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Is it time to back off the Olympic track thing?
John De Bruin
post Sep 1 2021, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Aug 30 2021, 08:02 PM) *
We cannot let the tip end of the tail wag the whole dog.


I don't like the idea of quote/unquote "blaming" the CEO for <insert problem here>. On the other hand, I believe the primary job of the CEO is to set the vision of the company (i.e. where do we need to be in 5, 10, and 20 years from now).

IMHO, that position requires every option being on the table at all times, no matter how crazy or disruptive that idea may be. I'll offer one personal example: I represent a brand with X-amount of cache. In the 13 years since doing this, I've never released a modern aluminum race frame. Why?

A good CEO needs to ask a lot of difficult questions to make corresponding difficult decisions. Staying true to the vision of the company sometimes requires prioritizing that focus rather than jumping in with no plan. I happen to think developing a modern aluminum race frame is not in the best LONG-term interests of the brand.

Likewise, I see exiting the Olympics as a rare opportunity to redefine the best long-term interests of BMX racing.

Let's play the hypothetical game "I'm the new CEO of USABMX and <insert direction here> is the where we will be going from today forward:

My direction would be a "Mark Zuckerberg - Let's break everything" mentality combined with a "Jeff Bezo's - Obsessive/compulsive" mentality on rider count. Absolutely everything in that business would play backup position to rider count, and all options are on the table at all times.

I've given this some thought, and I think I could do it without destroying the basics of the sport from the rider POV. It wouldn't necessarily require banning clips or making jumps smaller. I view the changes needed as being inherent structural weaknesses that curtail the long-term growth.

And no I'm not saying any more than that because my genius doesn't come for free. Unfortunately, I am also not looking for a job.

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DJBBMX
post Sep 2 2021, 10:41 PM
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"I don't know of anyone who has died yet on an American BMX track, but I do know at least 2 people have died on Australian tracks in the last 10 or so years. And they weren't Olympians on Olympic tracks."


Remember Carson Stoffel? He died at the Rockford national in 2019. Your average track.

Things are a little out of control. Today’s pros can make it around a “extreme” track off an average hill. It’s just how we have advanced as humans and are abilities.

We play on the same football fields & basketball courts. There are no extreme track & field events. Only baseball fields change as you get older.

If speed kills. And clips make you faster. Just say ‘in.

How many parents see that big ass hill and say, “ain’t on way in going to let my kid go down that hill!”
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John De Bruin
post Sep 3 2021, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (DJBBMX @ Sep 3 2021, 04:41 AM) *
Remember Carson Stoffel? He died at the Rockford national in 2019. Your average track.


Thanks for the reminder. I feel terrible that I had forgotten about him.
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Elvis
post Sep 6 2021, 12:41 PM
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QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Aug 30 2021, 03:02 PM) *
Well, then the bomb hit. During the offseason break, I got word that the powers that be had completely bull dozed the track. Seems that a very gifted Pro was hopefully Olympic bound and it was strongly felt that he needed an "SX style track" to train on and they rebuilt this facility to provide him with one.


Isn't the message here, then, that not only are pros their own enemy, but if anything changes it's going to be up to the pros to change it?

And thinking about that, for the last umpteen years hasn't the argument from the pro ranks that pro-class tracks were a requirement? That the spectacle would drive, ultimately, revenue?

Thinking still further, it occurs there's nothing stopping any of us for holding a big-cash event with TV cameras at an am-track, you know, except for time and money.
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bnd
post Sep 7 2021, 11:13 AM
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Mike has been preaching “BMX Lite” for a long time, Im all in on that concept & thinking. 2 years ago I finally took the plunge and signed on being on a board running a track. First thing we did was made it pedal & jump friendly, no rhythm section. We put a jump line down the last straight to mix it up. It’s been a hit & we turned the program that was in life support around.

The longtime track here that hosts the national is 15 years behind the times in track design & catering to the 20% of ridership, IE, experts & pros.
It’s why I haven't raced there all but 3 times since 07’ & that was just because my kids wanted me to.

Going back to the SX tracks. I’ve always hated the big hill myself. If racing wasn’t part of the Olympics anymore I wonder if those things would slowly disappear.

b.
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thebondtrader55
post Sep 7 2021, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Sep 1 2021, 01:21 PM) *
I don't like the idea of quote/unquote "blaming" the CEO for <insert problem here>. On the other hand, I believe the primary job of the CEO is to set the vision of the company (i.e. where do we need to be in 5, 10, and 20 years from now).

