Tag Archives: Fees

Race registrations continue to climb

I guess I didn’t know just how good I had it back during the Greenville Spring Series. I will admit I was complaining a bit about how the registration fees had climbed to around $30 for a single race. Well, things just got worse.

The POA Cycling Team went down to Blythewood last weekend to race. I sat out because it appeared that we would once again have a full stable of Masters 35+ riders. I didn’t really want to do the Cat 3 race all by myself. So I sat out saying, “You guys go have fun. I’m going to stay here and train for the Rock Hill race.”

Now I’m wishing I had gone. Turns out that not everyone participated in the Masters 35+ race and I could have helped the guys out (not that they needed my help!) Beyond that, I’ve gotten a look at the registration form for the Rock Hill Bicycle Club Classic. Yikes!

That's a sack of cash

The temptation is pretty high to stay home again. What would it cost me to race the Saturday criterium? That is the only one I would be able to do. Though, just for the fun of it, I’ll list what it would cost to do both.

Criterium only: [(Total miles / MPG) * Price of gas] + (Registration + 2 meals)

We’re looking at – conservatively – $88.16 to go up to Rock Hill and race for 20 laps around Winthrop Lake.  $50 of that amount is the registration fee. So, you can see, I wouldn’t be eating at the steak house!

So, let’s take a look at what it would cost to do both races. We’ll take to approaches. 1) Ride up and back on Saturday and then repeat that on Sunday. 2) Ride up and stay in a hotel.

Racing both days from home: (Criterium total) * 2 – However, I should note that this would mean a very early morning for me as the Cat. 3 race starts at around 8:30 AM. I’d have to drive 90+ miles to get there.

Racing both days from hotel: (Criterium total) + (Registration + 3 meals + hotel) I’m thinking that I could hole up in an Econo Lodge for around $40 using a membership discount. There will be an extra meal in there as well.

So….

If I want to drive up on Saturday, race, drive home to sleep in my own bed before getting up and driving back up to Rock Hill, race, and then drive home; it is going to cost me $176.00.

If I decide to drive up Saturday, race, stay in a hotel so I can get up later to race, and then drive home; it is going to cost me $203.00.

Oooooo, I’m getting heart burn. Still, if the registration fees were what I paid to race in the Spring Series, we’d be looking at $58 to go up on Saturday night to race. That still is something to think about in today’s economy, but compared to $88 it just seems more reasonable.

I’ve talked with other racers and I’m hearing reactions from “They can take their registration fee and [fill in the blank here]” to “Well, they wouldn’t have such a high registration fee if people wouldn’t pay it.” A few of them are definitely planning on going up there — including members of my team. No one appears happy with it, but if you want to race….

I’m torn. I don’t feel like I have contributed much to the team so far this season. Seems like every time I decide to stay home I’m left wondering if I could have been a part of some cool results.

At the same time, $88 is a bit of cash to race 20 laps. Tax day is coming and unlike some folks who look forward to their refunds, I have to plan to pay the tax man. Things are a bit tight right now.

I guess it really comes down to this.  If race organizers can charge a $50 registration fee and people show up to pay it, why not charge that amount? If racers stopped showing up, it might cause these fees to be reconsidered. That may mean that a venue might have to change or certain amenities or prizes would have to adjust. However, racing would be available to more people.

I don’t want to sound like a complainer. Maybe if my personal circumstances were different, I wouldn’t even think twice about it.  Still, I think I’m saying something that a lot of people are thinking. I really do appreciate the folks who organize the races. For all I know, they are dipping into their own pockets to pull off these events and the registration fees aren’t enough at $50.

One thing I do know, if race registration fees continue to climb, I’m going to have to stop organized racing. Perhaps there are people out there willing to put down this kind of cash multiple weekends during the season, but I just can’t afford it. Cycling may be a sport outside my pay scale.

30 bucks of misery

Tomorrow we get to race gain. I’m still waiting to find out if I will be taking to the line in the morning or the afternoon. When you are a lower level domestique on a team, you aren’t always certain what your role will be. One thing I know, whenever I race it will be a wet and cold one.

In fits of rational thinking, I ask myself why I do it. I mean, if I register for the race online, it is going to cost me $25 plus the $2.75 fee for the online service. If I wait until race day, I have to pay an extra $5 to register. So, rounded up, that means I’m forking out $30 to ride my bike around in circles while risking life and limb in wet and cold conditions.

If you race two days this weekend, you will pay $60. What is that they were saying about bicycle racing being the new golf? Things are getting a little tight right now in the Pait household. It might be the dollars instead of the weather keeping me away!

Of course, I’ll be there. Organized racing is just an experience you can’t duplicate on your informal group rides. There is something about seeing your name on the finishing list that makes it all seem more real.

Last year was nice because I placed high enough in most of my races that I was able to come out of the race weekend pretty much even. That isn’t going to be the case in 2011. With gas and food prices rising and other economic factors, it is going to be hard to justify that much expense — in addition to fuel, etc. for a weekend.

It is a free market and the price will be what the market can bear. I guess my question is, at what point does the supply tip the demand? What is the cap on the fees before racers will back off?

Personally, I hope we don’t have to find out. For now, I’ll be out there to receive my 30 bucks worth of misery.