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thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Bikemonkeys @ Jun 5 2012, 06:28 AM) *
There is a bunch of truth in this. I can almost tell what frames will be popular at the local track each year by what each local teams are running and the "National" riders are on. If the "National" riders don't come out often, no one is going to run out and get one. The "National" kids that do come out often, there's usually a following of kids looking to get on whatever they're on.

Right Right Right!!!!!

B, when did we start to forget this? In the 90's during the last great boom the sponsored riders ALL ran the local tracks regularly. The tracks in Cali and Texas were clogged with Pros and Nags!

Mike Redman told me once at a National that he had no idea why so many Texas and Cali riders were so rabid about Nationals when the racing was so fantastic right around their own state. He was right although we had our cake and ate it too at the time - we could watch our State/Local racing and then watch the Nats too!

The whole notion that the Pros and Nags, which the kids/parents look up to, don't need to show up locally to promote product reminds me of what noted bank robber Willy Sutton said once when asked why he robbed banks? His reply was the classic, "Because that's where the money is!".

Well, the money is at the local tracks in average, awful, and new riders. Bill Curtin provided us with numbers that clearly showed that there aren't enough Pros and Nags to make any difference whatsoever in rider counts in and of themselves. But Ah, the kids who would come to see them race, talk, and sign autographs is priceless!

Factories, send your Pros/Nags back out to the tracks - we miss ya! And who knows? Those flat sales might head up and there is usually a Dad who is good for a free dinner after the race!

Thanks B!
AshHill
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 5 2012, 09:29 AM) *
So if you force a rider to race locals to obtain a NAG ranking, should the local racer also be required to race a minimum amount of nationals to carry a State plate? Should a rider not be able to get a State plate if they do not attend a national that is scheduled within their state? By your proposal it really is the same as your trying to fill gate spots and rider count at nationals is just as important for rider points. I guess I am missing where the potential NAG rider has to carry the burden of the sport at the local level.

As stated in my original post locals and nationals have absolutely nothing to do with each other in any way except for at times the track is used for a national event. I also firmly believe that more national riders participate in their local program than you think. These types of threads get started all the time and are favored to by those that lack the depth to understand the question they are asking and the issue they are creating.


Breaking down your condescending questions and arrogant comments
-Your not FORCING a rider, it would be a requirement just like many other requirement you have to obtain in our wonderful sport.
- The state series is within the state, the national series is within ALL states. The National series feeds off those state series championships (ROC / Presidents Cup) The National series has no allegiance to the state series and I believe -along with a great percentage of our followers- that it should.
-The comment about the rider not being able to obtain a state plate if they do not race the national in their state.. This was my favorite one! For someone who knows so much about the sport would know that not all states have nationals -so there is arrogant comment number 1.
- Carrying the burden of the sport, if it werent for those local tracks your child (not you....) would not have a sport to call home.

Then you become very ignorant when your statement that the levels have nothing to do with one another. Im not real sure if you race or your living in the light of your child-- but I raced nationaly for a very long time... Very competitively... the highest you can just about achieve... You sicken me with your arrogance. This sport is known for its vigor, but NOT for its lack of common respect for your fellow BMXers. Those TO's who give their lives (second jobs/ ontop of their own) build and maintain those tracks that your child races on. Those local tracks that most of the nationals rest their big rigs.
The ONLY thing you may be correct in is your statement that more NAG riders may be hitting those local races. But I can assure you that those local NAG chasers are under the age of 12...

-Those who lack the depth to understand... this one may be my favorite... each time I read it I imagine a man who lives his life through his child, not having any real respect for the sport or the man who started the thread. Reread the threads initial post... scroll through the thread and have a look at the replys JAF has given... all noncontroversal and with real care to the sport he loves so dearly. The type of man who will ask the hard questions with hope to learn the feelings of the people around him. THEN lets see how you feel about being such an ass and so disrectful to a lifetime BMXer who is a team owner (of a Team your son may be passed by due to your big mouth)
bystickel
If USABMX wants to grow local racing, they need to kill the notion that it's something we all should strive to get away from.

If the best riders don't do locals, then locals aren't cool.
AshHill
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 1 2012, 07:04 PM) *
Rockford BMX had 72 moto's at their state qualifier last weekend + Strider. Most tracks here in Illinois and Wisconsin are up 10+ moto's weekly! Local races/points have nothing to do with national races/points rankings and should not have. An extremely low percentage of racers do not race locals in favor of racing nationals, this debate has been going on for decades and is null.

The real reason any local participation suffers is due to lack of commitment from the parents and or guardians to get the racers to the track on a continual basis.


Null? Hahah

If it was Null then we wouldnt have an issue with out sport diminishing. Any concern should be taken into consideration when saving a sport. Any child who shows excitement to an activity/sport their parents usually commit. Its the child almost everytime. Or the price -the more those factory riders show their gear to the lower level riders - the more they sell.... a more competitive market creates lower more competitive costs. The teams should be requiring their riders to earn their keep.
JAF2
QUOTE (AshHill @ Jun 5 2012, 06:44 PM) *
quote name='JAF2' date='Jun 1 2012, 06:27 PM' post='1173987']
I travel weekly on business and usually ship my bike to get some track time in the cities I visit. BMX people are a different breed and I enjoy meeting them and making new friends. What I have found at most of the tracks I visit is dwindling moto counts - usually around 10 motos. I feel the local scene is the key to introducing new riders to the sport and finding ways to pump it up should be a priority.

Should USABMX require a minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate?



Fantastic question JAF. You seem to have a knack for getting great conversation rolling. Some of our fellow BMXers or Rather "The Parents" of oBMXers dont have the respect or gratitude for a great discussion. They would rather ruin a great opportunity to listen, learn and share. The only way our sport will survive is if we come together and find a solution to the problems we have.

Our sport has roughly 22,000 registered riders. The riders are not renewing their license due to the economy and lack of interest. As a former national rider for 8 straight years and belonging to a family that owned a track for 9 years, I raced locally as much as possible. Not just my track, but any track within a 2 hour drive. As did every national rider in my state. I didnt become the national rider I did by watching/racing intermediates run the local scene. I also respected my roots and gave back to the tracks who made me!

I can feel the passion!

Nationals arent all built for the weekend inside arenas... They are mostly at local tracks. If those tracks dont have the funds to make it through the year, you will end up racing the same tracks over and over... Tracks shut down every year due to lack of consitant rider/moto count.

To the issue of All riders aspiring to the earn a NAG plate... Its a complicated question. Some riders enjoy points chasing, traveling the country and racing only the elite. I understand your desires. But if YOU (the elite) do not race at home you will eventually ruin the chance of building our sport. I remember as a child... tender age of 4... going to my first couple locals and meeting expert/Pros/national riders... Those ridesr are the ones who teach the others around them -whether its just by watching them or actually coaching. Who Else Is Going/Able To Do It??!! $20 clinics teach the basics but they dont teach the Heart of the sport. Those Pros and Experts do!

Those new kids pull up to the track, unpack, race, pack up and go home... What happened to the days when you pull up, unpack, practice, watch those awesome riders hit the big jumps-pro/expert sets, talk-learn, race, get autographs and hope that one day that A Pro you just hung out with all day will one day be that National #1 Pro - Possible Olympic Gold Medalist... then head home with so much excitement you cant fall asleep because your thinking about going to the track again.

The nationals allow any level to race at their events. Those novice and intermediates who race at home will begin to win... they move up. They have false sense of accomplishment once they race others at Nationals. they get their butt kicked... If those "national" riders were required to race a certain number of locals, the competitors will get better. What happens if you begin your national career once you turn expert -Yet to have raced a real expert. Your classed without return! I can pull multiple scenarios from every direction.

You parents sign your children up for clinics run by Pros... why? Because watching those guys is the best thing for your young riders. Why wouldnt you want them to give back to the tracks who made them? Those Track Opperators who bust their butt keeping YOUR track ridable and never receive a paycheck for the back breaking hours devoted to YOU! and eventually YOUR KIDs! Homage my fellow BMXers.

Our season is roughly 11 months long... 30 weekends of Nationals.... Then the Grands. You only need 6 Nationals and the Grands the earn a NAG plate. For the sanction to require NAG chasers race a minimum of 15 locals is asking NOTHING... But the impact is so great. A lot of local tracks run races during the week once school it out. I guarantee you that ANYONE would rather race for training than just do sprints down their road. Then there is the issue of the Moocher... The Moocher is the racer who will ride the track for gate practice -a lot of tracks practice is $0-$5 but wont race.. and if they do they dont give a crap because it means nothing to them. They take the gate but sit down after the first turn. Why not give those guys a reason to RACE! Make those locals count towards their NAG chase.

