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Thread: June issue Big Question: is anyone excited by the Olympics yet? Win 100 CRC voucher!

  1. #1

    June issue Big Question: is anyone excited by the Olympics yet? Win 100 CRC voucher!

    London 2012 is just around the corner. It could be the biggest boost in publicity for our sport for years. Is anyone excited yet? And will it actually be good for mountain biking? Best response wins the vouchers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member neilo's Avatar
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    Notwithstanding the fact that the Olympic MTB venue was sited in a bizarre place from the very beginning, commercially it would be great if more people took up the sport. Unfortunately, in my area the trails are already clogged with riders and are in desparate need of some TLC. So it's a double-edged sword for me.
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    As with anything it'll show a boost for a short period of time before all the fuss dies down.
    I don't know that you'll see a massive increase in interest, I think most people who watch the olympics will watch the sports they already enjoy watching/participating in, as opposed to watching & taking an interest in new things.

    I'll watch the mountain biking, but I'll give most of the other stuff a miss.
    I'm not going to watch gymnastics just because it's the Olympics.

    I also (selfishly) think that the last thing we need is loads of new riders clogging up already congested trail centres. The only way to improve would be to have full-time trail repairers rather than volunteers & have a pay-to-ride policy (difficult to enforce) which would mean dedicated riders would ride, as opposed to everyone.

    More riders on the bridleways on natural stuff will just serve to increase the anti-cycling lots views & make them more against us than they already are.

    Numbers of riders doesn't actually affect me personally very much as I usually ride midweek when no other bu66er is out!
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    I think the Olympics are currently an extension of the North/Side divide. It's difficult to look forward to something in such a difficult economic climate. Billions being spent to essentially benefit one small, albeit important, area of the country (London, South) while areas further North (and everywhere else basically) are on the edge of poverty. The way it is being marketed and the way tickets were sold is something of a PR disaster and has left a bad taste in the mouth of those feeling excluded or priced out. I'm sure it will be a wonderful spectacle but it's something we can ill afford at the present time. Not even sure if the impending high spirits and good will that will inevitably be generated by the games will lift the country at all either. Seems that the organisers have been incredibly unlucky with the timing of these games and the numerous financial crises. If it had happened during the years of Labour excess then it would have been a different story altogether. I don't want to be negative about something that will be a brilliant spectacle, it's just difficult not to be. No excitement, no anger, just antipathy.

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    Senior Member DISGreece's Avatar
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    I don't think any viewer of Olympics MTB will suddenly go out and buy a bike and kit simply because they happened to see MTB on the TV. And anyone who buys a ticket to watch the sport will already be an MTB fan anyway.

    There will always be the 'fair weather' riders who get the bike out of the shed come summer, dust it off, oil the rusty chain, and go for a spin. Then swiftly abandon the bike as soon as the first autumn chills and rain appear.

    So I doubt "It could be the biggest boost in publicity for our sport for years". It will just provide a great spectacle for all us MTBers seeing - hopefully - a great, well organised competition... that is, for those of us who actually attend. If we wait for TV, the sport will probably receive relatively little coverage in favour of the more popular, commercially profitable sports of athletics and show jumping!!

    The Olympic track here in Athens fell immediately into disuse and is only partially kept alive by the odd (volunteer run) competition and a few local riders who ride through the overgrown trails. Come winter... rain and a little snow... it all becomes deserted, bar the few die hards! What will happen to the controversial UK centre? Is anything being done to promote the sport in the area? Or will the 'hardy northerners' come south to ride a 'mountain' trail in that part of the country? I fear not!

    On the subject of location, bear in mind that officials and VIPs have to do the rounds and be shuttled to these events for award ceremonies etc, so the venue needs to be within easy driving distance of London so the Lake District was out of the question! So th elocation was chosen for logistics, not great riding!

    Get people interested in the sport all year round... organise winter competitions in the mud and rain, and show people a really good time!
    Last edited by DISGreece; 24-Apr-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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    What Olympics? Where's London?

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    My God the June issue is going to be a real jolly read if all of these miserable responses are printed!!!

    I didn't get any tickets and nor do I plan on watching a great deal on TV, but worst case it will deliver another MTB destination, and also good PR and interest for both MTB and road cycling.

    The hope is that everyone else will be glued to their telly, and so I can enjoy racing around quiet open trails for several weeks

  8. #8
    Senior Member DaMilkyBarKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISGreece View Post
    ...On the subject of location, bear in mind that officials and VIPs have to do the rounds and be shuttled to these events for award ceremonies etc, so the venue needs to be within easy driving distance of London so the Lake District was out of the question! So the location was chosen for logistics, not great riding!
    Didn't stop them putting the footie in the Millenium Stadium (Cardiff) TWO DAYS before the opening ceremony though, did it! The city centre's currently a giant diversion route so they can put some security bollards up for, essentially, three matches

    A boost for mountain biking? Doubt it. The course isn't going to provide a good enough spectacle to win over new fans. A testing and interesting course, yes. But only if you know what to look for, otherwise it could come across as a glorified canal path. The cameras will kill the little elevation the course has (for an example, look at Eau Rouge at Spa in F1, looks a big hill on the TV, bloody huge in real life. Hard to walk up, let alone race!). As mountain biking is a relative newcomer to the Olympics, it will not be given the massive PR boost and coverage that the velodrome events receive. It also meant it suffered in the choice of venue. Take the sailing. Could easily have been based somewhere near the Thames Estuary, but this would have meant the course would not be the best England has to offer so would upset the sailing establishment. As there's no history to mountain biking in the olympics, the course only has to be good enough to provide a tough challenge to be accepted. Any of us based in the south-east could probably recommend perfectly good existing venues that would have benefited from some funding and a also leave a legacy for the future.
    So basically it will be a missed opportunity for mountain biking to show what it is capable of.

    The olympics themselves? Seeing as I'm going to be working at them for most of the duration of both games (don't forget the paralymics), I will be in the middle of the hype and will most likely be swept along. As soon as I get back home, I won't benefit from them so will not be of much relevance.

    The 'legacy' they keep on shouting about will most likely mean more people on road bikes, not MTB's. There's always a boost in road bike sales after we do well in the velodrome, just look at Boardman bikes to see what I mean. We may gain a new venue at Hadleigh Farm but one wet and windy winter will put off most people who gave our sport a go and we'll be back to square one.

    I'm not against the Olympics at all, they will raise the UK's profile worldwide and boost tourism. I'm just annoyed that, as a biking community, we haven't fought to get a brilliant venue that allows us to shout about what mountain biking is all about. In all it's various disciplines. Seeing as our sport is huge here and in the US but not too much elsewhere, this may well become a missed opportunity we may one day regret.
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    Super Moderator xendistar's Avatar
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    Will the Olympics make any difference to mountain biking, No. Mountain biking will be luck to get more than 45 minutes total coverage through out the entire Olympics and then it is likely to be shown on the TV in the late or wee hours. The veledrome will get prime time TV due to the house hold names like Hoy and Pendleton, the roadies will be next up with mountain biking getting what is left.

    I will watch bits of it if I am not doing anything else at the time but I have no plans to watch anything in particular
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  10. #10
    Senior Member MTBLeague's Avatar
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    No , just disappointed, this country has more to offer than that, Wales and Scotland, they are putting Football matches on in both these locations so what's the problem with using an existing one purpose built for a similar occasion say a MTB World cup?

    Sorry to say but this is what it is all about.

    lhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-East-End.html

    Thanks Ken, once I heard him say this it all made sense.

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