Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We are such delicate flowers



This email is from the head official for the sea otter mtb event:

Sabine,

I want you to know that I am not ignoring you. I have requested that Timberline Timing review the finish results and make sure that all riders that were pulled are given finish results. All riders will be listed on the results.

As for the race; this was not an easy decision. The staff and officials are also there and a part of the event and we want to see the riders satisfied with the event. However we must also look at the safety of the riders and even though the weather did not get really bad, at the time the decision to shorten the race was made the weather was starting to get bad and all reports from weather radar were that we were in for a deluge.

This race is early in the season and we did not want to possibly subject the riders to possible injury and/or illness due to a prolonged period in the rain. We knew the racers would take longer that 4 hours to finish the race but we did not think it was wise to have riders out on the course for 5 to 6+ hours, which we would have had.

Looking back you are right, the weather did not deluge, but it did get cold and the rain did come, and even with the shortened time we had riders coming to the finish with the beginning signs of hypothermia. We as officials try to do the best that we can for all riders, we did not intentionally try to target the women and our decision affected more than just the racers. I stand by the decision and I hope you will try to look at it from the standpoint of the staff and officials. I know the Sea Otter Classic appreciates your participation and I personally appreciate your concern and comments.

Please let me know how else I can help.

Sincerely,
Dan Thomas


Awww. We might get cold. Funny. I remember being sent out into a snowstorm at NORBA Nationals at Big Bear. I'm certain if this were real coffee I was drinking right now I could think of plenty more examples where we were treated like mountain bikers with common sense. And there should be safety measures built in for those few who might lack that sense instead of penalizing the entire crowd.

I'm thinking someone had dinner reservations on Cannery Row that they did not want to miss.



Still no response from Sea Otter.....

20 Comments:

At 11:08 AM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Jed said: said...

Thanks for the update, Sabine!

 
At 11:41 AM, April 12, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

that is the biggest crock of sh$t

they could have shortened the distance to 1 lap before the start if the weather was such a concern

i hope they all had nice dinners that night while the racers all had take-out pizza

 
At 11:52 AM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

This just in from Dean at NORBA...at least they are responding while Sea Otter is silent.

Sabine,

I talked to the timing company for the mountainbike cross country yesterday. She informed me that they will address all the expert issues today and forward the corrected results to the web person late today.

Thank you for your time and I will see you at the Mammoth Nationals.

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


I'm still tired of pizza though

 
At 12:06 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

i have a tj's frozen pizza in my lunch today

 
At 12:19 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Miss Mary said...

thanks for the update Sabine.

I think at the very least, they should send out a formal apology to all racers, but will that be enough?

if they promise a reconciliation, what would/could that be?

it seems that from others’ comments, the sea otter event has continually been less than agreeable in its event execution. how could they be trusted for future years, if their past has been so dismal?

I'm not asking you to answer these, they're just questions to ponder.

 
At 12:20 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Miss Mary said...

oh, and now I'm craving pizza...haven't had any in over a month!

thanks

 
At 12:49 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Nome Agusta said...

You should send them the snow picture.

"Hey you bastages, where was your concern when it was 10 below?"

PS. I hate formal appologies, it doesn't FIX the problem. "Oops, sorry I stabbed you with that knife and your dead now, please forgive me".

 
At 2:07 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

and the 5 or 6 hours is just a weeeee bit of exaggeration on their part. Yes?

its all very silly

sea otter is too big and chaotic for their britches.

I'm wearing a miniskirt next year. Maybe do the free otter.

I also feel bad that my man gave up his chance to play at the SC crit for this bs

I'll have to find a way to make it up to him...

 
At 2:48 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i know how you can ...

a few ways come to mind, actually.

~ ~ ~

it was worth it, don't you think?

The announcer yakkin' it up about the VB boys spreadin' the umbrella protection for the flair-girls ... that was pretty boss.

And, seein' the Bellas pedal away from the line, down that track and into the rain ... the coolest.

i was proud ~ and the Otter dufusses can't cut that short.