JAF2
QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Jun 5 2012, 06:39 PM) *
J, it's hard to quantify this but there is some fallout from the lack of participation from the Nags and the Pros. You just never know what is going to motivate a new rider to stick around and keep going.

For my family it was Steve Veltman, John Purse, Bull Dyer, and Tank Carder. They showed us twice a week what COULD BE DONE. There is no telling how many stuck around for a long time just trying to beat these guys at the local tracks, cheered them on at the Nationals, and then bought thousands of dollars of their sponsors products. Win on Sunday- Sell on Monday!

As far as why the "factories" that sponsor these guys/gals today don't REQUIRE their employees to show up and represent their products at the local level I have no idea.

Thanks for your views.


Yes, it is hard to quantify. If it was easy, we could put in on a spread sheet and say "see, I told you so".
ILBMX
AshHill,

I think the point was made that if a rule was enacted to entice NAG participants to race more local races it would add little statistical value on the local programs. Our local track lives on whether or not the NAG crowd participates. We like to see them come out, and enjoy the company, but our focus is on bringing new families to the sport and helping them have fun.

I am not sure if you are really angry or if you just type that way.
JAF2
QUOTE (bystickel @ Jun 5 2012, 07:26 PM) *
If USABMX wants to grow local racing, they need to kill the notion that it's something we all should strive to get away from.

If the best riders don't do locals, then locals aren't cool.


That has been my observation.
CoopersDad
QUOTE (AshHill @ Jun 5 2012, 08:22 PM) *
Breaking down your condescending questions and arrogant comments
-Your not FORCING a rider, it would be a requirement just like many other requirement you have to obtain in our wonderful sport.
- The state series is within the state, the national series is within ALL states. The National series feeds off those state series championships (ROC / Presidents Cup) The National series has no allegiance to the state series and I believe -along with a great percentage of our followers- that it should.
-The comment about the rider not being able to obtain a state plate if they do not race the national in their state.. This was my favorite one! For someone who knows so much about the sport would know that not all states have nationals -so there is arrogant comment number 1.
- Carrying the burden of the sport, if it werent for those local tracks your child (not you....) would not have a sport to call home.

Then you become very ignorant when your statement that the levels have nothing to do with one another. Im not real sure if you race or your living in the light of your child-- but I raced nationaly for a very long time... Very competitively... the highest you can just about achieve... You sicken me with your arrogance. This sport is known for its vigor, but NOT for its lack of common respect for your fellow BMXers. Those TO's who give their lives (second jobs/ ontop of their own) build and maintain those tracks that your child races on. Those local tracks that most of the nationals rest their big rigs.
The ONLY thing you may be correct in is your statement that more NAG riders may be hitting those local races. But I can assure you that those local NAG chasers are under the age of 12...

-Those who lack the depth to understand... this one may be my favorite... each time I read it I imagine a man who lives his life through his child, not having any real respect for the sport or the man who started the thread. Reread the threads initial post... scroll through the thread and have a look at the replys JAF has given... all noncontroversal and with real care to the sport he loves so dearly. The type of man who will ask the hard questions with hope to learn the feelings of the people around him. THEN lets see how you feel about being such an ass and so disrectful to a lifetime BMXer who is a team owner (of a Team your son may be passed by due to your big mouth)


To start if it is a requirement then it is forced as you have no other option should you want to compete at the national level.

The national series does not feed off of the state series championship (ROC / Presidents Cup) , it is run in conjunction with it at the Grands. Again the two have absolutley nothing to do with each other except they are run over the course of the same race week. The birthdate criteria is not even the same as with the ROC you race the age you raced at your state championship and the Grands you race your age at the time of qualifying. That in itself could be an entirely different thread. Now what I believe you meant to say was that the national series pulls their racers from the local base and that I agree with, however they are not ditching their local track every weekend for them. I will go out on a limb and say at best the average NAG contender averages 1 - 1.2 nationals per month. The rest of the time the majority are frequenting their local tracks. Even the local racer misses a race or two monthly to the point that it is probably a wash by comparision. Look at track championships and at best 3-4 racers have perfect race attendance.

I know very well that their is not a national in every state, that is why I worded my response with if that state had a national. It was done on purpose to prove a point. Your response only strengthens my response that the two have nothing in common and should not be be pointed or reflect one another. If you cannot make a program successful on its own and you create rules in an attempt to retain a higher percentage then that would be a burden on the proposed racers in question.

When you ask a question that does not propose all the options/answers well then it is in fact controversal. Using your words if the original poster is not afraid to ask the hard questions, then they should not be offended by the hard answers. All I did was show the other side of the question, the side that was not thought about, the side that is currently effective today. I responded to the questions with questions and at least was able to give viable reason as to why the debate is mute. To not look at both sides of the coin and be open to them is in fact not having or showing depth to the question at hand, it was not a personal attack. You then accused me falsely of being ignorant and arrogant (of this situation at least) and felt that it was ok for you to be hypocritical and make personal slanderous statements. Lucky for you I voted for the right guy and I am not offended.

I in no way shape or form live through my kids. I have lived my dreams, accomplished most of my material goals and had my own personal felt success, we race BMX because it is what my son wants to do and no other reason. What I do do is support my kids to the highest level necessary for them to be successful and that has nothing to do with racing. I apply the same mindset towards their scholastic achievements, repsect of their elders and peers, community volunteer efforts and various sporting and hobbies. Am I hard on my kids? You bet! Have I made mistakes along the way? You bet! Do I put structured pressure on them in an effort to reduce mistakes and be smart on their feet? You bet! Will I always do what is neccessary regardless of public opinion to protect my kids? You guessed it! On the contrary I am not living through my kids, they are living through me (literally).

The beauty of your attack on me is that you have absolutely no idea of what lengths we go through to support our local (within our state and the tri state area) race scene. My son is just your average state racer that also does his fair share of nationals. Others may label him as a NAG rider, but to him he just races BMX. Those that know my son also know that he races Open, Cruiser and Class at all locals to aid with entry counts and get the most riding out of a race day (I know crazy arrogant, non respecting, ignorant ass huh). Race the Wednesday night and Saturday night races as well as the Sunday local races oh and let's not forget about those 2 hour drives south on alternating Friday nights to race at another state track that we love so much. Could easily stop and fill up a cooler, but choose to frequent the tracks concession stand in a total effort to support the tracks efforts. Early spring when our local track drug its feet for 6 weeks to get the track open we could have just sat on the couch like most, but no we left at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night and drove 10 hours to Tennessee to race and see friends all to turn around right after on Sunday and drive home all night. You see my original reply does not even pertain to us as we will always meet the quota simply out of normal track participation regardless of our national status. The point is that the majority of the NAG contenders will do so also regardless of the quota amount. Something that was never researched or even considered. As far as the team remark and my son getting passed by, well we will just take that chance I suppose. He gets bye pretty good right now and I would venture to say that he promotes and knows his sponsors better than most double his age.

On average how many NAG riders are really missing from local tracks throughout the country on a national weekend? ABA claims 370 tracks in the U.S. so let's take a 200 moto national and we will say that on average there are 1200 entries (6 riders per rack) which ratios out to a little less than 3.5 riders per track average on a national weekend (some tracks more, some tracks none) but the local scene is definately not being destroyed by NAG competitiors venturing off on national weekends. Now that number would be true only if people did not ride multiple classes so now what happens to the ratio, maybe 2.5 - 2.7ish? So at worst case scenario if those 1200 national entries never raced a local (which we know is grossly false) a local would be missing out on approximately 2.5 racers. It is not being ignorant or arrogant, it is knowing the answer to the question.

I hate to even continue with this reply because the following has been discussed for so long it is almost as bad as a clips vs. flats debate.

