Monday, March 24, 2014

Promoting - 2014 Bethel CDR Gold Race

Promoting always starts a few days before the race. I mean, okay, it starts months before, but the final stuff can't even start until pre-registration is closed.

Last week I drove the trailer home so that I could work on it. Unfortunately the reality is that since I don't park the trailer at the house.

Since I can't work on it when Junior is around I had all of maybe four or five hours to work on stuff, while he was at day care. To make things a bit more awkward I can't get the trailer to our garage due to the steep driveway so I walked everything up the driveway. I spent most of that time emptying out the snow-related stuff, some wood that I realistically won't be using immediately, and organizing the remaining stuff to correct the weight distribution. I spent my free Tuesday afternoon doing that stuff.

I started working on making the folding tables for inside the trailer but gave up when I realized that time-wise it simply wasn't going to happen.

Thursday I did manage to get a few things done. I installed a bracket for the fire extinguisher (right of the door when you step into the trailer), I got a little tool box to screw into the floor to hold the generator accessories, and I started putting up wood on the walls for the tables. I also got some curtain rods up but they seemed way too flimsy for holding up a windproof barrier, so for now they're bare.

I wanted to get some stuff from the storage bay but that meant backing up a 100 yard curving driveway, something I can't do yet with the big trailer, at least not proficiently. Loading up the stuff for Bethel ended up with me spending a good 30 minutes backing up the trailer a few agonizing feet at a time. I decided I had to practice with a little car and trailer, like a Matchbox set, to prepare for the real thing.

Therefore I walked a few of the things I needed from storage to the trailer.

That finished my Thursday.

One of the staff volunteered to sort the pre-reg release forms and numbers so I gladly gave up that job, my normal Friday evening. The Missus called her Victoria at some point so I started calling her that also, leading me to call her Victoria on Sunday.

Which is not her name.


Instead of doing pre-reg stuff I spent the time updating the magical spreadsheet to reflect the additional Junior race. I had most of it in place but I wanted to make sure that things were set up properly.

Saturday, traditionally the day I did Bethel stuff, ended up a bit less productive. I started working on the tables again, realized that I really ought to get to Bethel and drop the trailer off first, and headed down. The gusty wind really played with the trailer which in turn played with my mind.

Just before Bethel (actually the Danbury exit that I take that leads to Bethel) a modded Lancer Evolution burbled by me. I noticed it because, well, because I did, but thought nothing else of it since the driver seemed normal and competent.

A few minutes later traffic suddenly came to a halt. We creeped forward until we came across two cars that had obviously tangled with either each other and/or the Jersey barrier median. The Evolution driver, whose car seemed unharmed, was setting out flares. People were walking or standing on the left shoulder and one guy ran across the highway in front of me.

I thought that, wow, if I'd been a mile or two earlier I could have been in the middle of that. With a car, okay, but with a large trailer it would have been ugly.

Once at Bethel I worked on the tables (are you sensing a theme?) until about 8 PM or so, gave up again before I could finish, and headed over to my dad's.

I first stopped for some Coke and cookies. For some reason this last week or so I've been really craving Coke, and even drank it with my dinner at my dad's. My brother pointed out that I'd be awake for a while, but when I went upstairs I lay down and realized I only had a minute or two before I'd be unconscious. I turned off the light and that was that.

The alarm startled me awake at 5 AM. I was happy I set it earlier in the day on Saturday because I totally forgot about it Saturday night.

Sunday we missed out on the temperature lottery again. I don't remember how cold it was but it was something like 30 degrees, cold enough to make my hands go numb, cold enough that my legs really never felt warm. Initially the wind stayed calm but as the day went on it really picked up.

The big changes for the Bethel CDR Gold Race versus the previous weeks were the following:
 - CCAP High School Race added to the schedule.
 - Powerbar would have a tent set up.
 - Moment of silence for Markus before the Cat 4 race.

The emptier trailer made for a better registration set up but I forgot on my two free afternoons to get propane for the tanks - we had only the smaller heaters in the trailer, not the larger one.

