Mint 400 Impressions

cynicwanderer

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So, I entered Mint 400, not because it was the first time bikes were allowed since 1976, but because it's part of the BITD series this year. here are some of my impressions.

1. BITD did a great job laying out a gnarly motorcycle course. sure, it was a bit whopped out in places, but I enjoyed doing the single track and loved the Beer Bottle Gulch technical section. BITD did a great job organizing the actual race part.

2. No free T-Shirts ! really ?!?!

3. Trackers... I personally didn't get much value out of the trackers at this race. in my opinion, we didn't really need them for this type of event since we weren't sharing the course with the steering wheels. In general, I think the real-time tracking technology is still very clunky. no doubt the programmers are limited to working with various clunky web based APIs to get the relevant data from the satellite paging provider to the event real time map display and integrate all of the racer specific data (i.e. mapping the tracker ID to the racer number), and thus everything is not as smooth when you scale it up to the 120 or so motorcycles, etc...

4. YB vs. RacingTrax. The packaging of of the YB were bulky. The wanted to mount them on the bike with ZIP ties. Really ? to their credit, the tech person admitted this was weak and said it would be better for the solo riders (i.e. Ironman) to just put them in the pack. I can't wait to try the new RacingTrax motorcycle units at SS300.

5. event politics... I felt like there was some tensions between the different organizations. I finished early and was instructed by BITD to return the YB tracker to the YB tent inside the fenced off start/finish area. The guard at the gate didn't want to let me go through and then the local guy in charge of the area (it was the gate for the media) said no one except media can come in the area and I had to go to the main entrance (which you need tickets for)... anyway, after he checked with his manager, they consented to having the guard at the gate collect the trackers and take them over to the collection bin. needless to say, I didn't feel that great about this scheme because of the $1000 lost unit fee they were going to charge us... luckily, I have some witnesses.

overall, I thought the race was great and I had a great time. some of these things are political and glitches happened, just want to provide some feedback here. maybe if enough people had similar impressions and voiced it, it would provide some feedback to event organizers for the next time.

most of all I was disappointed by the lack of free t-shirt and the attitude by the event staff providing security, towards the racers. after all, we are paying to provide the content for your promotion. it would be nicer if the attitude towards us was a little more respectful than just random spectators. I noticed the same thing at the UTV championship last year, were the main pit security people wouldn't let me back into the pits with my bike to retrieve my vehicle. maybe it's just attitude towards the motorcycle guys, because we don't bring as much publicity as the UTV and other steering wheel guys, but it would be nice if were were treated a little better than spectators.
 

Clay Flippin

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I also raced, I thought the course was fun and rough, just like a hare scramble should be, thought BITD did a great job with that. I had no problems getting in the gate at the finish with my racer arm band. You should have gotten a free black "mint 400 racer" shirt in your goody bag at registration, I did, along with participant stickers, pins and plaque.
i just felt that the race was geared more toward the spectator and not the racer...just my .02
All in all, My team and I had a great time and would do it again.

Clay Flippin, Rick Lance and Dennis Falls #726 Over 40 Expert, 2nd place by 30 seconds, ughhh.
 

cynicwanderer

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I also raced, I thought the course was fun and rough, just like a hare scramble should be, thought BITD did a great job with that. I had no problems getting in the gate at the finish with my racer arm band. You should have gotten a free black "mint 400 racer" shirt in your goody bag at registration, I did, along with participant stickers, pins and plaque.
i just felt that the race was geared more toward the spectator and not the racer...just my .02
All in all, My team and I had a great time and would do it again.

Clay Flippin, Rick Lance and Dennis Falls #726 Over 40 Expert, 2nd place by 30 seconds, ughhh.

weird... I asked about the t-shirt, when I got my goodies and they said I can buy the t-shirt at the trailer outside the tent.
 

MarioD

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Thought the course was terrific. Pre-race, not so much. Organization around the registration tent and then the scavenger hunt to go to 3 or 4 places to collect goodies was not too fun. Wonder if they could just have all the swag in one place, also no poster as advertised, they were all gone by 1pm or so. A link to a webpage with all the relevant info would have been great. So from 6am Sat on, was fantastic, before 6am...could have been better organized. Sunday was stellar, especially getting to go down to the staging area and meet the TT drivers before the start.
 

