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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 11, 2013

Ideas for Growth

It comes around the distance forums like clockwork.  How to grow the sport.  I found it especially interesting this year in the wake of my non-renewal.  It goes kind of like this:

  • Let's add CTR under the AERC umbrella.  Where by someone picks up the umbrella and smacks the suggest-or with a resounding "WHACK."
  • Let's add a Pleasure/Trail Division.  Do I even have to relay how that one went over?  I bet she's still picking scabs off her ass since the dragging over that one.
  • Let's reduce membership fees.  THE SKY IS FALLING.
  • Let's increase membership fees. THE SKY IS FALLING.
  • We need more 100 mile rides.  THE SKY IS FALLING.
  • LD is a training ride.  (umbrella ---WHACK WHACK WHACK) Down you LD RIDERS Down I say!
  • 50 miles is "real" endurance.   (LD riders everywhere grab the umbrella back) (I'll show you) (WHACK WHACK WHACK)!
  • 100 miles is "real" endurance.  (LD riders and 50 mile riders scramble for the umbrella and squash a 100 mile rider in the process) whew!!!
  • Lets give 100 mile riders BONUS POINTS.  (50 mile riders invert the umbrella and attempt hari-kari) (It hurts so they quit). (LD riders whisper something about an apparent lack of grit and offer to file the point of the umbrella).
  • Lets not change ANYTHING.  (a collective sigh)
Hence, I am riding CMO this summer.  But I suppose there are things that could "lure" me and my membership fee back into the fold.  How about we:

* Adopt a really strong mentoring program.  Probably the weak link in the mentoring area is that the mentor "risks" their completion helping the newbie.  Give mileage credit to the mentor no matter the outcome (assuming they ride the whole distance).  They can then mentor without losing a completion due to a "newbie disaster". 

* A greatly reduced new member rate for the first ride if a newbie joins AERC on ride day. This could generate revenue, and open the door wider for newcomers.  If they stay great! If they leave, the membership fees help grease the organizational wheel.

*Have one star, two star, and three star equines.  A star behind a horse's name denotes the highest mileage ride a horse has successfully completed.  A one star equine has completed in the 25-35 mile distance.  A two star 50 miles, a three star equine 65-75 miles, recognition for 100 mile horses is already in place in a similar way. It is an expensive sport.  Extrinsic motivators can be thrilling things.What level is your horse?  Well Old Dobbin is rated a three star equine.  That one only costs a little ink, or nothing at all on the horse's ride record.  But it recognizes personal accomplishment.  Not racing, not hitting every ride in a four state area.  But PERSONAL accomplishment.

*Offer a 100 mile  at more rides.  It is possible by repeating the 50 twice.   Trail marking is already in place.  Require a minimum number of riders sign on in advance. 

*Smile and greet the person sitting alone or obviously alone in camp.  A three minute conversation goes a long way in making a person feel welcome.  (Sample text)  "Hi!  Where you from?  What distance you riding?  Been doing this for a while?  No?  Do you know when and where the ride meeting is? It's at such and such, bring your chair and any questions you might have?  Are you riding alone?  Would you like a mentor?  See her?  The trailer with the red pick-up?  She rides turtle and likes to mentor, let's introduce you to such and such.   You are gonna love this sport!  It is awesome!!!!

*Cheer on your turtle riders and be happy for riders of all distances.  It may not be "your" idea of endurance, but it may well be theirs.

Whacking self with umbrella.   Before someone does it for me

Have a great week ☺


Your friendly midwestern CMO rider.

1 comment:

  1. Bahahahahahahaha. This is brilliant. I've been deleting all ridecamp summary emails that arrive before even opening them the past few weeks. I'll take a peek about once a week to see if its still going on, and then ignore awhile. I suppose I deserve a whack or two for being mum. Frankly, there are too many idiots and I just can't stand to read about them all!

    I'll just practice sharpening umbrella points for others...