IMHO, that position requires every option being on the table at all times, no matter how crazy or disruptive that idea may be. I'll offer one personal example: I represent a brand with X-amount of cache. In the 13 years since doing this, I've never released a modern aluminum race frame. Why?

A good CEO needs to ask a lot of difficult questions to make corresponding difficult decisions. Staying true to the vision of the company sometimes requires prioritizing that focus rather than jumping in with no plan. I happen to think developing a modern aluminum race frame is not in the best LONG-term interests of the brand.

Likewise, I see exiting the Olympics as a rare opportunity to redefine the best long-term interests of BMX racing.

Let's play the hypothetical game "I'm the new CEO of USABMX and <insert direction here> is the where we will be going from today forward:

My direction would be a "Mark Zuckerberg - Let's break everything" mentality combined with a "Jeff Bezo's - Obsessive/compulsive" mentality on rider count. Absolutely everything in that business would play backup position to rider count, and all options are on the table at all times.

I've given this some thought, and I think I could do it without destroying the basics of the sport from the rider POV. It wouldn't necessarily require banning clips or making jumps smaller. I view the changes needed as being inherent structural weaknesses that curtail the long-term growth.

And no I'm not saying any more than that because my genius doesn't come for free. Unfortunately, I am also not looking for a job.

Yes, everything should play backup position to rider count. It is The Age Old Problem in BMX racing and remains so today.
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thebondtrader55
post Sep 7 2021, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (DJBBMX @ Sep 2 2021, 11:41 PM) *
"I don't know of anyone who has died yet on an American BMX track, but I do know at least 2 people have died on Australian tracks in the last 10 or so years. And they weren't Olympians on Olympic tracks."


Remember Carson Stoffel? He died at the Rockford national in 2019. Your average track.

Things are a little out of control. Today’s pros can make it around a “extreme” track off an average hill. It’s just how we have advanced as humans and are abilities.

We play on the same football fields & basketball courts. There are no extreme track & field events. Only baseball fields change as you get older.

If speed kills. And clips make you faster. Just say ‘in.

How many parents see that big ass hill and say, “ain’t on way in going to let my kid go down that hill!”

That has been the overwhelming response of many, many parents. It obviously can't be sold to enough parents/kids to enlist more participants.
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thebondtrader55
post Sep 7 2021, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE (Elvis @ Sep 6 2021, 01:41 PM) *
Isn't the message here, then, that not only are pros their own enemy, but if anything changes it's going to be up to the pros to change it?

And thinking about that, for the last umpteen years hasn't the argument from the pro ranks that pro-class tracks were a requirement? That the spectacle would drive, ultimately, revenue?

Thinking still further, it occurs there's nothing stopping any of us for holding a big-cash event with TV cameras at an am-track, you know, except for time and money.

E, I'll admit that when this SX thing came along I wondered, as a local/normal track booster, if I wasn't just plain wrong. Was the pure big time spectacle the decades long missing piece?

I think we have a definitive, big enough sample size now to know that The Spectacle was not the missing piece. The Pros probably do need to be protected from themselves. What makes them ultra successful as competitors could be a detriment to rational, result driven analysis. No ones fault - just different interests/skill sets.

I love the one off, big money races independent of sanctioning organizations! But I'm not sure its the best thing here at this time. It's been done many times in auto/motorcycle/boat racing without the desired effect.

Leadership - there's just no replacement for it.

Good visiting with you, my good friend.
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thebondtrader55
post Sep 7 2021, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (bnd @ Sep 7 2021, 12:13 PM) *
Mike has been preaching “BMX Lite” for a long time, Im all in on that concept & thinking. 2 years ago I finally took the plunge and signed on being on a board running a track. First thing we did was made it pedal & jump friendly, no rhythm section. We put a jump line down the last straight to mix it up. It’s been a hit & we turned the program that was in life support around.

The longtime track here that hosts the national is 15 years behind the times in track design & catering to the 20% of ridership, IE, experts & pros.
It’s why I haven't raced there all but 3 times since 07’ & that was just because my kids wanted me to.

Going back to the SX tracks. I’ve always hated the big hill myself. If racing wasn’t part of the Olympics anymore I wonder if those things would slowly disappear.

b.

B, it's got to be about tracks that normal people can ride. It just has to be. BMX has always been at it's most healthy, and expanding, when novices and intermediates are clogging the tracks. Pros and factory sponsored NAG riders certainly have a role to play - but not THE role.
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John De Bruin
post Sep 8 2021, 11:54 AM
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Money pay-outs don't belong in BMX. Period.

Want to earn some money as Pro? Have a nice smile, be friendly and positive, and spend your off-time walking around talking to novices. Somebody will reward you for that.
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