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Elvis
We keep getting closer to killing someone, and I'm beginning to wonder if we're not creating BMX Rollerball. Whaddaya' think? Time to get the Olympics mondo tracks back down to human levels?

K Robison
In a word, yes! While eliminating the big hill alone won't fix everything, it will help with the ridiculous speeds some of these crashes happen at. I personally think even the am hill for the World's is taller/steeper than necessary. The perfect size hill in my opinion is Powder Springs.

As for the rest of the SX track, I am in favor of some of the recent changes where jumps can be rolled. Taking some of the speed away from the big hill would keep people from overjumping and may shrink some of the jumps

Ken
MikeCarruth
Thing is though: I don't hear any upspeak from the athletes themselves. No frank and honest interview from Connor saying "it's time to throttle-back the tracks."

Strictly speaking, the track in Tokyo WAS rolled back quite a bit from the London-era tracks (the shipping-container-bike-toss of the first Papendal, and berm jumps abounding). Then the one time the athletes DID speak out--the Rio test event. Since then, I feel we have been on the other side of the curve.

The IOC and UCI are pushing "progressive" policies (as we call them in the US...not sure what they call them in Euroland) to make the mens and womens course the same. Maybe that's a step in the direction we're talking about here.

The long-standing story is that BMX racing was admitted to the Olympics "by accident" year ago. The shot-callers THOUGHT they were admitting an "extreme sport," but instead got us. So, it was decided to introduce the big hill, and make the track more burly as a means to increase the speeds and the "excitement."

Johan Lindstrom was the man charged with implementing those features as UCI BMX director, and Tom Ritz was his builder...we saw that vision progress through 2016. Johan was gone from Aigle by then, but Ritz continued their work long after the GSX collapse, and into private practice.

I am not sure if that story is true, but it sort-of fits the narrative of "how the heck did we get here?" From the classic BMX track and shallow hills, to the silicone-implanted, botox and lip filler tracks we have today.

But until and unless the ATHLETES say "enough," it's going to be the same ol' cookin.

The athletes were only allied 100% twice in the history of BMX, by my book, so I don't give it a whole lot of likelihood.

Connor has talked about his myriad injuries, but never once made any noises like the track was at fault. I don't expect he will, either.

As Hyman Roth said in Godfather II, "This is the business we've chosen."


Best,

M
ihailfromohio
To add to this, I believe I recall watching an interview where johan talked about the big hill origin. from what i remember, the downhill world cup tracks were the staple for world cup/world champs and even the O show moving forward, because it was gnarly, of course. but for it to be able to be brought to an olympic village it had to be built without a massive hill or a mountain, so they added the big hill to simulate the speed the guys were getting on the downhill tracks.

QUOTE (MikeCarruth @ Aug 18 2021, 10:16 AM) *
Thing is though: I don't hear any upspeak from the athletes themselves. No frank and honest interview from Connor saying "it's time to throttle-back the tracks."

Strictly speaking, the track in Tokyo WAS rolled back quite a bit from the London-era tracks (the shipping-container-bike-toss of the first Papendal, and berm jumps abounding). Then the one time the athletes DID speak out--the Rio test event. Since then, I feel we have been on the other side of the curve.

The IOC and UCI are pushing "progressive" policies (as we call them in the US...not sure what they call them in Euroland) to make the mens and womens course the same. Maybe that's a step in the direction we're talking about here.

The long-standing story is that BMX racing was admitted to the Olympics "by accident" year ago. The shot-callers THOUGHT they were admitting an "extreme sport," but instead got us. So, it was decided to introduce the big hill, and make the track more burly as a means to increase the speeds and the "excitement."

Johan Lindstrom was the man charged with implementing those features as UCI BMX director, and Tom Ritz was his builder...we saw that vision progress through 2016. Johan was gone from Aigle by then, but Ritz continued their work long after the GSX collapse, and into private practice.

I am not sure if that story is true, but it sort-of fits the narrative of "how the heck did we get here?" From the classic BMX track and shallow hills, to the silicone-implanted, botox and lip filler tracks we have today.

But until and unless the ATHLETES say "enough," it's going to be the same ol' cookin.

The athletes were only allied 100% twice in the history of BMX, by my book, so I don't give it a whole lot of likelihood.

Connor has talked about his myriad injuries, but never once made any noises like the track was at fault. I don't expect he will, either.

As Hyman Roth said in Godfather II, "This is the business we've chosen."


