Is gran fondue in crisis?
We put it in the form of a question, but perhaps it would be more correct to remove the question mark.
We already had a feeling that something had changed after returning to post-Covid racing, but the 2021 season was weird, so we took some time to check the numbers, listen to the participants and insiders, and understand the general sentiment.
Impressions from the first races of the season have already been confirmed, but we wanted to go beyond self-assessment, data analysis.
Since the beginning of 2022 we have controlled the number of participants in the majority of Granfondo. Attention, to make this analysis, we have taken into account receipt (based on official ratings) and not subscribers (advertiser), because often the difference between the two values is significant.
We don’t fill you in numbers, but we can tell you that The general trend is falling sharply It touches events large and small.
The most striking case concerns Novi Colli Which rose from 9,827 in 2019 to just over 6,200 in 2022. It drops between 20 and 30%.
Some of the organizers, due to the lack of participation, even preferred to cancel the event a few weeks before its launch.
True, there have been some exceptions, such as Granfondo Sharks-Trek which has seen an increase in arrivals, but the overall trend is clear.
what are the reasons?
In this article we tried to analyze it, and also consider some possible solutions.
It is useless to turn around, Going for a run costs more and more.
Recordings at Granfondo have higher prices than they did a few years ago. Not to mention the price fuel Based on the hotelbecause often to participate in an event you have to drive several kilometers in the car and sleep at least one night outside (if not 2 or 3).
Without thinking about the costs that would be incurred to tune the bike for a race…
We fully understand the reasons for the regulators, who, in order to deal with rising costs and ensure an acceptable quality standard, had to increase the price of recordings, but if we add to this general increase in cost of living, Without a proper salary adjustment, this is for many fans Going for a run has become a luxury.
In short, if Granfondo is in crisis, the main reason in our opinion is the economic one.
Is there a solution to all of this?
The macroeconomic trend in the near future does not look friendly, and the only way to improve the situation in the short term is to reduce registration costs.
It is clear that without affecting the quality levels, as we know, it is not easy.
Maybe we can work on “redundant”, and thus reduce gadgets, no shirts or things like that, to reduce side events.
We’re sure many Granfodisti will ditch their festive jerseys and race packs to save a few euros…
So the hand should also come from federations and other bodies, which at a moment like this can reduce the costs that organizers demand to hold an event.
Most Granfondo in recent years Expected departure dates.
A justified solution through easier management of traffic in the early hours of the morning, but also a “smart” move to force participants to arrive the day before, stay in the area and satisfy public bodies and tourism promotion.
After all, there is nothing wrong with that, but for those who are used to making more than 7-8 gran fondues per year, the question can become a problem.
The first of economic point of view, We have already talked about this in the previous paragraph. But also from that organizational and familiar.
Those who have wives and children cannot (and do not want to) always leave them at home, but it is also difficult to offer family weekends exclusively “connected” with bike racing. You have to give a shot of the circle and one of the barrel, the solution is inevitably Participation in a limited number of events.
The new “post-covid” life
We have changed the ‘Covid era’, and there is not much to do.
The difficulties of the last period also affected the way of exercising and investing leisure time. Starting with the rhythms of work, getting crazier trying to get back what we’ve lost in recent years, to getting to the desire to change something in our lifestyle.
Priorities have changed. Ok work, but then there’s family, other passions, entertainment, and fun.
Yes, many of us have changed our mindset, and also made room for other interests and reduced bike time. Often the way to ride a bike…
There is a greater desire to have fun and make up for lost time and less desire to work hard thinking about the outcome.
If racing before a race was almost ‘compulsory’, now many enthusiasts have realized that they can also enjoy pedaling in a different way, improving times, reducing costs and giving more room for life’s other pleasures.
This new way of understanding life and cycling partly explains the growing appeal of cycling and cycling events Pass Buildings.
Logic on new formatswhere the element of collecting and fun prevails over the competitive element (or next to it anyway), can give new life to many challenging events.
even formula Timed Section Cycling Events It could be a winner, but maybe only on some types of tracks.
Increasingly higher performance level
It is one of the hottest topics among Granfondo racers.
The middle level (not only the first) went up a lot.
Everyone wants to get better and more and more enthusiasts are turning to trainers, nutritionists, etc.
there, As long as the bike doesn’t become a second job: The danger is to collapse and leave everything away. We’ve talked about it Who is the.
Many train wisely, are eager to eat, and “steal” time from the family to arrive an hour from the first (which they often do for work). In the long run, it’s frustrating and generally not funny…
What do you do next?
There are those who suggest canceling the rating, but this is not the solution in our opinion. Or rather, it could be, but at that point we won’t be talking about Granfondo, but about cycling.
Looks like we’re getting started Imagine a new concept of categoriesno longer divided by age groups, but by potential and outcomes.
Let’s take an example: if a forty-year-old started late on the bike, but has plenty of time to train, has out-of-the-ordinary physical skills and goes really fast, what’s the point of making him compete with overweight cyclists of the same age, Who train twice a week? It wouldn’t make sense and motivate anymore to see him compete With who has potential similar to yours?
In many other countries, cycling enthusiasts are defined this way, and if you think about it too Zwift It works like this. It would be a coincidence…
Alternatively, some suppose The starting grids are divided into categories It might be another idea.
Finally, without being too hypocritical Introducing more frequent doping controls Rigor may attract more people to participate. It is true that at the amateur level the challenge is primarily with oneself, but no one likes to be deceived …
In this regard, we are sure that the latter Code of Ethics Review Was it a good idea to ban amateurs with more than 6 months of anti-doping from returning to racing?