Earlier this month, the IMBCS Advisory Board asked those available to participate in a quick ten question survey as we discuss various topics moving forward with the 2015 season and beyond. I would like to emphasize the word beyond. Change and improvement require incremental steps, time, funding, and patience. Many of the questions asked in the survey were with the beyond in mind.
That being said, thank you to one and all who took the time to participate in the survey and provide comments. There have been 72 responses recorded at this time. Each member of the Advisory Board has had a chance to see the results, and we will be meeting before the end of the year to put our creative heads together, and discuss and consider steps for next season and beyond.
I have also been in direct communication with our 2015 race directors for their comments, concerns, ideas, and thoughts. Mix in the tutoring I am receiving in messages, emails, and phone calls from our neighboring state series directors, and plenty of thought is going into the IMBCS future.
The results of the survey are available online at SurveyMonkey for those who are interested.
Here are the answers to a couple questions in which participants were asked to estimate dollar totals:
Question #4: If all 2014 series winners showed up at an event in 2015, the entry fee revenue loss for that particular race director would be $425, plus the insurance (usually about $4.35 per racer, give or take 50 cents) and possible timing chip expense (usually about $5–10 per racer). In addition, food, water, awards, and prizes would still need to be covered by the race director.
Question #5: If the 13 series winners showed up at all 11 events in 2015 and IMBCS were picking up the tab to cover the race directors, the entry fee and insurance cost alone would total $4197.50.
Of course, not all series winners show up at each and every event the following year, but you get the idea that some measure of reform is worthy of consideration. Those that have hosted an event understand. Without race directors, we have no series. Without solvent race directors, we have no races. Adding to my IMBCS Christmas Wish List: $4200 for series awards, $7950 for a timing system, $2–3K for banners and a tent, $2–3K for an outdoor PA system, a trailer to pull the equipment to every event, and a partridge in a pear tree.
I also would like to thank those of you who left comments in Question #10. There were lots of good comments, suggestions, concerns, and thoughts. Rather than address each and every one of them, I will focus on just a couple for this post.
State Championship and the Venue. The idea of a State Championship is actually a USA Cycling sanctioned format. On the occasions that I can recall, it was held at Sugar Bottom a few years when Mark Guthart was the race director. It was canceled in 2009 due to rain, but did run in 2010–12 at Sugar Bottom, and I hosted it one time at Lake Ahquabi in 2013. Those occasions were all USAC sanctioned MTB races. There is an additional permitting expense paid to USAC to have a race be a State Championship event. Racers are required to have a USAC license to qualify for receiving a podium spot for the USAC State Championship Awards. Being that most of the IMBCS races in 2015 will not be USAC sanctioned, and Iowa racers are not required to hold a license to race in the IMBCS race unless it is USAC sanctioned event, I don’t foresee us having a USAC State Championship unless one of our race directors decides to host a sanctioned event and pay the permitting fees for it to be a State Championship. Minnesota and Nebraska have both dropped it from their calendars as well, since both of those series moved to their events to being non-sanctioned events. One of the main reasons for state series moving away from having their events be USAC sanctioned events was due to the rule changes for the 2014 season by USAC that required even Cat 3 racers to purchase a one-day license for every event they entered if they didn’t own an annual. That being said, in Iowa, our awards are focused on the IMBCS series winners as the crowning champions for the year, and each individual IMBCS event provides the opportunity to grab a podium spot.
Purchasing a Timing System. See my comment above that the discounted price for a MyLaps system, if we buy before December 31st, is $7950 for the base system. By my math, considering that IMBCS has $0, a purchase of said timing system is not imminent. Building up enough equity for such a purchase will take time, even with a well designed business model and donations to get us there. The idea of having a permanent number plate for a season, having the option of purchasing a discounted superpass, and getting your points tracked for an annual fee all sound well and good, but such things don’t just happen overnight. A capital campaign must be started, and it will take time to create a sustainable business model that can afford equipment and provide for series awards, if we want to move beyond the free entry awards for all series winners model that we currently find ourselves practicing. The Hin und Zurürck TT at Center Trails on August 8th is an IMBCS hosted event that will serve as a kickoff to the capital campaign to start raising money for year-end awards and the purchase of future equipment.
Rest assured, that MTB Racing is alive and well in Iowa for the future. Implementing changes that are better for the majority will be well thought out, discussed, and handled with care.