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Old 11-21-2016, 06:21 PM   #181
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I resemble that remark and respectfully disagree.
Resemble, or resent?
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:58 PM   #182
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It's been an interesting and at times frustrating read with this thread. There seems to be an acknowledgment that racing needs to bring in new people. But no real way to do it. Not surprising.
The original post was about the new track in the Chicagoland area. The track has anounced it on road schedule and class. Saturday and Wednesday night. Conflicts with work schedule. It's a no go for me.
Hopefully in May we will start running again in store lot. Probably give the F1 a shot. Was impressed by them. Didn't think they had chance on that pavenment. Maybe we will come up with a 3rd class.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:25 PM   #183
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There seems to be an acknowledgment that racing needs to bring in new people. But no real way to do it. Not surprising.
If we knew how to fix it, we'd have fixed it already
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:03 PM   #184
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If we knew how to fix it, we'd have fixed it already
Fixed was wrong choice. Not sure what term would be right. I could give a list things that I've read of the closer track to me that's kept prople from going to it. Had had me looking at a place 45-hour farther.
Holds a rookie race, but announced it 3 days before. Only here and on Facebook. So unless a person know of the place on Facebook or is on here no one would know. The follow up post seemed to list active racers kids only
Hold a event by a bAsher Website, then tells members that they will keep the bsshers seperate.
National level is impossible for me to even consider. I'm just looking to get people interested. Took me 6 years to even try a race. Then had to watch them run 6 times in person.
To me it's up to the tracks and track owners to bring outsiders in. Just get them in and running. Have to find new ways to get word out.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:59 AM   #185
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If we knew how to fix it, we'd have fixed it already
Well, that's why we're having the conversation. :-) And in a much better way than in the racing forum. Who came up with the thread title "a dying hobby". *shakes head*

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Fixed was wrong choice. Not sure what term would be right. I could give a list things that I've read of the closer track to me that's kept prople from going to it. Had had me looking at a place 45-hour farther.
Holds a rookie race, but announced it 3 days before. Only here and on Facebook. So unless a person know of the place on Facebook or is on here no one would know. The follow up post seemed to list active racers kids only
Hold a event by a bAsher Website, then tells members that they will keep the bsshers seperate.
National level is impossible for me to even consider. I'm just looking to get people interested. Took me 6 years to even try a race. Then had to watch them run 6 times in person.
To me it's up to the tracks and track owners to bring outsiders in. Just get them in and running. Have to find new ways to get word out.
I've seen this before. From what I can tell, it's a standing problem. "Getting the word out" for a lot of sports is hard. For cycling "everybody" uses bikereg. Which makes it easy to search for events, or even be alerted to events in your area. Paintball has it easier due to it's better market saturation, and what appears to be bigger budgets.

I still need to call an ask what the deal is, but I heard that the local track does have rentals available. The track in Rockford (the? A?) has a stack of spec class trucks that are available for practice and racing.

Getting people in, is also "a personal thing". And there's the ambassador word coming in again.... I want to bring my friends to race. Heck, bring my friends to just play around.

It's up to track owners to provide a friendly place, and "a place in the world" for new people. The only way they can contact new people, is advertising. That's expensive... And much less effective than "Hey Rick/Rachel/Rob/Rebecca, I'm going to the r/c car track tonight, wanna try it out?"

At that point, the goal is to get them wheel time, and not scare them off with "Hey, this sport costs your rent payment to get in to play."
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:41 AM   #186
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Well, that's why we're having the conversation. :-) And in a much better way than in the racing forum. Who came up with the thread title "a dying hobby". *shakes head*



I've seen this before. From what I can tell, it's a standing problem. "Getting the word out" for a lot of sports is hard. For cycling "everybody" uses bikereg. Which makes it easy to search for events, or even be alerted to events in your area. Paintball has it easier due to it's better market saturation, and what appears to be bigger budgets.

I still need to call an ask what the deal is, but I heard that the local track does have rentals available. The track in Rockford (the? A?) has a stack of spec class trucks that are available for practice and racing.

Getting people in, is also "a personal thing". And there's the ambassador word coming in again.... I want to bring my friends to race. Heck, bring my friends to just play around.

It's up to track owners to provide a friendly place, and "a place in the world" for new people. The only way they can contact new people, is advertising. That's expensive... And much less effective than "Hey Rick/Rachel/Rob/Rebecca, I'm going to the r/c car track tonight, wanna try it out?"

