Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is cool if it wasn't for the hype

Back in August the lemming made the prediction that gran fondo would become the new buzzword in cycling, and in October he made the prediction that the Leadville 100 would become the new "extreme" race that every cyclist would aspire to do whether they had ever even raced their local 6 mile race or not.

Well, an email received from yesterday seems to indicate that at least the former is true.  And if you sign up a gran fondo type Centurion event you even get a free ugly-assed hat, yippie!

Combine the mass-participation buzz of a big-city marathon, the epic beauty of a European gran fondo, and the all-inclusive nature of a cycling century ride,
and you get North America's newest endurance sports events — Centurion Cycling.

Brought to you by the same people who launched the Ironman triathlon phenomenon, each two-day Centurion Cycling event will include three spectacular rides — highly challenging 100-mile and 50-mile efforts, and a beginner-friendly 25-mile affair, that also caters to those who prefer speed.

Brought to you by the same people who launched the Ironman triathlon?  Oh my, I'm tingling all over...

To be honest, the idea of a timed, mass-start century is sort of appealing.  No longer can the typical racer wanna-be leave early in the MS150 to ensure the "win" over all other competitors who really don't even know they are racing.  If you do a century, why not officially time it?  Unless of course you are really doing it for fun, to have a good time with buddies, and you like sitting at the aid stations checking out the hot cyclist chicks.

So what does something like this cost?  Well, let's just first go back to my price gouging spree when the lemming took over the Pottawattamie Pounders double century following a lucrative Google adsense campaign. My price gouging trip didn't seem to work, even with the free jersey offer the lemming got no one to sign up, oh well.

But the Centurion events are different.  The 100 mile Centurion event will only cost you $125 if you sign up early bird, normal registration is $150, and late registration is only $200!  That's only 17,534 yen at today's conversion rates! A lot of money to ramp things up for those lazy late people is required.

The 50 miler is $100 for early birds, $125 for normal, and $175 for late registration. (2250 pesos!)  The 25 miler is $60, $85, and $100.  Imagine paying $60-100 to ride the distance you bike to and from work each day, yikes!

Disregard anything I said about it being cool, in concept it is, until you see the sticker shock.  In these days of recession better deals are to be had.

But hey, what if money is no object and you want to be pampered, hell, you can fork out cash for that too!

For complete VIP treatment during Centurion weekend, treat yourself to the Centurion Plus upgrade, including an invitation to the Celebrity and VIP reception on Friday evening; access to VIP hospitality areas throughout the weekend; special VIP registration processing with no waiting in line; bike valet service at the finish line; and a VIP gift bag including a custom Centurion bike jersey by Sugoi. The Centurion Plus upgrade is $125. You may add one guest for the VIP reception and hospitality areas for an additional $50.

The lemming wishes he could tell people to save their money. Yeah, the events may seem cool and "extreme" and a "test of endurance", but if all riders fork out outrageous amounts of cash to simply ride their bikes and get a time each weekend what's to keep events from continually jacking up prices? The lemming could preach riding for fun until he's blue in the face, but people will still add the Centurion event fees on to their quickly accumulating credit card debt, all to simply do a ride that they could just as easily go out and do on their own each weekend.

1 comment:

mrbill said...

I skipped a ride because it was 30 dollars, the slower the price rises the longer I'll be able to ride.