On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 4:38 PM, Granny Gear
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-
Davis, WV (March 12, 2010)
24 Hours of Big Bear and 9-Mile Idled for 2010
USA Cycling 24 Hours Nationals Return to Moab
Dear Granny Gear Racers, Fans, Industry Titans, and Media,
As you may have heard, I will be idling both the 24 Hours of Big Bear and the 24 Hours of 9-Mile and running The 24 Hours of Moab as our only 2010 event. I apologize that you may not have heard this from Granny Gear first. Its premature release will no doubt generate many rumors and unanswered questions and I hope to set the record straight here.
This has been a tough decision. I know how disappointed folks are going to be. For myself, I was really excited to have the USA Cyling 24-hour Nationals come home to West Virginia and I know there was a lot of excitement about this. Likewise, we had wonderful experience at 9-Mile last year and we were so looking forward to seeing the event continue and grow this year. But last year we were robbing Peter to pay Paul all year long and at the end of the year I had to borrow money to pay remaining Moab expenses. I simply can't afford to do that again. I made efforts to bridge the gap with extra sponsorships and I had some commitments in place but I didn't muster enough to move forward with confidence.
As we move ahead, I'm looking forward to having the time and energy to make this year's 24 Hours of Moab one of the best events we've ever produced. And, I will be hitting the re-set button on both 24 Hours of Big Bear and 24 Hours of 9-Mile for 2011. With the lead-time to put marketing and sponsorship programs in-place and the commitment of participants to put a renewed effort into building attendance, both of these events will be able to return and be successful.
In the meantime, for all those folks who have always dreamed of going to Moab, this is definitely the year to do it! We secured a higher field limit of 550 teams in our new ten-year permit with the BLM, and the venue can easily handle that.
The USA Cycling 24 Hour National Championships will be returning to Moab for 2010. The world-class course and spectacular venue at Moab warrants the National Champion titles earned there.
Registration for 24 Hours of Moab will officially open on Wednesday, March17th.
My recent interview with Sue George at Cycling News is an accurate account of my sentiments around this development and I invite you to read it.
Hitting the Re-set Button:
Will it work? I don't know for certain. But the potential of both Big Bear and 9-Mile merits our best efforts. And, when I say "our" best efforts I don't just mean Granny and her staff. The word-of-mouth advertising of our participants has always been the primary driver of increased participation. For Big Bear and 9-Mile to be sustainable we need to grow each race to at least 225-250 teams, or roughly 900-1,200 racers. In other words, if just twenty-five percent of the teams managed to bring one extra team, we'd be there! It seems entirely do-able. With extra lead-time and support on the grass-roots level we can make it happen.
The Big Bear and 9-Mile "Pow-wows":
To begin the conversations about how we create Big Bear and 9-Mile as the successful events we all want to see, I am inviting racers, volunteers, and other fans of these races to what I'm calling a "Pow-wow." Each Pow-wow will be on the same weekend dates that we had slated for the races. These gatherings will be a free-of-charge, public gatherings. (There may be nominal camping fees to pay for port-o-lets and/or trail use fees.) I have cleared this with owners/managers of both venues. I will send more details for each of these events to each race's participant list. Oh, and bring your kids, We're going to keep the 24 minities kids races going!
The tentative schedule looks like this:
* Ride (The course or other trails, meeting time TBA*)
* 24 Minutes kids race - Saturday, 4 pm
* Dinner (Big pot-luck? BYO dinner? Go out? Caterer?)
* Pow-wow (around a bon-fire? In a more formal setting?)
* Sleep (Camping or local lodging. Ah, sleep!)
* Breakfast (Big pot-luck? BYO breakfast? Go out? Caterer?)
* Ride some more
* Final pow-wow / Cya's
*Big Bear's general manager, Mark Schooley is planning to host a twist on the 12-hour format, as a place-holder for Granny's 24 on Saturday, June 12th. More details will be available on Big Bear Lake Campland's website. I'm open to seeing something like this happen at 9-Mile, too.
Granny Gear - FSBO:
OK, here's a scoop that did not get leaked: I am declaring my interest in passing the proverbial torch (baton?). As I mentioned in Cycling News interview, I've been race promoting for more than 28 years. My work at Granny Gear and all that my staff and I have created has brought me immeasurable satisfaction. There is nothing more gratifying than creating amazing experiences for folks!
The tremendous equity in the events, expert staff, vehicles & equipment, RealTime™ Scoring, back-office hardware & software and business systems & organization that Granny Gear has created represents a real, turn-key opportunity to hit the ground running (or cycling as the case may be) in the events business. I am willing to consider offers on an event-by-event basis or kit-and-caboodle.
I am not looking to cash-out in any major way and I will only sell to a capable party that has the proven talents and finances to make the transfer successful. PLEASE, seriously interested and qualified inquiries only! Racers, rest assured, in leiu of such a person or organization, I'm happy to keep plugging away.
A GREAT alternative at Great Glen :
Last year, the 24 Hours of Great Glen invested in their event by adding Granny's state-of-the-art RealTime™ Scoring to their event. I was so pleased to get to attend the event. Folks, 24 Hours of Great Glen is a gem! I was so impressed with their superlative event. I had no idea what a great job they have been doing and frankly they deserve major props. I highly recommend the 24 Hours of Great Glen. 24 Hours of Great Glen Registration is open at 24hoursofgreatglen.com. You will love this race.
Best wishes for an awesome 2010 race season !
We hope you can treat yourself and your teammates to a pilgrimage to the Mecca of mountain biking for the 16th Annual 24 Hours of Moab and we hope to see you at the Big Bear or 9-Mile Pow-wow as we look forward to 2011.
-Laird Knight, Race Director
& all the fine folks at:
Granny Gear Productions, Inc.
P.O. Box 189 / 24 Fourth St.
Davis, WV 26260
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