Best,

M

bnd
QUOTE (Elvis @ Aug 15 2021, 10:51 PM) *
We keep getting closer to killing someone, and I'm beginning to wonder if we're not creating BMX Rollerball. Whaddaya' think? Time to get the Olympics mondo tracks back down to human levels?


Hey you overfed, longhaired, leaping gnome........

BMX Rollerball, that would rule!

I don’t have an issue with the Oly tracks, as a matter of fact this year was the first time we really got into it and followed it closely. I like that they made it longer. They could certainly make some tweaks with spacing of obstacles but other than that, I’m good.
It’s too bad those massive bleachers weren’t full of screaming locals, going off like if Cheap Trick were performing.

b.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (MikeCarruth @ Aug 18 2021, 10:16 AM) *
Thing is though: I don't hear any upspeak from the athletes themselves. No frank and honest interview from Connor saying "it's time to throttle-back the tracks."

Strictly speaking, the track in Tokyo WAS rolled back quite a bit from the London-era tracks (the shipping-container-bike-toss of the first Papendal, and berm jumps abounding). Then the one time the athletes DID speak out--the Rio test event. Since then, I feel we have been on the other side of the curve.

The IOC and UCI are pushing "progressive" policies (as we call them in the US...not sure what they call them in Euroland) to make the mens and womens course the same. Maybe that's a step in the direction we're talking about here.

The long-standing story is that BMX racing was admitted to the Olympics "by accident" year ago. The shot-callers THOUGHT they were admitting an "extreme sport," but instead got us. So, it was decided to introduce the big hill, and make the track more burly as a means to increase the speeds and the "excitement."

Johan Lindstrom was the man charged with implementing those features as UCI BMX director, and Tom Ritz was his builder...we saw that vision progress through 2016. Johan was gone from Aigle by then, but Ritz continued their work long after the GSX collapse, and into private practice.

I am not sure if that story is true, but it sort-of fits the narrative of "how the heck did we get here?" From the classic BMX track and shallow hills, to the silicone-implanted, botox and lip filler tracks we have today.

But until and unless the ATHLETES say "enough," it's going to be the same ol' cookin.

The athletes were only allied 100% twice in the history of BMX, by my book, so I don't give it a whole lot of likelihood.

Connor has talked about his myriad injuries, but never once made any noises like the track was at fault. I don't expect he will, either.

As Hyman Roth said in Godfather II, "This is the business we've chosen."


Best,

M

What we really need is for leadership to say enough. Always shocks me when I think of the lost money/opportunity costs of the last few decades.

It didn't have to go this way - it really didn't.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Aug 15 2021, 05:51 PM) *
We keep getting closer to killing someone, and I'm beginning to wonder if we're not creating BMX Rollerball. Whaddaya' think? Time to get the Olympics mondo tracks back down to human levels?

It's past time. This style racing has not accomplished what was hoped for back in the day. We have a big enough sample size now to know this.

I'm a huge Connor Fields fan from way back and would be just as entertained watching him ride a Grands style sane track as what SX racing offers now. I'm still afraid of what could have happened!

The leadership just got this one wrong.

There's no shame in being wrong, the shame is in staying wrong.
John De Bruin
BMX has been my full-time day job for the past 13 years, so you might expect me to automatically toe-the-line with all things BMX as being positive. My Dutch ancestry means I am also pragmatic and weigh things on a cost/benefit ratio though. Here's how my family view modern-era BMX:

It's great that both my kids experienced BMX at a younger age than I did. It's such an impressionable time of their lives. The magnitude of seeing them bear-hug a trophy taller than them is immeasurable. They both moved up, clipped-in, and had some fun, but the cost v. benefit ratio suddenly changed by quite a bit. I noticed, and so did they.

Though they are older teens now, I still use verbal comparisons from racing to real-life difficult scenarios. All of the lessons they needed to learn were learned in novice class. For anything beyond that, it's time to look elsewhere (which we did).

So I've taught them my core believe that modern-era BMX racing is really a "novice sport". I'll bet USABMX knows when most people leave the sport, and I'll guess that it was the same time we did.

I've told my kids that the other sport I considered for them back at the beginning was hockey. Both IMO are real contact sports not for the faint of heart like soccer or baseball (an important aspect for teaching life-lessons). I once went to a hockey game up-north in Wisconsin in an old barn (arena) with a bunch of 40-year-old ex-NHL-wannabee's and saw two full brawls break out simultaneously...one on the ice and one in the stands...with cops flooding the place shortly after. I doubt those 40-somethings were worried about broken collarbones or (in my case) broken pelvis in 2 places, 2 broken ribs, and hip shattered in 6 places. In terms of a cost/benefit ratio, hockey has a longer shelf-life with less life-impacting detriment. But you actually experience the same exact risk as a 17 year old expert in BMX, which is just plain-ol' too scary as a parent.

