Racing for the future, not the past.

Although I am the official race photographer for the HH Racing FBF race series, in my limited, official capacity, I am also the race photographer for Alex Koch’s Verrazano Team Racing Thursday and Saturday race series. As a highly trained photographer, I learn to observe and learn, even when things are hidden. It became apparent to me that, although both of these series are different in their own right, they share few things in common. They are both new and facing stiff challenge to finance their race series. They are trying to survive and to revitalize our NYC racing culture in this stagnated environment. The odds against them are huge from racer attendance to sponsorship. Passion can motivate you but you need sound finance to make bike racing happens and to have the most talented people on board to make things actualize your visions for the future.

For me, this season and this year is very exciting. For the first time, we have so many new series sprung out. Is unheard of for the past 10 years. Many of us just settled for the status quo for the past 10 years. Lack of diversified sponsors, lack of visions and imaginations, and lack of will and motivation from individuals who have been responsible in promoting more bike racing in NYC led to this stagnation, this demise. A total of lack of choice. A total of lack of growth and a sense of renewed purpose. Your choices have been locked in and made for you by the status quo and its existing race series structures.

The HH Racing FBF series have changed that somewhat and would continue to pursue this path, and so as the Alex Koch’s Verrazano Team Racing series. However, many traditional sponsors, not a lot of them to begin with, are locked into the existing racing sponsor/support structure. As a result, these new race series aren’t getting the supports and sponsors they need to revitalize our racing culture. As a result, these 2 series may have difficulty in sustaining what they are planning to do for another year or maybe the next 2 years. No one knows. I wish all individuals involving in promoting and working for the future of our NYC racing culture and community to succeed.

Is hard to change something that has been this way for the past 10 years. What has been good for us, so we thought, for the past 10 years, is no longer a viable mean to sustain our racing culture. Riders, at times, aren’t being treated like paying customers although you have already paid the $40 to $50 registration fee to race. Most of us aren’t pros. Just racing for fun and excitement much like going to movies. Races get cut short for no reasons. Lack of media exposures unless someone is volunteering to photograph races at 6 am in the morning, and the lack of USCF officials to officiate races. We like to think that we have the best of the best people responsible in promoting our racing culture. Yet, all of these shortcomings are happening. No one seems to see the warning signs but living out season by season, one official by another official, and one photographer by another photographer. We need talented individuals working and racing for the future, not the past.

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