Boone Roubaix - Even the Police Car Got A Flat!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The title says it all.

Saturday's Hell of the High Country - "Boone Roubaix" was a complicated sh*tshow of a race that had officials and even the race director himself scratching their heads trying to figure out. The course, which length and complexity varied depending on category, was comprised of paved and rugged gravel sections that ate tires all day, even forcing one of the police vehicles to change a front right wheel after a flat halfway throughout the day.

Andrew Stackhouse, the "race director" from Pirate Race Productions began the morning with a poor attempt at speaking French stating " I've taken six years of French and don't have much to show for it", welcomed feedback and criticism from participants, well Andrew, it's on like Donkey Kong.

The morning was supposed to begin at 9AM with the Pro, 1, 2, 3 field, instead the first field didn't leave until around 9:40AM due to the police arriving at the wrong location. Here's the first point of criticism, have a pen?

Dearest Andrew Stackhouse,

  1. If you intend to be a professional race promoter, then your races should be run flawlessly, I'd suggest not going the cheap route by hiring the police for when the race starts. Instead pay the local law enforcement for an extra hour prior to the start to prevent an instance just like this one; also make sure you give them the right location, that way if they sit for a half hour at the wrong place you give yourself a buffer to still start the race on time.
  2. Start the race on time. PERIOD.
  3. Make a course that doesn't take a degree in Topography (too big a word, I linked it if you don't understand) to decipher.
  4. Have adequate staff and volunteers to prevent half the field getting lost due to lack of directions. (Half of the Pro, 1, 2, 3 field went the wrong direction, missed turns, etc. because no one was at a turn or a detour sign).
  5. THE COURSE, back to the course. Stack, keep in mind that the few volunteers that you did have working the race were in fact..... volunteers, (I defined that one too in case you didn't know what that one means either). They can't tell if someone is a Pro,1,2,3 rider, or a collegiate A or B rider, how in the world are they supposed to know whether to tell someone to take a right or left on railroad grade road? Make a course that allows volunteers to be positive which way they're sending riders.
  7. Make one flier and then don't change it, not ten different ones that change every day prior to the race!

I'll stop there, basically for someone who's attempting to make a living being a "professional race director" you forgot the first rule, Keep It Simple Stupid!


Everyone who hated your race.

As for how the races played out? The Pro, 1, 2, 3 field was shattered, miss directed, confused, and left for the taking to those who didn't flat out; for the unfortunate many that did the 20 minute wait for the wheel truck took riders out of all contention. The race went to Mark Hekman of Team Mtn. Khaki's. Only 36 of the original 53 starters finished the race. The full Pro, 1, 2, 3 results can be found Here.

Men's Pro, 1, 2, 3, field patiently waiting for the police to arrive.

The Men's collegiate A and B fields departed 5 and 10 minutes after the Pro, 1, 2, 3 race respectively, for distances of 60 and 44 miles. Reid Beloni of Virginia Tech put a hurting on the Men's A field and finished alone for his first collegiate A victory of the season, Michael Niemi of Duke and Justin Beard of Phifer finished out the podium. For the full men's collegiate A results Click Here.

Men's Collegiate A: Justin, Justin, and Reid (left to right).

Tommy Brock. Nuff said.

Men's Collegiate A at the bottom of Carter Miller Rd., beginning of the first long climb.

The collegiate B race was blown apart, with 1 of 7 tech riders finish the race due to flats. The race went to Matthew Rinehart of Duke University, one of the 5 remaining B's in the field, 3 of which were Duke riders. Matt Dockins of Virginia Tech took 2nd and Davis Graham took 3rd. 13 of 23 starters finished, a measly 57% completion rate.

Men's Collegiate B. Matt Dockins nearest, 2nd for the day overall.

Men's Collegiate B on a narly switchback

The grueling climb continues...

The women's races consumed most of the mid-day with a notable finish from VT rider Lindsey McKeever for 6th place in the women's B field.