Locals - Regardless of the efforts to drum up new participants and create new rider counts, all efforts are wasted if a solid base does not exist. So you bring fresh blood through the door, but how are you going to keep them? There my friend lies the rub. The answer is not the same nation wide as communities, track history / involvement, other activity competition, etc. is not the same in all areas. Many tracks today are being operated by racers from the golden era and volunteers that bring their passion for the sport they are trying to reaquaint themselves with. The problem is that a good portion are trying to market BMX the way they did 30+ years ago and that simply is not the answer. Why? Simple because BMX is not the same! Pocket protector companies do not have the same market share they once had because they were replaced with smartphones, do you think the manufacturers run the same operating proceedures? The same goes for BMX, it has been replaced with many other activities and the clientele is not the same when considering the "new" wave of competitiors. The residual new racer (one that is related to a previous racer) will find a track one way or another, that is a given and not who you are chasing. You want the convert, the new racer that could have easily ended up on the basketball court, but found out BMX was more their style and just never knew it. Do I have all the answers as to how to do that? No! Why? Well because like business you need the stomach for failure and being able to respond to the needs of your clientele to make your program successful. Trial and error is more than likely the key to success. So many good posts on what tracks can do to seed the market, but never an objective as to what they are going to do once they bring them in. To me the first step would be to run the track more like a business and less like a non for profit fun center. People need structure as they will not do it by themselves. Simple base rules of closing sign up when you say, accurately posting moto's in a timely fashion, organized staging and starting as close to the posted start time as possible. To put a cherry on the top get a good announcer that can call a race like it is the greatest show on earth. I cannot think of a more valuable asset on race day than an announcer that can pump up track and rider sponsors, promote specials at the snack bar and call a race from first to eighth to please all parents, spectators and racers. How about main rollouts for full gates? The program value that is added by the extra 10-15 minutes of weekly fame can be very addictive. To me all those basic qualities in a program far exceed the actual race surface and layout. I know that for me I enjoy going racing where the facility is run like a well oiled machine opposed to a killer track that is continuously 2-3 hours behind with 5 moto board re-posts and then running around with their hair on fire to get the motos run before the rain falls. Create security in your customers by building confidence that you are organized enough to know what you are doing. What message are these tracks sending when they cannot even handle the basics? I know it has been discussed about how long an average local race should take. I say that people will willingly stay as long as you make it comfortable to stay. I have always said having fun at a track is when they make it a destination, and not just a race.

Next up how about state tracks working together with scheduling? You know how many states have 3-5 tracks running on the same day or night, only to complain about only having 8-10 moto's? Here's a thought, make your own series to not compete for the same client on the same race day and use your now 25-50 moto's to grow your tracks? In the end I assure you the dividends will be larger for all. State qualifiers and races, why are other tracks running on your deligated day? Since locals are state and state is being debated, why are the tracks working against each other? Promote the state series if locals are truly your argument.

Ash let me also be the first to welcome you to Vintage.
JAF2
Voting so far - 74% in favor of a required minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate.
Elvis
QUOTE (JAF2 @ Jun 6 2012, 07:15 AM) *
Voting so far - 74% in favor of a required minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate.


... in a poll which favors these results.

... in a thread which ... ah never mind, Internets LOL

I would think any organization which uses message board thread to determine it's policy is one on the way downhill. In fact, I can think of one BMX sanction which followed the "whoever complains the loudest gets their way" tactic, but they're not around any more.
justafather
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 1 2012, 07:04 PM)
The real reason any local participation suffers is due to lack of commitment from the parents and or guardians to get the racers to the track on a continual basis.

QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 02:30 AM)
You want the convert, the new racer that could have easily ended up on the basketball court, but found out BMX was more their style and just never knew it. Do I have all the answers as to how to do that? No!

QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 02:30 AM)
Many tracks today are being operated by racers from the golden era and volunteers that bring their passion for the sport they are trying to reaquaint themselves with. The problem is that a good portion are trying to market BMX the way they did 30+ years ago and that simply is not the answer.

Create security in your customers by building confidence that you are organized enough to know what you are doing. What message are these tracks sending when they cannot even handle the basics?

So is it the parents fault local participation suffers? The track operators? Or do you not have a clue?

Sorry, I'm having trouble following you.
CoopersDad
QUOTE (justafather @ Jun 6 2012, 11:12 AM) *
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 1 2012, 07:04 PM)
The real reason any local participation suffers is due to lack of commitment from the parents and or guardians to get the racers to the track on a continual basis.

QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 02:30 AM)
You want the convert, the new racer that could have easily ended up on the basketball court, but found out BMX was more their style and just never knew it. Do I have all the answers as to how to do that? No!

QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 02:30 AM)
Many tracks today are being operated by racers from the golden era and volunteers that bring their passion for the sport they are trying to reaquaint themselves with. The problem is that a good portion are trying to market BMX the way they did 30+ years ago and that simply is not the answer.

Create security in your customers by building confidence that you are organized enough to know what you are doing. What message are these tracks sending when they cannot even handle the basics?

So is it the parents fault local participation suffers? The track operators? Or do you not have a clue?

Sorry, I'm having trouble following you.


Well you are quoting different aspects to different questions. Local participation does suffer from lack of parental commitment, a base that is already there but not responding potentially to what the sport / potentially track has to offer and not competing on a regualar basis.

The later 2 are in regards to the posts pertaining to new rider aquisitions and potential areas of breakdowns with a tracks operating structure. One would have thought that by seperating and labeling it as Locals would have aided the ability to follow along.

As far as fault there are many areas I suppose where one could point fingers. One thing however that I do have a clue about is that it is not due to "NAG" riders not frequenting their local tracks.
Bikemonkeys
Just to change directions; How many people are turned off from BMX by NAG riders?

New parents see their expensive bikes and gear. Cocky attitudes and the expectation that others know who they are. Expecting others to get out of their way while practicing, no matter of their age/skill. Techniques that are applauded at nationals, local racers/families get upset about.

We've had both the good and bad in the NAG riders at the track. It really can be a double edged sword.
CoopersDad
QUOTE (Bikemonkeys @ Jun 6 2012, 12:18 PM) *
Just to change directions; How many people are turned off from BMX by NAG riders?

New parents see their expensive bikes and gear. Cocky attitudes and the expectation that others know who they are. Expecting others to get out of their way while practicing, no matter of their age/skill. Techniques that are applauded at nationals, local racers/families get upset about.

We've had both the good and bad in the NAG riders at the track. It really can be a double edged sword.


Now we are labeling and stereotyping?
RCain
Taking riders from the top tier and force feeding them back into the bottom tier (The only tier in which growth occurs.) is not generating growth and is therefore pointless.
If you want the NAG riders to generate growth, make them recruit 3 new full members to qualify for a plate.

QUOTE
So is it the parents fault local participation suffers? The track operators? Or do you not have a clue?


Let me give you the simple answer to that question.
Yes!

What this poll is attempting to do is convince mother sanction that there is a simple solution to a very complex problem. It's not working. If you know what the problem is, then you know that this is not the solution.
Bill Curtin hit the nail on the head with with his observation "why does a rider come to a track, try it once or twice and never come back." Follow that out to include "Why do they only stay 6 months, a year, why do kids leave bmx?" As an example, if this idea we're implemented, some NAG kid would decide it's just not worth it if he has to roll out of the gate at 10 locals to qualify and he'll quit! Kids, in general, are quitters! That's the problem!
The harsh truth is that recruiting is not only necessary for growth, it's necessary to stay even. Kids leave all of he time, for all different reasons (Going NAG hunting being only one of them, and probably only a small percentage at that.).
If you can come up with one solution for all of the reasons why kids leave BMX you will have saved the sport. As it is you want to pop a few guys from the top back into the bottom. Rearrange the deck chairs as it were.

We have recruited 100 - 150 new members a year for the past 5 years just to stay even at about 80 riders per event. Growth at our 1 local track would require a recruiting effort stronger than that. Infusing 600 or even 1000 riders (That don't really want to be there.) into the pool of 360 tracks is like building a lake with a teaspoon, the problem being, you only have one spoonful. Wheres the next spoonful coming from?

The pool of newbies is nearly bottomless, and they keep making more.
The only viable solution to the "Problem" is, has, and will be, Recruiting.
Elvis
QUOTE (Bikemonkeys @ Jun 6 2012, 12:18 PM) *
Just to change directions; How many people are turned off from BMX by NAG riders?


I'm turned off by the smelly old people. They take up all that time in practice going around the track in the left lane with their turn signal on.

Your time is past, A.J. Foyt, go back to the car.
justafather
QUOTE (RCain @ Jun 6 2012, 12:37 PM) *
Taking riders from the top tier and force feeding them back into the bottom tier (The only tier in which growth occurs.) is not generating growth and is therefore pointless.
If you want the NAG riders to generate growth, make them recruit 3 new full members to qualify for a plate.



Let me give you the simple answer to that question.
Yes!

