USA Pro Challenge Professional Cycling Race Brings an Estimated
$130 Million in Economic Impact to the State of Colorado, 12 Percent Increase Over 2013
The 2014 USA Pro Challenge saw 128 of the best professional cyclists in the world compete in the toughest professional cycling race in the U.S. over the course of seven days, Aug. 18-24. Fans came out in droves to watch the action-packed, heart-pounding racing through the Colorado Rockies. After traveling to 10 host cities for the official stage starts and finishes, and passing through many other notable towns along the way, the estimated economic impact of the race to the State of Colorado is $130 million, according to a study done by Sponsorship Science, a global sports research firm.
The Pro Challenge delivered another strong economic performance in its fourth running, with direct spending by traveling spectators contributing a significant portion of the economic impact. Both those fans from outside the state and Coloradans traveling 50 miles or more to take in an event stage contributed $130 million on lodging, food, transportation and entertainment, an increase of 12 percent year over year. This change was largely driven by a 10 percent increase in the average number of nights stayed and an 11 percent increase in per night average party spend, the result of a 15 percent increase in average per night lodging cost.
“Seeing the enthusiasm and passion from the fans lining the streets during the 2014 USA Pro Challenge really gave a sense of the growing support for the sport of cycling in the U.S.,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the race. “This race showcases Colorado to the world and creates an incredible economic impact locally that can be felt throughout the year. Further, it was great to see an increase in television viewership.”
Following an epic week of racing through picturesque Colorado scenery, America’s most challenging race came to a conclusion in Downtown Denver when Aspen resident Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team maintained his lead and took the overall win for the second year in a row. The race received unprecedented coverage totaling 30 hours on NBC, NBCSports and Universal Sports in the U.S. Additionally, through 40 hours of international coverage, the race was seen in more than 175 countries and territories around the world.
A draw for Colorado travel, 56 percent of spectators claimed they would not have traveled to the state at this time if it were not for the race. And with that, 70.9 percent stated they are likely to return to watch the race next year.
Additional interesting analysis points include:
· Spectators traveled in groups, with the average party consisting of three people
· The average hotel stay for spectators increased in 2014 to 5.3 nights
· 53 percent of race attendees live in households with income exceeding $85,000 and within that group 32 percent had household incomes in excess of $120,000
· Spectators enjoyed their race experience, with more than 80 percent saying they were very satisfied or satisfied with the race
· More than half of spectators in attendance reported they ride a bike for fitness, with 47 percent saying they engage in road cycling a lot
· This was an audience that appreciates the world-class level of competition at the USA Pro Challenge and watches major cycling events on television, with 83.8 percent stating they watch the Tour de France
The USA Pro Challenge commissioned Sponsorship Science LLC, a global sports marketing & research consultancy firm with more than 50 years of executive experience working with events around the world, to continue conducting quantitative research measuring the change in overall economic impact of the Pro Challenge over time.
“While we conduct these types of studies for sports and entertainment clients around the world, across many platforms and geographies, cycling has always been a core sport, and one where we have a wealth of experience, ” said David Porthouse, SVP of Sponsorship Science, LLC. “Our history with the event and trust in the Pro Challenge management team, as well as the promoter Medalist Sports, has allowed us to develop the data and models used to accurately and fairly evaluate the growth of the race over time and its impact on the state of Colorado.”
Sponsorship Science, LLC designed the study from the outset to deliver consistent, defensible results which address many of the contentious issues surrounding economic impact reporting. Kevin Schott, director of Sponsorship Science notes the multi-year relationship with academia via Dr. Brett Boyle, professor within the sports business program at St. Louis University, has paid enormous dividends in terms of scientific rigor and credibility throughout the duration of this long-term relationship, serving as the foundation for the future. Key areas addressed included:
· Substitution effects – Since local fans will often spend similar amounts on local sports and other entertainment, Sponsorship Science, LLC did not include the local fan spend in the economic impact report, as a net impact, although local participation was thoroughly tracked, and forms a significant part of the appeal
· Time shifting – Colorado is an attractive destination for travel, so Sponsorship Science, LLC deliberately filtered respondents to ensure they were not capturing data from spectators already in Colorado, independent of the Pro Challenge, and also used elimination questions to remove those fans who intended to come to Colorado in the near future independent of the race. Despite these rigorous procedures, the number of dedicated fans travelling to the Pro Challenge has followed a long-term growth trend
· Sample sizes – Large samples were taken at all stages, distributed across the race locations, in order to create samples and sub-samples (by age, income, distance travelled, etc.) that are all statistically significant
Altitude is more than you think. Even professional bike racers are worried about the altitude in AspenPosted: August 19, 2014
The conversation at the pre-race press conference and the press conference after stage one was the concern about the altitude.
Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team had this to say about the altitude
“I am by no means a pure sprinter, but this course is a bit of a slap in the face, what a tough way to start a stage race. It’s a really deceptive stage. It’s difficult to control and it’s really unpredictable. I’m still out of breath and it’s been more than an hour since the finish, and I was already at altitude to begin with.”
Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp
“I myself am a victim of the high altitude. It was pretty relaxed for the first third of the race, but that last lap really heated it up and it was just full gas from there on. You see a lot of punch and lift from riders toward the end, and that’s not really something you see at this kind of altitude. It’s pretty exciting to see that out here.”
Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen Takes Stage 1 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge
Crowds of Cheering Fans Lined the Streets of Downtown Aspen to Greet the Best Riders in the World
Aspen, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2014) – Set against the beautiful backdrop of Aspen and Snowmass, the 2014 USA Pro Challenge got off to an exciting start with a circuit race of three 22-miles laps that included 2,300 ft. of climbing per lap, creating an aggressive day of racing. Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took home the stage win, which also puts him in the overall lead heading into the second day of racing.
“This stage was really exciting last year. It was a nail-biter and this year was the same,” said Reijnen. “The USA Pro Challenge is a huge goal for our team. Everyone is here watching and it’s really important to the team we do well here.”
In a close finish, Reijnen took the stage win, followed by Howes in second and Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team in third.
After the conclusion of the first stage of the USA Pro Challenge, Reijnen holds the Smashburger Leader Jersey, Lexus Sprint Jersey and, new for this year, the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey . Jacques-Maynes has the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey and Summerhill was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team has the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey heading into Stage 2 tomorrow.
Boulder, CO, USA – May 6, 2014 – Professional cyclist Phil Gaimon has written a book telling the true story of his unlikely transformation from fat kid to professional bike racer. Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro, is now available in bookstores, bike shops, and online. Preview Gaimon’s debut book at http://www.velopress.com/phil.
Plump, grumpy, slumped on the couch, and going nowhere fast at age 16, Phil Gaimon begin riding a bicycle with the grand ambition of shedding a few pounds before going off to college. He soon fell into racing and discovered he was a natural, riding his way into a pro contract after just one season despite utter ignorance of a century of cycling etiquette. A few hardscrabble seasons later, Gaimon was offered a contract to race in 2014 for Team Garmin-Sharp, an elite cycling team that competes at the sport’s highest level.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day is a true story, a guide, and a warning to aspiring racers who dream of joining the professional racing circus. Gaimon’s adventures in road rash serve as a hilarious and cautionary tale of frustrating team directors and broken promises. His education in the ways of the peloton, his discouraging negotiations for a better contract, his endless miles crisscrossing America in pursuit of race wins, and his conviction that somewhere just around the corner lies the ticket to the big time fuel this tale of hope and ambition from one of cycling’s best storytellers.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day chronicles the racer’s daily lot of blood-soaked bandages, sleazy motels, cheap food, and overflowing toilets. But Gaimon also celebrates the true beauty of the sport and the worth of the journey, proving in the end that even among the narrow ranks of world-class professional cycling, there will always be room for a hardworking outsider.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro Phil Gaimon Paperback with b&w photographs throughout.
6″ x 9″, 312 pp., $18.95, 9781937715243
Phil Gaimon is a professional cyclist for Team Garmin-Sharp, a writer, and an entrepreneur who retired from laziness and computer games in 2004 in favor of riding a bike to lose weight. On a whim, he started racing and soon discovered that he was a natural. Phil advanced rapidly through the amateur ranks and turned professional in his second full year. He slowly learned the rules and clawed his way to the top of the American pro ranks, joining Garmin-Sharp in 2014. He maintains a website, http://www.Philthethrill.net, where he chronicles his ceaseless pursuit of the best cookies and milk in America, and tweets at http://www.twitter.com/philgaimon.
Can’t wait to read it.
It is depressing to start working on this every year. I hope it at some point in time can provide answers rather than news.
This list is not guaranteed to be accurate. The information is found from web searches and news dispatches. Those references are part of the chart. If you have a source for information on any fatality please leave a comment or contact me. Thank you.
If this information is incorrect or incomplete please let me know. This is up to date as of March 10, 2014. Thanks.
Skiing and Snowboarding are still safer than being in your kitchen or bathroom. This information is not to scare you away from skiing but to help you understand the risks.
