Discussion in 'Ask the Exec!' started by ted, Dec 18, 2012.
whoa tmi Eddie.
But not as good as Springer. We need a love triangle thingy in this whole mess, you know, just to make it that much more
gxrjo brings up a good point - how do we elevate the clubs status, or bring awareness to it's existance?
I would like to put forth my opinion on this thread, and mention that I have not raced with the club for the last year. Also I have failed to make it to the meetings, my bad. So take this with a grain of salt.
The race fees don't weigh as heavily on the minds of potential racers as some have stated. The total cost is the bigger concern. No one is fooling themselves into thinking that this hobby is cheap. I think that what has been lost here is the the fact that this is club racing. Maybe one or two riders in the WMRC from time to time are of a professional level, but it is increasingly rare. Shouldn't club racing be fun? Sure it is competition by definition, but as I have already stated very few are paid to ride. In the current economic climate, more and more people are being tight with their budget. However, you still see people buying new gear for the hobby they have fun at. Ski hills aren't empty, kids are still playing ice hockey etc.
-WMRC doesn't have many racers as it is, why have three classes of riders? You are either experienced or you aren't. Keep the new and inexperienced in their own class (Amature/Novice/Whatever you want to call it) until they prove that they are consistent and safe, then bump to the experienced level (Expert/Pro/Superman/Whatever you want to call it). Time the practice sessions and restrict entry to one or two premier races to those who have the juice, if you really need to separate the absolute fastest from everyone else. (can't make the cut, get faster or enter a less competitive race and go have fun)
-We want to increase membership, and every year we see a number of new novices come and go, how do we retain them? Maybe we could offer a mentor to novices? Maybe we can make it more fun for them to be a part of the club?
-As Adam has said before, why put an emphasis on winning instead of racing? Earn that trophy, don't assume that trophy.
Oh yeah, why bother with trophies for every race? They aren't free, and the club needs to control costs. Besides, it seems that we have guys that dominate the novice races-get bumped up and don't finish on the box any more and leave the club. (see mentoring above)
-Put yourself in the stands for a moment and ask yourself this: Is it more exciting to watch a 15 lap race with 5-6 bikes in it, or a 10 lap race with 10-12 bikes in it? I'll give you a hint, the answer will have more bikes in it. More bikes on the grid makes for more passes and potential excitement (fun), for both the participants and the spectators. Even more fun for the spectator is great commentary, although this is a racing club not a spectator club so maybe it is less important.
In the end, if we ask the membership if they had fun racing this year, the answer would reflect their desire to come back next year. If they had fun then I am willing to bet that they told someone else about it and posted pics on facebook/instagram/twitter, letting others know all about a club called the WMRC. After all we still have to retain members in order to grow the club.
On a more serious note...
I have talked about Ritchie's Chilliwack setup/teardown crew. Ted's talked about it. Other former racers have mentioned it. It seems it gets struck down everytime. Something along the lines of $$$'s and cents... Bear with me.
We have 45 racers that pay to race today. It's like pulling teeth to get a crew for set-up or teardown. These 45 racers just want to sit and drink beer at the end and be happy. But no. They're now annoyed that they need to cut into their beer drinking time.
(simple math, pick any numbers you like)
Total take for the day: 45 x $200 = $9000
The club already paid for track time $8000 sooooo.....
NET is $1000 in the bank, 45 bikes on the grid, 45 annoyed racers, and many many more of us that will have to sit in countless general meetings
and hear whineing, bitching and complaining about the set up / teardown process.
Meanwhile you have some guys that have race bikes in their garages, but can't afford entry fees. BUT THEY'RE WILLING TO WORK FOR ENTRY FEES! Say for simple math it's 10 guys.
Let's run the numbers for the day again:
45 racers pay = 45 x $200 = $9000
10 guys pay nothing but do all the setup teardown work 10 x $0 = 0
The club already paid for track time $8000 sooooo.... (Ha! If you were a checkers genius you'd see where I'm heading with this)
NET is $1000 in the bank, 55 bikes on the grid, 55 happy riders, and many many more of us that are happy not having to sit in countless general meetings and hear whineing, bitching and complaining about the set up / teardown process.