At that point, the goal is to get them wheel time, and not scare them off with "Hey, this sport costs your rent payment to get in to play."
Actually there is a way to get word out to new people. Use Big Squid. I know the don't have great rep with the racers. Its the same among a god percent of the non race crowd either. But when it comes to new to hobby, they got them.
A track could have a rookie track day. Have the Squids out to do a demo of what they do. Have a group of racers give a demo of racing. Big difference from watching video to watching with real eyes. Get people a chance to run on a track in an less then competive setting. Running with other vehicles is not normal for most that don't race. Maybe got few friends, kids or run solo.
I'm not saying that every person would suddenly jump to racing. Maybe get a few ti try. Maybe get more that want to come just to practice during the cold winter. Not everyone is like me outside running when it's zero out. Most I know shutdown or run MiniZ during winter.
It's the grass roots stuff. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:30 AM   #187
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A couple of people above observed that there's no national solution... I'm not sure that anyone proposed that there was. Don't et me wrong... it would be great if there was, because being able to take one's inexpensive-class car to another track that has the same inexpensive class would be a benefit. IMX, there's far too much resistance to... well, anything... to get there. Many tracks seem to be run as something of an afterthought, instead of actively managed to build a community of racers.

I just wanted to say that I've appreciated a number of the comments herein, and will use some information gathered here for my own track going forward.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:31 AM   #188
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Noone even knows this hobby exists. Unless you've experienced Rc and stumble across RC sign-up or Rctech, it's nearly impossible to find track info.

Try finding races and tracks without those two sites.

Want to build your turnout. Put flyers up at Hobby shops. And run nitro touring car races in the mall parking lot with flyers for your indoor track. The key is NITRO. Electric ain't going to turn heads. Draw them in with the noise, point them in the direction of the electric classes.

Parking lot racing brought in alot of new racers before, no reason it can't bring more in again.

I can't help but wonder if racers and tracks actually WANT the entry numbers to dwindle. Advertising and exposure to this hobby is nearly non-existent.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:27 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by pgaert View Post
Many tracks seem to be run as something of an afterthought, instead of actively managed to build a community of racers.

I just wanted to say that I've appreciated a number of the comments herein, and will use some information gathered here for my own track going forward.
"There are people who want to race, so lets build a clubhouse" versus "Here's a place to come meet new people and learn how to race". Subtle, but important.

This has been a surprisingly fruitful thread. I had no idea it would go where it did.

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Noone even knows this hobby exists. Unless you've experienced Rc and stumble across RC sign-up or Rctech, it's nearly impossible to find track info.

Try finding races and tracks without those two sites.
Try finding tracks ~with~ those sites. The best I've found is directly going to google maps and searching. Remember the track directory in rccaraction? This is at least 3/4 a problem with the track owners. They need to embrace google, yahoo, bing, whatever, and submit themselves. They also need to add and MAINTAIN their entries on website with track directories.

Tracks should be advertising other tracks. Shops should ~really know~ where the tracks are. A dozen or more times, I've gone to a shop and asked where I could go race/fly/whatever, and I get looked at like I have three heads. Or I get a vague "Well in *insert town* there's something."

It wasn't until a month ago, I found out that Cook County runs a RC car track! And several different flying fields. Why can't shops just have a good list at the checkout counter. This is THE BIG THING that needs to be said to everyone handing over money.

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Want to build your turnout. Put flyers up at Hobby shops. And run nitro touring car races in the mall parking lot with flyers for your indoor track. The key is NITRO. Electric ain't going to turn heads. Draw them in with the noise, point them in the direction of the electric classes.
Now this is good advice.

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I can't help but wonder if racers and tracks actually WANT the entry numbers to dwindle. Advertising and exposure to this hobby is nearly non-existent.
That's a good question. Given how many people are going "beginner classes don't work because we all ~NEED~ to win" don't know how badly they're cutting themselves off at the ankles.

I could play paintball with the beginner group at the paintball field. I don't... I don't need to win that badly. "You" shouldn't need to win that badly either.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:26 AM   #190
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Yeah. Most LHS's have no idea where the tracks and fields are at. Usually the same guys that complain constantly about internet sales.

Then again, if they could make a good list of local tracks and flying fields, they likely wouldn't be working the counter at a LHS.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:40 AM   #191
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It wasn't until a month ago, I found out that Cook County runs a RC car track! And several different flying fields. Why can't shops just have a good list at the checkout counter. This is THE BIG THING that needs to be said to everyone handing over money.


Thats the RC/BMX track in the forest preserve up near OHare. I've read of a few going there.

Flying fields. I've got 2 within 12 miles. 1 east Lynwood/Glenwood area. Never seen anything fly there. Other is 191st and Cicero. That's usually used. Was relocated there about 5-10 years ago. Been going there to watch for 30 years. I don't fly.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:26 AM   #192
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It is, it's separated from the Schiller Woods flying field by about 50 yards of woods. almost every time I've gone flying, I've heard 2 strokes going nutty in the woods and couldn't figure it out.

