Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bethel Spring Series, 2007, the start

Each year for the last I-don't-know-how-many-years, I have promoted the Bethel Spring Series. The Series requires pretty much the same thing be done annually. We figure out the dates for the upcoming year (and find Easter Sunday which we skip), call the Town, fax them a letter requesting permission for holding a race, get permission, then start filing various paperwork. One big thing is making sure Diane Fortini at the New England Bicycle Racing Association knows about the dates. NE-BRA has a nice policy of avoiding scheduling conflicts as much as possible so that races don't compete for the same small number of racers. New England, for reference sake, has about 1500 racers from Maine to Connecticut. When 20-30% of them show up at the Series, it doesn't leave a lot of racers who want to race that weekend.

The co-promoter Gene does the paperwork filing (all done online, thank you USACycling). He orders the numbers. After a few shady characters tried to race multiple times on one number (which exposes potentially significant liability issues to the promoters and town), we decided to get new numbers for every race. So we order about 1500 numbers, printed with our sponsor Bethel Cycle as well as the Series name, the Bethel Spring Series.

A couple teams have already signed up to help with the race. The aforementioned Bethel Cycle is giving away a bunch of gift certificates and helps marshal the race. They've been heavily involved in helping out since the ownership change a number of years ago. Another team is Connecticut Coast Cycling. A team without a shop (at least for now), they supplied a significant portion of the marshals we needed in 2006. They also have a significant women's team and a very enthusiastic entry-level men's team (Cat 5's and 4's). This year I expect their strong 4's to be categorized as 3's.

One hinderance in our planning is the NE-BRA's promoter meeting and banquet was postponed till January. We don't want to step on other promoter's toes (after all, how would we feel if someone stepped on ours) and we've always been conscious of other races in that time frame. So we weren't really sure of when certain races are, especially the early road races in April promoted by Cyclenaut's Mike Norton, Sturbridge and Palmer. We saw he's already posted dates on BikeReg (our preferred online registration site) so we're sitting pretty with the dates we thought we'd do - all Sundays in March and the first two non-Easter Sundays in April.

The person I normally speak with at Bethel is out till Jan 2nd so we'll have to wait for confirmation for our race dates.

One good thing is that Champion System, supplier for our race team Carpe Diem Racing (whose sole purpose in existing is to promoter the Bethel Spring Series for the rest of the year), has agreed to sponsor the leader's jerseys. I'd show you a proof but a pdf file of a fragmented jersey doesn't look really good. So you'll have to wait till the jerseys come in. In addition, we are getting a podium jersey, the ones where the back is "hook and loop" (I used vel-cro incorrectly one year and actually got a letter in the mail explaining the trademark, requirements for legal usage, etc... so I don't want to use that word). Anyway, the overall winners will get to stick their arms through the sleeves and have someone "hook and loop" up the back, just like the pros do. And unlike last year, I promise not to tug the back of the jersey too hard, practically strangling the winner of the Cat 4's.

In the meantime, because it's not legal to update the site with race information before we have our permit "in the works", the site will lay untouched.

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