Did the club loose any money? No. The club essentially traded a commodity that is already paid for, for some work in return.
Some random person 'X' will say: But I do this and that for the club and I never got anything free. My friend 'Y' never got free shit for all the time he put in either. We all want freebies now.
As volunteers we do things for the club, because we love the club and the things it promotes. Do we love set-up/teardown? Apparently not...
Do you really care if 10 people get a freebie, so you can sit and drink beer and shoot the shit with your racing buddies? Are you going to stop helping the club, just because somebody got a freebie for a job you really do not care to do?
Some of you might get my point. But I'll spell it out just in case. We can't be X's and Y's. We need to realize that sometimes we have to give something up in order to get something in return. Drinking beer and shooting the shit with your buddies? PRICELESS!
Lance, you cannot compare a track day to actually competing in a race. They are two very different things, with two very different costs associated with them. It truly is apples and oranges.
I however, do agree on the raffle, however, upon more information gathering, it has brought up a LOT of hoops to jump through. I don't want to kill the idea, however, to raffle off prizes of that level, the government looks very hard at the organization before they will grant that level of license to them. In order to do this, we have to provide:
Our incorporation number
Audited financial reports
Projected costs of prizes
Estimated revenue from prizes
The audited financial reports are the expensive part of the whole process. It's not enough to just submit a simple financial report. THAT to me is a show stopper on this, since that would cost quite a bit. My company, which is private, does un-audited financial reports each year, and those cost us close to $4000. I'm not sure what it would cost for an audited report, but I know it would cost more. I know the adage that you sometimes have to spend money to make money, but the effort level is gargantuan, as is the financial burden. With all that said, I'd still like to see if that could fly, but I estimate that it would take a paid and volunteer effort close to 25+ hours per week for at least 12 weeks to see it fly. It would have to be completed by a few individuals as passing that many complex tasks to a team that differs all the time would just end in disaster.
I can safely say that I do not have that kind of time to be able to commit to that level of volunteerism any more.
Alex, find 10 more out of the current crop of racers that would be willing to do that, and I'm sure the new exec would accept that. It has to be people that are outside of the current 40 racers though, since we require their revenue.
I found my own mentor, but if I didn't have one, I could easily see myself not coming back.
The other thing that would prevent me from coming back would be cost. But I've already made the big purchases and should get another season or two out of them. I wonder how many people look at the cost of one year and think they will spend that much each year? Minus crashing and getting new farkles that I don't really need, I doubt I'll even spend $2k this season on racing and track days. This might bring race entry fees up to about 25% of my budget, the majority being spent on Tires, Oil, and Gas. Somewhere around here there is an article for new novices. Maybe I'll see what I can do about writing something that builds on that a little bit to help them out with the budget aspect of it.
The only other roadblock I can see is that it can be difficult to make friends at the track. I'm quite a shy person, but most people at the track are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. If you don't know them, it can come off as if they just talk to the other 'pros', are intimidating, and maybe even a bit of a tool. I come to the track because I love riding motorcycles. If I make friends, it's a bonus. Since there are lots of people that enjoy the social aspect of riding as much as, or even more, than the actual riding, I think we should really be pushing, nay, inviting the novices to the club meetings, especially the time before the official meeting. We also need to be sure that our membership welcomes the newcomers to the meetings.
I don't mean to say that he is doing a poor job, or should be doing more, but the rider rep could possibly be involved in this. Since Bez is busy enough with his own race day and dealing with other issues, maybe another position is needed, just someone that can come around to the newer novices and see how their race day is going? That kind of thing is HUGE with making people feel welcome!
TLDR: Mentoring + Welcoming = Retaining Novices
Dean, I was looking to see if someone brought up this point. As someone who tries very hard not to lose money running trackdays I should not say this:
1 lap of racing = 10 laps at a trackday.....minimum
In my humble opinion at least. You can turn laps at trackdays until you are blue in the face but for 99% of people their riding is going to progress much quicker racing. As well, there is nothing like the heat of a real wheel to wheel battle as opposed to comparing your one off hot lap time. That could just be me though. And of course that is not to say there is anything wrong with enjoying trackdays, as I do now myself, but there is no comparison between a lap at a track day and a lap in a race. As Dean says, apples and oranges.
