As cyclists and competitive racers, we wear a lot of hats on and off the bike. We are husbands are wives...fathers and mothers.... bankers and computer programmers... sprinters and stayers… the list goes on and on.
The one hat that I think many club riders forget to put on very often is that of "ambassador of the sport of cycling".
I won't go into all the ways we can better the sport as individuals, but I'll just talk about one. Saying "thank you".
A lot of us forget what goes into setting up a race. The time, the effort and the emotion. Most promoters/organizers put on races because they love the sport. In our club, we are blessed with several events that actually turn a profit and allow us to do some great things with that money. But for a lot of promoters and organizers, they just break even or maybe squeak out a meager profit. Some might agree or disagree with this assessment but it is my experience that it is true.
So what am I getting at?
Be sure to approach the officials and/or organizers and thank them for putting on the event. Identify yourself and where you are from. If you thought so, tell them that you felt the course was well tended and that you felt safe on the course during the race. If you didn't, make suggestions for next year, citing where safety was an issue and how it might be made better. Make your comments calmly and with respect. The more comments organizers get, the more apt they are to see that there might be an issue and that they should do something about it.
Don't ever yell at an official or organizer. You only make yourself look like and idiot. If you were involved in an incident during your race, wait until you have calmed down or don't say anything at all.
Even take the time to say something to the town cop who sat at the last turn all day. It all adds up. If he goes back to his department with good things to say about having worked the race, they will be more cooperative next year also making it easier for the organizers to put the event on and then there is a better chance that the event will be there for you to do the next year.
That's really the goal here; that the event be put on next year and that it be better than it was this year.
You aren't going to be happy with every event you go to. Some will be run well and others not. Don't dwell on the poorly run events. You only end up limiting yourself in the end. If you want to expend extra energy, do it by moving your jaw up and down and saying "thanks". You'll perform better by staying focused on the things that really matter, and you'll help to ensure that you and your teammates have a greater number of well run events to attend each year.