Doug.

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I was impressed with the efficiency of the police escort to tech. I thought that was going to be a gaggle and take all day just to get to and from but LVMPD did a great job getting us out and back quickly when I went through just after they opened it. I think it would have been a lot smarter if they had put the registration tent, YB people, and tech inspection awning all at the end of the vendor row (or beginning) so you're not trying to find everything as you go.

When I went through registration the lady didn't say a single thing about a swag bag, tee shirt or anything but my buddy who came through right after me got a whole bunch of stuff including a free "return of the bikes" tee shirt. I got a ticket for a free decanter that I thought we had to pay for that he didn't get though. They just seemed really disorganized at this race through that process. Lack of communication. The YB guy tried to affix the tracker to my bike with zipties and I told him I was good. During the race I left that stupid piece of poop brick at main pit. Chalked it up to a race expense. It was stupid and purely a money decision to make that thing mandatory.

The course was awesome, super gnarly in the technical sections and I think lived up to it's reputation as a hard race. Daryl did an amazing job laying that thing out and props as always to everyone else marking the course it was perfect as usual. I think there was some disorganization as well at the end of the bike races as some guys didn't end up getting a finisher pin or going onto the podium and getting a finisher medal. Only thing I can think of is the flagger wasn't getting passed word at the end of the two-lap race he was letting some guys riding back into main pit instead of blocking it off and telling them to go around the truck track to the area where we got the pin and talked to Daryl.

o99
 

mxben

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The course was bad ass. Great job with the layout. Very physical and was 2nd gear to 6th gear.

I had a tough time on my 3rd lap in Iron man and really blew a good race and ended up 5th. Missing the podium by only a few minutes really stung but thats racing.

Only complaint I have is them starting to truck race and having it come head on with one of our course crossings. I got held up for over a minute towards the end of my race and its not like I received any time credit for it. Also stopped to check on multiple guys down and a guy who ran out of gas then stopped to tell officials - Shouldn't complain because I would want someone to do that for me.

Thanks for putting on such a good race. The course was so much fun.


*** ALSO who was taking photos and where can I find them. Saw tons of photographers. # O20
 

BajaboundMoto

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Pleasantly surprised.
The pre-race stuff I didn't dig too much, just too much walking around to get things done. Now that we know the program we'll push the bikes from the hotel around to the end of contingency line, get trackers, split.
Wasn't happy about the YB tracker and it's expense.
I think BITD did a great job with the bike course considering the dummies at the BLM. In reality they should make the bike course even slower, eliminate as much of the high speed stuff as possible, and there would be fewer injuries.
With the varying rumors, some good some bad, about how the Start would work I was stoked on how they did it. That was perfect.

We had 7 bikes under our tent... 4 of ours we prepped for out of towners, 1 we prepped for a fella from the East (he leaves it with us), and 2 local San Diego guys who drove up on thier own with their own bikes but used our program.

Would we do it again?
Not sure.
If we do return we know how to shave a day off the schedule and streamline the BS factor.
So, maybe.

Overall, good job BITD and Mad.
 
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mxben

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Pleasantly surprised.
The pre-race stuff I didn't dig too much, just too much walking around to get things done. Now that we know the program we'll push the bikes from the hotel around to the end of contingency line, get trackers, split.
Wasn't happy about the YB tracker and it's expense.
I think BITD did a great job with the bike course considering the dummies at the BLM. In reality they should make the bike course evene slower, eliminate as much of the high speed stuff as possible, and there would be fewer injuries.
With a varying rumors, some good some bad, about how the Start would work I was stoked on how they did it. That was perfect.

We had 7 bikes under our tent... 4 of ours we prepped for out of towners, 1 we prepped for a fella from the East (he leaves it with us), and 2 local San Diego guys who drove up on thier own with their own bikes but used our program.

Would we do it again?
Not sure.
If we do return we know how to shave a day off the schedule and streamline the BS factor.
So, maybe.

Overall, good job BITD and Mad.