I'll make some calls.
I agree with Ctardi's points.
As a new person to racing and really motorcycles, it's not easy to find your way around. I know the crew at WCSS tries to prepare novices in what racing @ wmrc or anything club is like, but that's just first steps, to keep novices around, I agree that a mentoring or coaching program is needed. Nothing crazy like private lessons like in other expensive "hobby's" but it would go along way to help a new person find their feet.
Racing / Motorcycles is expensive in general, I don't think the entry fee's are out of line.
As a new person to Mission, I find the atomsphere not that welcoming, unless you know someone, place is like bunch of err old guys hanging out on their porch, about to tell you to get off their lawn! This was confirmed by a few friends who came to watch.
I came out when Tommy and Blair had some of us chicken strip noobs come out to volunteer, got the bug to race a year later. Without their help, and help of a few others, I would have said forget this SHIT, trackdays FTW!
Having experienced trackdays @ the ridge in the states, I see Ross's and Lance's points, being a track consumer in the states is treated very well, free instructions given to anyone who wants it. But it's not racing.
Local racers do have a good alternative at PCMRC, bikes are cheap, racing is cheap and classes are put together to give racers as much racing as possible.
My idea for the day, how about have WCSS sponsor novice riders. Provide novices with support, nothing crazy. But also at WCSS trackdays, provide cheaper novice practice rates, so that it get's novices more seat time with some instructors. I believe novices connect the street riders differently than expert riders at trackdays.
Maybe have a NOOB novice trophy award at the end of the year, that's simply voted by other novices, no points system.
Strong promotions is word of mouth from your novices, they have new circles of friends who dont' know that WMRC exist.
I'm helping with the promotions team as much as I can, it seems like we are much more ahead than last year with new very simple marketing items. Hopefully it generates some momentum for the local racing.
I'm sure these are terrible comparisons, but I see the race fees and track days arguements as follows:
As my main man JC pointed out, race fees are a fraction of the cost of racing. The way I see it, it's like saying that if the price of golf balls was way less, I would play more golf. It is a small fraction of the total dollars spent, and in reality probably has more to do with time available.
For cost of racing vs. cost of track days, I can go to the driving range and hit as many shots as I want for like $20, but a round of golf is $65.
It's great to see some dialogue about how to encourage more riders to get involved in racing.
(though it's pretty sad that it is happening in a thread called "WTF is happening to WMRC?"...)
I would strongly encourage the Club to take advantage of the enthusiasm of us "Newbs" (e.g. Cam, Hein, me, others) to help develop a strategy that makes the transition from "Interested" to "Participant" as easy as possible.
We have fresh and real perspectives on the challenges in making that transition; which are probably representative of what any potential new prospect faces. Let's put our heads together with other stakeholders (i.e. the Novice Rep [Bez] and WCSS [Troy and Gio] and others...) and see what we can do to help grow the Club!
Mentoring and promotions are solid ideas -- let's build on this.
I am all for Alex's idea of having 10 dedicated guys that do set up and take down to earn themselves free race fees. I would much rather spend my evening setting up my pit and relaxing rather than getting all sweaty and dirty moving hay bales.
As far as my raffle idea goes......if the prizes create an obstacle with BCLC then find a way around it......make it a LARGE 50/50 draw where the prize is cash. Have all active members sell $400 worth of tickets. If a person buys a certain dollar value of tickets (ie $30) they get a free gate pass to be a spectator or a free taste of racing or maybe a free club t-shirt at $50. This is a double win because we would get more spectators in the stands which would hopefully come to follow up events. or people doing TOR or people outside the club wearing a t-shirt bringing attention to the club.