 
At 2:58 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

Hell, it was worth it just to see Pasco hula hoop

 
At 3:00 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

and to meet Gin

 
At 3:01 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

and to dance with you while the otter rambled around us

 
At 3:07 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

and to see these guys

 
At 4:26 PM, April 12, 2006, Anonymous BlueBike said...

LOL, I did the snowy race at Big Bear. Dayum, that was cold. Sea Slaughter had nothing on that.

The officials were totally lame. Poor, wittle girls might melt in the wain.

Like, whatever.

 
At 5:15 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

That snowy race was fun. Thank god I was beginner or whatever back then and only had to go 10 miles.

And another highlight of Sea Otter wss getting to see my old racing pals, some of whom haven't seen in several years. See you at the next one Jen!

 
At 6:11 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger BlueBike said...

I raced sport at the Snowy race. No brakes on the descent and my rims were toast when all was said and done. Best of all? I was too newbygirl to have full finger gloves. Ouch. LOL, good times though for sure. Thems were the days!

See ya 'gain soon!
Jen.

 
At 7:17 AM, April 13, 2006, Blogger Lilly Bella said...

If Otter wanted to make "good" they should apologize and give a free entry to Otter '07 to all expert girls affected.

What they don't get is you can't prepare or race when you don't know if its going to be a one lapper or two lapper until the middle of the race. They should decide before so participants can race/prepare accordingly. Anything else is just a hard ride, not a race.

It was fun meeting all our kick ass pro mtn bike chickies. They rock and are a group of very considerate pink and blue worthy athletes.

 
At 3:56 PM, April 13, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

I doubt I will ever hear from Sea Otter on this matter, and its a sunny day and I wanna move on. SO here's the whole email chain on this.

I am done with this for now and will be off doing some smaller grassroots mtb races to wash the sheep poop smell of Sea Otter from me.

Enjoy:

Sabine, me too. I am going for a ride this afternoon.

Please enjoy your weekend and hopefully I will see you at NMBS#1, Fontana.

Dean Crandall
NORBA Western Region Manager
2308 Forest St
Denver CO 80207
T: 303-333-1059
F: 303-333-0522
Cell: 719-229-0338
dcrandall@usacycling.org
----- Original Message -----
From: Sabine Dukes
To: Jeffery Frost ;
Cc: wjbsheri@.net ; jurgen.heise@.edu ; deanrcrandall@.com ; dant@.net ; info@seaotterclassic.com
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:00 PM
Subject: RE: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women


Yes, I have learned that the officials made a very uninformed decision.

Dan states that they were worried that women were going to be out there for 5-6 hours and Fred states that he stopped riders who were taking 2.5 hours or more to do a lap.

This means that someone failed to understand that we started 40 minutes behind the pro men.

Fact is, we were stopped shortly after Liam finished. Liam finished in 2.5 hours. We started 40 minutes after the pro men, which means that expert women who were taking 1 hour 50 minutes or more per lap were stopped. The majority of the women were stopped over the course of the next ten minutes which means that they should have finished in 4 to 4.5 hours without problem.

Its clear from your responses of 5-6 hours total race time and 2.5 hours per lap that the decision made was a poorly informed one.

I am thankful for your responses to my inquiry, but frankly the more I learn, the more frustrated by this I become.

Perhaps the folks at UCI can provide us all some of those nice Swiss timing pieces.

I have also learned, from the Sea Otter's continued lack of response or apology on this issue, that they do not have a genuine concern about the amateur racing experience. And that is the big disappointment in all of this.

So sorry to barrage you all with this continued thread. I'm quite certain my frustration on this has reached a crescendo. Besides, the sun is finally shining here in Nor Cal. Enjoy your weekend!

Sabine


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: timbermtb@.com
To: sabinedukes@.com; fredzone@.com
CC: wjbsheri@.net; jurgen.heise@.edu; deanrcrandall@.com; dant@.net
Subject: RE: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 07:18:53 -0600

Folks:

Well said and unfortunate situation for all.

We have learned many things this last week and appreciate everyone's feedback.

Thank you.