Just to throw it out there, Chicagoland also has the greatest concentration of velodromes in the US. Between Kenosha, Northbrook, and the (now shut down) south side velodrome. Northbrook even has lights. I find it shocking that the RC community hasn't picked up on those. Northbrook at most has people scheduled on the track 4 nights a week. And that's at peak, usually it's empty.

You should try flying. :-) It's cheap enough these days. For $120 you can go from "nothing" to a complete setup to fly. (Using a flite test foamboard plane, though some of the parkflyer stuff is that cheap too) I ran a class (teaching, not racing) about a month ago, where I had a bunch of people from the local hackerspace build planes and fly them. (we built six, and flew four... Lemmie tell ya CG matters!)

Maybe that's another thing to think about. This car i'm talking about, (in the OP) isn't "the" car, but "a first car". When flying, nobody talks about "the" plane, they talk about "your first plane." Nobody aspires to have that first plane again, but it's something to get their feet wet.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:44 PM   #193
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I have been watching this thread for a while, and I think that the equipment is not the point at all. The best explanation is an example that some of you might be familiar with if you're from Chicago.

The track that probably had the most new people I ever saw was Strictly R/c's parking lot. It was right on Lawrence Ave. and it had a guy named Kenji running it. The difference was the high visibility, and the fact that Kenji would take the time to ensure new people felt very welcome, and introduce them around. He also found some class to fit any car into for new drivers. He made it fun.

The point of this is that it's more a matter of the people running a track devoting effort to helping new people. That's why you go to a hobby shop instead of ordering from a website (one can hope). The people running the track, whether a club or owner, are the ones who have a vested interest in bringing new people in. Every one's contribution helps, but it has to fall on the organizers to set the tone.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:50 PM   #194
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I agree with RobK in most of what he said in being helpful and don't form cliques and keep the poisonous people from ruining the race experience, but I think it may be a deeper issue trying to find new racers.

I think my signature may sum it up best. If you don't love RC racing, if we need to explain it to you and cajole you into racing, you will never understand. At that point, talent doesn't even matter, I imagine the base talent of young people raised on video games is better than it has ever been. Cost doesn't even matter, because as far as I can tell the cost of going racing is the lowest it has ever been, with the most powerful and durable cars ever... but if they don't love it, they will never be racers.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:26 PM   #195
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*Strictly R/C*

The point of this is that it's more a matter of the people running a track devoting effort to helping new people. That's why you go to a hobby shop instead of ordering from a website (one can hope). The people running the track, whether a club or owner, are the ones who have a vested interest in bringing new people in. Every one's contribution helps, but it has to fall on the organizers to set the tone.
My experiences with strictly R/C have been somewhat less than stellar. Not ~bad~ per-se, but not of the here, take my money variety.

I'm glad their racing was good! However if you check out their website now, there's no mention of racing, http://www.strictlyrc.net/ Amusingly, strictlyRC is closer to me, than WindyCity, but takes 10-15 minutes longer to get to. Yey, chicagoland.

WindyCityRC ~is~ "here take my money." So was Harbor Hobbies.

You're right, organization, community, an inviting atmosphere, all matter a lot. There's something that's missing at most tracks, where do you put spectators? All of that doesn't overcome a $1000 entry cost. And it's easy for someone to lose their way if they pick up a blitz and do backyard bashing.

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I agree with RobK in most of what he said in being helpful and don't form cliques and keep the poisonous people from ruining the race experience, but I think it may be a deeper issue trying to find new racers.

I think my signature may sum it up best. If you don't love RC racing, if we need to explain it to you and cajole you into racing, you will never understand. At that point, talent doesn't even matter, I imagine the base talent of young people raised on video games is better than it has ever been. Cost doesn't even matter, because as far as I can tell the cost of going racing is the lowest it has ever been, with the most powerful and durable cars ever... but if they don't love it, they will never be racers.
How do you get the love? I have no interest bringing in people who need poking and prodding.

Your'e right, the costs have come down, severely. The days of $250 ESCs, and $150 motors that need $10 of brushes every 10 minutes of running.. is gone. Batteries that are good once, maybe twice a day, are gone. The chassis are "the same price", but a $400 chassis today, is not the same as a $400 chassis in 1989. We've moved on from straight nylon suspension parts, and have fiberglass and carbon infused plastics that are worlds more durable, and strong. We aren't limited to 4 minute races because we have 5000mah to work with, instead of 1400mah. Changing channels isn't a $15 adventure like it used to. You're not spending $350 on a peak charger, where a $30 B4 series charger will ~do the job~.

For someone who likes r/c, Life Is Good. The 20 separate r/c models around my house can attest to that.

But, being much better, still isn't good enough. I have people who can afford racing, just need to "get the bug." And now we're back to the OP. :-)
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