Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bethel Spring Series - Permits Pending, Two Returning Sponsors

So today, in between trying to stay warm while working at a half-indoors half-outdoors place in 10 or 15 degree weather, I got a few somewhat urgent calls from the allegedly former co-promoter of the Bethel Spring Series. I say "allegedly" because today he filed permits for the Bethel races and took care of some paperwork type stuff. This is stuff that only current co-promoters do, not former ones.

Technically, though, he's backing away from the whole promoting thing. So at some point I'll have to figure this stuff out.

Part of the urgency stemmed from the fact that USAC charges a late fee for permits filed less than six weeks before a race, and with the first race of the year on March 1... Let's put it this way. Right now it's exactly 6 weeks and 1 day before Bethel.


Suffice it to say that the permits appear to be there, with one day to spare. Part of the reason? The help of USA Cycling (or USAC, or, like USADA is "YouSahdah", "YouSack").

Yesterday I spoke with the Northeast Coordinator at USAC's home base in CO, Susan Diller. I figured by now she'd be stressed out with various clubs renewing their memberships last minute (like, um, Carpe Diem Racing did) and then calling to ask, oh, say about 15 minutes after faxing the renewal paperwork if the club can now file permits (like, ahem, Carpe Diem Racing's officer might have done). Surprisingly she came across as an enthusiastic, energetic, not-at-all-stressed person, and the call ended up a pleasant one. The best part? She had the renewal form in hand, and a short time later an email popped up telling me that Carpe Diem Racing was a current 2009 club.

Woo hoo!

A quick forward to the previously mentioned former co-promoter led to me adding said former co-promoter as a current co-promoter to the club member list (else he wouldn't have the ability to do things like file a permit), then he did his thing.

I hauled grain, filled propane tanks, and started a PO (EDI no less, a type of data message I supported back in the IT days).

Then I got an email saying the permits were done.

Well now.

Two more things to proclaim. Well, two things, one at a time. I've confirmed our first two sponsors for 2009.

The first is Verge Sports. They'll be providing the very nice leader's jerseys for 2009. I have some proofs but nothing pretty to look at (they resemble jerseys that exploded into unsewn pieces), but basically they'll follow the 2008 design. Bright yellow, '09 imprinted, excellent for framing and hanging on the wall.

(Note: 2008 overall winners are not required to wear their Leader's Jerseys on the first day at Bethel.)

Verge have been supporters of the race series for a long time, both personally and as a company. Some of their people have raced and won at Bethel from the beginning, driving over after working a crazy third shift a couple hours away, sleeping in their car until they needed to warm up, and then winning races with apparent ease.

They supported me even when I went away from their jerseys for a few years. In fact, when I did that, the Verge folks didn't hold it against me. They showed up with their team (even sweeping for a full day), did races, and tried to help out however they could.

I should point out that a quiet conversation with one of their people prompted me to seriously consider moving to a fixed time schedule (i.e. races start at a given time, not whenever the previous race ended). I admit that this change has garnered some very positive feedback, and it's made my life as a promoter much easier.

If you snipe your start times like I do (arrive just in time to warm up etc), or even if you just schedule your days like a normal human being, then you can thank Verge for a big part of that at Bethel.

Thanks Verge!

The second sponsor is Bethel Cycle. They give the overall winners very nice gift certificates to their store. Since many racers travel to get to Bethel, Bethel Cycle's virtual store is a great way to use that certificate.

The owner Greg is a tremendous supporter of the sport in the area (holding things like the New Year Day Ride) and they've been supporting the Bethel Spring Series since the beginning. Their team has made their hometown race a season start goal, and their numerous wins and places illustrates that vividly. Their riders regularly help out at the races, sweeping, marshaling, and helping with setting up and breaking down.

Thanks Greg (and all the team too)!

I should take this time to thank the alleged former co-promoter for his work already. He's the one that's been pushing me the hardest to get things done. He's also kept an eye out on the finances over the years, and only now have I realized just how well he does that.

Thanks Gene!

Finally, as part of the 2009 Series, I'll be revamping the full site. You can get a hint of it here, but I want to publish it so it is hosted at Tonight I hope to figure out how to do that. For now though I've been fiddling on that new site, sort of as a "rough draft".

Six weeks to go. Doesn't seem possible, at least not around here. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention - it's supposed to snow three to six inches tonight.


I gotta go ride.

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