Jeffery Frost
Office: 435-884-3515
Mobile:435-840-2651
BlueWolf Events, LLC
PowerSports Snowmobile Tour
US National Mountain Bike Championships
National Mountain Bike Series
San Jose Cycling Classic
Sea Otter Classic
Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Sabine Dukes"
To: "Fred"
CC: "wjbsheri" wjbsheri@.net, "Jeffery Frost" timbermtb@.com, "Heise, Jurgen" jurgen.heise@.edu, "DEAN CRANDALL" deanrcrandall@.com, "dan l thomas" dant@.net
Subject: RE: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 19:40:23 -0700


Hi Dan

Thank you for the reply. Having myself promoted a UCI 1 race I understand all too well the difficult choices promoters and officials must make. And it seems that no choice can please everyone.

However, I think there is some confusion. I was stopped and my lap time was only 1:58 and I was certainly not the first rider stopped. We did not start racing until 1:40 pm.

The mere fact that this decision affected a majority of the expert women, not a few stragglers, suggests that the event planning was poor and last minute accomodations for the conditions were not made.

Again, myself and others warned the Sea Otter folks weeks ago that it would take us expert women an average of 4 hours to complete the course and our emails went unheeded. That is the most frustrating part of this. But again, I am complaining to the wrong crowd...its just that you are the only ones to respond.

Thank you for taking the time to explain. I will pass along your message to our team.

Sabine


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From: fredzone@.com
To: sabinedukes@.com
CC: wjbsheri@.net; timbermtb@.com; jurgen.heise@.edu; deanrcrandall@.com; dant@.net
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 21:19:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women

Hi Sabine

I dont think we've met unless it was in the finish chute when we stopped you after one lap. As the chief UCI official i came from Canada to help at this race with your great norba officials and the race organizer. Utimately
it was my decision to stop all riders after approx. 2.5 hrs per lap. As Dan has indicated and I strongly agree with his e mail there were several factors that were considered. I aplogize for all your prep. and dont doubt
that you and most of the other riders stopped could have gone the distance, especially as the weather held for us! For me though i have been at races
were i wish i had shortened a race and saw riders evac. off a race course due to hypothemia! A suggestion i will make though is that perhaps the organization can start some cats. earlier allowing for slower lap times, as pro women Gunn Rita did a lap time of approx. 1:35 hr and with some riders needing 2.5 hr or more perhaps they could be started in the am starts.

Again i aplogize for your shortened race and hope you and your team will once again challenge the Sea Otter Classic!

Fred Seemann
UCI Commissaire
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sabine Dukes"
> To: dant@.net
> Cc: deanrcrandall@.com; fredzone@.c; imbermtb@com
> Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:09 PM
> Subject: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
>
>
> > Hi Dan,
> >
> > Thank you for your reply.
> >
> > Entirely unfortunate.
> >
> > 5 or 6 hours? You have got to be kidding me.
> >
> > Nonetheless I very much appreciate the response and explanation and will
> > forward this to the team.
> >
> > Sabine
> >
> > ----Original Message Follows----
> > From: "dan l thomas"
> > To: "Sabine Dukes"
> > CC: "DEAN CRANDALL" "Fred Seamons"
>"Jeffery Frost"
> > Subject: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
> > Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 10:54:09 -0600
> >
> > Sabine,
> > I want you to know that I am not ignoring you. I have equested that Timberline Timing review the finish results and make sure that all riders that were pulled are given finish results. All riders will be listed on the results.
> >
> > As for the race; this was not an easy decision. The staff and officials are also there and a part of the event and we want to see the riders satisfied with the event. However we must also look at the safety of the riders and even though the weather did not get really bad, at the time the
decision to shorten the race was made the weather was starting to get bad and all reports from weather radar were that we were in for a deluge.
This race is early in the season and we did not want to possibly subject the riders to possible injury and/or illness due to a prolonged period in the rain. We knew the racers would take longer that 4 hours to finish the race but we did not think it was wise to have riders out on the course for 5 to 6+ hours, which we would have had. Looking back you are right, the weather did not deluge, but it did get cold and the rain did come, and even with the shortened time we had riders coming to the finish with the
beginning signs of hypothermia.

