Indeed, the finish line approaches, I should get there Tuesday next week, when I step down & hand on the stewardship of your web-site at the Centre AGM. Thank you all for your support & interest over the years.
I’ve a couple of things that have been brought to my attention recently that I’d like to comment on – almost the last of my “mutterings”
I gather that on that well known “social media” site F**e***k there has been discussion of Entry Fees for Trials. I gather this has particularly related to our friends over in the SW Centre. So what’s it all about? Riders apparently are perplexed that entering a trial before a Closing date specified in the Supplementary Regs. may cost less than entering up to 30 minutes before the Start of the Event. The beef is, it seems, that there should be no differential & that the lower fee available to entrants by the stated closing date should be available to riders who choose to turn up on the day & ride.
Let me give everyone my take on this. Organisers have to issue Supplementary Regulations (over & above the TSR’s) when applying for their Permit to run the event. Many organisers would prefer to have an idea of the number & ability of the entrants before the day. – If no Experts enter you don’t have to plot a course (the white route) to challenge them do you? Remember no organiser sets out a course on the Sunday morning of the Event, all the Sections will be marked out on the previous day, ie the Saturday at the latest. Sometimes usually due to the weather last minute “tweaks” are necessary. So entering beforehand helps organisers & riders alike. So although you may regard the late entry fee as a penalty fee, it actually shows Organisers are realistic people who want to enable riders to come & have a days sport & are flexible enough to let you have a ride if suddenly on Sunday morning a rider realises he/she is able to get to an event & ride. The Closing date for Entries is there to give you the choice of the Entry Fee you have to pay to ride. It certainly isn’t an effort by the Organisers to penalise you for being unable to enter by the closing date for entries as, in my experience any rider who has entered an event by the closing date, & who has a bona fide reason for not riding the event, will have their Entry Fee refunded or their cheque torn up if you let the Secretary of the Meeting know you will be a non starter before the start – because, for instance you’ve been called in to work unexpectedly, you haven’t been able to source & fit the replacement gearbox mainshaft that broke last weekend you’ve had a fall & broken your wrist on Friday morning – you get the drift? So from where I sit, the late Entry dispensation is a bonus for Riders & not a penalty, as you had the choice of when to enter – before or after the closing date.
It may be true that Organisers aren’t getting this message (refunding Entry Fee) through, I don’t know. I do know that my Club always specifies a Closing date for Entries and that entering on the day will involve an additional fee when sending event details to TMX for the Regs Available section.
The second thing really relates to the varying abilities of riders. In the “good old days” we all rode the same route – there were no different routes through the observed Sections. That’s changed, most events have multiple routes & different ability groups ride routes considered appropriate to their skill level by the CofC. Schoolboys/girls are graded by age groupings – again & this isn’t so long ago there were often entries of 100+ at a schoolboy only event, presently there may only be 3, or if the Club is really lucky 6, youth riders at an event. There is normally a class for Youth Experts which is an ability, not age, group ie youth experts may come from any age groups. Other Youths will ride in their age groupings & the Route the age group will ride is chosen by the CofC & will be specified on the Entry Form. Recognising that some riders in an age grouping can have very divergent abilities, riders may want to ride or their parents/guardians may want them to ride a less challenging route ie “they ride down”. They are thus ineligible for their age group award. A similar thing can happen where a youth rider chooses to “ride up” ie he/she chooses to ride a more difficult route than that which the Organisers have considered appropriate for that age group & is specified on the Entry Form. If the rider that “rides up” loses fewer marks that the best performer riding the specified route, it’s quite clear that the boy or girl riding up has made the best performance in the age group. It’s quite possible though that the rider who ” rides up” loses more marks than the rider, who may be of lesser ability and who rode the easier route specified by the organisers for that age group. What happens then? The Class winner will be the rider who rode the organiser specified route with least marks lost, as it isn’t clear who is the “better” rider on the specified route. I would then anticipate that the Provisional Results would show any rider who rode out of Class (& is thus ineligible for an award if they rode down) as “rode out of class” or to make clear a particular rider “rode up” or “rode down” Again, this is what my Club does.
This route distinction should make clear to a third party looking at the Results that the “age group” marks lost in this instance are not comparing apples with apples, it’s more as if they are comparing apples with pears.
Sorry if all the above seems long winded, it’s jolly difficult to explain things so that they can’t be misinterpreted succinctly.
ps Pete Dury circulated the Centre Champ tables after the Wells & Dist.TC Miller Cup Round but I have still to post them.