When my kids have kids, I'm pretty sure they will consider BMX and hockey for all of the reasons I laid out. But BMX in it's present format will be for novice class only. Take all the good, but know when to move on is what I've said.

Re: Olympics, let's be frank. BMX in the Olympics did a lot of good for the sport. On the other hand, BMX is a "participant's sport" and absolutely a terrible spectator sport. Nobody outside of BMX gives two-sh*ts about BMX. In-fact, the Olympics in-general have had global viewership declines for the past three decades. To a big degree, nobody cares about the Olympics anymore. How many host cities have lost billion$ in the last few decades. The writing is on the wall. BMX racing in USA could have an opportunity to reinvent itself for the next generation (whatever that may be) after it exits the Olympics.
John De Bruin
It occurred to me that I may not have clearly made the connection with "Olympic tracks" and my kids racing. The point was that "Olympics" has (wrongly) driven too much of this sport. It's not that Olympic tracks have gotten too dangerous...it's that all tracks have ridden this wave of "bigger is better" and gotten too dangerous.

And I'm curious, why we are only worried about Olympians?

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






Elvis
QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Aug 22 2021, 08:24 AM) *
It occurred to me that I may not have clearly made the connection with "Olympic tracks" and my kids racing. The point was that "Olympics" has (wrongly) driven too much of this sport. It's not that Olympic tracks have gotten too dangerous...it's that all tracks have ridden this wave of "bigger is better" and gotten too dangerous.

And I'm curious, why we are only worried about Olympians?

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


It occurs, people have died in downhill events for years. Has there been any re-think in that space over time?

Meanwhile, well yeah, you can get killed if everything goes wrong on a sportsman BMX track, but on the whole it's still safer than skateparks.

I think to Mike's point, if the riders don't speak up nothing will change. The flip side here being if you're a sponsored athlete competing at that level, I have to wonder how much free speech is available?
thebondtrader55
I totally agree that BMX is not a spectator sport. Except for someone like me who can sit in the stands all day and watch, the vast majority come to watch Sally/Jimmy/close friends kids. I was blessed to be there when Ellis/Griggs/King etc raced, in other words the Golden Age, and it was the same then. Sad but true. Ditto on 20 years of SX type tracks filtering all the way down.

Brothers, if as simple parents/fans we know that it's all about the kiddos (novices/inters) then surely, surely, surely the powers that be MUST know it. They have to have the best numbers available as to the REAL participation/utilization rates over the last 30 years. As very long term owners they can't be in any doubt about the truth of this. And yet time/treasure continue to be spent on the end of the sport that is/can be done by very few and is largely irrelevant.

The question remains the same as when I first joined this great site to visit with you all years ago.

Why?

PS - very interesting that a point was made about moving on from BMX at a certain point and it being a " novice" level sport. Just last week I spoke with a very fast rider who is now in his late 20's. He very much surprised me when he said that he strongly thought now that BMX racing should be something done up until 14/15 years of age and then moved on from. He said that as the speed multiplies the injury chance goes up greatly as well. This really shocked me considering who it was coming from.

Maybe there's a truth here rarely talked about. Possibly in great numbers the riders/parents themselves police this sport due to threat of injury. After a wreck or two at these much greater speeds the vast majority just say enough.

If this is true, then it's really no ones fault that this sport never maintains growth and is, essentially, flat.
Elvis
Injury and all, but you could say the same thing about basketball and so forth. And, you know, kid or not, if you want to BMX, there's nothing else like BMX.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Aug 23 2021, 05:30 PM) *
Injury and all, but you could say the same thing about basketball and so forth. And, you know, kid or not, if you want to BMX, there's nothing else like BMX.

Very true! After 40 plus years I still love this old sport and the people in it.

Not too many things that hold interest like that.
John De Bruin
QUOTE (Elvis @ Aug 23 2021, 03:11 PM) *
Meanwhile, well yeah, you can get killed if everything goes wrong on a sportsman BMX track, but on the whole it's still safer than skateparks.


But it's not anywhere near as safe as most other organized youth sports...so there's the problem.
John De Bruin
QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Aug 23 2021, 05:05 PM) *
Maybe there's a truth here rarely talked about. Possibly in great numbers the riders/parents themselves police this sport due to threat of injury. After a wreck or two at these much greater speeds the vast majority just say enough.

If this is true, then it's really no ones fault that this sport never maintains growth and is, essentially, flat.


