QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Jun 16 2012, 08:52 AM)
R, I'm going to write something now that will probably make you mad but I want you to know that I write it with the utmost respect and admiration for what you and all others like you do. It is not acceptable for you and the other great TO's to sit on your mountain and say "I'm doing fine - if you want to be successful do it yourselves." This is the core problem with BMX and it has been for many years. This type thinking is guaranteed not to expand anything. One poster on here wrote that there is too much distance between tracks for him to race as he wants. YES! YES! YES! So how do we fill in the gaps? R, you and the other master TO's do it. The town next to you has to have a track. The town next to them has to have a track. And so on and so on and so on. As I've written here many times if a town is big enough to have a football team and a LL series it is big enough to have a BMX track.
B.T., That doesn't make me mad in the slightest because I'm not telling anyone that they have to do it all alone. There is a huge support system in place even aside from resources that ABA offers. I have put it out there and said many times that anything I can do to help is only a phone call away (My ph# is published in every issue of the BMXer and Pull magazines, I'm easy to reach.) I've spoken to many T.Os and perspective T.Os over the years, some local, some all the way across the country and I'm sure that most T.O's are more than happy to share with others the things that have made their programs work.
Up until 2 years ago the closest track to us was 200 miles away. We were successful despite this.
I have been very involved the past 5 years in getting a track started in Spokane Wa. I still hold a seat on their Board of Directors despite some of the "Business" people there that seem to think my involvement is a conflict of interest. That track is now doing quite well and on their way to being huge.
In other words, I'm not on a mountain telling anyone to "Do it themselves" I am standing in a trench, in the valley, willing to do what I can (which is usually limited by distance.) to help them out. The first thing I tell all perspective T.O's is "Call the ABA".
I have also spoken to perspective T.O's in Moscow Id, Lewiston Id, Sandpoint Id, and Saint Maries Id. (Most of those within 50 miles of Cherry hill, my home track) Despite years of desire to build a track, none of those cities has gotten past Phase 1 (Talking about it) Except for St. Maries which built a track in 2010 and has yet to hold a race. the track is there (ABA sent a guy over to build it.) There is just no one left that is interested in running it. The long process burned out the original T.O.
The problem is not nearly so easy as just having help, there has to be someone there willing to actually do it, having great info and someone that you can call on the phone doesn't get it done, It takes local involvement
They have to be willing to actually do the hard work themselves. Nothing that the sanction could possibly do is going to get tracks built (and actually holding races.) in those towns short of them hiring a guy to live there and run it. (Impractical, with little hope of any ROI)
Its not as easy as someone saying "I want to build a track" Spokane took almost 20 years of negotiations with the city, Coeur'd Alene (Cherry Hill) took 7 years of negotiations. Something that a guy at a desk in Az. could not have done.
One of the biggest commonly heard fallacies in bmx is "If you build it they will come."... No... They won't!
After you build it, you have to promote it, then endlessly recruit to keep the noobs coming in through the revolving door.
The problem with failing tracks is not that they don't have anyone helping, showing or telling them what needs to be done. It's that they simply aren't willing or capable of doing those things.
Of course this is simplifying the problems, there are many many obstacles involved with building a track and many more involved with making it successful.