Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Promoting - 2013 Bethel Spring Series - Permits Filed

As I'm running out of time to file permits (the filing schedule is more strict than before, with penalties starting earlier) I finally decided on what to do with the Bethel Spring Series race categories and schedules. This meant I could finalize the flyers, convert them to PDFs, and upload them to USAC. This in turn allowed me to finish filling out the permit and therefore allowed me to file them. It took a bit longer than I remembered but it's done.

So, for the 2013 Bethel Spring Series, the permit numbers will be, pending USAC approval, 2013-518 through 2013-524. Seven races, seven Sundays, over an eight Sunday period. We skip March 31, 2013 - Easter Sunday.

The fun thing I had to do was to think of a new name for the seventh race. I did what I did before - plugged in "Tour of Bethel" in the Altavista Babelfish translation thing and looked at a couple different languages. I chose Polish because it looked interesting to me. The seventh and final week of racing will take place during the Tour of Bethel in Polish:

Zwiedzanie Bethel

In addition to the new name I decided to keep the other names the same as they had been before. I had thought about changing one week's name - Tour de Kirche - to honor Markus Bohler. In the end I decided that the German translation output was appropriate to honor Markus, who was originally from Germany. I'm still thinking about it for 2014 but for 2013 I didn't get to a point where I felt like, "Okay, this is the right decision" so I postponed any changes that I might make.

Consider that a tabled thought.

I had two items on my "think about it" list for race categories and scheduling.

First I wasn't sure if I would keep the Masters 45+ race a Masters 45+ race. In the past I had a M40+ race and that went really well. Too well, in fact - the field was very full and the racing seemed to be near supersonic. When I moved the Masters back to 45+ race the field shrank a bit and the racing speeds dropped a touch. Just a touch but such that it became a bit more palatable for the more senior of the field.

The choices - keep it the same at M45+ or drop the age to M40+.

As crunch time came I decided that for 2013 I'd keep it M45+. I want to give the M55s and M60s (yes they're in there) a chance at holding their own. The strong M40s are really, really strong both in strength and numbers. There's be an inordinate amount of power/speed dropped into the race if I dropped the age to M40+. Therefore it'll stay M45+.

The second item had to do with scheduling. As the saying goes, "Time is money", and the Bethel Spring Series has a considerable break in the schedule between the M45+ race and the Cat 3-4 race. I think it's in the 30 minute range, but whatever it is, it's very unusual to have such a break in the middle of a race day.

It has to do with the speed of the M45s - they race pretty darn fast as it is and finish their race way ahead of schedule. Although we may add a lap or three on a week-by-week basis, the schedule break is useful because it gives the staff a chance to catch their breath.

I considered moving other races up in distance to fill that time. The advantages would be better racing for the other fields. The problem is the hard working staff would be pressed even harder.

The choices - increase earlier race distances or start later races earlier.

On this I decided to keep things the same. It's always safe to keep a conservative schedule conservative. If I pushed the schedule really hard we'd inevitably fall behind. More exhausted staff is worse than less exhausted staff. Races that start at a published/known time are good. Races where you don't know when they'll start (and the Bethel Spring Series used to be like this) are not good.

With these two main decisions out of the way I could finish the flyers for the seven weeks, upload them, and finish the permitting process. USAC has to approve the permits and then the races will be official.

While I was at it I created the seven race pages on BikeReg. They've been a huge, huge help in making the Series what it is, through their registration system, the streamlined registration process, the various services they offer the promoter.

Although USAC offers race registration services I feel that BikeReg does it right and they did it first. Therefore, like the last couple years, BikeReg will remain the sole online registration site for the Bethel Spring Series. Racers can register manually if they want, by mailing a check, but otherwise it's BikeReg or Day of Race.

Entry fees remain the same as 2012 except the Series registration - for 2013 it goes up proportionately to reflect the extra week of racing.

However, on the prize side, although the flyer lists a particular number, unless we have miniscule fields on a given day, the prize list is more aggressive than before. In spring races a few fit racers tend to dominate the finishes. Therefore I decided to award money deeper into the finishing order. It's only a couple places but it should help alleviate the "I got seventh, how deep do you pay? Oh, six places?" Now you have to be a bit deeper before you walk away empty handed. I hope that it helps some of the racers just below the super consistent strong ones to get some gas money.

In addition the minimum payout will be the Day of Race fee, $25 for most of the events, up from $20 of last year. In 2012 I figured the lowest payout should be the pre-reg dollar amount, $20. I think though that many racers decide consciously to register Day of Race. I know I do when I race at other events - I know that registering Day of Race means the promoter gets more money because I pay the Day of Race fee. So in case there are those that do this at Bethel I decided to up the payout to reflect the Day of Race entry, not the pre-reg entry. This means that if you place in the money then you raced for free, even if you registered that day.

There are other things in store but these are the main things I've been thinking about in the immediate past, the things under my direct control. As things progress I'll have more to report and such.


The Crew at Cheshire Cycle said...

Good call on sticking with the published start times. There is no other time i feel so not-smart as when I am trying to figure out a late race start time off the first and only scheduled race.

Interesting approach regarding the lowest payout amount and the day of fee. It's good to hear someone freely admit to preferring to pay the extra day of.

Also, who in the world prefers USA cycling reg services over bikereg? Havent found one yet.

Aki said...

Thanks for the comments. The published start times really help everyone, me included. When we did the "one race follows another" it was terrible and I just didn't realize it until I went to a race where it was like that. Then I realized, oh, wait, this is bad.

I prefer to pay the extra for Day Of. I mean if it's like $30 extra then it's a bit much. I think as much as 60-80% of some fields are Day Of type racers for whatever reason.

I stuck with BikeReg because I felt it important to support the local folks. They're riders, they raced around here, they're good people, they support the local scene... it's hard to go wrong with them.