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What age/class should tracks be optimized for?, Who matters most to this sport?
MikeCarruth
post Feb 25 2012, 09:24 AM
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Keep in mind the quote from the story was made in the context of local programs who want to attract, and retain new riders. Obviously, the ultimate would be a two-track situation, where there was a beginner and a "regular" track. But we don't have that luxury yet.
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bystickel
post Feb 25 2012, 09:39 AM
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Listen, I'm not trying to 'trap' you guys by asking you for a specific age and class. Really, I promise I'm not. I'm honestly curious about what AGE and ABILITY the tracks should be optimized for.

When you build obstacles, they're going to work better for some and worse for others, based on the rider's size, speed, ability, etc. That's OK, the World is full of compromises. Average all the things on a track and you'll end up with a Bell Curve of rider satisfaction, so to speak.

(create different lines for different classes and you'll please far more riders, but even those lines will need to be optimized for speed and ability)

Who should be the MOST SATISFIED with a track's design? a 6 expert, 10 novice, 12 intermediate, 15 expert, Pro, 41 Intermediate, or Big Daddy?

Take a stand.

This post has been edited by bystickel: Feb 25 2012, 09:48 AM
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wrxdan2002
post Feb 25 2012, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE (ANT DOG 3:16 @ Feb 24 2012, 11:30 PM) *
When CJBMX got rebuilt some people said it was now too hard, well guess what we have strider kids do full laps on it STRIDERS if a kid on a strider can do it with no help, then I see no reason for a classification system. Not trying to be prick, just speaking my mind.


BTW there was a new kid at practice last week, never been on a track, So I rode around with him, and guess what that gave him confidence to ride around by himself the rest of the day. Now I am no pro hell I am no expert (anymore) but I do know what to do to help someone who seems intimidated, give them that boost of confidence and everything else will fall in place.



Ant, I am going to have to disagree with you here. CJBMX's new first straight is the reason you did not see me at the track this year. Thought I am a capable racer (somewhat fast, OK manual skills, and good pump skills) the first straight put me in a weird place, with not being able to build speed to the first turn. I was too fast to roll it all, yet not fast enough (or enough guts) to jump or manual it. I always felt the first straights should be more of a drag race with jumps designed to build speed at get everybody to the first turn safely. Also in my hundreds of races I can not recall myself ever having a major wreak on a first straight. Anyway hope to see you around this year.
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Atlmark
post Feb 25 2012, 10:08 AM
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Bell curve/test group = riders 25 - 40 intermediate. Most likely will have 2-3 years racing with enough confidence to speed/power to skill ratio to get themselves in over their heads. If this group can barely get around the track without getting broke off at race speed then you've hit the right formula. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif)
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MikeCarruth
post Feb 25 2012, 10:19 AM
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And realistically, it is not a reliable measure to say "well, the Striders can get around it, therefore it's fine."

Striders are not going fast enough for it to make a difference. To my mind, a "novice" straightway that parallels the rhythm section on most tracks would be the place to start. That is the place where the true skills are most required...where if you don't HAVE rhythm on the bike yet, you are at risk of impact trauma.

We talk about this all the time in our circle of BMX Dads, but anyone remember "Elk Grove" in Illinois in the 80s? An updated version of that is my centerfold for a fun-and-approachable beginner and moms & dads track.

It's almost like we need an "X-Prize" of sorts in track building. The first group who can build a track that doesn't cause the experts to yawn, and the beginners to quake in their flat-shoes would win the prize.

We had an interesting chat around the table yesterday, here at the USA BMX Summit. I asked a few Track Operators "since beginners don't know a "good" track from a "bad" track (in terms of extreme features), if you put a very easy track out there for them to race on...at what point would they be coming to you and saying "it's too easy."

The answer, in all cases, was "once they go to another track and start talking to established riders."

It's peer pressure, and the "scared-to-be-called-a-wimp" factor. So a lot just don't come back.

As to the question of "who should be the most satisfied," the track has to decide what its identity will be. Is it the amped-up place where rank and file riders chocolate their pants riding, coming off with their frame in two pieces, held together by the brake cable...or the place where people come to have fun, learn the skills, and then maybe move to something more challenging once those skills mature.

It's more about the track understanding IT'S identity and mission, because that will drive all the other stuff. It may be cool to to say "we're the most radical track in the Midwest"...but then they add "and I don't know WHY we can't seem to crack 10 motos for a local." It is misplaced priorities and not fully understanding the customer and their motivations.

Will we ever understand that there is no shame in saying "I built my track for appeal to beginners. The experts are welcomed, but they probably won't find much challenge here...and that's perfectly OK. They can go down to (any other track in North America) to jump the pro set."

M
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meaker
post Feb 25 2012, 10:26 AM
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I have no idea what would ideal age to build a track around. Don't think there is a answer. I do know it is possible to make a track big but still rollable. The reason I didn't go to Oldsmar is I had heard from a few, the track was not made for us old guys. With that said and usabmx limited practice I decided to stay home. Track was awesome for elites and fast young ams...

So, I guess either have a rating of track difficulty or have a track builder that knows how to build big yet rollabe tracks. I see way too many lippy jumps with everything peaky. All you need is a lil extra backside to the lips and a lil extra frontside to the front of the landings.. which is what Oldsmar didn't have...
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bmx668
post Feb 25 2012, 10:27 AM
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Tracks don't hurt riders...riders hurt riders!






'los
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reedhamilton
post Feb 25 2012, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE (bystickel @ Feb 25 2012, 09:39 AM) *
Who should be the MOST SATISFIED with a track's design? a 6 expert, 10 novice, 12 intermediate, 15 expert, Pro, 41 Intermediate, or Big Daddy?


10 novice.




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standard67
post Feb 25 2012, 10:40 AM
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I would say what is your rider base? If you have no Pro's then don't build a pro section but instead build a decision maker one that has jumps and the other that has rollers. this will help everyone skill wise but yet fun for the newbies to test those skills. If you have a older base riders then make both a decision marker with a Pro set. Mostly all kids want to jump so build at least one small jump so they can learn and the progress to the next. Over all your track should be well round for all skills.
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Chris C.
post Feb 25 2012, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (bystickel @ Feb 25 2012, 10:39 AM) *
Listen, I'm not trying to 'trap' you guys by asking you for a specific age and class. Really, I promise I'm not. I'm honestly curious about what AGE and ABILITY the tracks should be optimized for.

When you build obstacles, they're going to work better for some and worse for others, based on the rider's size, speed, ability, etc. That's OK, the World is full of compromises. Average all the things on a track and you'll end up with a Bell Curve of rider satisfaction, so to speak.

(create different lines for different classes and you'll please far more riders, but even those lines will need to be optimized for speed and ability)

Who should be the MOST SATISFIED with a track's design? a 6 expert, 10 novice, 12 intermediate, 15 expert, Pro, 41 Intermediate, or Big Daddy?

Take a stand.


With all due respect, you are challenging everyone here to take a stand and I don't think you have made your own yet. What's your opinion from your own options above?



To me, there is no single answer. It all comes down to what the track operator is trying to accomplish. I do believe national tracks should be more challenging than the typical average, so if the people running a track are shooting for nationals, make it geared for experts. If you are a true local track just trying to run a nice program and attract/develop newer riders, back off the technical a bit. Unfortunately, I realize it's nowhere near that simple and there are just as many arguments to counter my opinion.
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