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Thread: State of the nation

  1. #1
    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default State of the nation


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    I heard a rumour the dear old Derby Phoenix club was folding. Not true, surely? They're a well-run and popular club (or were when I was helping to run them ).

    I know their Mallory meeting had to be cancelled for lack of entries but this could easily be a one-off on a circuit with limited popularity near the end of the season. Has the trend for all clubs to try and run with the big time and organise meetings on the big circuits nationwide killed off the local nature of the old regional clubs? Is there a general falling off of entries (due to spiralling costs perhaps) or is there some sort of shakeout happening? Or is UK club racing in rude good health?

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    Really Bored mel's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    I heard a rumour the dear old Derby Phoenix club was folding. Not true, surely? They're a well-run and popular club (or were when I was helping to run them ).

    I know their Mallory meeting had to be cancelled for lack of entries but this could easily be a one-off on a circuit with limited popularity near the end of the season. Has the trend for all clubs to try and run with the big time and organise meetings on the big circuits nationwide killed off the local nature of the old regional clubs? Is there a general falling off of entries (due to spiralling costs perhaps) or is there some sort of shakeout happening? Or is UK club racing in rude good health?
    I think a lot of club racers have invested so much money in vans/campers ectect prepared to travel to the "better" tracks and make a long weekend of it-I know you are a fan of the one day meet but unless your very local imo to much dosh/hassel for a couple of race laps.

    The grids I have seen this year ngrrc have been fairly healthy, maybe down on a few years ago but better than the last two seasons so improved in line with economy.

    no limits and hottrax also are recent enterants to the race scene and command a fair turn out.

    also the youngsters seem to get to bsb level(superstock triple challenge ect ect)quite quickly these days-that maybe me just getting older mind. and for their club racing they tend to want to do the bsb calendar tracks and higher profile clubs

    -if true dp maybe too small and localised to compete-shame though

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    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    As it happens DP were one of the fore-runners of the 2-day meeting. Back in the 90s I did a big survey for them of a load of ACU licence holders and identified a bunch of things racers wanted from meetings. It helped the club structure their meetings better and they gained a load of new members. Last time I had contact with them they had full grids, but were still a fairly regional club serving the midlands and north. So if they are in trouble I'm surprised.

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    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation


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    A Bit Bored 151's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    I raced with them between 2002 - 2004, and they were always well attended, particularly the Steel Frame championship (which was what I rode in).

    It's a been a long time since I last had any involvement with them, but when I browsed some of the results sheets it looked like they still had a healthy attendance, but obviously not enough according to the news release.

    Reading between the lines it looks like a cost issue - they said that the costs of running it have increased, but have the costs involved in competing also risen to the extent that fewer people are racing, or the costs of actually starting racing are now so high that it's stopping more people from taking up the sport?

    I'm guessing it's a bit of both and the ones that are racing have more choice in who they race with, particularly if you're all setup to travel the length of Britain and make it a weekend away. That's what I did, but at that time it was either DP or Bemsee, and travelling from Nottingham to race at the Bemsee circuits was too much hassle. DP gave me enough variety of tracks, not all of which involved a massive journey - Mallory and Cadwell weren't too much of a pain to get to, Croft was a bit further away, but acceptable, only Snetterton and Anglesey were a bit of a pain, but as they were only two race meetings that was ok by me. I stopped just before DP started using Donnington, which would have been even better for me as that's only 30 minutes away.

    Now it seems you have Bemsee, Hottrax, and No Limits, and if they are all racing at the same circuits that DP were, then you've got more choice of which club best suits you.

    I'm also wondering if Hottrax and No Limits have an advantage in that a lot of people would have started out doing track days before they raced, and if they've been used to either Hottrax/No Limits (and like how they run), it's a natural progression to join their race club instead of an unknown.

    It's sad - DP was a good club, and I see the same people were still running it as when I raced and they were a good bunch too.

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    Really Bored wobley o down's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    So where can we point the Finger of Blame ?
    Circuit hire costs ?
    Bikes ?
    The Circuits nowadays have greater facilities than when I started. We were lucky to have toilets that worked at some of the tracks. Medical and Marshaling are so much more professional , which all adds to the cost.
    Gone are the days when a "sports" bike could do several meetings on a set of tyres. I remember getting to late June and thinking do I change the rear this meeting or the next !
    We cannot turn the clock back. If you want to race the latest bike and be competitive , then at the very least , you have to do what your competition are doing , and running up a Mahoosive tyre bill.
    So where do we go from here ? One make series with rules and control tyre. That's what you nearly get with CB500s , Mzsand Ypm.
    How are the Classic clubs doing . Is that where it's at ?

