Downieville Classic Registration Snafu Prompts Organizer to Postpone Registration Indefinitely

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Due to a registration snafu last Friday (February 19) on Active.com and the subsequent backlash from it, the organizers of the Downieville Classic have decided to postpone registration indefinitely. Initially reported right here in the Mtbr.com forums ( http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=594145 ) several racers and participants discovered that the registration process was prompting them for a “passcode”. Problem was, no one knew what the passcode was!

So began the frustration, anger, and disappointment of many. Much of this contained in the Mtbr forum discussion.

Primary amongst the complaints and rumors were the existence of the password for a “bro-pass”.

The organizers of the race have stated that the prompt for the passcode was completely in error, thus the issuing of full refunds and the scheduling of a re-do. Originally scheduled for the following Friday (February 26), the entire registration and indeed, the entire race, has now been put on hold.

The reason? It appears that the main organizer, Greg Williams, has been disheartened by all the negative comments and backlash from the registration problem.

From the Downieville Classic website, Williams states:

“This little hick-up with registration has taught me a lesson, and one that I will unfortunately carry with me for a long time. It seems like every year there’s something that makes me say “this is the last year”, and for the most part these thoughts of throwing my hands up and quitting have come from acts of either mother nature or the federal government, but never from the people I cared about and considered my mountain bike family.

In regards to registration for the Downieville Classic: a mountain bike race, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, that causes its people to act without affection towards one another. We’re all going to take a break. This mishap with registration was perhaps that proverbial tap on the shoulder from an old friend that says “spend some time with your family. Love your wife. Look after your children. Take care of yourself.”

Williams continues:

“I know I originally said registration would open on Friday February 26th, however after a weekend of being bombarded with negative emails and undermining phone calls, I’m taking a break; therefore, registration is now on hold for the Downieville Classic, until further notice. “

Williams closes with:
“A word of advise: Don’t be so quick to judge and tear one another down. Empower your friends by setting the example. Show some love and support. If it can’t exist at a bicycle race, than we are all f_cked respectfully.”
-Greg Williams

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So, the future of the All Mountain World Championships, the River Jump World Championships, and the Pixie-Cross World Championships remains in limbo.

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The original date of the race is July 9-11 in Downieville, CA.

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Mike Ferrentino (of Santa Cruz Bicycles, presenting sponsor of the Downieville Classic) has this to say about the Fustercluck.

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Weigh In! Let us know in the comments section below how you feel.
How are you affected by this? What is the best solution now?

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • james j says:

    this was going to be my last year, 10th, at dville. I’m not sure why, but I think I’ve been looking for a good stopping point and 10 years seemed like a reasonable end to being part of this race. Hearing what Greg is feeling I can relate, something just isn’t right and hasn’t been for awhile. I’m not sure where I fall on this one, but it might be time to simply ride dville instead of racing this year. I’ve done the all mountain, the xc, the dh, the river jump, won prizes in the raffle, won the dh in sport class, conversed with Ron before he passed, partied with the saddle tramps, I’m not sure what’s left.
    Greg and Heather are good people, they deserve a break. I can support that.

  • gregg says:

    I think being a race promoter/organizer is almost always a thankless job. The fact is, you can never please everyone all the time. Look at all the complaints and “feedback” we get every year in our Sea Otter forum.

    At the same time, I think it’s too easy to look at Greg’s very emotional response and for people to have a, “Dude, HTFU” kinda attitude towards the whole thing.

    I haven’t been to the Downieville Classic in a while. But for those 2 or 3 years that I did go, my family and I had a blast. Whether you go there for the race or just to ride, it’s worth it. By choosing to go to the Classic, you are going to a.) compete and/or b.) socialize. If neither of those two things particularly appeals to you, by all means go on a non-race weekend and just enjoy the unmistakable “flow” that Downieville has to offer.

    I would hate to see the awesome experience that is the Downieville Classic, go down in flames. Especially after an episode like this. Kinda like ending your pro NFL QB career with an interception.

  • basilisk says:

    This is such a bummer on so many levels. I’ve never raced the Downieville Classic and I can’t even describe how much I was looking forward to it. So, so stoked. But I absolutely feel for Greg; people were having complete meltdowns in the comments and being consummate a-holes. Even though I’ve grudgingly come to expect people to be jerks when they are cloaked in anonymity, I was still a bit shocked by the level of negativity. These people deserve to be denied the race, end of story. I’ll gladly give up something I was pinning my whole summer on, just to spite them, because I am sick and tired of this kind of thing. What kind of world are we living in, anyway? Greg, I don’t know you, but you don’t deserve this. You’ve got my full support in your decision, although I hope you actually don’t care at all anymore.
    Message to all you people who ruined this for him and me: grow up.

  • gary says:

    This is shocking, and revealing of some peoples true colors. I keep coming back to the “Golden Rule,” which I learned as a kid. Treat people the way you want to be treated, with respect and dignity.

    I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Classic since the day it started. As a rider, sponsor, promotor and member of the staff of volunteers. Being part of this group has awarded me tons of positive energy and faith in the wonder of people coming together to achieve great things.

    None of us realize how much work Greg, Heather, Wayno, Debbie, Chris and the small army behind them put into the weekend many of us look forward to every year. The challenges they face with the federal government, the local community, insurance companies and mother nature are immense, before addressing the rider/racers.

    I’ve watched these people for years thinking their efforts are not sustainable, and all good things do come to an end. Perhaps all of this happen for a reason, and we are meant to hit the tipping point this year.

    The classic evokes emotion, most of which is enormously positive. Perhaps those that showed their true colors allowed emotion get the best of them when they struggled with registration. By now, all those that have any common sense are feeling regretful and shamed. They should. A good lesson to be learned. Follow the Golden Rule.

    I will always stand with my lifelong friends, in good time and bad. I stand with Yuba Expeditions, some of the best people I know.

    If there is a Classic, WTB will be there with everything we got. If there isn’t a Classic, we’ll be there with everything we got. Full hearts, wide smiles and tons of aprreciation for our friends that have created something beyond special for us to enjoy.

    Gary/WTB

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