But if you skip the contingency parade you don't get pics like this
IMG_3593.JPG
 

El Mamito USMC

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In reality they should make the bike course even slower, eliminate as much of the high speed stuff as possible, and there would be fewer injuries.
what !!! that would have been one of the most fun parts of the course, like V2R.. injuries comes with this sport, if people cant handle them, they should not race competitive
 

dezert_nerd

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I agree with making it harder but if they do that, either Mad Media has to give us a day to race by ourselves to complete the 250 mile course, shorten the race to be more like a hare and hound (100 miles), or give us a completely separate race course that doesn't touch/interfere with the 4 wheel race course (unlikely that will happen).

I raced with Brock Collins/#372 and had a good time. Our 450x got a little heavy in the slow sections but plowed through all of the long whoop sections. Way more sand than I thought there would be but now we know for next year. I'm really hoping they incorporate more of the single track near/south of Beer Bottle pass next year. I went out there with Larry Job on a few occasions last December to get an idea of what we thought the course was going to be. Needless to say, none of what we rode was included in last weekends race.
 

dezert_nerd

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IMG_1530.jpg
IMG_1531.jpg
IMG_1533.jpg
IMG_1534.jpg


This is most of the stuff we rode in December. Next year Mad Media should shoot for this stuff to be apart of the course.
 

BajaboundMoto

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L.Job is an awesome dude and rider.
Yeah, IMO they could run more in those hills and not go out as far as B, and keep it fully separate of the car course.
But what do I know.

And, El Mamito, that was an ignorant comment.
Don’t be so bitter they didn’t allow quads.
You weren’t there.
And yes VtoR is super rad with so many high speed fun roads, I love that stuff.
But nobody can dispute that higher speed cross grain stuff claims more riders than slower trails do. Fact.

It’s already a no quads race, keep it that way, make it more technical, like BITD used to have. Like Darryl was talking at the riders meeting.
 

ndvalium

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The original course that was denied due to lack of time from BLM to approve, only shared the spectator areas and the pits with the car and truck course. I am hopeful that next year can be bigger and better. I really hope we can do away with the grand prix finish personally. I was so disappointed for several racers that really wanted their last lap but Ricky just wouldnt stop and wait....

The 2 injuries that we had reported for the bike race were not in cross section areas. Those were my concern in all the areas that we were crossing well used power line roads and such. The fact that there were only 2 out of 170 entries, to me is impressive. Of course I would prefer 0 but the ratio for a new course, pretty hyped up race and number of entries was kinda impressive.

Tracker system in general was a fail for me and my teams perspective and did not serve us in anyway. I have already voiced my concern and recommendations on this for 2020.

Did I really read above someone wants the Mint 400 shortened?

Those that took the chance and entered I hope you had a good time. The return of the bikes was kind of special. I am hopeful that the bike love will grow from the production side and make you guys a focal point equal to other classes of competitors.
 

Doug.

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Apparantly some guys were stopped and given a finish before completing the required laps for their class because of "safety". This wasn't elaborated on by BITD but a guy going for points in the series was given a finish but never took the checkers.
 
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We are paying attention to feedback and always will strive to make the event better for bikes. Many improvements to be made.

If you register at lease 2 weeks before the event you get a shirt. You should have all received driver bags, decanters, etc.

Most of the details are on the website.
 

cynicwanderer

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We are paying attention to feedback and always will strive to make the event better for bikes. Many improvements to be made.

If you register at lease 2 weeks before the event you get a shirt. You should have all received driver bags, decanters, etc.

Most of the details are on the website.

thanks for your followup. I checked, and, yes, I registered 3/1, so less than 2 weeks. I must have missed that info on the website/eventbrite site, and they certainly didn't explain it at the on-site registration. I did receive all the other goodies so all is good. anyway, overall it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to next year !
 

tapped1069

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So I heard there is a person we can email to receive (2) more of the MINT medals we were givin at the end of the race. We got the one but they said the other 2 riders can get their own. anybody have that email or contact? Also, anybody else waiting for their trophy's?? I dropped our paperwork off 2 1/2 weeks ago and still waiting for them to call me. I said I'll go get it even as they only work a couple miles away and STILL nothing.
 
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