Following suit with the rest of the day, the Men's 4/5 race and men's collegiate C races were delayed at the line as the fields watched one of the police vehicles change a flat, enduring the same pain many riders experienced earlier in the day. The race finally got underway around 3:30PM, half an hour late, and before the field hit the start finish line had a crash from believe it or not the race winner, Appalachian State rider Andrew Murphy (correct me if I'm wrong here, but that's the word on the street). The field stayed together until the first gravel climb, Carter-Miller Rd. where the men were separated from the boys. Apparently I'm a boy, as I was 3rd wheel at the beginning of the climb and came out around the high teens. After the paved climb on 194 and a long sweeping decent down the back side, the field was shattered and riders found themselves out for a training ride or in small groups of 2's and 3's. I caught a Navy rider and we worked together reeling in stragglers from the 4/5 race and a few collegiate riders as well. After 34 miles a Duke rider, Chris from Navy, and myself were still together when we hit the last section of gravel on the course. Unfortunately the Navy rider got a flat and it was Duke and I, the Duke rider didn't even contest the sprint and I rolled across the line for 11th.

11th of 36 starters, 28 finished. Full results Here.

Overall I had a fairly mediocre day and performance but placed well simply by finishing and not flatting. I did keep the Garmin 310XT in my back pocket and recorded data for the race ( ride).

PowerData from ASU RR - Boone Roubaix

Last but not least, this pig decided to hang out with us all day...just a random ass pig walking around. Its name was Petunia and it ate an entire Clif bar from a Brian's backpack, wrapper included, and then spit back up the wrapper. Impressive and definitely deserving of the bar.

Petunia kick'n it.

More from Day 2 of ASU race weekend to come, not USCF Thank Goodness!


mike g ,  April 5, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

Whoa... a little harsh. I agree, disorganized. But come on, this was an inaugural grassroots race, no pay-out,etc. Go to something like this expecting mishaps. The course was poorly marked but awesome non-the-less. Some of us in the pro field didn't mind a late start or being mis-directed... it was kind of funny actually- half of the group going left over a bridge, the other half going straight, everyone slowing down and looking around. A sense of humor at an event can go a long ways... There's a glass half full version of this weekend too.

Anonymous ,  April 5, 2010 at 6:55 AM  

Thr pro 1/2/3 results are completely out of order given people going in wrong directions. May be the same with other races?

Anonymous ,  April 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

I was a volunteer at the race, and just so you know, it was the college conference people who changed the distance of the course, not the race promoter. Anything that occurred with the college fields was out of their hands, so you might want to take some of your issues up with the ACCC people.

Anonymous ,  April 5, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

The race was not nearly this bad! The route was crazy (part of the attraction) and you new it when you lined up to start. There were lots of directions written on arms so as to not rely 100% on the volunteres. Could it have been better, yep. But for a grassroots race for charity (first year to boot) it was a good time. I had a great time and enjoyed the sound of *POP* as tubes/tires bit it on the spring air.

The Greatest Show on Dirt April 5, 2010 at 9:19 AM  


I am sorry and embarrassed by the lack of clarity regarding the course. I was so focused looking outward: keep the neighbors, police, fire departments, and NCDOT happy, and ensuring the safety of the racers and the provision of a venue with a lot of amenities, that I lost sight of the simple matter of how the course was going to cause fields to burst, lose the motos, and then not know where to go. I was hampered by the police arriving an hour late (I still paid them for the 8:30 arrival time) and the officials deciding, on the line, to change the route, without me being able to communicate that back out to my volunteers or the firefighters I paid to direct traffic at the busiest intersections. Again, little I could about the results. However, I understand and share your frustrations, and will have the resources in place at our future events to guarantee that we provide the sort of professional experience that our racers deserve.


Andrew Stackhouse

Anonymous ,  April 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM  

Nice write-up. Sounds familiar, unfortunately this is not Pirates' first rodeo. Texas racers had to deal with PRP grass roots productions for years prior to their landing in N.C. Do yourselves a favor and go train the day of future PRP events, unless you're into over-hyped, cluster #@$@s and racing for trophies.

Unknown April 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

Wow! You are sure worked up over this I hope this race event has not spoiled you racing season. I know you were not there for the money, so maybe you should start your own race. You sound like a well educated child who will take your toys and go home when it doesn't workout your way. You must have been in the group that went the wrong way. I bet if you where with the group that went the correct way and won, your tune would be different. But how much does this matter anyway? Your racing a grassroots charity race, hello! Suck it up, shout up and ride.

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