Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Promoting - Bethel Spring Series 2010 - Quandary

So the other day (well, okay, it was a while ago) I read about Battenkill getting moving up in the world, into the UCI world.

Awesome for them.

And a quandary for me.

See, with their move to go two weekends, they started eating into the early weeks of April. And those are kind of the Bethel Spring Series weeks.

The upcoming year, 2010, ends up being a perfect storm. Bethel usually lasts six weeks, with an expectation that one of them will get snowed or iced out. In the past Bethel has lasted seven weeks, but new earlier-Spring races started moving into the latter weeks of April.

Ultimately six weeks seems to work well for the Bethel Spring Series.

In 2010 it's a bit tricky.

March has only four Sundays. Easter is the first week of April, and April only has four Sundays, just like March. Instead of nine Sundays in the two months, there are only eight.

With the various early races encroaching into the March/April, the Bethel Spring Series need to start the first week of March. Usually that gives the Series five Sundays in March. With only four Sundays in March 2010, the Series starts off a bit short.

The next Sunday is April 4th, Easter Sunday. The Bethel Spring Series has always skipped Easter, so that's a scratch.

The last weekend in April usually kicks off the "real" races, the ones that precede the big races leading up to Memorial Day weekend, so that's out too.

That leaves April 11 and 18.

Usually they'd be ripe for the picking, but that's where Battenkill comes in - they decided that they'd spread the race over two weekends (I can totally understand their reasoning), and they went a bit earlier than later, probably to fill a proper hole in the calender (again, I can understand that move too).

Of course, that gets in the way of other much smaller races. Ones like Bethel. April 11 is the Battenkill's day for the USAC folks, you and me. April 18th is the pro day, the UCI day.

So I find myself in, as I stated before, a quandary.

I don't want to have the Series go up against any "real" race. But after Easter, April has only three Sundays left, the last one too far out there to contemplate, and the two middle ones taken by Battenkill.

Well, one of them anyway.

The first weekend has amateur races, the largest one day race in the country. It's one of those things where a race is so big that it dominates the landscape. That's fine - it's like the first weekend in Pennsylvania was always the Philly race, or Memorial Day is always Somerville.

But it means the Bethel Spring Series shouldn't run on April 11th.

April 18th is a bit different. I can't pretend that the Bethel Spring Series will ever compete against a UCI race. I mean, seriously.

I don't want to end Bethel after only four weeks. I'd want at least five, especially expecting a cancelation of one of the early ones. Five means scheduling a race up against Battenkill.

So my quandary is such:

Bethel on April 18th?

Or not?


Anonymous said...

I would say run it on the 18th. As you said, Bethel doesn't really compete with the UCI races.

Anonymous said...

Hey how about another first. Start the first race on Feb 28th and end on the 18th of April. Take the 2 weeks off for Easter and the Battenkill race and then offer double points on the last race.

The Cycling Chronicles said...

Run it! You will get the same number if folks, it won't compete with the Pro race.

Anonymous said...

I say end it, most likely what will happen is your going to go up against at least one of Norton's races, he'll most likely put Quabbin in on the weekend of the 17, and 18th( if he's thiniking the way he did this year, and most likely will be ) The idea of trying to run the series opener early might be something but obviuosly it's touch and go at that point in the calendar, I say go for it and try and start it early, Feb. 28 2010.

Guido said...

another vote for Feb 28th. I know it sounds odd - "February" and "Spring series" doesn't go well together. But what on paper might look like a whole month difference is in fact just a single day difference from last year's March 1st start.
As for April 18th, maybe there is a way to reserve that slot on the NEBRA calendar but you keep the option to decide by February if the series finale will be end of March or mid April taking other spring races into account.

Brian said...

Guido's got it right. However, I really think you can bank on at least a decent turnout on the 18th regardless. I say go with the 28th start, and schedule it out to the 18th too. It'll work.

Aki said...

I didn't think of the 28th, not for more than about 2/3 of a second. I've opened a poll on the CDR site, and posted a new post here to link to the poll. Thanks everyone.