Ironman Florida Moto Support - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Ironman Florida Moto Support

This should perhaps go in another forum, but because of the location I thought I would put it here and test the water.

Several of you know that I serve as a USA Triathon Official during the triathlon and duathlon racing season from April-November of each year. The bulk of my job at these events consists of mounting up as a passenger on the back of a motorcycle and riding the bicycle portion of these races and enforcing USA Triathlon rules by assessing time penalties for drafting and other position fouls that are not allowed the cyclists by the rules. Unfortunately, cheating has crept into the sport of triathlon, and since triathlons and duathlons are “time trial” style events, in that it is an individual race against the clock rather than a team sport like you might see while watching the Tour de France, etc., and since drafting behind another cyclist affords the person drafting (within 3 bike lengths) a tremendous energy savings advantage, enforcement of the drafting and other “position foul” rules are extremely important to insure a consistent degree of fairness is delivered to the event for ALL athletes competing, especially those abiding by the rules.

This past weekend, I officiated at Ironman Florida in Panama City Beach, FL, and without going into great detail, let me just say that the motorcycle support for the event started out with the potential of turning into a real fiasco. The motorcycle support had not been centrally coordinated for starters, and to top it off there were way fewer than we actually needed to do the job. If any of you have ever watched an Ironman Triathlon on TV, especially the one in Kona, Hawaii, then you know it is a high profile event, with multiple national level sponsors providing thousands in prize money to the professionals in the race, many of whom are Olympians; thousands of people in attendance and helping out, TV and press coverage everywhere, etc. It's not hard to imagine then how important it is that every detail be executed with precision, especially when the prize money of professional athletes is at stake. For reasons not hard for us to understand, BMW has become the support motorcycle of choice for these events to transport as passengers not only the press and TV video cameramen out on the course, but the race officials as well. The reasons include but are not limited to the fact that BMW’s are quiet, thus not telegraphing your presence if you are trying to catch “cheaters”; BMW riders are usually more accomplished riders and more adept at carrying passengers in challenging situations; on average are more maneuverable in tight places even the LT, etc., whereas the use of Harley’s and sport bikes, although appreciated for their willingness to work the event, leave something to be desired. Even today I am still a little stiff from having spent all day on the back of a Harley Road King , much less though than those poor slobs who were stuck all day on the back of a sport bike while trying to officiate…ouch. If you are a member of MOA, then you might have read an article in ON back in the Spring about providing moto support for the Ironman series and already have an idea of what I am talking about here.

So, the point of all this…aware that I rode an LT, the head official asked if I would be willing to be Moto Captain for next year’s Ironman Florida, with the goal of assembling 15-20 BMW’s to support the bike portion for the media and race officials in order to bring an elevated level of professionalism to this race. Initially I told him no, because 1.) I wasn’t sure I wanted to get that heavily obligated and involved in the first place, and 2.) since I don’t live in the area, I wasn’t sure I would be in a position to even begin rounding up that many BMW’s. UNLESS however, and this is why I am throwing this out to you, the race was willing to compensate and make the trip worthwhile to the riders something along the lines of:
  • A room provided to those not living in the immediate area
  • A stipend of $50-$75 dollars to work the event
  • A per mileage compensation to and from home in travel expenses
  • Complementary meals and access to VIP areas with food and drink day of race
The timeline would be same weekend in November next year in Panama City Beach, FL and would include riding in on Friday, using the occasion to RTE that night; work the race on Saturday and for those not local staying over that night with another RTE and then heading home Sunday am. Does this sound like something that any of you might be interested in, or am I just smoking something weird in my pipe? Depending upon your response, I will take it to them.

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee

Last edited by Ranger6; Nov 6th, 2006 at 3:11 pm.
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post #2 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 2:07 pm
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Interested......not committed........but interested.
Sounds like it might be fun, especially if supported with the 4 points you addressed.

Doug Roorda
Mid TN
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post #3 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 2:17 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnk12lt
especially if supported with the 4 points you addressed.
Well, that's right. At this point I may be barking up the wrong tree with it, but I do know that the IM series events are not hurting for money and can afford to get the right support if they'll just suck it up and pay for it. It's not something you're going to get rich doing, but a little something to offset the trip would be nice. Either that or keep using crotch rockets.

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #4 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 5:31 pm
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My thoughts

I think these guys are the best in the world. I think it would be an honor for BMW riders to do the job. So much so that BMWNA should also be contacted about stepping up to the plate.
Hell I would even wear a helmet, in a helmetless state for the race.
Rock
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post #5 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 6:53 pm
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I'm in, tentatively.

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post #6 of 8 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 7:34 pm Thread Starter
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This is all tentative anyway, guys. Thanks for the response so far. I'm sure if they agree to anything at all, I'll have to negotiate some to get it to a point that's worthwhile, but it is a good excuse to RTE if nothing else!

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #7 of 8 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 8:48 pm
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Interesting thread Al. For the first six or seven years of the Myrtle Beach Marathon, now about 10,000 runners, an informal group of local BMW riders rode escort and support for the event. We carry the race officials, newspaper photographers and generally monitor the course for the normal physical difficulties that runners encounter on the course. We also ride with the first participants out before sun up, the cranks and wheel chairs. These, we have found, present a unique liability situation as their profile is so low to the ground that auto traffic tends not to notice them and even the LEO's at the many intersections don't recognize them as they approach dangerous intersections. Three years ago, HD became a major sponsor of the event and HD's were mandated as the ride for escort and support. This presented a problem as we were all BMW riders. HD decided that they would donate bikes to us for the entire weekend, for the 10k on Friday night, the marathon on Saturday and the bike ride on Sunday. From three years experience I can tell you that it is a totally different experience on an HD. MUCH less comfortable and man can those machines bake your thighs riding eight hours without getting out of second gear.

Having said all this, I would be interested if I can fit in my schedule next year. You might pass along, that besides being quieter and more manuverable, BMW's are also much better suited because of their much more efficient motor cooling system.

Jeff in Myrtle Beach
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post #8 of 8 Old Nov 8th, 2006, 6:01 pm
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Smile Re: Panama City

According to what I will be doing, you can tentatively count me in. Definitely interested.

ttyl
John

John Carver
K1200LTC, AMA, BMWMOA
Greensboro, GA

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