Parents can do the math...and actually, so can the kids.

But it's never "no ones fault". Other sports sanctions have addressed safety issues specifically, even at great expense of losing credibility or interest in the sport. Restrictor plates, no grabbing the face mask, no blind checks,...

The last thing I'm saying is that BMX needs more friggin rules. But anticipation and acceptance into the Olympics created a generational opportunity to redefine the sport. I'm saying that exiting the Olympics could be the next generational opportunity to redefine the sport.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Aug 23 2021, 09:04 PM) *
Parents can do the math...and actually, so can the kids.

But it's never "no ones fault". Other sports sanctions have addressed safety issues specifically, even at great expense of losing credibility or interest in the sport. Restrictor plates, no grabbing the face mask, no blind checks,...

The last thing I'm saying is that BMX needs more friggin rules. But anticipation and acceptance into the Olympics created a generational opportunity to redefine the sport. I'm saying that exiting the Olympics could be the next generational opportunity to redefine the sport.

Well, we've been discussing for years about who's fault most things are in BMX.

I was in business for a very long time and strongly feel that the owners/controllers of the various sanctions/whatever they're called are responsible for competent leadership. Finance, planning, growth, rules/procedures all fall under that heading. Due diligence and canvassing of opinions are all important but ultimately the owners/controllers are responsible.

There are many who feel just as strongly that the owners/controllers have no burden to grow/manage the sport. This burden in their eyes should fall to the localities and riders. IMHO, the problem with this line of thought is that these groups don't have the skill set/access to funds necessary to be successful.

I agree that this is a chance to yet again, and for the upteenth time, redefine BMX racing in a more professional/user friendly mode. If history is any indication, that will not happen.

Like someone said once about America internationally, " You can count on the Americans to do the right thing - once they've tried everything else." This reminds me somewhat of BMX racing - at some point we'll have to do the right thing if for no other reason than the "leadership" has tried everything else.

All the Best
Elvis
QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Aug 23 2021, 08:51 PM) *
But it's not anywhere near as safe as most other organized youth sports...so there's the problem.


Respectfully, I'm not sure I agree with that (or have the energy to chase stats). But every year isn't there some story about a youth football death?

But here now, let's focus: Is it time to back down the Olympics tracks?

Mike's post had a great point, but my main takeaway was pros aren't going to say anything, because they're trying to make a living. And if pros aren't going to speak up/out, first, would they? And second, if they want to but can't, what's a way to address this need?
Elvis
... adding: Looking at some of the old days of football helmets, mud dauber welds and downhill tracks, I thinking "safe" is not a cultural thing.
BS
I can't hear the crickets around here anymore with all this "talking" going on!
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Aug 24 2021, 02:25 PM) *
Respectfully, I'm not sure I agree with that (or have the energy to chase stats). But every year isn't there some story about a youth football death?

But here now, let's focus: Is it time to back down the Olympics tracks?

Mike's post had a great point, but my main takeaway was pros aren't going to say anything, because they're trying to make a living. And if pros aren't going to speak up/out, first, would they? And second, if they want to but can't, what's a way to address this need?

I still remember a situation that happened in the period shortly before the very first Olympics when BMX racing was held. It's stuck with me all these years.

One weekend our local track rained out on Saturday night so we made the 50 mile trek up to the metro track to race that night. We usually didn't race there because our local track was very vibrant and raced Friday/Saturday nights. We were astonished at how great the local scene was there. The track wasn't too gnarly but it wasn't easy either. There was a bicycle shop at one end of the main building that was 3 deep at the counter at all times. In the middle of the building was a rocking snack bar with everything from burger baskets/bbq/sausage to M & M's.

After talking with the track folks it seemed that this track was AVERAGING nearly 30 motos every time they opened the gate. This allowed the track to conquer what is really the biggest problem in BMX bicycle racing - they had enough riders to fill out the moto sheets. Not surprisingly, it was an amazing race that was more of an event than just a race. To say we enjoyed ourselves that night was an understatement! We couldn't wait to come back.

Well, then the bomb hit. During the offseason break, I got word that the powers that be had completely bull dozed the track. Seems that a very gifted Pro was hopefully Olympic bound and it was strongly felt that he needed an "SX style track" to train on and they rebuilt this facility to provide him with one.

Net result - two fast sponsored AMs were hurt badly enough on this new style track that, in truth, they were never the same. Many of the riders - novi, inters, local experts - rode the track a few times and never came back. Moto count absolutely plunged and the track never recovered before it ultimately closed.