We as officials try to do the best that we can for all riders, we did not intentionally try to target the women and our decision affected more than just the racers. I stand by the decision and I hope you will try to look
at it from the standpoint of the staff and officials. I know the Sea Otter Classic appreciates your participation and I personally appreciate your concern and comments.

Please let me know how else I can help.
Sincerely
Dan Thomas



On Wed, 12 Apr 2006 09:35:05 -0700
> > "Sabine Dukes"
> >>Dean
> >>
> >>Thank you very much for your quick response. Sometimes even a response and
> >>acknowledgement can relieve some frustration. Also, those who were
> >>attempting to qualify for Mammoth are relieved to know that NORBA is aware
> >>of the situation.
> >>
> >>As of this morning, the other 2/3s of the expert women are not listed on
> >>the results. I realize that the Sea Otter staff is probably overwhelmed
> >>right now with results and other issues so perhaps that is why the results
> >>have not yet been updated. But please do keep us informed of anything you
> >>discover on your end.
> >>
> >>In the meantime, we very much appreciate your response on this.
> >>
> >>Sabine Dukes
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>----Original Message Follows----
> >>From: "DEAN CRANDALL"
> >>To: "Sabine Dukes"
> >>CC: "Dan Thomas"
> >>Subject: Re: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
> >>Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 08:22:48 -0600
> >>
> >>Sabine,
> >>
> >>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.
> >>
> >>Thanks,
> >>Dean Crandall
> >>NORBA Western Region Manager
> >>2308 Forest St
> >>Denver CO 80207
> >>T: 303-333-1059
> >>F: 303-333-0522
> >>Cell: 719-229-0338
> >>> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: Sabine Dukes
> >> To: info@seaotterclassic.com
> >> Cc: crandall@usacycling.org>> jrogers@usacycling.org
> >> Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 5:12 PM
> >> Subject: Sea Otter MTB XC - Expert Women
> >>
> >>
> >> When I was stopped from completing my race yesterday,the official said
> >> we
> >> would be given some type of finishing order.
> >>
> >> Will that be corrected in the official results? Sea Otter is usually a
> >> qualifying event for Mammoth so it may be important for many of us to
> >> get
> >> the result we deserve.
> >>
> >> Personally, getting stopped midway through my race was disappointing,
> >> but as
> >> the leader of a women's cycling team, I am disgusted that over 2/3s of
> >> the
> >> expert women were not allowed to continue their race. Many of us spent
> >> weeks
> >> and months training for an epic length race. We trained, ate and raced
> >> the
> >> first lap accordingly. We were cheated of a valid and paid for racing
> >> experience.
> >>
> >> It should have been forseeable that the course was going to take the
> >> average
> >> expert female 4+ hours to finish. I know it was forseeable because I
> >> personally emailed the Sea Otter staff to advise them and to obtain
> >> some
> >> assurance that a finish line would remain late for all finishers.
> >>
> >> (And please don't blame the weather. The rain was the lightest it had
> >> been
> >> all weekend and all other events ran during rain as scheduled - It was
> >> purely bad planning and a complete disregard for the female expert
> >> racer's
> >> experience.)
> >>
> >> I have been a part of Sea Otter for about 10 years now. Our team has
> >> been a
> >> part since our inception. This year we fielded over 50 entrants and
> >> purchased a large team booth. We are a boisterous and positive force
> >> for
> >> women's racing at Sea Otter...
> >> ...and we are seriously considering not returning next year.
> >>
> >> I'd love a response to both my results question and some response as to
> >> how
> >> the expert women who were cheated of their race will be taken care of.
> >> I
> >> have a team full of upset women who are awaiting a response. And we
> >> love
> >> racing the otter and want to come back without a bad taste in our
> >> mouths.
> >>
> >> Thanks for you attention to this,
> >>
> >> Sabine Dukes
> >> founder, Velo Bella
> >>

 
At 4:28 PM, April 13, 2006, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

yup.

 
At 8:21 PM, April 14, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

I think that all the women that got pulled should get their entry fees refunded.

And that they should get to do to the Sea Otter Organizers what Eric Cartman would do.... (kick them in the NUTS!)

 

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