What this poll is attempting to do is convince mother sanction that there is a simple solution to a very complex problem. It's not working. If you know what the problem is, then you know that this is not the solution.
Bill Curtin hit the nail on the head with with his observation "why does a rider come to a track, try it once or twice and never come back." Follow that out to include "Why do they only stay 6 months, a year, why do kids leave bmx?" As an example, if this idea we're implemented, some NAG kid would decide it's just not worth it if he has to roll out of the gate at 10 locals to qualify and he'll quit! Kids, in general, are quitters! That's the problem!
The harsh truth is that recruiting is not only necessary for growth, it's necessary to stay even. Kids leave all of he time, for all different reasons (Going NAG hunting being only one of them, and probably only a small percentage at that.).
If you can come up with one solution for all of the reasons why kids leave BMX you will have saved the sport. As it is you want to pop a few guys from the top back into the bottom. Rearrange the deck chairs as it were.

We have recruited 100 - 150 new members a year for the past 5 years just to stay even at about 80 riders per event. Growth at our 1 local track would require a recruiting effort stronger than that. Infusing 600 or even 1000 riders (That don't really want to be there.) into the pool of 360 tracks is like building a lake with a teaspoon, the problem being, you only have one spoonful. Wheres the next spoonful coming from?

The pool of newbies is nearly bottomless, and they keep making more.
The only viable solution to the "Problem" is, has, and will be, Recruiting.



RC since you used my quote perhaps you were talking to me? If so just know that I do not subscribe to what I believe is a false premise, i.e. NAG riders not racing locals being a problem.

With respect to your question on how to retain riders I''ll throw out a few random opinions,observations just for kicks. I'm a business minded person, as such, I tend to view things through the prism of business. So with that said here goes:

If my customers were falling off at the rate you describe the first thing I would do is talk to them and find out their "why". That's about as basic of marketing as you can't get. Now in my experience the answers you receive may not be solvable without implementing radical change to the existing system. I say that because I've dealt with the same thing in jr tackle football. If a kid doesn't like getting hit(and MANY don't), or working out in very hot temperatures (which many don't), or not playing full time (which many don't), then how do you solve those issue's and still have what we think of when we think football? So each year we have to essentially start over with this years kids.

Now changing gears a bit, from a business perspective you're foolish if you build a product without first determining the interest level of the market. When tracks get built do we ask "average" kids in town what they want? Or do we rely on BMX experts to decide how many jumps there will be, how big they'll be, how tall the starting hill is, etc? I think it's the later, don't you?

Now back in the 80's tracks were far less challenging were they not? Yet rider counts were far greater, yes? Hmmm. As a businessman whenever my company struggles first thing I do is get back to what has worked before. Anytime we struggle it's because we've gotten away from the successful actions that got us here to begin with. We've strayed off the proven path.

Now am I saying we should bulldoze all tracks and rebuild them to 1980's specs? No! It would be impossible to say what to do BEFORE collecting and analyzing the data from those who left as to the "why" behind their decision. I've lowered turnover in my company by simply doing exit interviews which helped me to better understand why people were leaving. It didn't help me save them, but it allowed me to see, over time, the things we could do better to reduce the problem.

Changing gears again to recuiting, I'm not sure I see this endless pool of potential BMX'ers you do. I've taken at least 8-12 kids to the track. Some hated it, some liked it, but NOT ONE had any interest in racing whatsoever. Yet these kids play with my son all the time and have many, many things in common. Some even come watch him race, but still they have no interest. Likewise, he has less than zero interest about joining their soccer teams. So is the pool ALL kids? I don't think so. I think the pool is merely those kids who would actually enjoy racing their bikes down a starting hill, handlebar to handlebar into the first jump. Ask yourself, why don't more kids take up curling? It's an Olympic sport. The answer in my opinion is obvious...because most kids don't want to plain and simple.

Anyway just some food for thought. Whether or not BMX grows or not really isn't very important to me. Much like the USABMX itself, the current way of things suits our needs just fine.




Bikemonkeys
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 12:27 PM) *
Now we are labeling and stereotyping?

Who's stereo typing? Like I said I've had good and bad. Tanner and Fernie have been great with newbies and younger kids. We've had others that did cause problems.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Jun 6 2012, 10:08 AM) *
... in a poll which favors these results.

... in a thread which ... ah never mind, Internets LOL

I would think any organization which uses message board thread to determine it's policy is one on the way downhill. In fact, I can think of one BMX sanction which followed the "whoever complains the loudest gets their way" tactic, but they're not around any more.

No.

I would love to be in a business as small as the ABA so that I could pinpoint such a valuable information source as Vintage BMX. Most of the highly educated professionals in my line of work look me right in the eye, p.. on my feet, and tell me it's raining. A loaded gun pressed to their foreheads wouldn't produce the truth. God knows large sums of my money and federal regulation doesn't have any effect on them.

In contrast I have found the members on here to be honest and forthcoming with their opinions. In addition they are passionate and truly caring about the sport. That's hard to find anywhere much less for free. Are they often wrong IMO? Yes, but what of it? If you all knew some of the outright blunders I've made in the last 35 years well, WOW! In the posters behalf they have given me 3 outright great ideas since I have joined here. If I saw them surely someone as brilliant as the brain trust of the highly venerated and much admired ABA saw them.

Look guys/gals, the ABA does one thing really well and is darn near spotless on one other thing. These items are:

!. They do really well taking in fees from the membership.

2. They are darn near perfect at promoting, expanding, and operating a National event every two weeks.

But this isn't what we're talking about - the thread was basically about trying to expand the local scene. The sanctions record is much spottier on this issue. I don't think it is from lack of trying although I do believe that the much easier to control Nationals are much higher up the list of priorities. I'm sure anyone with the sanction would strongly deny this and that's fine. But whether or not I'm right about their priorities the results at the local level are just not there. They just aren't. And trying to float the idea that a takeover of the NBL is growth is just not true. I've bought a lot of earnings in my day just to make an old dog bark but it was still just an old dog.

No, the same people are in charge now that have been in charge for the last 15 years of downward movement. E, they don't deserve sainthood for this. They just don't. They haven't invented a new financial instrument, they didn't invent business calculus, they didn't invent micro and macro analysis, and they sure as h..l ain't Exxon or Dow Chemical. So please don't think that there are that many people here or anywhere else that are going to take the ABA's opinion unexamined based on their past/current business decisions. That would be a dreadful mistake.

Lets see now,

1. Membership is flat ( or down depending on who ya believe).

2. Tracks are holding steady but again how the takeover with NBL effects this is open to debate.

3. Sponsorships are so horrendously low that they aren't worth chasing.

4. Pro's are sleeping in their cars to try and keep going.

5. You could shoot of a shotgun in the bicycle shops of America and not hit a darn thing that has anything to do with BMX bicycle racing.

6. The only time BMX racing gets any coverage at all in the media is once every 4 years for the O's - that's a long dry spell by any objective measure.

Guys, my family would starve to death using the above as any measure of success. In fact, if your last name isn't Anderson you probably have a few questions about it as well.

There are some exciting things going on that could have a positive impact. But considering where we once were we are in a deep ditch with a long climb ahead of us.

No, the membership has every right to question the local scene and measures to make it better because, after all, according to the powers that be and their paid for shills it is totally up to the locals to grow their own operations. Or I am reading that wrong? Don't forget - taking fees, running Nationals. Locals? Not so much.

I think I'll just keep reading and digesting what the "Internets" have to say about that. The membership and their ideas aren't bad words to me. In fact, I welcome and respect it as much as anything I've heard out of the "experts"in a very long time.

Keep 'em comin"!!!!

All the Best.
Bikemonkeys
Got Milk?

That is what not only BMX but all forms of bicycle racing needs.

USABMX and manufacturers need to advertise. Sure it'd help local tracks! By default help the sanction and manufacturers.
JAF2
QUOTE (Elvis @ Jun 6 2012, 11:08 AM) *
... in a poll which favors these results.

... in a thread which ... ah never mind, Internets LOL

I would think any organization which uses message board thread to determine it's policy is one on the way downhill. In fact, I can think of one BMX sanction which followed the "whoever complains the loudest gets their way" tactic, but they're not around any more.


The thread and poll are open to anyone who wishes to view/comment so I don't think the results are in favor of any single opinion. Tthe poll continues to point to requiring locals as a qualifying step to racing at a National level.

What organization is using this message board to determine policy? I am not an organization.

The NBL was founded in 1974 and had a pretty good 37 year run, respectable for any business and especially a non-profit. Lots of years of great racing. I held a license in both sanctions for 10 plus years and experienced very little difference between the two in terms of racing. I never saw the point of the feud in some peoples minds between the ABA and NBL. I was and am thankful that there were and are tracks to race on, people to run the races. and other riders to race with.