On the other hand I found all the stuff to hook up the generators in parallel. After thinking about it a bit, though, I decided to leave the single generator for the trailer. We don't need 3200 watts for the trailer and to do the parallel hook up I'd need a screw driver, I'd risk ripping the cord if I moved the generator without remembering to remove it, etc.

I think I need to make a little trailer for the generators so we can move them in tandem, we can keep the parallel cables in place, and we won't accidentally rip the parallel cables off by picking up just one generator.

I spent some time on the course taking pictures between handling the various promoter issues I needed to handle. These include questions on the races, comments and suggestions, instructing the new-to-the-race-series police officers, trying to keep the promised areas clear, speaking with local tenants, organizing the various tents, replacing wonky radios, and stuff like that.

The Junior race was really good at so many levels. The older Juniors were intent on helping and encouraging the younger ones, so much so that the best riders were at the back sometimes literally pushing the youngest Juniors.

The competitive ones.

One CCAP rider helping one of the younger riders.
This was the first chase group, if you will.

Another rider receiving help from two CCAP riders and his older brother.

An encouraging look.

One of the actual attacks of the competitive group.

The four rider chase.

The sprint for the win.

The second chase finishes.

The Cat 5s were next, followed by the 4s. This marks the second anniversary of Markus's passing and the Pawling Cycle guys said some words and the field had a moment of silence. You'd think that all these racers were hard core tough dealing with the weather and such but you could see that some of them had, ahem, some early spring allergies. Or something.

Cat 4 field, Rob from Pawling saying a few words.

The Markus Memorial.

The women's race had an impressive number of riders with a slew of well represented teams. It was great to see the camaraderie amongst the women before and after the races.


One of the early attacks.

The field getting into action.

Post race huddle.

More post race huddling.

Happy team.

I'm happy with the Women and Junior races. For all my complaining about various things relating to promoting, it's the emotions that I feel when I see the Juniors or the Women racing that help ease those complaints.

After my race I sat out the P123 race in order to start breaking down. In the past I'd do the P123 race and then help break down stuff. This year, with little fitness, with a lot to do to break down, I haven't even bothered putting myself in for the P123 races.

The worst part of the day was the prolonged P123 protest period. The race is tough on everyone, the racers (intentionally) as well as the race staff. The results were changed a few times and finally the remaining hardy souls and the official hammered out the details on who placed where on what lap. Since I wasn't in the race and didn't even watch it I can't comment on what happened but it was a bummer since a number of the race shakers and bakers left before the results were finalized.

I left the trailer behind this week, realizing that I won't be getting much done in it if I took it to its home base. This naturally allowed me to drive home as quickly as I dared. Unfortunately when I got home I missed seeing Junior as he was already asleep. The huge thing for me has become not seeing Junior, not being able to share the race stuff with him.

With some tasks that I really needed to get done before I went to bed I set about posting the results. I uploaded the 200-odd pictures, doing some very rough picking (horribly out of focus shots got ditched as well as the photo bomb arm-back-shoulder in the way ones). I couldn't get done before 11 PM and by then I realized I was so fuzzy headed I had to get to bed.

On that note the fourth week of the Series finished up. It seems like just yesterday that I was stressing about the first week, that we had the rental trailer. Now the stresses are a bit less severe, my back isn't killing me, and the whole process seems to be running a bit more smoothly. There are always problems, else I wouldn't have to even go to the race, but now they seem a bit more manageable.

My big hope is that the Junior turnout increases for next week. I've had two people already contact me about bringing a couple Juniors to the race, one disappointed dad was late for this last week's race, so with those folks in mind I hope that we have a 20 rider Junior field.

It sounds a bit sad, to be excited about a 20 rider Junior field, but right now that's the state of Junior cycling. That's why CCAP is so important. And that's why we're basically giving away a 30 minute slot to the Juniors, to try and get the kids to give this sport a try.

No comments: