Moab challenge ride competition, your thoughts?

Hey everyone, I just got back from Moab and I had a lot of fun. I was just wondering what everyone thought about the competition part of it.

I personally like the long rides better than the competitions. Last year I felt like I had done a lot more actual riding.

What did everyone else think of it? Maybe next year there could be an option to do the competition or do a different planned ride.

If you didn’t go to Moab and don’t know what I am talking about then this is from the site…

I thought there should have been an “over 50” competition! :sunglasses: And we could’ve had the same three skill categories, but within our age group. :slight_smile:

I thought it went pretty good. There was supposed to be a “long trail ride” thing planned for after the competition, but because of the rain, and lunch, and stuff like that, some people just rode off in spread out scattered little groups.

I liked the competitions in the way that it kept people together and had a sense of order. It wouldn’t work to have a competition and a ride planned at the same time, but I wish the ride afterwards was more organized.

Does riding at the skatepark count as actual riding?:slight_smile:

Haha yeah, I liked the hanging out and riding later at the skatepark. That was pretty fun.

I guess I meant last year I did a lot more muni. That is probably because of the rain this year though. The friday ride was pretty cool until it got all wet and muddy.

It was fun…the competitions were ok, but i didnt compete very well in most of them. The street riding was the best. Me and brent and my little brother and tim, and justin, and i forgot the other 2 guys names rode street on Monday…that was the best out of all of it for me. Well Brent ended up grinding a 9 stair rail or sumthn like that. It was sick!!!
But it was still sweet with all the rides and the way everything went.

I was able to watch the challenge competitions and it certainly looked like fun. I ended up getting sick, going to the hospital and being told by the doc that I shouldn’t risk taking a fall so I couldn’t ride. Grrrrr. Next year I suppose.

The rain probably didn’t help matters any. I imagine that, after the challenge competition, everyone went for lunch and a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and it was tough to motivate and get back out into the cold and wet.

I thought it worked great in general. The games/competitions are good because it gives people a chance to show off, other people a chance to see what people can do, and also a chance for us all to be relatively in the same place. We’re never in the same place otherwise, like on a big trail ride. We’ll always get strung out from the get-go and unless there are mandatory stops we’ll never group back up. With a group our size this is probably a goood thing for trails anyway…

Areas for improvement:’

  1. How many prizes someone should get from a limited pool of swag
  2. How long to take giving it out
  3. Number of events (too many for the Sport group)
  4. Variety of events
  5. Recordkeeping
  6. Park wear & tear

More detail:

  1. Good as they are, some riders seemed to earn ten trips to the prize table while others got none. It’s good to recognize the top riders, but if the prizes are all SWAG (stuff we all get) it needs a more even distribution. What we might do is invite up all the gold ticket holders, then silver, etc. Then if somebody got one of each they can earn up to three trips to the prize table. Of course then you have to figure out how to evenly distribute the rest, but that’s another story…

  2. It took too long to do each of 43 events one at a time. Plus, where nobody seemed to be able to remember what an event was things got a little sketchy. Maybe next time have one of the deputies up there to describe things, and relay riders’ names so the people in the back can hear them. Then the riders can of course say something if they have something to add.

  3. It took my group a long time to complete six events. I guess we didn’t pick events that were quick enough, even though we did our best to run two at a time. Less events might have made life a little simpler, with less confusion.

  4. Some of the winners seemed to be the same over and over. Riders like Forrest are amazing, but this may also be an indication that all the events in a group were focused on the same strengths, without enough variety. In the sport group we tried to mix it up with some hopping, dropping, racing and rolling, which gave us a nice mix of winners. In future, the deputies should try to ensure more skill areas are covered.

  5. Not that anyone probably wanted the job, but if one person had written down the basic description of each event to match it up with the event number, that would have helped for later.

  6. Some of the events we ran broke up lots of rock edges or otherwise made a pretty big impact on the area. In the highly-trafficked beginning of the practice loop, this is probably not such a big deal, but we did have a pretty big impact on the environment. Not sure what to do about that other than realize how much wear & tear people can do when they try things over and over.

The two areas I think we need the major improvements would be to have more deputies, and figure out a better way to distribute the awards. There should be one deputy for each competition event, and maybe a “referee” deputy to coordinate all of them to make sure there is variety in the events. With one deputy per event, they can all run simultaneously (or staggered) with someone keeping track of each, and who will remember the details of it at the end of the day. The deputies can be the “inventors” of the events, and compete in them, as long as they have backup to make sure they are objective.

For awards I’m less sure of the best approach, other than the basic fact that 43 events is too many to award one at a time as we did. Along the same lines, we need to address the food distribution situation as well. Our caterers probably didn’t have enough equipment, but we really needed a duplication of the serving area to get those people fed a little quicker.

But I had fun helping with the challenge events. I’d rather have some of those than none, and think it’s a great way to work them out without causing huge amounts of work for a small amount of people. Maybe we’ll try something similar at MUni Weekend someday… :slight_smile:

Right. What about a prize system were each challenge and/or category has an asigned prize, and the winner gets that particular prize? For example, whoever wins the sport uphill challenge gets this, the expert gap competition gets this, and so on.

Or maybe the person with the most event tickets gets the one grand prize, then the next person gets the second place prize, and so on, with people who didn’t win anything getting a chance at the SWAG. Or something like that.

