The New Mexico Cyclocross series doesn’t begin until October but planning sessions for the new season have already started.
One June 8th Jeff Huser, the NMCX series director, called race directors together to review last year’s successes and discuss how the upcoming series could be improved.
Last year’s events were held at challenging and varied venues with good turnouts and great support from the sponsors; New Mexico Bank and Trust, Albuquerque West Properties and Indian Motorcycle of Albuquerque. The three sponsors will be returning again for 2017.
However, there was general consensus from the team that the race day was too long, making for a difficult day for promoters, racers and spectators alike. The goal for 2017 is to shorten the race-day by reducing the number of starts from five to three with categories starting in waves. The reduced number of starts will also put more racers on the course hopefully increasing the fun quotient for both racers and spectators.
The team also discussed actions that can be taken to keep one-time participants returning for the series. Statistics from 2016 showed that 350 unique riders only attended one race. If only 20-percent of the one-time riders returned regularly the series would see an increase of 70 racers; almost doubling the average race attendance.
Other topics for discussion included: improving series promotion; standardizing the race day as far as timing for starts and award presentations; improving participation from youth riders; and more importantly getting a beer sponsor.
The High Desert Bicycles Racing Team has committed to hosting the Bad Santa CX again for 2017. The race, tentatively scheduled for November 12th, will be held again at North Domingo Baca Dam pending approval from the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo and Flood Control Authority. In 2016 the race was held on December 18th. Although last year’s inaugural race had good attendance with 90 riders, moving the race to early November will hopefully improve attendance with a chance for better weather and less interference with the Christmas holiday.
Get ready, we will be making a call for race workers as fall approaches. Thanks to all of last-year’s volunteers for making the Bad Santa CX a success.