4.04.2004

THE FATE OF DAN COMBER'S MOUNTAINBIKE RACE SERIES

for those who have not heard
the race series hosted by Dan Comber is in jepordy
below is an email I sent out to some cycling friends of mine to see if I can get people to rally to breathe life back into the series
or at least let Dan know that we are thankful for the years of racing that he has offered us in the past


Good Morning-
The rain has taken another day of mountainbike racing from us and from the Dan Comber's Mountain Bike Race Series. Rather than riding, I am typing while holding my 7 week old son Grant and thinking about the future of local mountainbike racing...

Mountainbiking is a growing sport, the DC metropolitan area is an over populated area, thus when mountain biking in the DC area the trails are often crowded. When trail riding basic courtesy towards other trail users is vital; whether those users are blue haired ladies with blue haired dogs or another cyclist riding the same loop in the opposite direction each person has their right to enjoy their own personal trail experience. One of the great things about riding in a race is that the likelihood of a hiker on the trail ahead or a cyclist coming the other way is almost impossible. This allows the riders/racers to test their personal limits, pushing the downhills and the blind curves as fast as their courage and equipment can take them. Other advantages include a well marked off course so that there is not a great deal of time spent finding the best loop, little time is wasted discussing which turn to take at each fork in the trail, and spending an excess time on the trail finding your way home. There are an assortment of other advantages to racing., the rush of competition, the camaraderie of the experience, the compulsion to ride our hardest and to not let down, the list goes on. My point of this rant to have people realize that if we lose Dan Comber as Mid Atlantic Region race promoter we will be losing a great opportunity to do some local racing. We will all find ourselves lining up in the queue at Shaffer Farms, Patapsco State Park, and Gambril. Waiting for parking spaces and all the other negative aspects of trying to mountainbike on a nice sunny weekend day. Race promotion is a job, but perhaps it is a job with a tad bit of "vocational" status, not unlike a fireman or a policeman. There is a paycheck, but it is also a greatly needed service. Dan Comber has been offering a great service to the local mountainbike community and I feel that he has gone on unappreciated. Perhaps if we spread the word to Dan that we NEED him to continue hosting local races he will do what he can to maintain his contributions.
We can ask him what we as individuals can do.

For starters we can all call Dan or Drop him an email.
Lets thank him for all the great races in the past and ask him what we can do to help him to continue to throw races in the future.

More Volunteers on race day?
A few more dollars at registration?
Someone with web experience can help clean up his site?
Word of mouth advertising?
who knows?
Or maybe we can just help by showing up and racing at his next event
tell a friend
bring a friend
share the word

Lets try and help to bring Dan's Race series back to life.
Last year he hosted a Winter training series then Spring, Summer, and Fall race series.
This year he is scheduled for roughly 3 races, that is quite a drop off.

As mentioned we are not just missing the race that was to be held today at Poor Farm, but the races that were to be held each weekend for years to come. Lets see if we can halt the decline of racing in the Mid Atlantic Region.

Don't think that when Dan walks away from race promotion that there will be someone standing there ready to take his place. Sure there are other race series and some other races, but not everyone is ready to drive off to West Virginia every Saturday, camp, race, and then make the long drive back on Sunday afternoon after racing. It just is not an option for everyone. Local races are a wonderful alternative. Perhaps they are not as technically demanding and lack the vertical feet, or the epic climbs and the downhill reward, but they do offer racing. Racing with a friendly atmosphere and a professional promotion. I have made some good friends over the years racing at Dan's events (including Dan) and it would be sad for the cycling culture to lose such a positive contribution.

thanks for listening
lets do what we can
and hope for the best

happy trails
share the word
joel
clydesdale racer
city bikes mountainbike team

www.bikeracing.com
http://www.bikeracing.com/AMBS%20Contents/ambshomepg.htm
email him at: dcomber@bikeracing.com

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