I sold 50/50 tickets a couple of years ago for the club on race days...can't remember if it was much of a money maker though....I am willing to do it again this year as long as I can get Nana to help with the kids. Jayson L or Ryan W would probably have better knowledge if it was a worthwhile venture.
Well just got some internet service in our motel off the side of the yellowhead and have to say I'm pissed Alex beat me to posting this idea of free riding for track setup and teardown. Adding to this I think there should be a lottery for people who are interested in free race days in return for track setup n teardown as this would ensure no favouritism. I personally think our fees are fair but a free ride for people getting into racing may be the hook we need to keep new racers.
First off, Im not a club member, I opted not to race with you guys mostly based on scheduling. However I can offer an outside point of view. No offence is intended, but the "Club" is being run by people who want to race, not people who want to make money. Consumers never prosper as providers because they are cautious of their own needs\fears. What I am saying is, the club needs to be run more business like. And business is simple, revenue is low, product sales are low thus INCREASE product fees to cover costs. Thats right. INCREASE FEES. Drop the first race fees to %75 or even %50 of what they are, and take up the slack with the second\additional race fee, so that the total fees for a day are increased to a level to cover costs and create revenue. Those on a budget will still get to come out and race\play, and those who can afford it will still race the additional races. The idea of granting free entry fees to voluteers is an excellent addition to this, give them their first race free, in exchange for labour. Now you have a group of people who can come out to help, and the club looses nothing.
i am thinking the club could use some non racer or ex racer help to manage racedays and work with the novice's
trackdays and racedays can get quite busy if your trying to organize your bike and the facility at the same time
i remember when i first starting doing mission and how i felt like an outsider at the track , changing attitudes so that the newbs feel more welcome and that they are an asset would go a long way to improving the clubs bottom line
now if u don't mind i am going to the porch , down some beer and hurl rocks at little kids
John you too look at from the guy who can afford to race be it on a nickel and dime budget or $100,000 plus income.
Don't throw percentages at me, what percentage of riders have we lost? Put down the average increase percentage wise in a racing membership, insurance costs, track rentals, incidentals and if most of my fellow riders are like me none of that matters, we all just want to be on the track. By one of our fellow racers and you saying what we pay is acceptable it's like saying Stirling Moss says vintage racing is affordable. It is, but only for the well heeled few.
I'd like to see something concrete in the way of increased sponsorship ideas, revenue from a vendors row, hell, a f^&%ing car wash on the grounds to raise funds so we get more revenue in. And one more thought on the vendors, I've paid for car swap meets, motorcycle swap meets, antique swap meets and there's always more people at these events than just me so yes, people will pay to enter. I've no idea on how our contract is written with the car club, but if it does not state that we can't use the parking lot for other services maybe a car/bike swap meet could fly. Look at what vendors pay at the Tswassen car swap meet, again, I'm just throwing ideas out.
There is always a rebuttal in the way of defending costs, but I've yet to see an answer on how to bring racers back. One point Ryan raised that is the best comment yet was the one over the faltering of the formula 40 class. The club threw one out there for the boys and no one responded, so yes, even the racers failed to help the cause on that one. It still doesn't answer the idea of a cheap buy in/low fee racing series. If we can't figure out how to put more bikes on the grid then maybe the one exec who proposed that WMRC run trackdays was much more clairvoyant than I thought. I said it was a slippery slope as my thoughts are if we put a trackday on, how long before the car club figures that they can do the same and omit us from the equation.
Why not have go cart races in pre grid? Move pre grid into the curve just before tech. It's an idea, hell, put the MSpeed Honda Spree challenge in there. I'll buy the first Spree to kick it off. What about knocking some time off the practise in the morning and charging more for a taste of racing session? Another idea. If enough of us throw stuff out there, who knows? Maybe one will be the salvation of the club.
And Ryan I apologize If I offended you as that was not my intention. One drawback to all these concussions is impulsivity and I let the post run too far the other day.
Merry Christmas to everybody,
I think 250 Cup fits the bill nicely. It is catching on at Mission and Greg Moore Raceway. Talk to Kelly about it.
We still need a BCLC license to sell 50/50 tickets.
Separate names with a comma.