Someone needs to help me understand why people really want to pay $75 to ride Battenkill.
I mean, people REALLY love it. And I’ve done it. And I don’t get it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the country out there. The roads are interesting. I think 6 Gap country blows it away, but it’s still unique & certainly a more manageable challenge than the gapper. And I like the idea of putting a ride like that in the bank so early in the season. It’s a great table setter.
But 75 clams? For what? The math has been done. The amateurs are chipping in to pay for the pro race that happens a week later. A race they’ll never see. Why the hell do they want to do that? I don’t.
For me, it’s a pretty simple test: will this race give me three times the value of a $25 New England cyclocross race? It’s impossible. Especially considering the travel and lodging involved in getting out there to race on a Sunday now? A fucking Sunday? Good grief. I don’t even get a day to sleep in now before going back to work.
Do people just want to say they did it? Alright, fine – have a blast!
But I think once you sit down and really evaluate what you’re doing, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would be different if you felt like you were getting $75 worth of race out of the experience. But in relative terms it’s no better supported than any other race I’ve been to. I didn’t leave there feeling like racers were getting the red carpet treatment, which you’d think – at $75 a head – they would. I don’t even know exactly what that means, but you know it when you feel it. And I didn’t.
Hey there are all kinds of neutral support stops – hey guess what. I don’t give a shit. If I really need one, I’m fucked anyway and I’m probably done. And if I don’t have a bike that can withstand a 64 mile ride without incurring some whopper mechanical that requires professional help, I’m probably a fucking idiot for not being prepared. Or I have shitty luck, and that’s too damn bad because sometimes that’s bike racing.
I think the fully supported preview ride, which happens 3 weeks earlier at $30, makes WAY more sense.
What makes even more sense is just going out there with the map, some teammates, and just riding it as hard as you want to for free.
What makes even more sense than that is to ride part or all of 6 Gaps, which is awesomely difficult, far more beautiful than the Battenkill and also free.
I guess all I’m trying to say is before you flock to an event on autopilot, like I was about to do, stop to think about it a little. Demand value & vote with your wallet. Even if money isn’t an issue for you.