Brett Middaugh
Look BMX racing has been growing slowly and steadily these past 8 years that I have seen.
In fact, growth has been so astounding that 1 sanctioning body has gone out of business...

Oh wait.

NAG, locals, rags, shmocals, jokals, yokals....

None of it matters till you rethink how to appeal to today's kids on BMX bikes. That takes dare I say it, a progressive mind.
Just remember when you think your national moto counts are huge...you are currently down one sanction...so...
Sprite - Caffeine Free
Question: How to add some value to the local race program at least in the eyes of the "national" riders.
Just a couple of ideas to kick around.

- What about creating a new or modifying the Top Gun award to include a district top 10 requirement?

- What about USABMX naming a “All States” team. For example “Florida All State”.
For national racers who happen to be Top 10 in district and State series and national qualified (6). Give out jackets etc..
Bikemonkeys
QUOTE (Brett Middaugh @ Jun 8 2012, 07:45 AM) *
None of it matters till you rethink how to appeal to today's kids on BMX bikes. That takes dare I say it, a progressive mind.


The Beginners class, should be open wheeled with the option to move to cruiser or Inter after their 8 wins. And for simplicity, that should be 10 wins, 8 just seems random.
Most kids today just don't have a 20 inch bike unless they are younger. Get into the early teens and it's more likely they've got a mountain bike.

DK and Hyper have been great with their 20 inch race bikes in Walmart. Did USABMX get fliers on the DKs? I wish that they could have a set of the different sized DKs at each Walmart! That is a start to getting kids on race bikes.

JAF2
QUOTE (Brett Middaugh @ Jun 8 2012, 06:45 AM) *
Look BMX racing has been growing slowly and steadily these past 8 years that I have seen.
In fact, growth has been so astounding that 1 sanctioning body has gone out of business...

Oh wait.

NAG, locals, rags, shmocals, jokals, yokals....

None of it matters till you rethink how to appeal to today's kids on BMX bikes. That takes dare I say it, a progressive mind.
Just remember when you think your national moto counts are huge...you are currently down one sanction...so...

Eliminating options (NBL Nationals) can only increase moto counts at USABMX Nationals providing that the pool of riders who want to race Nationals is unchanged. The upside is a more efficient operation allowing for a unified marketing campagne, economies of scale with increased buying power and a reduction of operational costs. The downside is in the vacuum of zero competition, the product may become stale and end user (consumer/rider) costs will increase.
JAF2
QUOTE (Sprite - Caffeine Free @ Jun 8 2012, 06:57 AM) *
Question: How to add some value to the local race program at least in the eyes of the "national" riders.
Just a couple of ideas to kick around.

- What about creating a new or modifying the Top Gun award to include a district top 10 requirement?

- What about USABMX naming a “All States” team. For example “Florida All State”.
For national racers who happen to be Top 10 in district and State series and national qualified (6). Give out jackets etc..

IMO, both suggestions would add value and increase interest at the local level.
JAF2
QUOTE (RCain @ Jun 6 2012, 11:37 AM) *
Taking riders from the top tier and force feeding them back into the bottom tier (The only tier in which growth occurs.) is not generating growth and is therefore pointless.
If you want the NAG riders to generate growth, make them recruit 3 new full members to qualify for a plate.



Let me give you the simple answer to that question.
Yes!

What this poll is attempting to do is convince mother sanction that there is a simple solution to a very complex problem. It's not working. If you know what the problem is, then you know that this is not the solution.
Bill Curtin hit the nail on the head with with his observation "why does a rider come to a track, try it once or twice and never come back." Follow that out to include "Why do they only stay 6 months, a year, why do kids leave bmx?" As an example, if this idea we're implemented, some NAG kid would decide it's just not worth it if he has to roll out of the gate at 10 locals to qualify and he'll quit! Kids, in general, are quitters! That's the problem!
The harsh truth is that recruiting is not only necessary for growth, it's necessary to stay even. Kids leave all of he time, for all different reasons (Going NAG hunting being only one of them, and probably only a small percentage at that.).
If you can come up with one solution for all of the reasons why kids leave BMX you will have saved the sport. As it is you want to pop a few guys from the top back into the bottom. Rearrange the deck chairs as it were.

We have recruited 100 - 150 new members a year for the past 5 years just to stay even at about 80 riders per event. Growth at our 1 local track would require a recruiting effort stronger than that. Infusing 600 or even 1000 riders (That don't really want to be there.) into the pool of 360 tracks is like building a lake with a teaspoon, the problem being, you only have one spoonful. Wheres the next spoonful coming from?

The pool of newbies is nearly bottomless, and they keep making more.
The only viable solution to the "Problem" is, has, and will be, Recruiting.

Recruiting (aquiring additional customers) is and will always be a critical success factor for any business. Churn (the loss of existing customers) is a problem every business faces.

The poll question might have been worded differently - Should riders be required to race a set number of locals to move on to race in a higher level series such as State, Redline, or National? I look at the situation (reduced local moto) counts through a riders eyes. So much focus of this thread has been on the limited number of NAG ranked riders but not all the other riders who may aspire to one day earn a NAG ranking. Many of these riders may only race one or two Nationals a year. I believe this is larger population of riders than may be acknowledged.

Off topic question: Why are NAG rankings limited to Experts and Cruisers? Why not open it up to Novices and Intermediates?
bystickel
Kids are lemmings. They'll do anything the others are doing.

Is Soccer fun? No, but it's crazy POPULAR.

Bicycling used to be popular, and kids went crazy racing and riding BMX.

BMX won't thrive until society makes bikes normal, again. And even then, it'll never be what it once was because it's diluted by trail, street, and park.

You're expecting crops to come up, but there are no seeds in the ground.
Bikemonkeys
QUOTE (JAF2 @ Jun 8 2012, 06:46 PM) *
Off topic question: Why are NAG rankings limited to Experts and Cruisers? Why not open it up to Novices and Intermediates?

Any class can get a NAG plate. Happens all the time in the younger classes.
AshHill
QUOTE (Sprite - Caffeine Free @ Jun 8 2012, 08:57 AM) *
Question: How to add some value to the local race program at least in the eyes of the "national" riders.
Just a couple of ideas to kick around.

- What about creating a new or modifying the Top Gun award to include a district top 10 requirement?

- What about USABMX naming a “All States” team. For example “Florida All State”.
For national racers who happen to be Top 10 in district and State series and national qualified (6). Give out jackets etc..


THIS is what this thread was about! Not who can bash the original question... It was to get people thinking about what we can all do to help the local scene... The sport may be getting bigger with the UCI/Olympic SX... But it's dwindling everywhere else. I grew up in the 90's racing nationally and the moto counts were way higher -both locally and nationally.

AshHill
QUOTE (Elvis @ Jun 6 2012, 12:08 PM) *
... in a poll which favors these results.

... in a thread which ... ah never mind, Internets LOL

I would think any organization which uses message board thread to determine it's policy is one on the way downhill. In fact, I can think of one BMX sanction which followed the "whoever complains the loudest gets their way" tactic, but they're not around any more.


Why are you even here right now?...
AshHill
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 12:50 PM) *
Well you are quoting different aspects to different questions. Local participation does suffer from lack of parental commitment, a base that is already there but not responding potentially to what the sport / potentially track has to offer and not competing on a regualar basis.

The later 2 are in regards to the posts pertaining to new rider aquisitions and potential areas of breakdowns with a tracks operating structure. One would have thought that by seperating and labeling it as Locals would have aided the ability to follow along.

As far as fault there are many areas I suppose where one could point fingers. One thing however that I do have a clue about is that it is not due to "NAG" riders not frequenting their local tracks.


The NAG riders are not what the thread is soley about. ALL national riders are NAG chasers ... Well I suppose I can't say all -I'm sure there are riders just out to catch a national or two for fun.. But the point is its not just the top 10 riders. It's those couple thousand fighting for it. And the thread was possibly not worded perfectly for your liking -look further into the question. It's trying to bring up conversation about how people feel about their local scenes, find ways to make those local races more appeasing to those national riders. The more those riders bypass the locals, the less likely the newbies are going to get excited about the sport. When some of those 16and up X ride, they sand bag half the motos. The intermediates don't want to win motos so they don't move up... Which is whole other issue we could prob go on for hours about...
justafather
QUOTE (bystickel @ Jun 8 2012, 09:15 PM) *
Is Soccer fun? No, but it's crazy POPULAR.


You think soccer isn't fun? Are you serious? Try telling that to the 265 MILLION soccer players in the world and the 1 BILLION fans.