The expert group had a pretty good variety, even though there was three up hill challenges. Up hill happening to be my strong point. :slight_smile: :roll_eyes:

I really like that idea. This recognizes not only the top riders, but the ones that won the most awards with first-pick. Also, it provides a way to determine the order of who goes first!

Although I understand why people would see it as important and fair to just have one hat with all the different groups in it to draw from, it seems almost unfair to each group of riders. I was coincidentally in group for the last event drawn which, needless to say, is not a place for optimum SWAG pickings. If the organizers want it each skill level group to have an equal chance at the SWAG, so be it, but it might be more fair to have a separate hat for each group and to rotate through the hats.

I personally would have the pro group go first, simply because that’s how competitions tend to work, with the most skilled getting the first chance. However, since having a competition like this clearly seems to be an attempt at allowing everybody to have a chance, I certainly understand the current method.

Also, I think paying a bit more attention to what each event is based on would be important. There’s no reason to have three uphill events in one skill level, at least none that I can think of. Better policing of who has done which events would also be nice, since I know that several people did events more than once, though those events had a limit of one attempt per person (this responsibility should fall to the participants themselves being honest, but everybody likes to win).

One think that I did like about the competition was that it actually was generally fair to both 20" and 24" riders. Technically, it’d be nice if each event was clearly possible for riders using both wheel sizes, but in the end, it did work out pretty well, at least in the pro group.

Brian (me) and steven
the street riding was fun

the competition was too loose for my liking and was based too much on random skill which almost all of fit under the joker category.
the only skill ones were: the race, railriding (friday), the gaping and some others
the rolling trials was retarded. lets do muni but not jump. hoping is one thing which is good not to do in muni but jumping is essentiall

I thought it was kinda fun. Im not at all competetive, so I liked last year where we just all rode around and did what we want. No pressure, just fun lines. And the people can still see what you can do because everyone is there watching anyway. It was fun though either way. I just wish it woulda stopped raining.

You don’t see any value in being able to roll over bumps? To me that’s something that is very MUni and less Trials/Street. Unfortunately the course we made up had a too-hard spot at the beginning. We should have changed it but didn’t, because we were already running late and would have had to start over again. But it seemed very popular as lots of people tried it over and over (including me).

I didnt compete. I was either recording or riding on something else. =p

It wasnt too bad though. The judging needs to be better, and the rules need to be more strict.

For example - One of the comps, the judge said only 2 tries and you’re done. One person only did it twice, and then stopped, because he was done. Another guy ended up doing it about 6-7 times before finally getting it, and the guy who went 6-7 times, got the 1st place.

There were also times where where the judge pretty much did a ‘eeny meny miny moe’ to decide who got 1st and 2nd.

Other than the judging and stuff, it went pretty well.

I see way more value in being able to jump up rocks (1 or 2 ft.) than being able to roll up curbs sized bumps.
I am talking about one rolling jump not 5 hops before a static jump

I watched the “pro” group on Sat morning and thought it went really well. I thought there was a good mix of skills, hopping, climbing. speed, descents. A pretty good mix. Didn’t get to stay for the dinner so I don’t know how that went. But I do think Rolf did a great job esp sat morning when it was raining. To get what seemed like a herd of cats organized and moving as quickly as he did was pretty amazing.

Oh and thanks to John Foss now I know what swag means. I can’t believe I didn’t know that! :o

I wish I could have gone! Sounds like it was an amazing time for all:) I’ll just have to make sure I go next year :roll_eyes:

Since I didn’t go I don’t know how things were done, but events requiring similar skill could be grouped to gether more, and 43 events does sound like a lot.

How about rewarding well rounded skills more by giving one award for placing per group of similar type events.

Just an Idea: require pedal guards or even plastic pedals to protect the terrain from UPD’s and pedal grabs.

It helps a good deal to roll over curb sized objects in muni, can you imagine doing an uphil section on a trail hopping the entire time! Being able to roll over obstacles helps you to be able to ride an entire trail without tiring yourself in the first mile…

thats why you can walk up hills. Riding down is the fun part and it is even more fun when you have to jump over things. Riding up hills over obstacles is tiring and not all that fun.

Hopping is tiring and not all that fun.

It was good that there were different kinds of competitions, some for the trials guys and some for MUni guys. Walking all the uphill hardly counts as MUni in my book.

One thing about the competitions this year is that we were missing most of the big-name competition guys, notably Kris Holm. If Kris were there, more people would have stuck around to watch him, and the Slickrock ride would have been more coherent.

I liked the competition format, as such things go. There are some facilitation issues which are common to any group dynamic; putting an open-ended question out there like “OK, what do you want to do for competitions?” is not the best way to get ideas out of a group. It would be better to start with a question like “OK, what kind of riding do you want to do?” and then split up the group by interest. (“Anyone who wants to do uphill hopping, come over here and figure out a competition; anyone who wants to do a race, go over there and figure out how it will work”).

I thought the beginner’s downhill mass-start race in the rain on Slickrock was quite entertaining to watch, but probably painful for most of the participants. There were some spectacular wipeouts.

The awards ceremony was too long, as others have noted; there are some good ideas here for improving that aspect.

Overall, I’m more of a rider than a competitor, but this kind of format works better for me than, for example, the natural trials competition at CA MUni Weekend, which basically pits only the top riders against each other and leaves the rest of us as spectators. Here, there were at least things that everyone could try.