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    Should Get Out More icarus1859's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Quote Originally Posted by wobley o down View Post
    Gone are the days when a "sports" bike could do several meetings on a set of tyres. I remember getting to late June and thinking do I change the rear this meeting or the next !
    We cannot turn the clock back. If you want to race the latest bike and be competitive , then at the very least , you have to do what your competition are doing , and running up a Mahoosive tyre bill.
    Really though?
    Or is it that people just want the latest gear?

    I used to scrounge old tyres from my mate at national races and use 2-3 sets of them for a full club season.
    Even in the nationals I'd get a 2-3 meetings from a set of tyres (on a 125 though).

    I doubt the ability of club racers has come on that much that they need the split second advantage a new set of tyres can offer, Valentino could walk away with a club trophy on a 1990 RS125 with 2 fronts and 3 rears for a full season.

    And if you need so many tyres at club level then maybe your suspension is bolloxed.
    Or are tyres so advanced that they're amazing for one race, then scrap? They used to be rock hard and would last months.
    So do people really need half a dozen sets of tyres per weekend?

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    Really Bored wobley o down's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    I doubt anyone these days wants a set of TT100s that would last .Things have moved on , bikes and tyres . Look at tyres that have done a race or two in 600s or 1000s , they're only fit for landfill .

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    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    I think it's a combination of everything. All these nice circuits with manicured outfields and marble-lined loos don't happen free. The cost of circuit hire has been rising well ahead of inflation, and while there's no denying Palmer has made his circuits very slick they are also pushing the prices up all the time. The cost of that only comes from two places -spectators, and hire costs. And the clubs don't get anything from the gate or concessions so they are left to find the hire costs out of the riders' entries. Hence those are pushed up and the clubs have the dilemma do the push up the entry fees and risk entries falling or do they try and cut their own costs. The more competition there is for circuits the more hire charges rise and the less clubs are able to charge. They are squeezed from both sides and eventually the financially weakest will be squeezed out.

    I was involved running the Phoenix in the 90s when I lived up there. They were struggling them and I ran a big survey to find out what riders wanted from a meeting. They implemented my findings and after a couple of years when the word got round they were booming. Trouble is, any good idea is easily copied and with more clubs touring round the country doing the same round of circuits it's hard to distinguish one from the other any more. One of the more successful seems to be Thundersport, which has only been around a few years, and their formula seems to be to promote themselves as "the big time". Which I suppose is great for the young hopefuls and older ego trippers. Trouble again is it's just pushed prices even further up, and you can see how the riders have embraced that by the big motorhomes, spare bikes and wheel trees. I bet lack of money is the biggest reason for retirement now. In my day you raced until you got bored or hurt.

    The times they are a-changing, and I'm not convinced it's for the better.

  10. #10
    A Bit Bored 151's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Quote Originally Posted by wobley o down View Post
    How are the Classic clubs doing . Is that where it's at ?
    I went to the Classic Festival at Donnington this year (just to watch), and they seemed to be doing very well (Mike "Spike" Edwards and Iain Simpson ride regularly in this series) from my outsiders perspective. Lots of races and what looked like very full grids, plus some really great racing.

    If I started racing again (I'm not), I'd look long and hard at the classics as my gut feel says it's a fairly "cheap" form of getting the racing buzz.

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    Really Bored wobley o down's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Quote Originally Posted by 151 View Post

    If I started racing again (I'm not), I'd look long and hard at the classics as my gut feel says it's a fairly "cheap" form of getting the racing buzz.
    Er , no. The bikes themselves will cost you an Arm. To get a Manx , add a leg. As time goes by the prices a going up ( I was going to say through the roof , but who knows where the roof is ?)
    TZs and the like are fetching crazy money too
    The only advantage I can see is tyres , they last and I believe they don't use wets.
    Maintenance ? Certainly the 2strokes need a regular re-fresh and the four strokes probably have their tuning specialists that won't be doing it for the love of it.
    Racing 'ain't cheap I'm afraid.

  12. #12
    A Bit Bored 151's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Ah, Well that burst that bubble.

    CB500's it is (would) be then. Or maybe lawin mower racing....Naaah.

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    Really Bored wobley o down's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Quote Originally Posted by 151 View Post
    . Or maybe lawin mower racing....Naaah.
    Been there .
    Rub a bit of sand in your eyes , making sure to push some up your nose until blocked .Climb into a sack . Get three mates to beat you with a stick for ten minutes . Repeat every three weeks during the summer months .Done .
    It's a Larf though

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...77880786,d.ZWU

  14. #14
    A Bit Bored 151's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Lol - the running bit (if it's push along stuff), put me off that. As for the sit on and go racing... No thanks, I'm now old enough to need both my kidneys, and my spine

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    Should Get Out More icarus1859's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the nation

    Has to be motocross then.

    You can race and be competitive (at club level) on a 10yr old bike, a couple of sets of tyres will do you a season and entries are about 40 for three races on the day.
    It didn't stop me buying all sorts of bling tat to try and make myself faster, but in essence thats all you need above.

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