Is There Enough Room for Multiple Races During the Same Weekend in MABRA?
Maybe. Maybe Not. Yes and No.
The BIGGEST race this upcoming weekend for MABRAians should be the Tour of Page County Stage Race and by all accounts, it is. However, it's not without a little overlapping of new bike races as well as some pretty prominent local teams racing in other spots around the country. More on that on Friday. First, we kick a dead horse.
If you are a member of the MABRA listserve and have the stomach to check it out, even on an occasional basis, you might recall a big bashing of Joe Jefferson. Yes, the same guy who, along with his club, has put the Sugar the Honey and the Ice Tea in dozens upon dozens of races over the years throughout Washington County, Maryland. His reasoning, which didn't seem to come soon enough for some, was a financial one. Women, historically, weren't producing revenue. Still, that wasn't good enough for some and a few got upset and said they'd boycott races. One female rider, who is not even located within the Mid-Atlantic and whose presence here was a just a blip on the radar, went so far to tweet to a main sponsor of Tour of Washington County:
Ky Hunter @RambaKy Apr 8
@SRAMroad very disappointed you choose to be the title sponsor of ToWC, a race that is taking HUGE steps backward and excluding women.
What? How does THAT make things better?
I dunno, rather than complain over social media and call for a boycott of races from a promoter publicly on a listserve try to do something positive about it. Find a company that might be interested in sponsoring women's races, come up with some positive ideas that can be executed or host a women's clinic much like is being done at the Dawg Days course this upcoming Sunday.... THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING.
Speaking of the world, I know it isn't perfect and that promoters are often held hostage by the dates that they can actually host the events so I'm not assigning blame here to anyone. If the world was perfect, the Melford Circuit Race, The Salisbury Twilight Crit and the Page Valley Circuit Race would not be held during the same weekend.
Thankfully for Page Valley race promoter, Chris Gould, who seems to pour his heart and soul into hosting races, Page Valley looks to have pretty standard registration numbers with Cat 3/4, 4/5 filled and about 40 women total signed up for the races. That's not that bad. I'm assuming the 17 or so women signed up for Melford are more interested in a learning experience than the stage race experience. That actually works.
However, a new race busted onto this year that almost nobody signed up for. Most likely because people DID want the experience of a stage race rather than a downtown twilight criterium experience...which is also pretty freakin' sweet.
I do remember the Salisbury Festival Twilight Crit was announced. It had a 1/2/3 race with a pretty nice payout. With very low registration numbers, that seemed to have changed and the 1/2/3 field was eliminated and now the Cat 3/4 race is the main event.
I feel bad for the promoters of this event because it seems to be an example of them probably only having ONE DATE to choose from since the event was to take place the same weekend as the town's festival. Speaking of a festival in Salisbury, I'm not sure what they celebrate besides Frank Perdue. It's the gateway town to Ocean City for most. My guess is that some people would take advantage if it were summertime; hit the beach, do a crit, and then knock back a few mind erasers at Seacrets in Ocean City. Race promoter dudes..convince the town to have their festival in the summer, when the stench of industrialized chicken is at its highest, do the crit, then head over to Ocean City to check out all the celebrities on the boardwalk.
I just hope that this race can eventually happen because it does sound really cool. See you out on the tarmac!