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Shore racers...a dying breed?

March 18, 2013, 2:17 p.m.
Posts: 809
Joined: Dec. 22, 2002

So the 2013 edition of Dirty Duo went off last weekend. I'm sure it was again run by a terrific crew of vollies and it kept things low on hassle and high on thrills. But get this - average age for the bike-only was…37, and only 1 rider was under 30.

In population ecology, they call that recruitment failure (ie we're missing GenY). This isn't a refection on Dirty Duo atall, but symptomatic of a bigger issue. Same is seen in mainland cx series where the 20-somethings are few [HTML_REMOVED] far between.

Is this happening in the Fraser Valley races? How about Island Cup? In the case of Dirty Duo, they're close to a major population centre and one of the world's most famous trail networks, the event is cheap and run really well. No UCI licence needed.

So where's Gen Y? How goes it bike shop owners - sell any bikes to a 20-something lately?

NSMBA member.

March 18, 2013, 2:46 p.m.
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

maybe not everyone cares about racing

March 18, 2013, 2:57 p.m.
Posts: 632
Joined: Jan. 27, 2010

^ this ..

and it was a great weekend for skiing.

March 18, 2013, 3:31 p.m.
Posts: 10309
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I care about racing, but as a 20 something I often find it hard enough just to find time to get out for a ride with all the other crap you try to get done while "establishing" yourself. Granted I could be a racer bum, but careers/volunteering/blah tends to get in the way.

Check my stuff for sale!

March 18, 2013, 3:35 p.m.
Posts: 183
Joined: July 26, 2005

132 preregistered XC smugglers for the Victoria Island Cup race yesterday. Great turnout of all ages.

March 18, 2013, 3:45 p.m.
Posts: 1081
Joined: Jan. 1, 2011

maybe not everyone cares about racing

Quoted for truth.

I've noticed a huge decline in racer types that come into the LBS I work at.

The road scene seems to have all but evaporated in terms of racing, but the focus seems to have shifted to sportive style events like the Gran Fondo.

On the mountain side, the younger guys seem to be more interested in DJ/Slopestyle type riding, or banging off laps at WBP. Either that, or they wanna hit the trails with buddies, and not worry about the gong show that is participating in a race…

Ride, don't slide.

March 18, 2013, 4 p.m.
Posts: 79
Joined: Dec. 16, 2012

why would they pay money to ride a trail they can ride for free

March 18, 2013, 4:08 p.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

Nature of races. Some years they have a great turn out and others it isn't so great.

Add in the popularity and is it the in thing factor. Alot of people who show up at races like the Dirty Duo are doing it as something to tick off on the list of accomplishments. Like marathons, Test of Mettle, and so on. Once they have done it a few times they move onto what is next.

And if you look what is considered as in and hip for racing these day's. It seems that running an assault course seems to be the hot status symbol these days.

March 18, 2013, 5:24 p.m.
Posts: 2483
Joined: April 25, 2003

The island cup had what looked to be a good turnout of the twenty something's. cross on the rock as well. Although the population is definitely skewed towards those over 30, and those who like to compete and have goals to motivate them. Speaking for myself, I was very anti-organized ride (and fees) when younger, while also being far more into freeride.

I don't ever think we'll see the levels of participation in racing that we saw in the early 90's. riding is just too diverse now.

March 18, 2013, 5:29 p.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov. 15, 2010

Well I can vouch for myself (25 year old all mountain rider and avid hiker) by saying that this race concept doesn't appeal to me at all.

:canada: I ride the mountain cycle :canada:

March 18, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
Posts: 1393
Joined: Aug. 13, 2009

why would they pay money to ride a trail they can ride for free

Truth. (It's called Freeride!)

March 18, 2013, 5:52 p.m.
Posts: 751
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

I don't ever think we'll see the levels of participation in racing that we saw in the early 90's. riding is just too diverse now.

Best insight IMHO. This comes across at the technology and marketing level too. You used to pick between an XC and DH bike, now we have endless gradients of all-mountain-free-midtravel-longtravel-slopestyle-enduro-dh bike models to choose from. It may be more attractive for people to pick a bike that can do it all, and get into a more casual kind of riding, than to limit themselves to just a short-travel or HT 71-73 type ride. Tech in the 90s was still driven hard by xc racing. Sure we have 29ers coming along, but we also have a more diverse array of influences on the products available and pushed on use.

I might add, there are a lot of easier places to race than the shore. Putting on an XC event there is none too easy, and the terrain tends to scare off a lot of typical XC participants.
In other places, XC seems to be doing just fine. Toonie races drawing over 100 people for weeknight rides in Squamish and WHistler, with 5 well-attended events in the Sea to Sky alone. Some of the interior races (Salty Dog, Pedal by Puddle etc) still get a good draw. The "smugglers" still have options.
Leaving the 604 for a race is a lot of fun too, highly recommend it. Did one in Merritt a few years ago, good times.

March 18, 2013, 5:54 p.m.
Posts: 2483
Joined: April 25, 2003

why would they pay money to ride a trail they can ride for free

Racing isn't "pay[ing]to ride a trail". Racing is racing. It's different. Personally, I like both. In fact I did both on Sunday, and it was a wicked day on the bike!

March 18, 2013, 6:10 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: March 3, 2008

I had no idea that race was even on, yet went out riding on Seymour the day of the Dirty Duo. Ended up riding what seemed like nearly the entire race course without knowing it. Would have loved to entire it had I known it was on…

There will always be people wanting to see how they stack up to others on their local trails in a sanctioned event.

March 18, 2013, 8:09 p.m.
Posts: 7566
Joined: March 7, 2004

Off the top of my head I would say most racing in the Valley are 30 somethings as well.

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