How many local races (if any) have you been in that use chip timing? Did they work? We here in the midwest just had an experimental practice race with some riders pinned with chipped plates. It think the results were pretty good, but not perfect. Nat's don't use this system, I'm guessing too unreliable and too expensive.
Did the timing system raise your entry fees? Just curious to know what's out there and how far behind we are here in cow town.
I've raced in CA, OR, WA, and New England and haven't seen this yet. I think the huge benefit is with events that start in waves - not very often in 'cross. Obviously there's the speed of getting results too - but I'd guess you'd need a person recording everything as a backup as well, and some systems seem to be pretty darn fast getting results up. Bike Monkey up in santa rosa, ca has a neat system where a computer monitor is always displaying results right after they're entered in the system.
I wonder with the elements in 'cross if things mud can mess things up?
For events like nats and cross crusade where multiple groups are on the course at once, it would be neat and useful to have such a system to get reliable times to compare yourself against other categories. Out here, often the b's can be 4 waves - elite, 35+, 45+, ss. I'm always wondering how I compare to the elites when I choose the ss.
The elements wouldn't be a factor since simular technology is used in harescramble races. The only thing I can see that might limit the usage of the same system for cross is that in moto you have to stop under the scoring tent for one second to let the computer record your lap. Our local harescramble club might have an old system and the new stuff may be faster.
I went back to MI two years ago and did a cross race put on by tailwind. For the record, They've been putting on races for a long time. I use to do their MTB series some 15 years ago when I lived there. They used the ankle chips and they worked great. It was nice to see lap times and no one seemed to have issues.
chips are usually attacehd to the rider. I spoke with the race promoter at ysterday's race and the reason they aren't using it is purely a cost issue. She said the local poeple that rent the system want almost 2k for one race. I would glady pay a higher entry fee to have lap times posted to make the sandbaggers be a bit more accountable.
I do almost all the Tailwind series here in Michigan and they have always been chipped. Never any problems or system failure, on the contrary it's a beautiful thing. From the promoter/scorer stand-point I would guess it has to be absolute life and time saver. What better way to score a 'cross with lapped riders and racers strung-out all over the place? Having lap times to see how bad you suck is pretty cool too. I can't imagine a better system for cross ...
I for one would be elated to pay the extra $10 for lap times. I hope the sport in K.C. will continue to grow so the dollars will not be an issue for anyone! I'm sure there are more poeple that would frown upon the extra money then there are people that are excited about the new technology.
They were used at Harbin Park Sunday. I don't feel they added anything to the event and certainly made the wait for registration take a lot longer.
I suppose they have some mild theoretical advantages but the $2k quotes I'm seeing here are what I've heard as well and I really don't care about spending more just to see lap times. (assuming you even would see laps times, which is dependent more on the promoter than the timing system. Most of this stuff comes down to integration, not technology. You can get lap times w/o chips. Check out the scoring system used at Reston the last few years)
We modeled the timing for Harbin Park on the Tailwind system. Not sure how Robert distributes them at registration, but next year we'll need to figure out a faster way. It was a big unknown for us this year, and I was worried that it would fall flat - but it worked out really well on the ankle. The timing guys captured nearly 100% of the reads, for only $2 bucks a rider (which the sponsors paid for by the way - another reason to patronize them!). I just got the results up on ovcross - Chris and Marc let me know what you think.
I'm a promoter in Kansas City. We're working on some ways to improve timing. The current methods of hand scoring have not kept up with our local growth. Lots of errors, lots of protests. Even our best USAC folks seem to struggle. I've rarely been to a 'cross race scored correctly by hand; including Masters Worlds. So we've been testing alternative methods at our Wednesday 'training' sessions. Including chip. I'm in discussion with several chip providers regarding creative ways to eliminate some of the problems associated with their systems (cost, registration delays, backup scoring). It's a strong 'maybe' for the last 3 races of our www.series60cx.com
On the other hand, we're working hard to come up with tricks to improve the hand scoring.