so i just had a look at the registration for this weekends canada cup and what do i see. one count em, one ecmtb member signed up. come on now boys and girls it is time to step up and support this event with our attendance. michelle and ryan along with the town of kentvillle have brought back a canada cup to nova scotia for the first time in years and the cycling community needs to support this event. you do not have to be an elite level racer to race, regular folks like you and me can race on saturday there are categories for all ages and competitive levels. so i ask you who else is going to wear the black and orange.
Exactly my thoughts too but its hard to drag someone to signup for a race even not ecmtb members, which bothers me why!?
for me Im Signingup after work soon.
I struggle with this. Generally, I don’t race with the exception of the odd endurance event here and there.
I’ve seen the course and ridden part of it. To be honest, I don’t feel the need to shell out $85 to get my head kicked in and, probably, DNF. And a Canada Cup course is not the spot for me to learn how to race XC. I’d probably end up taking someone out with a bad line choice anyway.
I’ll be spectating the Eilte races on Sunday and lining the course, cheering on MacKenzie and Lespy.
Ah yes, shame as a motivator. That’ll work. Having put on many events in my time, I get that it sucks when they’re not well-attended. But I don’t think getting mad at people for not wanting to race or not being around does anyone any good.
This is the single busiest weekend of the year for family vacations (a full third of my staff are on vacation over the natal day weekend, as an example).
I don’t race any more, but my kids have started to get into it. Unfortunately, they have other commitments this weekend (we’ll be in Kentville for a swim meet on Saturday, actually).
Lastly, and this is not a knock on Ryan and Michelle, they always have excellent race courses and are obviously committed to our sport, but I really don’t know how well the event has been promoted. What kind of targeted social media ads were run? Were posters put up in shops? Were shops encouraged to include the event in their email blasts? I got the Cyclesmith newsletter the other day. Two upcoming events were listed, neither of them was the Canada Cup.
When we held the Canada Cup at Martock nearly two decades ago, we had live TV spots on site leading up to the event, we had other PR initiatives and lots of postering and digital promos. I think if you’re going to be putting on an event at this level, and you want to have it be well-attended, you’re going to need to invest heavily in promotion, quite likely to the point where the event does not make any money or break even.
Now, all this to say, I think there may be better attendance than the pre-registrations show. In my experience, most Atlantic Canadians wait until the last minute to sign up for anything. I also spoke with several parents at a swim meet last weekend who brought up that they were planning to go up on Saturday to race and Sunday to watch. So, it may be difficult to gauge the actual numbers until the weekend.
Based on race attendance the past few years, when I heard about a Canada Cup coming here, I guestimated attendance at around 85 or so for it to be considered a success. Looks like they are on track for beating that so no need to guilt trip people into attending. I don’t know what they were thinking, attendance wise, you hardly need a crystal ball.
All great points, Jeff. I will say that this event seems to have been really well promoted. Lots of flyers in shops, I heard a radio ad on one of the Halifax stations (might have been KRock in the valley - I flip between them a bit) and the various FB pages like Nova Scotia Racing Scene, etc had many reminders and encouragement to sign up and had been for a number of weeks. lola doucet has been banging the drum for weeks now and I do applaud her efforts.
TV ads, in my opinion, are a waste of time and money for this demographic.
Yeah, TV (and even radio) are generally not a great ROI for the money. That’s why PR outreach is so valuable, and why we had Breakfast Television on site back in the day, sending Cyril Lunney down the DS course on a borrowed bike.
I think entries will grow all week, I know a few who haven’t entered yet, myself included, that plan to race.
I pre-rode the course yesterday, its fantastic, loads of option lines, something for everyone, its one ripper of a course if you take all the A-options.
Should be a fun event overall, hopefully those that don’t want to race, come support those that do, the pro race on sunday should be great to watch.
I really don’t feel that I am trying to shame anyone into racing, but I would like to see more than one ecmtb jersey on Saturday. There are a lot of talented riders who come out for the club rides and it would be great to see a few of them at the event come Saturday. Good points made by all so far and I am sure that there is a pretty steep learning curve for trailflow and the town of Kentville which they can apply to next year. But to get there you need a good turnout this year and I am just trying to encourage those still thinking about racing to sign up.
Yeah, I’m thinking more people will be registering between now and race day, the fact is though, less people are racing these days. I thought I was seeing things we I saw Shawn Skelhorn on the race list, what is this? 1996?
Thank you for the support folks and your feedback. Registration is picking up and I think we’ll have a good crew out for the races. Maybe not quite as many as we had hoped for but this is the first year after all and it will take time to build up.
Feedback from those who have been on course is great an I think people are going to really enjoy the track.
Meh, racing is only a very small spectrum of mountain biking. It has absolutely no draw for me or most of the people I know. I almost did an enduro in PEI this year, but then I realized I can go ride the same trails for free or donation and have more fun with less people crowding the trails.
I don’t think it reflects on Trailflow in any way if there aren’t tons of local riders. By nature it comes off as an elite level event for serious racers not a casual “fun” race. Could see how that could turn some people off. I hope the people who want to race have a great event.
I’ve raced on dozens of race courses across the Maritimes since 1995, and this course is one of the easy ones. It’s not the typical rooty Gorge people usually think of. Definitely a good place to try out XC. It’s going to be one of the fun courses. Anybody remember Jacks Lake or the St Margarets Bay Race?
I’m going to be in PEI from Friday till Monday so I can’t particapte.
I think a long weekend in the middle of the summer is the real problem. Many people are away doing family things. I’ll be in Saint John this weekend or else you’d definitely see me racing for fun!
I’m registered, the course is fantastic; I am making the drive up tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 6am from Halifax, to ride it the last time in cool morning weather before the weekend. If anyone is interested, I have room for 2 bikes, 2 people and 2 coffees, we could meet somewhere central like Bedford (Pete’s?); 2hrs on the trails, back in the city by 1030am. Basically a shuttle to Kentville, let’s go!
Volunteering. Should be a great event to watch from trail side while making a contribution.
I’m seeing lots of positive reviews of the course so that bodes well. But man, I heard “We’ve fixed up the course so its really good now” and “The Gorge” in the same sentence so many times over the years for so many seasons of racing I eventually swore I’d never go back. Ever. Glad to hear its finally come true. ha ha.
The Gorge has always been good!
Ha ha, I remember a few really sweet sections but could never get into it, for whatever reason, and I love a tech course. Go figure.