AshHill
QUOTE (ILBMX @ Jun 6 2012, 12:36 AM) *
AshHill,

I think the point was made that if a rule was enacted to entice NAG participants to race more local races it would add little statistical value on the local programs. Our local track lives on whether or not the NAG crowd participates. We like to see them come out, and enjoy the company, but our focus is on bringing new families to the sport and helping them have fun.

I am not sure if you are really angry or if you just type that way.


That was heat and passion my friend. A bit overly excited. I was remembering how awesome it was to be a young child again and being amongst those national riders. They made a big impact in my life. There's nothing more beautiful than seeing a rider who is smooth, strong and just flat out fast -and not squirrelly!
I know locals put their effort towards new riders. And that's where it should stay. Bringing in the "nationals" is an effortless hand. With them there, it doesn't take away from the TO's focus on the newer riders. It makes their job easier. "hey billy watch Gary Ellis take that gate.. Do you see how he pedals through the turns..." the TO isn't going to go out there and show him... That kid will latch on to every word those guys say. Aspire to be them. That! Keeps kids in the sport over ANY TO's effort and words.
AshHill
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 03:30 AM) *
To start if it is a requirement then it is forced as you have no other option should you want to compete at the national level.

The national series does not feed off of the state series championship (ROC / Presidents Cup) , it is run in conjunction with it at the Grands. Again the two have absolutley nothing to do with each other except they are run over the course of the same race week. The birthdate criteria is not even the same as with the ROC you race the age you raced at your state championship and the Grands you race your age at the time of qualifying. That in itself could be an entirely different thread. Now what I believe you meant to say was that the national series pulls their racers from the local base and that I agree with, however they are not ditching their local track every weekend for them. I will go out on a limb and say at best the average NAG contender averages 1 - 1.2 nationals per month. The rest of the time the majority are frequenting their local tracks. Even the local racer misses a race or two monthly to the point that it is probably a wash by comparision. Look at track championships and at best 3-4 racers have perfect race attendance.

I know very well that their is not a national in every state, that is why I worded my response with if that state had a national. It was done on purpose to prove a point. Your response only strengthens my response that the two have nothing in common and should not be be pointed or reflect one another. If you cannot make a program successful on its own and you create rules in an attempt to retain a higher percentage then that would be a burden on the proposed racers in question.

When you ask a question that does not propose all the options/answers well then it is in fact controversal. Using your words if the original poster is not afraid to ask the hard questions, then they should not be offended by the hard answers. All I did was show the other side of the question, the side that was not thought about, the side that is currently effective today. I responded to the questions with questions and at least was able to give viable reason as to why the debate is mute. To not look at both sides of the coin and be open to them is in fact not having or showing depth to the question at hand, it was not a personal attack. You then accused me falsely of being ignorant and arrogant (of this situation at least) and felt that it was ok for you to be hypocritical and make personal slanderous statements. Lucky for you I voted for the right guy and I am not offended.

I in no way shape or form live through my kids. I have lived my dreams, accomplished most of my material goals and had my own personal felt success, we race BMX because it is what my son wants to do and no other reason. What I do do is support my kids to the highest level necessary for them to be successful and that has nothing to do with racing. I apply the same mindset towards their scholastic achievements, repsect of their elders and peers, community volunteer efforts and various sporting and hobbies. Am I hard on my kids? You bet! Have I made mistakes along the way? You bet! Do I put structured pressure on them in an effort to reduce mistakes and be smart on their feet? You bet! Will I always do what is neccessary regardless of public opinion to protect my kids? You guessed it! On the contrary I am not living through my kids, they are living through me (literally).

The beauty of your attack on me is that you have absolutely no idea of what lengths we go through to support our local (within our state and the tri state area) race scene. My son is just your average state racer that also does his fair share of nationals. Others may label him as a NAG rider, but to him he just races BMX. Those that know my son also know that he races Open, Cruiser and Class at all locals to aid with entry counts and get the most riding out of a race day (I know crazy arrogant, non respecting, ignorant ass huh). Race the Wednesday night and Saturday night races as well as the Sunday local races oh and let's not forget about those 2 hour drives south on alternating Friday nights to race at another state track that we love so much. Could easily stop and fill up a cooler, but choose to frequent the tracks concession stand in a total effort to support the tracks efforts. Early spring when our local track drug its feet for 6 weeks to get the track open we could have just sat on the couch like most, but no we left at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night and drove 10 hours to Tennessee to race and see friends all to turn around right after on Sunday and drive home all night. You see my original reply does not even pertain to us as we will always meet the quota simply out of normal track participation regardless of our national status. The point is that the majority of the NAG contenders will do so also regardless of the quota amount. Something that was never researched or even considered. As far as the team remark and my son getting passed by, well we will just take that chance I suppose. He gets bye pretty good right now and I would venture to say that he promotes and knows his sponsors better than most double his age.

On average how many NAG riders are really missing from local tracks throughout the country on a national weekend? ABA claims 370 tracks in the U.S. so let's take a 200 moto national and we will say that on average there are 1200 entries (6 riders per rack) which ratios out to a little less than 3.5 riders per track average on a national weekend (some tracks more, some tracks none) but the local scene is definately not being destroyed by NAG competitiors venturing off on national weekends. Now that number would be true only if people did not ride multiple classes so now what happens to the ratio, maybe 2.5 - 2.7ish? So at worst case scenario if those 1200 national entries never raced a local (which we know is grossly false) a local would be missing out on approximately 2.5 racers. It is not being ignorant or arrogant, it is knowing the answer to the question.

I hate to even continue with this reply because the following has been discussed for so long it is almost as bad as a clips vs. flats debate.

Locals - Regardless of the efforts to drum up new participants and create new rider counts, all efforts are wasted if a solid base does not exist. So you bring fresh blood through the door, but how are you going to keep them? There my friend lies the rub. The answer is not the same nation wide as communities, track history / involvement, other activity competition, etc. is not the same in all areas. Many tracks today are being operated by racers from the golden era and volunteers that bring their passion for the sport they are trying to reaquaint themselves with. The problem is that a good portion are trying to market BMX the way they did 30+ years ago and that simply is not the answer. Why? Simple because BMX is not the same! Pocket protector companies do not have the same market share they once had because they were replaced with smartphones, do you think the manufacturers run the same operating proceedures? The same goes for BMX, it has been replaced with many other activities and the clientele is not the same when considering the "new" wave of competitiors. The residual new racer (one that is related to a previous racer) will find a track one way or another, that is a given and not who you are chasing. You want the convert, the new racer that could have easily ended up on the basketball court, but found out BMX was more their style and just never knew it. Do I have all the answers as to how to do that? No! Why? Well because like business you need the stomach for failure and being able to respond to the needs of your clientele to make your program successful. Trial and error is more than likely the key to success. So many good posts on what tracks can do to seed the market, but never an objective as to what they are going to do once they bring them in. To me the first step would be to run the track more like a business and less like a non for profit fun center. People need structure as they will not do it by themselves. Simple base rules of closing sign up when you say, accurately posting moto's in a timely fashion, organized staging and starting as close to the posted start time as possible. To put a cherry on the top get a good announcer that can call a race like it is the greatest show on earth. I cannot think of a more valuable asset on race day than an announcer that can pump up track and rider sponsors, promote specials at the snack bar and call a race from first to eighth to please all parents, spectators and racers. How about main rollouts for full gates? The program value that is added by the extra 10-15 minutes of weekly fame can be very addictive. To me all those basic qualities in a program far exceed the actual race surface and layout. I know that for me I enjoy going racing where the facility is run like a well oiled machine opposed to a killer track that is continuously 2-3 hours behind with 5 moto board re-posts and then running around with their hair on fire to get the motos run before the rain falls. Create security in your customers by building confidence that you are organized enough to know what you are doing. What message are these tracks sending when they cannot even handle the basics? I know it has been discussed about how long an average local race should take. I say that people will willingly stay as long as you make it comfortable to stay. I have always said having fun at a track is when they make it a destination, and not just a race.

Next up how about state tracks working together with scheduling? You know how many states have 3-5 tracks running on the same day or night, only to complain about only having 8-10 moto's? Here's a thought, make your own series to not compete for the same client on the same race day and use your now 25-50 moto's to grow your tracks? In the end I assure you the dividends will be larger for all. State qualifiers and races, why are other tracks running on your deligated day? Since locals are state and state is being debated, why are the tracks working against each other? Promote the state series if locals are truly your argument.

Ash let me also be the first to welcome you to Vintage.


Thank you. But Ive been on here awhile... Just changed my email and name.
Anyways...

