$15,000.00 for the pack fill

A lot of people have a lot of explanations about why road racing is declining. They are probably right in varying degrees.

My explanation is that there is no money in it for the racers. By “racers” I don’t mean the winners, although there’s precious little money for them, either. I’m talking about the pack fill, the cannon fodder. You know, us racers who pay the entry fees that make the event possible. For the pack fill, if you race you don’t have much of a chance to win money.

Pack fill like me doesn’t care. But other pack fillers do. Instead of judging them, it seemed like it was worth giving it a try by giving the customers what they want. This is a revolutionary concept in bike racing.

This year I’ve committed $15,000.00 in cash primes to Jeff Prinz’s 2017 CBR crit series. That means there are $2,500 in cash primes on offer every race, split up between categories so that there are plenty of chances to win. If turnout justifies it, I’m willing to consider more.

We tried this in the last three upgrade races of 2016 to the tune of about $5k, and the results were amazing. It turns out that racers like showing up, sprinting their guts out for prime cash, then doing it all over again. Who knew? The races were full gas as well; every time a prime was offered, which happened over and over each race, it went super hard, and the “easy” parts were still hard as nails and broken glass.

Jeff had turnout in December that was better than CBR’s spring races in 2016.

It’s weird to me that people will spend five grand to sponsor a team but not to put cash in the hands of racers. Racers remember it when you give them cash. They don’t always remember the fine print on their kit, or the water bottle they won.

The first CBR of 2017 is this Sunday, on January 22. Here’s the flyer.


Racing for primes means that other people have a shot at the glory, and it means they’re more than willing to pay entry fees and do multiple races. As one racer told me, “I calculated that I had eighteen chances to win fifty bucks. How can I turn that down?” He didn’t, and went home with $350, which paid for lunch and a spare tube.

Let’s race.


18 thoughts on “$15,000.00 for the pack fill”

  1. You are awesome. I love you.

    Your theory, however, I’m having a hard time with. But, yes, it’s worth a try.

    1. It’s when in the middle of the race the announcer says, “$50 to the winner of this lap!” and everyone rides so hard they puke up someone else’s lung.

  2. Let’s see if I have the logic figured out…

    Bob, who typically finishes in the top five, isn’t likely to chase the $50 half way through the race, because he wants to save his legs for the finish.

    Sue, who typically finishes top 15, but not top five, loves the idea of getting $50, so she sprints her brains out mid-race, even though she has nothing left at the finish.

    Finally, Ted, who typically finishes in the bottom five but has always dreamed of beating Sue, hopes that Sue chases the $50, because if she burns up her legs mid-race, he may finally be able to pass her at the finish.

    Bob wins the race, Sue gets $50, and Ted finally beats Sue. They all go home happy, and they all tell their friends how great it is to race. They all refer clients to the beloved sponsor who made them all happy, and the beloved sponsor becomes fabulously wealthy!

    Great plan!

  3. East Coast baby seal

    With all this putting your money where your mouth is, you’re coming dangerously close to becoming a race promoter. Nice!

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