Monday, January 22, 2007

What determined the PSS race format?

The 2007 Plainville Spring Series ("PSS") format is based on my 2006 PSS experience and several other ideas and goals.

Geographic Need
Cyclists are very traditional and surprisingly enjoy 'sitting in' large fields during 'training'. During the '06 PSS, I received several complaints about the small field sizes. Aki Sato (Bethel Spring Series promoter) and I are friends. We are not in competion. However, the Bethel Spring Series is a juggernaut on which the '06 PSS was modeled. If a cyclist chooses one over another, they choose Bethel. A small minority rides both. Cyclists, especially experienced ones, are acustomed to driving. I still don't understand how a large field helps training. Inexperienced riders, Cat. 4 & 5, in the Farmington river valley appreciate the shorter drive.

Saturday Racing
This is an admittedly hopeful idea! I go to church on Sunday. I thought others might like to also. Based on '06, a Saturday event has no impact. Riders are accustomed to Sunday events. I remain hopeful.

Cat. 4 & 5 Focus
The '06 P/1/2/3 category race had small and decreasing field sizes. The field size trend was downward ( e.g. 18, 14, 16, 12) and I saw no reason for it to increase. Indeed, in April, elite riders plan to participate in other, larger races and opt to skip the PSS. I cancelled the two remaining '06 P/1/2/3 races. I don't expect P/1/2/3 interest this year. In fact, P/1/2/3 racers are more focused on Bethel and very few race twice on a weekend.
Additionally, 65% of the '06 riders were Cat. 4 or 5. Cat.5 is by far the largest category in New England.
The '06 PSS lacked team efforts. Only three teams consistantly raced the '06 PSS (Epic Velo, Cyclonauts, EBCC). I hope '07 PSS series ending team prize promotes some team racing tactics.

Two Races per Race Day
After the planning, packing, driving, and setting up your gear, its a shame to ride for only 50 minutes and go home. The 2007 format allows riders to race one event for competion and a second event for training.

Women Categories
There are very few women racers. My intent was, and is, to allow for maximum women participation.

Go Fast ... JIM