Saturday, March 12, 2005

Oh that NORBA crap.

Wow, did I get screwed at a race today. I went to the Gardner Mountain bike race today. It is a part of the Arizona mountain bike series. We took off into a headwind but some fool decided that he would do all the work for us. I finally went to the front to test out these Japanese guys who are here with the Shimano R & D Team. Over the first few climbs I was able to get their breathing into a labored state and figure it ws a good time to attack. So off I go with one other dude. We opened a good gap and continued to push it hard. We got up over this big climb and then dropped down into a water crossing that was overly refreshing. There was a large crowd assembled here and as we got out we headed up another small climb and were pointed to go to the left. We continued up over a hike and bike climb and then acoss some fast ass trails. We dropped back into a valley and through the start line. Well, I thought that seemed a little quick but we were doing two laps.
On the second lap I finally dropped my partner and kept drilling it over the terrain. I hit the water again but there was not so many people here this time. However, this time I noticed a "Pro" sign on the right side. A little sign drawn with a Sharpie of something. Very Non NORBA approved for sure. This time I turned right knowing that I had not been on this trail before. It sunk in quick. We had been told to go the wrong way on the first lap. Fucking A.
Well, I finished the second lap, which was a super cool lap. I had the chance to do a crap load of water crossings and to bust myself on a big boulder hiding around a tree in a small switchback. I rode into the finish and the announcer told me I was a DNF. I could clearly see what was going on here. I tore my number off and went back to the car.
After the race and the realization that I had just been screwed by a bad course marshall and a crowd of people that had been standing in front of the "pro" sign (I guess one person had been asked to move their chair from blocking it) I went off to complain. In the totality of the circumstances their was no reason to protest. I talked to the race promoter who apoligized, the dumb fuck who set up the "keep it simple stupid, ya right" course, and the NORBA official. The NORBA official agreed that the course was very poorly marked and that he had received numerous complaints. But, like he said, what could I do now?
This get to the point of mentioning the topic on Dan Swanson's website www.homepage.mac.com/danswanson His issue was about NORBA today. My issue is about NORBA today too. These course need to be marked. I was not the only person in the field that was confused. Jesse was even confused. Here was a race that I had wrapped up early on for the win only to get screwed by some lazy ass course marking guy and a course marshall who no idea what was going on even though he was assigned at a crucial point in the race. What is it that NORBA is doing for us then? Obviously they are not checking the course and they offer no conflict resolution in a case like this. None of the course markings were at NORBA standards in size or placement. I raced according to the direction I was told to go in. What do I get? Fucked! Gang bang style by the entire crew at the race. What about the guy behind me? He too.
If NORBA really wants to grow it's numbers than it is time for them to participate a bit more at races besides the "sending of an official to pick up their lions share of the loot." They need to be officials who certify that a course meets their standards. This is important in conducting a honest "best man wins" race. Today was the poorest marked course I have ever run into while racing. To my team. I had a pro/semi-pro win for you guys wrapped up and then dumped out into a toilet.
On a good note though, Jesse pulled of a second place to keep some green on the podium. I just sat and watched. A wasted entry and a lost $100.00 in the pocket. Good riding though and note of some solid form for Phoenix.
To NORBA. "Do your freak'in jobs! Get off your asses at these races and certify these races." What in the hell is this license fee covering anyhow? A card? Later from Tucson. Land of "who the hell cares. Screw em!" -Ian
I will get my revenge next weekend at the NORBA NATs in Phoenix. Here I come!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ian - that really f'n sucks, man. Honestly, yeah the NORBA official is technically supposed to walk the course and make sure the markings are adequate, but I'd say the race promoter deserves at least 50% (if not more) of the blame. I can say, having experience promoting races, that if you don't care enough to mark the course in a way that's obvious, you're lazy. It really doesn't take that long to ride the course and throw some yellow tape and arrow signs down in a few crucial spots.

I would suggest not attending any more races promoted by the same group and making sure they know about your dissatisfaction with how they are doing their job. I don't usually suggest speaking out to promoters like this but they were obviously not doing their job.

take it easy, good luck in phx dude.

--andy