Look, I appreciate the efforts of TD Bank in sponsoring the Boston Mayor’s Cup. While I’ve got some beef with the organizers over field selection (Women’s 3? No problem. Two kids race fields? No problem. Men’s 3? GFY), putting up wads of dough for bike racing can be a shaky proposition.
(via Andrew Bernstein).
But maybe next time try actually asking a cyclist what sorts of encouragement spectators generally give before making the crowd signs. “Keep on pedaling!” and “Go riders!” sounds like the sort of thing I—being utterly ignorant of the gameplay—would shout at a cricket match. Cycling already has one Al Trautwig—it doesn’t need 10,000 more.
thoughts on “TD Bank Could Use Some Help”
I don’t know – while you’re certainly right that those signs were lame, I wouldn’t criticize the bank over them. If TD is willing to invest in a first-year event, and to promote the sport in a new market for professional cycling, I think we can cut them a little slack for the phraseology. Hopefully they’ll do better next year. Also, don’t forget that you’re average person on the street has no idea what “Allez allez allez” means, so providing signs that anyone can understand helps to make this race more accessible to new cycling fans — who will hopefully figure out quickly how awkward a phrase “Go riders” is.
As far as the field selection, the point of this race was not to provide a race for any Tom, Dick, or Harry, it was a pro men’s and women’s race. Sure, it would have been nice if cat 3 men could have raced, but the point (as with many big-money crits) was to showcase the upper-most tiers of the sport in a package that would get people to spend a few hours in Boston in the afternoon/evening, and then go buy dinner.
Most pros, esp. crit specialists, are leery of racing with lower-category riders, and it would have been harder to attract a competitive field, with pros knowing they would have to race with (and risk being crashed out by) some random cat 3. I spoke with several racers who were unhappy even that cat 2s were allowed the race (2s race in a separate field in almost every NRC event, Chris Thater being one exception). Fortunately, there were no crashes. The only reason female 3s were allowed to race with the women was to get a slightly larger field.
And kids races are a great way to get more spectators (Mom, Dad, grandparents), who will hopefully stay to watch the main show — and possible even bring a future racer into the sport.
And don’t forget, TD is a CDN bank (Toronto Dominion was the “old” name). So, of course, the sign has to be respectful and polite. 🙂
We spectators want chalk & cowbells! Tchotckes that make noise, yay! Signs, boo!