Friday, April 9, 2010

Anyone Up For Organizing Another MTB Race this Summer?

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2010 Tour of Missouri is trying to put together a good, firm schedule of various cycling events for 2010. As in past years, the idea is to get behind a number of activities leading into the Tour and build up momentum for the international event.

Now one might ask why this makes sense if the future of the Tour is uncertain. It's a good question but is best answered by why everyone backs the Tour in the first place. Aside from the money it generates and the tremendous advertising its gives our community and businesses, the big benefit is creating awareness in our local population that biking is fun, provides good health benefits, and offers an alternative method of transportation to replace those gas guzzlers out there for many trips. The proof is in the pudding too as I think we've all noticed more people biking in the last several years. A positive message and good promotion works.

So even if the Tour doesn't come off (we all sure hope it does though!) the LOC is wanting to coordinate with various groups that have already scheduled biking events and help promote the collective in a package. It doesn't want to take anything over, but is open to helping recruit volunteers, help with fundraising for the events, and provide the marketing/promotion assistance.

The first big effort out of the box is to help with the May 8th race already scheduled for the mountain bike race. That same day there will be a Trials event up at Krug, and the Bike Club has scheduled its picnic and ride for that same day.

I spoke to Randy after riding Corby North a week or so ago and he indicated the need for about 10 volunteers for the May 8th race. Ed hasn't come up with what he needs for the Trials competition that day, but we'll try to help with that when he does. Our volunteer guru will start trying to get volunteers together so long as somebody will be around to tell them how/where you need them to help.

Events to follow through the Summer will be rides scheduled by the Bike Club, the Kids Races Tour (several races through the Summer), and Savannah's "Andrew Co. Tour" in mid-July.

I know you guys love to race (I'm just a train whistle when I'm riding the trails) so wondered if maybe a city mountain bike race were put together sometime during the year if you think that would work? I know it wouldn't get on any of the calendars out there and might be kind of a small race for a while, but the idea of trying to build something up to promote mountain biking might be good.

So the question is many-fold: Would a race sometime this summer be workable and would there be some expert advice for us novices to help put it on? And if it's a "yes" to both, what trail should a race be on and what time of the year should we shoot for? Or is it a good idea but something we need to look at doing in 2011? Or maybe just best to get behind you guys for 2011 and help make the next version of the May race bigger and better?

Maybe it's too much too fast, but there's so much momentum out there that we hate to lose the opportunity to get things going while we have the chance. If the Tour fails this year, it will be a lot harder to get something going next year.

We're having a meeting on the 15th, 4PM, at the Convention & Visitors Bureau if you'd like to listen in on what's going on and add your two-cents.


JDOUG said...

AC, I can't speak for everyone...But here are my thoughts.. We will really have to think about having another MTB race later in the season this year...(we, as in Randy and Craig, I am only really training to whoop their asses right now) This year is quite filled with races and the more the fellas put one on, the less your training and racing in others...

As far as this year and the May race we do need help and thank you for it.. I will be at the next LOC meeting and will try to bring one of the fat kids with me..

I agree that we need to keep the momentum from TOM and the LOC committee. Regardless of a race coming to town or not.. As far as MTB goes, we are absolutely blessed here in St. Joseph and probably should promote that.

Last I read the TOM might actually get funding. With all the time lost it should be a cluster F&*k if approved however! Maybe we could take them up Huntoon and 2nd street and have a king of the mountain/classic route? The queen stage in St. Joseph? Just a thought..

Anonymous said...

I am open to all of those ideas and believe that momentum is on our side...Shores Sports would be happy to advise on any future events. I do believe that placing another race on the Schedule could be tricky! But, maybe a cyclocross race weekend later in the year? Just a thought?

I am in Wichita, KS on April 15th, if I get away early enough to make it to the meeting in St. Joe, I will attend. Otherwise, I will be all ears from Jason's attendance to that meeting and looking forward to all things cycling!

All my best to your ideas!

JP Shores
Owner / Team Director

AC said...

I appreciate the comments and think you are both correct.

For the meeting on the 15th (talking about all of the Summer events in general), the better defined the role of volunteer needs (where they need to be and what they need to do, hours, and shifts) the more successful recruiting efforts will be. It might be tough to get many folks with just a few weeks notice, but Chuck will give it a try!

Fitz just shared some encouraging news on the Tour today (out of the legislature and on its way for approval with the overall budget). Now the secret is Gov. Nixon not playing the poltical game that went on last year.

It's going to be tough getting things moving with such a late start, but all things are possible. Just hope we were selected as a Tour city!!