John Lieswyn <[email protected]
> See #5... I can't believe this moron, Bob Schwartz...
John, take the time to talk to someone in Iowa that actually organizes races. Run your minimum
requirements past that person. It is possible to run short circuit races on closed courses in parks.
The Lake Park races in Superweek for example. Once you get beyond that scale you need to have a lot
of cash and/or political muscle behind you. Dave LaPorte could tell you about what it takes to run
the road races that he runs. Its a lot, don't kid yourself. And likewise, don't kid yourself that
the community and political support that NRC races get is normal. I am absolutely in awe of the
resources and effort and money and political backing that he is able to pull together for the stuff
he runs. That is very, very, exceptional. It is also because the base cause is a charity for kids
and not bike racing.
The race that you mention as being safe and well run does not meet your requirements by the way. You
were counting on the low traffic counts and (I'm guessing) great sight lines from a lack of terrain
to allow the yellow line to be disregarded. But maybe we will see you at one of our races because
that's what we do to secure the course i.e. corner marshals in an area with very little traffic.
You're welcome to come if you have the time. But we do enforce the center line because in spite of
the lack of traffic there are many places where you can't see well enough up the road. We're not
lucky enough to be as dead flat as Iowa. If that is unacceptable then we'll miss you.
But you didn't have a closed course or a rolling enclosure at that race in Iowa. An incident like
the one in Ashville could have happened. Low traffic count roads are not necessarily any safer
because one of the things that happens in those situations is that people eventually assume there is
nothing up the road. Even if you have great sight lines, you can still have problems with overtaking
vehicles. No ****. I can think of at least one case where people spilled over the yellow line as a
guy with his foot heavy on the gas was coming. It was only timing that made the major cost of that
incident nothing more than a ****** off driver. This was on a low traffic count road like that safe
race you did in Iowa. That's why we enforce the yellow line even if there is nothing up the road. If
VOS had traffic count issues then maybe it is a good thing that the race is gone, but traffic count
is not the entire story.
I am very aware of the risks of bike racing. I do not believe that the risk of racing a yellow line
race is greater than the risk of getting into the car to drive to said race. Think about that for a
second. If someone crashed and died on the way to a race do you think anyone outside the local
racing community would hear about it? Probably not. People die in cars all the time.
You haven't done your homework. Go talk to someone that has actually organized a road race. Ask them
about the effort and clout and money required to meet your minimum standards. Go to the cops where
you live, tell them you want to put on a road race. Ask them what you'd need to get their OK. Be
sure to ask if they wouldn't mind volunteering their time like those cops at the race you mentioned.
*Then* come back and if you still think I'm a moron, go ahead and call me a moron. But I have done
all those things and you are talking about clearing the calendar of road races in order to avoid a
very real but very small amount of risk. You are not yet qualified to call me a moron.
Actually I haven't done all those things. I've never asked a cop to volunteer their time. We have
gotten free cops though, but only because the city tourism people had gotten general event support
built into the police budget. They sure as hell weren't doing it just for us.
BTW The city of Milwaukee has motorcycle cops. They are the only cop jurisdiction in the state of
Wisconsin that I am aware of that does. A rolling enclosure is not possible for me at any price.
Also BTW, there were road races almost every weekend here last summer. Aside from the aforementioned
Superweek closed course park races and a couple that are held on pavement that is not open to the
public to begin with, none of them meet your standards. And I do not believe any of them could,
although most meet the standard of that "safe" race in Iowa. If someone is ever unfortunate to get
whacked by a car and die while participating, the race fatality race will still be dwarved by the
fatality rate suffered by people training for those races.
The "cram it someplace dark" comment was because I think that if someone ever gets whacked at one of
those safe races like the one in Iowa we will see that statement in court regardless of where any
fault lies because it is an expert opinion that there is negligence in even offering such a race. On
behalf of organizers everywhere I say, thanks loads.
Bob Schwartz [email protected]
Do you wear your helmet in the car? Why not?