Are non-skiing/boarding fatalities that occurred inbounds on the slopes
Fatality while sledding at the Resort is in Green
2013 – 2014 Ski Season Fatalities
|Date||State||Resort||Where||Trail Difficulty||How||Cause||Ski/ Board||Age||Sex||Home||Helmet||Ref||Ref|
|12/11||CO||Telluride||Pick’NGad||struck a tree||60||M||Norwood CO||No||http://rec-law.us/190al75||http://rec-law.us/1fchteM|
|12/12||VT||Killington||Great Northern Trail||Found||21||F||PA||No||http://rec-law.us/1csgWCg|
|12/16||WA||Crystal Mountain Resort||Tinkerbell||Beginner||Lost control and veered off the trail||Blunt Force Trauma||F||Yes||http://rec-law.us/Jc4MX3|
|1/1||WV||skiing into a tree||M||Opp, AL||http://rec-law.us/1a6nAkQ|
|12/19||CO||Winter Park||Butch’s Breezeway||Beginner||blunt force injury to the head||19||M||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1f3ekSy|
|12/21||CA||Heavenly Resort||colliding with a snowboarder and being knocked into a tree||56||F||NV||No||http://rec-law.us/JRiP4c||http://rec-law.us/1a7REMW|
|1/11||CO||Aspen||Belisimo||Intermediate||hitting a tree||Skier||56||M||CO||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1hNbHoz||http://rec-law.us/JTr7sY|
|1/11||MT||Whitefish Mountain Resort||Gray Wolf and Bighorn||Found in a tree well||Skier||54||M||CA||http://rec-law.us/1kx1deP|
|1/11||VT||Stratton Mountain Resort||Lower Tamarac||Sledding||Sledding||45||M||NJ||No||http://rec-law.us/19x4mXb||http://rec-law.us/1aRlxS5|
|1/14||NV||Mount Charlteston||Terrain Park||Fall in Terrain Park||Blunt Force Trauma||Boarder||20||M||NV||No||http://rec-law.us/1dsDW8B||http://rec-law.us/1dyT1Hc|
|1/17||VT||Killington||Mouse Trap Trail||Striking a tree||Boarder||23||M||NY||http://rec-law.us/1dFfY9j||http://rec-law.us/1dKUf0v|
|1/25||NM||Ski Apache||Intermediate||Struck a Tree||Skier||23||F||TX||http://rec-law.us/1n3PCCM||http://rec-law.us/M5qA85|
|1/25||WA||Ski Bluewood||Country Road run||Beginner||Found at top of trail||blunt force abdominal injury||Skier||14||M||WA||No||http://rec-law.us/1eaGBUM||http://rec-law.us/1b4oewr|
|1/28||UT||Deer Valley||Keno Ski Run||Intermediate||hit a tree||Skier||65||M||FL||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1eg70Ax||http://rec-law.us/1hRbIVm|
|2/1||VT||Sugarbush Ski Resort||Lower Rim Run and Lower FIS trails||went off the trail and hit a trail sign||broken neck||Skier||19||F||http://rec-law.us/1aeVJ3V||http://rec-law.us/1j4jIpF|
|2/4||ME||Sugarloaf resort||Hayburner||Expert||skiing off a trail into trees||Skier||21||M||NY||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1fQtrMz||http://rec-law.us/1b1OkG0|
|2/4||CA||Heavenly Ski resort||upper Nevada Woods||Expert||Closed area||blunt force trauma||Boarder||18||M||Kings Beach, CA||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1byr68d||http://rec-law.us/1b5exDA|
|2/7||CO||Beaver Creek||lower section of Beaver Creek||suffered trauma injuries||Skier||64||M||St Louis, Mo||http://rec-law.us/1ns4Hvu|
|2/8||CO||Keystone Ski Area||Porcupine and Bighorn||Intermediate||crashed into a tree||blunt-force trauma||Skier||46||M||Yes||http://rec-law.us/Nph8Oa|
|2/16||MT||Whitefish Mtn Resort||between Hollwood & Silvertip||fell into treewell||Skier||48||M||Calgary, Alberta||http://rec-law.us/1nKj8eh||http://rec-law.us/1clTCu3|
|2/17||WA||Stevens Pass||Corona Bowl||Expert||hit head on rock||major trauma||Boarder||31||M||No||http://rec-law.us/O48FQH||http://rec-law.us/1oRNQFT|
|2/18||VT||Stowe||Upper Gondolier||hit another skier before sliding into trail sign||Skier||30||M||Brooklyn, NY||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1fkn5pt|
|2/19||WA||Crystal Mountain||Found in tree well||Boarder||35||M||Seattle, WA||http://rec-law.us/1ffs2kY|
|3/5||PA||Heavenly Valley||collided with a tree||internal bleeding from blunt-force trauma||Boarder||21||M||Warren, PA||Yes||http://rec-law.us/PRTn2a||http://rec-law.us/1k4m72J|
|3/10||CO||Copper Mountain||Vein Glory||Beginner||striking a tree||Boarder||22||M||Denver, CO||No||http://rec-law.us/1kJvtTc|
|3/16||NY||Whiteface Mountain||trail and hit a tree||Boarder||22||M||Hemlock, NY||http://rec-law.us/1gFq34F||http://rec-law.us/1mfoli0|
|3/18||CO||Snowmass||Gunner’s View trail||intermediate||collided with a tree||hemorrhagic shock due to pelvic trauma||Boarder||54||M||Germany||Yes||http://rec-law.us/OAM3Hn|
|3/21||WA||Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort||Kiwa run||ski dislodged from its binding||Ski||47||M||Seattle, WA||http://rec-law.us/1jreZv1|
