As a dude who has worked on bike races in the past, I know how absurdly annoying it is when people don’t pre-register. You spend your nights awake, staring at the BikeReg confirmed riders screen, hoping the numbers creep up so you don’t lose money on your event.
I’ve been hammering away at this point on the Twitter, but I thought I’d hammer away on it some more, because I feel like it. And I have an Internet Weblog, which I honestly forgot about, as I have trained myself to only think in 140 character quips.
Anyway, I find that it is generally foolish to not pre-register for a bike race. If you actually do not know what your plans for that day might be (if, for example, you are closing on a house on Friday, moving in, but there is a race on Saturday) sure, don’t pre-reg.
From a purely personal view, filling out paper work at the venue is annoying. I’d much rather have an Internet Robot do my bidding for me from the comfort of my cube/couch/toilet (YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT. MULTITASKING). It’s one less thing to have to worry about.
There have been times when I’ve pre-registered for a race, but the day of the weather was terrible (see: Ice World). After learning to hate Ice World, I’ve made peace with just not going. I do not want to waste a day driving to be miserable, and I’m sure that the cycling club appreciates my “donation” of $30. Yes, I am lucky enough to be able to write off $30 maybe twice a year when I bail on a race because of shit weather (or a sudden change of plans), but this is my Internet Website, and this is where I put things that I think.
I think a lot of people believe it is “cool” to not pre-reg, so you can “surprise” everyone by showing up. Um…not really a thing. People know where you live, and people know that you race. So, if there’s a race 90 minutes from where I live, I’m very likely going to show up. If it’s five hours, I probably won’t. There isn’t much of an element of surprise there – other races can PROBABLY predict where you are going to be.
It is truly a jerk thing to not pre-reg, because it puts races in danger of being cancelled, and it makes promoters lives difficult. And if you’re a fancypants person who “doesn’t pre-reg” and you show up and expect to just get added to the race due to the fanciness of your pants, you are a jerk.
Let’s not be jerks, everyone.
These are some thoughts I have.