presence of 100s of other cyclists can be an edgy experience to say the least. That said, I've signed up for the Marmotte this year, gives me something to aim for and, fingers crossed, everything is beginning to open up again so it should take place.

Sportives can have quite a sense of occasion that makes the event much more of an experience than riding the same route quietly on your own.
Yeah totally. I've done L'etape in france, a few stages of Giro in Tuscany, GFNY in Israel... they are great experiences for sure but also have their drawbacks.

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ms6073
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by ms6073

nickf wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:29 pm
$250 to register for the Asheville Belgium Waffle ride is a bit much.
Seems somewhat contradictory. I know my attraction to riding gravel is to get away from traffic and travel on the roads lesser travelled. I tend to chuckle to myself and politely decline when our friends ask if the wife and I want to join them for the upcomming x-y-z gravel race/ride that takes part on the same routes we already ride on for free.
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wobbly
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:50 pm

by wobbly

80 euro for the Ronde in April seems reasonable to me. All signed route, feed stations and an atmosphere the day before the Pros ride. Or could be wet and miserable and having to walk on the bergs...I'll take a mudguard bike option just in case.

Was quoted over 200USD for L'etape for this year :shock: :shock:

liam7020
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by liam7020

Wow! De Ronde has certainly shot up in price - I've done it a on couple of occasions and at that time it was only 27 Euro. Still it's definitely worth the money, an excellent day out on iconic roads.
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Konsi
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by Konsi

With Ironman having bought the Haute Route group it seems even more events will go up in price. I was thinking of doing an Ironman one day, but with their absymal treatment of customers during the pandemic and prices of over 800€ for a one day thing, probably not happening.

I did a Chasing Cancellara event in 2020 (a friend had won a spot in a Strava Challenge but couldn't go), normally costing ~350€ for a one day event. No closed roads, they ran out of water at the feedstations, had one toilet for 400 riders on the passes, and for the race photos, you had to pay extra... at least Cancellara is a nice bloke in real life.

Smaller events might not have such a name recognition, but often a better value for money. In the triathlon realm, I am thinking of the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon, which were also very forthcoming in supporting the participants during Covid. If you want to race two stages on stunning alpine roads (although not closed for traffic), have a look at the Inferno Race the bike store where I am helping out is organising ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN9Oxbp24Kc ). For a bit less than 600 Euro, you get three hotel nights, three dinners, breakfasts, feedstations, broomwagon, and the photos from the official photographer. If you are interested, send me a PM, I might be able to organise a small discount for WW members.

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