Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Customer Service, hold please.

So yesterday, I sent off a nasty-gram to the Sea Otter folks about the women's expert race fiasco.

I had to. Otherwise the angry thoughts would still be rolling around in my head and I had real work to get done here at the Fox den.

I was thinking about people like my teammate Lorena, who came all the way from Michigan to race the event. Or Ryan, for whom this was her first big expert race. Or 2/3s of the women's expert field. Or, heck, even for me.

Sometime during cross season I decided that the ol leg and lungs were feeling better and I wanted to try racing again. I designated Sea Otter as my first goal. So I worked hard. I even got on the stupid trainer at 6:00am for crying out loud. And although a podium placing felt out of reach, finishing those two difficult laps would have been an accomplishment that I would have been damn proud of.

I know I can feel proud and everything anyway. And I know its just racing and matters not when put into perspective. But those of you who know, know what is missing for me here. Besides, $50 is $50.


So anyway. I wrote my nasty gram. And usually I am courteous and diplomatic. But this time I was not so much. I copied some NORBA folks on it on a whim because Sea Otter is held under NORBA and its a qualifier for Mammoth Nationals.

Well, lo and behold, I got a response back from Dean Crandall at NORBA.


When I left the race course Sunday night, I was told by the timing company that the final results for the XC would show all women that were stopped after one lap to have a placing. I will use these placings as qualifying spots for the Mammoth Nationals.

I have forwarded your letter to Dan Thomas, one of the chief officials for the race. He will respond to your questions as he was involved in the decision and I was not.

Thank you for taking the time to explain the position of the women affected.

Dean Crandall
NORBA Western Region Manager
2308 Forest St
Denver CO 80207
T: 303-333-1059
F: 303-333-0522
Cell: 719-229-0338

So that was nice. Sometimes even just a response or ackowledgment can help the frustration.

Anyone want to take odds on whether someone from Sea Otter will respond?

Makes me want to go to Mammoth Nationals and kick some ass. Unless there's still snow there. Then I don't want to so much.

Okay...I'm officially done whining about it now. I think.


At 1:41 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger nicknameless said...

Yeah it was a bummer for sure not to see you guys come barrelling through the finish mud and all. We were waiting at the top of the hill freezing our bootee off so we could cheer the second lap and then run for the finish line to scream away the last of our voices.

Do they take cheermonger protests seriously? If so I may just have to lodge one.

At 2:45 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...


that's cool.

Jeni ~ i can't believe you were workin', gettin' through finals, and boatin' around teammies all during that SlaughterWeek.

you crazy, girl.

- - -

cool response from the NORBA yokel.

i think the SOC response will be in a few weeks. they've got to wade through all the men's 40+ cat 8 men yelpin' about their road race results.

- - -

mmmm ... mammoth.

At 2:48 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

thanks for sending that letter
it all needed to be said

6am on the trainer should not be spit upon!

and i thought that was our house for a moment and then i remembered that the rain has washed all the snow away.....yay!

At 3:18 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

Its Alex's house in Mammoth


At 3:40 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Nome Agusta said...

When I pre-rode the course Friday, I knew they had not thought it through. It was too much of a change and too little research on how the fields might run.
The course had a Tom Spiegel feel to it. Sometimes he designs a good course, sometimes they are just stupid. There is certainly a bell curve when a course goes from challenging to ridiculous.
Good for you for giving them what for. Now hold them accountable and make them answer!

At 3:47 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

You know, it's just a Murphy's Law sort of deal:

Of all the people to have gotten the shaft from the event organizers, it was one of the people (you, the queen Bella) who have given the most to it.

I am so sorry that the weekend ended that way. It ain't fair.

The norba guy sounded sincere. Hopefully the organizers will give you some satisfaction as well.

At 2:27 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Johnny Sprocket said...

Hey Olaf-
Not all of us can blister the cat 1/2/3 field (yet) like you. That being said, is it any different to expect that the results be accurate when you are paying $50 as a 40+ master 8, as you put it, than to get to ride two laps as a expert woman? In my mind the expectation is the same, and it sucks on similar levels. The guy that got screwed out of the win has just as legitimate of a beef as the girls that were pulled. Just for the record, the guy knows he won, and he'll get upgraded this year as he is quick for the 4's category. It's nice to put in the effort and get recognized. Right?


At 7:55 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

johnny S,

my bad, that was meant as a joke and, obviously, not presented well. blame the lack of caffeine and meat products.

that dude who won the race you refer to did get royally screwed while winning the race royal-like. and that was was crappy that i inferred otherwise.

le oops. me = bad olaf.
thanks for the catch.


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