I enjoyed the last part of your reply. The original post was meant to get that mind rolling. Not the disrespectful side by making the poster feel like an idiot for asking a damn question that has gained over 80 replies... And a fair amount of voting.
The area you started talking about ways to spruce up the local scene... Are all connected to my response about getting those bigger riders to the track. Not by force but by enticing them. If there was a real reason for them to come then they'd come.. Make is a certain percentage (10%) of their points. That way local riders who want to begin that national circuit have a place to start. Let's look at it from that side as well...
Your paragraph or two talking about how you are commited to your locals is great. The post wasnt asking about your personal attendance and work load. It's was meant to get minds rolling on how to connect the two scenes back together. Where is use to be...
AshHill
QUOTE (CoopersDad @ Jun 6 2012, 12:50 PM) *
Well you are quoting different aspects to different questions. Local participation does suffer from lack of parental commitment, a base that is already there but not responding potentially to what the sport / potentially track has to offer and not competing on a regualar basis.

The later 2 are in regards to the posts pertaining to new rider aquisitions and potential areas of breakdowns with a tracks operating structure. One would have thought that by seperating and labeling it as Locals would have aided the ability to follow along.

As far as fault there are many areas I suppose where one could point fingers. One thing however that I do have a clue about is that it is not due to "NAG" riders not frequenting their local tracks.


I don't think anyone is ultimately say its due to that. It's become a norm for the "nationals" to not race locally. It wasn't like that in my experience. It was an idea to get the riders back into their states. Show newbies and to possibly get a different aspect of the race into the season.
Elvis
QUOTE
Next up how about state tracks working together with scheduling?


It's common, in a like-it-or-not way. The track directors at mother sanction coordinate such matters as part of their job. Yeah sure, during "track wars" some tracks push the limits, but that becomes a self-defeating strategy in the long run anyway.

In fact 'round here it's turning out the more we follow mother sanction's advice the better things go for everyone (adding the learning experience from the track operators summit -- that thing worked out great).

QUOTE
The original post was meant to get that mind rolling.


And again, all due respect, but this is a well-worn path, right down to the "yeah but...." responses being predictable.

Time and again we -- the BMXers -- tend to overthink. And time and again (and not pointing fingers here) we tend to look to some external force to make things "better."

"Better" is more tricky than most people think, mostly because one man's better is not another's. But assuming we come to some comminality of agreement, what it really takes to make BMX better at the end of the day, is BMXers getting out there and doing stuff. Carry some flyers around in your car, help rake, be a positive force, be the person you want other people to be.

See, that's a small thing. We tend to overshoot, to come up with the one idea which will bring about a sea change to the sport -- despite our not being in an especially good position to do so. But if everybody did a small thing; if everybody made making a contribution as important as anything else they do, then that would be a lot of small things, which adds up to a big thing, which creates a sea change. Be good soldiers, let the generals strategize and we'll be down here in the trenches picking 'em off as they come.

That's not, and here's the problem, a typical response for someone who has the personality to be a BMXer, to be drawn to the sport. The sport attracts take-charge, even egocentric, people who aren't the foxhole type (we can be our own worst enemy). Yet that's what's needed: As practical experience in any number of venues -- war not in the least -- will show.

Speaking of small things, while I speak as someone with some in-depth analysis, a lot of this comes from picking up the phone and talking to people who know, who have the institutional memory to give a useful analysis. And even better who don't, especially these days, treat it like a big trade secret. Who read these threads and shake their heads ruefully because however lofty the language, it's still last week's fish. (And who have better things to do than get into a Internets back-and-forth.) All I'm doing is reporting.
thebondtrader55
Follow those generals darn it!

I'm their leader (ABA) - which way did they go??

Thanks
bmxmom156
why not just ask them?..the older faster experts who come to practice and not stay to race...

next race day go up to them and flat out ask them... if everyone did a survey(no names of course) spoke to these riders find out why they dont stay... or ask them why they dont come at all anymore if they are a practice day only rider( maybe your track is getting stale, too easy or a "rookie track"- no one mentions that at all) i would like to see the demographics of the tracks that seem to change one straight or something every year to "keep it fresh and interesting" vs the tracks that have 15 table tops and have been the same for years.. maybe that has something to do with the boredom? just throwing ideas out there..older faster experts want to be challenged. once one leaves or starts to not stay for the race its contagious...dont know why but its just like that. then who do they race? i saw it with 14 yr olds last yr which in years past used to be just the 15 and over crowd...why is this happening? when my son was 14-15 he couldnt wait to do 16 over opens and used to sneak in all the time and he was there at the track week after week. there were ALWAYS guys there older than him( and way faster) why is it different now( 6 yrs later)

but seriously ask the faster riders. if everyone came back with some solid answers then at least theres a place to start.
JAF2
QUOTE (Elvis @ Jun 9 2012, 12:18 PM) *
It's common, in a like-it-or-not way. The track directors at mother sanction coordinate such matters as part of their job. Yeah sure, during "track wars" some tracks push the limits, but that becomes a self-defeating strategy in the long run anyway.

In fact 'round here it's turning out the more we follow mother sanction's advice the better things go for everyone (adding the learning experience from the track operators summit -- that thing worked out great).



And again, all due respect, but this is a well-worn path, right down to the "yeah but...." responses being predictable.

Time and again we -- the BMXers -- tend to overthink. And time and again (and not pointing fingers here) we tend to look to some external force to make things "better."

"Better" is more tricky than most people think, mostly because one man's better is not another's. But assuming we come to some comminality of agreement, what it really takes to make BMX better at the end of the day, is BMXers getting out there and doing stuff. Carry some flyers around in your car, help rake, be a positive force, be the person you want other people to be.

See, that's a small thing. We tend to overshoot, to come up with the one idea which will bring about a sea change to the sport -- despite our not being in an especially good position to do so. But if everybody did a small thing; if everybody made making a contribution as important as anything else they do, then that would be a lot of small things, which adds up to a big thing, which creates a sea change. Be good soldiers, let the generals strategize and we'll be down here in the trenches picking 'em off as they come.

That's not, and here's the problem, a typical response for someone who has the personality to be a BMXer, to be drawn to the sport. The sport attracts take-charge, even egocentric, people who aren't the foxhole type (we can be our own worst enemy). Yet that's what's needed: As practical experience in any number of venues -- war not in the least -- will show.

Speaking of small things, while I speak as someone with some in-depth analysis, a lot of this comes from picking up the phone and talking to people who know, who have the institutional memory to give a useful analysis. And even better who don't, especially these days, treat it like a big trade secret. Who read these threads and shake their heads ruefully because however lofty the language, it's still last week's fish. (And who have better things to do than get into a Internets back-and-forth.) All I'm doing is reporting.

Elvis, I love your suggestions but not your assumptions. I would not assume your involvement or your "positive force" within the sport based on your posts and you should not do the same for anyone else who posts. You don't know what their contributions are or have been. You might want to give the other posters the benefit of doubt - "be the person you want other people to be".
thebondtrader55
The only fair, effective way to do this is to hire someone to specifically grow tracks, riders, and/or revenue.

After the hire/appointment set REALISTIC, verifiable goals yearly and require this person to meet them. It's unrealistic to expect double or triple growth in a year but 10% certainly shouldn't be out of the question. This is hideously slow from most business standpoints but should be doable.

If the goals aren't met then a change should be made. I'm sure that most everyone reading this has goals and deadlines they have to meet to remain employed or in business - and 10 % certainly isn't draconian.

Why wouldn't this be fair for all concerned?
Elvis
QUOTE (bmxmom156 @ Jun 10 2012, 05:17 AM) *
why not just ask them?..the older faster experts who come to practice and not stay to race..


That's not a bad idea, but I see a problem in getting a "clean" survey. "Buyers," the old saying goes, "are liars," and when you ask someone, especially a kid, why this or that, you'll likely hear something which is actually removed from the core reason they're are/n't acting in a given way.

QUOTE (JAF2 @ Jun 10 2012, 07:41 AM) *
Elvis, I love your suggestions but not your assumptions. I would not assume your involvement or your "positive force" within the sport based on your posts and you should not do the same for anyone else who posts. You don't know what their contributions are or have been. You might want to give the other posters the benefit of doubt - "be the person you want other people to be".


Fair enough, but I believe I was clear that not only was I not pointing fingers, but that -- and this bit implied as much as anything -- anyone willing to hash the nuanced points in a debate such as this is loyal to BMX and devoted to its preservation and growth. Certainly no offense was intended.

