I had a great time, thought the course(s) were really interesting and tough and the new park seems like it's got a lot of great features. I'm curious to hear everyone else's thoughts, but I'll share mine first.
1. Saturday's short lap led to a lot of lapped riders and a bunch of people being pulled after only a few laps. Results only went up for the riders who finished on the lead lap and now I can't find 2/3 results past 20th place. If a guy travels, rents a hotel and pays $35, he deserves to know where he finished, even if it wasn't on the lead lap. Furthermore, he deserves to race more than 18 minutes. Saturday the 2/3's only went 35 minutes total and some of the guys at the back only got in 3 laps. It's not the racer's fault they put together a short course and let 150 people get on there at once. If I'd been pulled after 3 and not given a result, I would have asked for a partial refund, which I clearly would not have received. If you can't guarantee at least a chance at a full race for the "pack fill," they'll stop traveling to the races. The pack fill disappears, the USGP disappears.
2. There's more to life than bike racing (seriously). If we expect to see growth in the audience sector, we've got to offer something to do other than just watching people ride bikes for 7 hours. Some kids activities, some cornhole games, a climbing wall, maybe live bands... My band threw our first annual music festival, The Festy
, a few weeks ago in central Virginia, and everyone I spoke to loved the non-music entertainment options (5k and 10k trail run, mountain bike race, climbing wall, restaraunt, brewery on-site, cornhole, frisbee, climbing wall, workshops, morning yoga, etc...). Next year we plan to hold a two day cyclocross race on-site (so mark your calendars, 10.10.11).
3. The steep stuff was awesome, I see a lot of potential at this venue, hopefully the grass will take hold and the dust will be less of a factor. The sand pit was a little brutal, the green monster felt like a respite on Saturday.