I think the reason that this situation has stayed with me all these years is because of how clueless it was. Some observations :

1. If this Pro, who supposedly had sponsors, needed a track to train on then why didn't his factory/sponsors build him one? I love Pro racing and will sit in the stands to watch it all day but as a bidnezz man I would have had no burden to destroy my vibrant business to provide another firms employee a place to train. It made no logical sense then and it makes none now.

2. We cannot let the tip end of the tail wag the whole dog. There is an ample sample size to show plainly that this will not work. But that's OK - in my mind there is no correlation between dangerous tracks and the ability to make a living. I believe that revenue can be generated by hard, well built tracks that are much safer/less maintenance intensive/cheaper than SX style tracks.

3. One of the ugliest truths about the very late emphasis on safety in auto racing is that it was feared that the sport wouldn't survive without the potential for injury/death. Plainly put, it was felt that people came to see someone/someones maimed or killed. If it's felt that the only way that BMX bicycle racing can generate a comfortable living is by availing the public of the chance to see carnage then that's something altogether different than a race. And this probably should have been addressed long before now.

So yes, not only should the tracks be backed down but they should never have been ramped up in the first place. It was/is wrong headed.

Where it goes from here, who knows?

John De Bruin
QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Aug 30 2021, 08:02 PM) *
We cannot let the tip end of the tail wag the whole dog.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leadership - there's just no replacement for it.

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

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

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

b.

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

Want to earn some money as Pro? Have a nice smile, be friendly and positive, and spend your off-time walking around talking to novices. Somebody will reward you for that.
Elvis
QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Sep 7 2021, 07:29 PM) *
E, I'll admit that when this SX thing came along I wondered, as a local/normal track booster, if I wasn't just plain wrong. Was the pure big time spectacle the decades long missing piece?

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

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

Leadership - there's just no replacement for it.

Good visiting with you, my good friend.


Well wait; lots of spectacles out there, first of all, and some take time to be discovered, second, and finally being the thing that catches attention is a hard formula to create -- although BMX did so years ago when the world was different.

My interest in bringing up this topic is safety. Marketing is a whole different issue (and one addressed well by the BMX league thing, while we're talking). In fact another hand-wringing thread on "selling BMX" I'd rather see somewhere else (not that a hand-wringing about big-hill tracks isn't in the same family).

Big tracks are, you have to admit, a chance for the athlete to do more and better. My point being are we endangering them by doing this?

In fact, however, thinking about it -- and arguing against myself -- I've seen pros get mad-jacked on the same tracks ams were racing on. In fact, now that I said that, I have to think starting this thread was so much hang-wringing on my part.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (Elvis @ Sep 8 2021, 02:38 PM) *
Well wait; lots of spectacles out there, first of all, and some take time to be discovered, second, and finally being the thing that catches attention is a hard formula to create -- although BMX did so years ago when the world was different.

My interest in bringing up this topic is safety. Marketing is a whole different issue (and one addressed well by the BMX league thing, while we're talking). In fact another hand-wringing thread on "selling BMX" I'd rather see somewhere else (not that a hand-wringing about big-hill tracks isn't in the same family).

Big tracks are, you have to admit, a chance for the athlete to do more and better. My point being are we endangering them by doing this?

In fact, however, thinking about it -- and arguing against myself -- I've seen pros get mad-jacked on the same tracks ams were racing on. In fact, now that I said that, I have to think starting this thread was so much hang-wringing on my part.

No, you have a valid point.

I do believe that the marketing/safety are closely related on this.
BS
Speakin' of big hills...
bnd
Yeah, saw that a day or two ago. Shannon being made out to be a dick. Those guy should of given it more thought like a week or two in advance.

b.
Elvis
QUOTE (BS @ Sep 9 2021, 03:47 PM) *


I'd be interested in hearing what motivated the "no" vote(s).
John De Bruin
QUOTE (Elvis @ Sep 22 2021, 07:22 PM) *
I'd be interested in hearing what motivated the "no" vote(s).


My guess would be common sense...putting personal health and safety above something as insignificant as a sport.

I think it's great that he didn't need to give a reason to justify his answer.
thebondtrader55
It may just be that the big hill thing has (thankfully) run it's course.

At this point, what is the point really?

1. More hazardous for the participants for no reason.

2. Is having little/no effect on participation rates.

3. Much more expensive to build/maintain

4. Contrary to popular opinion, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Concussions, shoulders popped back in place on camera, marbles in a bowl crashes simply aren't helpful.


If there weren't viable alternatives it would be one thing - let's change directions.
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