My point, however, remains: More change, positive lasting change, will take place by a lot of people doing a little than any one big grand mal action. "A lot," then, would include, must include, "us," all of us. And I suspect some number reading this realize it does not include them.

QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Jun 10 2012, 11:28 AM) *
The only fair, effective way to do this is to hire someone to specifically grow tracks, riders, and/or revenue.

After the hire/appointment set REALISTIC, verifiable goals yearly and require this person to meet them. It's unrealistic to expect double or triple growth in a year but 10% certainly shouldn't be out of the question. This is hideously slow from most business standpoints but should be doable.

If the goals aren't met then a change should be made. I'm sure that most everyone reading this has goals and deadlines they have to meet to remain employed or in business - and 10 % certainly isn't draconian.

Why wouldn't this be fair for all concerned?


Yeah but, mother sanction has any number of people who focus on preservation of existing tracks, as well as promoting new, and assisting those looking to open a new, leave alone those focused on revenue growth. Have you ever called them, see what they send for people curious about opening a track, or wanting to make a preservation to a city or parks entity?

Call out there in the coming week, you'll see.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Jun 10 2012, 03:02 PM) *
That's not a bad idea, but I see a problem in getting a "clean" survey. "Buyers," the old saying goes, "are liars," and when you ask someone, especially a kid, why this or that, you'll likely hear something which is actually removed from the core reason they're are/n't acting in a given way.



Fair enough, but I believe I was clear that not only was I not pointing fingers, but that -- and this bit implied as much as anything -- anyone willing to hash the nuanced points in a debate such as this is loyal to BMX and devoted to its preservation and growth. Certainly no offense was intended.

My point, however, remains: More change, positive lasting change, will take place by a lot of people doing a little than any one big grand mal action. "A lot," then, would include, must include, "us," all of us. And I suspect some number reading this realize it does not include them.



Yeah but, mother sanction has any number of people who focus on preservation of existing tracks, as well as promoting new, and assisting those looking to open a new, leave alone those focused on revenue growth. Have you ever called them, see what they send for people curious about opening a track, or wanting to make a preservation to a city or parks entity?

Call out there in the coming week, you'll see.

There's no doubt in my mind that there are good people at the sanctions headquarters - I've met many of them over the years.

Is it possible that they know, after all these years, the one thing that none of us seem to be able to accept?

Namely that this issue is a bridge too far, a mountain too high, and that there is nothing in this world that can be done to achieve sustainable local growth.

If so, that's fine. As you say, money and effort don't always solve problems.

Still pretty excited about BMX racing right now.

Thanks
Elvis
QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Jun 10 2012, 06:17 PM) *
There's no doubt in my mind that there are good people at the sanctions headquarters - I've met many of them over the years.

Is it possible that they know, after all these years, the one thing that none of us seem to be able to accept?

Namely that this issue is a bridge too far, a mountain too high, and that there is nothing in this world that can be done to achieve sustainable local growth.

If so, that's fine. As you say, money and effort don't always solve problems.

Still pretty excited about BMX racing right now.

Thanks


C'mon man, "...Namely that this issue is a bridge too far, a mountain too high, and that there is nothing in this world that can be done to achieve sustainable local growth...."

I mean, I'm as pro-hyperbole as the next guy, but this is a bit much. Mother sanction actually does a nice job in the local growth department, including providing a great deal of free support to the tracks, support which only begins with marketing advice.

In fact, I'm not sure where we've gone from "make NAG riders race locals" to "local growth is unsustainable." That's a leap.

Which goes back to my initial point: "The sanction needs to do something about it," in your hypothesis, implies the sanction is doing something between nothing and not enough. I'm saying, while they like anyone can always do more (Sleep? It's overrated!) they give a great deal of tools -- and again knowledge not in the least -- for local tracks to grow their program. And, and, if you don't believe me, then check in with the tracks which follow the program (which unfailingly have a lot of people doing small things working as a unit with a common goal). This right there shoots down your flowery prose.

And I could go on from here, repeating myself (or quoting from the last 900 threads on this subject) but it really comes down to this: what you and I do, and, more important, glass half full and half empty. Despite the fairly massive competition for entertainment dollars, BMX holds up rather nicely, it just takes people like us getting out there and doing what it takes to get those interested out to the track, to sustain the track, to sustain BMX.

And again, all due respect, but "the sanction needs to do something about it" is a false economy. A staff that size and expect them to be everywhere at once (because, again, growth is via new members, not squeezing existing) is really unfair, if not impractical. Growth comes from guys like us doing stuff.
Brett Middaugh
QUOTE
(because, again, growth is via new members, not squeezing existing)


...Don Corleone respectfully disagrees with your assumption.....sometimes you gotta apply the heat to get a few more fasones from the boys...


LOL!
Bmx Prof
As an expert who rarely races locals... I will admit to being part of the problem. However, I do go out to practice. I always pay my $3 dollars, even on race days when I need to leave to be someplace else. As I stated earlier in this thread, we have a very strong BMX scene... despite my efforts to derail it by only practicing!!

It used to be the case that there weren't experts for me to race against. While that is still pretty much the case, I have swtiched back to racing the cruiser class. There are plenty of cruiser riders my age to compete with on any given sunday. However, my job doesn't really allow for me to race every sunday... I do my best to commit an hour or two once or twice a week.

When I practice, I usually bring someone with me. They don't race either... but again, they pay their $3 dollars to practice. They talk it up to everyone they know. At the Music City National, they each brought 2-3 people to come watch the races. Some of these people live less than 10 minutes from the track and had no idea that we had a BMX track. Again.... let me emphasize that we have a very strong program. Even with a strong program, there is room for growth. I have no idea if any of these people will race. BUT, they all got excited about it, and they now know that we have a BMX track that is available to them.

I strongly oppose making our National riders race more locals in order to grow the local scene.

Soccer was brought up here, so I will continue that analogy (though I understand how it is a flawed analogy). I played soccer at the highest level in the US. When I played with the men's junior olympic squad, they did not require that I play recreation league soccer. In fact, playing rec league soccer would have gotten in the way of my training efforts. My local rec league did not go under because I didn't to play at the local level... They recruited new players who were at that level, and then supported them when they exceeded that level. I still went back and gave clinics and worked with the younger players.

I am not angry that our Pro's come out to practice our track and do not race. I am not mad that our experts do not always race. Rather, I am stoked that they come out to the track and work with our younger riders. I am happy to see them spend an hour giving a clinic to new riders (regardless of age).

If you want it to grow. Tell people about it. Bring someone to the track. Don't put more requirements and stipulations on those who are already there.
Elvis
QUOTE (Brett Middaugh @ Jun 11 2012, 10:43 AM) *
...Don Corleone respectfully disagrees with your assumption.....sometimes you gotta apply the heat to get a few more fasones from the boys...


LOL!


Heh; actually not an unfair point, but what I'm trying to churn up is the importance of bringing in noobs. Existing member retention is a second set of issues.
PDePauw
East Moline BMX has been averaging around 22 Motos so far this year. We were able to get the track up and running earlier than most of the tracks in the Midwest. We had a 40 moto local in mid April that brought 177 riders our way. A lot of those riders had never been to our facility before and we are seeing them as repeat customers now and we are making a lot of new friends. Every Friday night race we put up $100 for a cash open that has added a lot of excitement to the races.
This year will be the best year we have ever had and this is my 19th season running the track. We have been waiting for this for a long time. We finished our rebuild with Eric Bress from Elite Trax and now the track really has something for everyone. I think it is the roller coaster ride that keeps you coming back. We have our Redline Cup on the 24th so hopefully some of the Midwest racers from Vintage will stop out and race.
JAF2
QUOTE (PDePauw @ Jun 11 2012, 10:31 PM) *
East Moline BMX has been averaging around 22 Motos so far this year. We were able to get the track up and running earlier than most of the tracks in the Midwest. We had a 40 moto local in mid April that brought 177 riders our way. A lot of those riders had never been to our facility before and we are seeing them as repeat customers now and we are making a lot of new friends. Every Friday night race we put up $100 for a cash open that has added a lot of excitement to the races.
This year will be the best year we have ever had and this is my 19th season running the track. We have been waiting for this for a long time. We finished our rebuild with Eric Bress from Elite Trax and now the track really has something for everyone. I think it is the roller coaster ride that keeps you coming back. We have our Redline Cup on the 24th so hopefully some of the Midwest racers from Vintage will stop out and race.

Congrats on your strong local program. It sounds like you guys are covering all the bases. Maybe you can elaborate on your best practices and share with all?
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