America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sandy Martin: Addressing Bob Beal Issues

We received a recent comment from a reader who expresses severe dis-satisfaction with the Bob Beal Road Race. Sandy Martin stumbled upon it and asked that her response be posted here, as follows:
There were supposed to be police on every major corner, there is no way to marshal every drive or side road, I am sorry you felt that I blew you off, I took every comment and added them to the list to make the race better next year. The one road that the police left, which was Switch road, I completely understood as [I later discovered that] there was a fatal [traffic] accident [here previously].. I did not find out till that race was done, or almost done. I did have a talk with the police and we will have more of them next year, or MCRA will have marshals.I do not condone unsafe courses and whenever possible I would correct the problem. As for the arrows, most courses are not even arrowed, I spent 2 hours arrowing that course, and had no complaints about that. Sorry you feel I did not address the issue. Sandy


Anonymous said...

she does good races. But seems the larger loop was harder to marshall. even the video you put up shows a corner with no marshalls and van going through the corner just as you arrive.

solobreak said...

I hope they keep the new course. The bumpy hill gave it character.

Like she said, one of the cops disappeared. And all the races broke up, which makes it tougher unless you have an abundance of pace cars.

Bottom line is that putting on a road race is a huge undertaking. Before anyone criticizes, ask yourself how many road races have you ever marshalled at? We who do the races get all the benefit. The marshalls and the promoter take all the grief from the public. They don't need it from us too.

We are lucky to so many outstanding promoters here in New England. When you head out to the sticks in New York, the races are much smaller an you'll be lucky to have a pace car at some of them.

JB said...

for what it's worth, I generally ignore complaints by anonymous posters, and most criticisms by people who I know don't put in their fair share (via races organized by their team, or marshalling at a random race). That includes myself.

john said...

To expand on SB's comment, one of the great things about the New England scene is the number of road races. I left Boston for San Diego, and in comparison I think there are more road races in Massachusetts alone than in all of Southern California, where we're basically fed a steady diet of industrial park crits and little else. So while I understand the concerns with this particular event, at least try to give promoters credit for the work they do, and don't take for granted what you have.

Anonymous said...

true, if i had never put on a race i would have a shorter platform to criticize from. however, i have worn the shoes of race promoter, of marshall, and of all positions in between. this is the reason for my vexation. i would NEVER have a naked corner in one of my races. not only is there traffic to contend with, but also riders in the group who, as stated earlier, miss the turn with no one there to point the way, only to have some other riders make the turn and cause crashes.

and let me be clear, i'm not at all saying there needs to be marshalls at every "T" intersection or driveway, or multiple pace cars, but there must be a marshall positioned at every turn the race will take.

arrows spraypainted on the roads are useless, epecially when it's raining and your glasses are either grimed up, fogged up, or off, to which your eyeball are then filled with water and road grime. even on a beautiful day, if you're racing properly, looking for arrows on the road should be pretty far from the front of your mind with so many other things to focus on.

there have been plenty of races cancelled due to a lack of marshalls, and in 2001 Sandy, herself, delayed a race by nearly 1/2 hour because a course was absent one marshall (a non-essential one, even by my safety standards, at a "T" intersection on a tiny rural road where the pack would continue to go straight).

yes, the racing scene in new england is perhaps the best in the country, i have raced all over the nation and think this is racing utopia here. a very large part of that is thanks to all the great folks who put on fun, challenging, and safe races. i just want to keep the standard of safety high...and to save myself from breaking too many more bones... and if a racer can't criticize an event on safety issues, what can he/she criticize? if 10 racers crash and come away with broken collarbones due to the negligence of the promoter, there'll be a helluva a lot more grief going around than just on this blog.

it is criticism which makes our sport better, safer, and more fun. one should not take offense to it, but rather use it to educate, change, and improve. and the point of these comments is not to degrade, embarrass, or insult, but rather to make sure that needed changes are made in the future to keep you and all other riders safe. no harm intended, indeed, just the opposite.

keepin' it real.