|3/22||VT||Stratton Mountain Ski Resort||91 Trail||Veered off the trial & crashed into a sign||boarding||16||M||Boston, MA||http://rec-law.us/1jBxxIX||http://rec-law.us/1oZzuSX|
|3/27||CO||Keystone Resort||intermediate||lost control & hit a tree||blunt force trauma||Skier||60||M||Charlotte, NC||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1dV5lgV||http://rec-law.us/O6FJ9R|
|3/28||CO||Snowmass||Elk Camp Chairlift at the top of Sandy Park||collision with another skier that led to Cohen hitting a tree||multiple injuries||Skier||45||M||Cincinnati, OH||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1dHi0co||http://rec-law.us/1dHi0co|
|4/1||WY||Jackson Hole||Pair-a-Chutes ( The Parachutes)||collided with a tree||significant body trauma||Skier||31||M||Jackson Hole, WY & PA||http://rec-law.us/1dN158G||http://rec-law.us/1ebWibv|
|4/3||CO||Snowmass||Cirque Headwall||multiple chest injuries||Skier||47||M||Yes||http://rec-law.us/PyekPa||http://rec-law.us/1lA1H1g|
|4/6||CA||Northstar||Rail Splitter||Advanced||crashing into a tree||Skier||67||M||Van Nuys, CA||Yes||http://rec-law.us/1fWUnLK|
|4/6||NY||Lake Placid||Excelsior||lost control and struck a tree||Boarder||22||M||Canandaigua, NY||No||http://rec-law.us/PG1Hls||http://rec-law.us/1mUlNpW|
Our condolences go to the families of the deceased. Our thoughts extend to the families and staff at the areas who have to deal with these tragedies.
If you are unable to view the entire table click on the
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12000 Summer Camps in the US 7000 overnight camps. Do you have your child set to make great memories this summerPosted: February 18, 2014
Between attending as a camper and working as a staff member, my memories of summer camp are some of the greatest I have. Freedom for the summer, learning new things, seeing how long it will take government surplus peanut butter to fall out of a dish……great memories
6 Million kids attend summer camp each summer!
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Walton v. Oz Bicycle Club Of Wichita, 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17655 (Dist Kan 1991)
Eric Walton, Plaintiff, vs. Oz Bicycle Club Of Wichita, Defendant.
United States District Court For The District Of Kansas
1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17655
November 21, 1991, Decided
November 22, 1991, Filed
COUNSEL: PLAINTIFF COUNSEL: David P. Calvert, Focht, Hughey, Hund & Calvert, 807 North Waco, Suite 300, Wichita, KS 67203
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Don D. Gribble, II, Donald N. Peterson, II, Kahrs, Nelson, Fanning, Hite & Kellogg, 200 West Douglas, Suite 630, Wichita, KS 67202
OPINION BY: PATRICK F. KELLY
OPINION: Nearing the end of the sixth lap of the seven-lap bicycle race held in Hutchinson, Kansas on August 12, 1989, Eric Walton began to pull into the lead. Closely pursued by two other racers, Walton approached the intersection of Crazy Horse and Snokomo Streets. The course of the race required the racers traveling east on Crazy Horse to make a left turn at the intersection onto Snokomo.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Leaning into the turn at about 30 miles per hour, Walton cut the northwest corner of the intersection about two feet from the curb. Flying past the corner, Walton was able to see for the first time the car stopped at the stop sign at the intersection and which had been hidden by the crowd of spectators lining Crazy Horse. Walton turned to the right to avoid the car. His bike went off the roadway, striking the open door of the van owned by the race’s referee, Gaylen Medders. As a result of this accident, Walton sustained injuries which have formed the basis for the present action.
The defendant, Oz Bicycle Club of Wichita, Kansas, has moved for summary judgment on the claims advanced by Walton. Oz presents three arguments in support of its motion: (1) that the release signed by Walton bars the present action; (2) that Walton assumed the risk of the injuries received; and (3) that Oz assumed no duty of due care towards Walton.
[HN1] Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). [HN2] In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must examine all evidence in a light most favorable to the opposing party. McKenzie v. Mercy Hospital, 854 F.2d 365, 367 (10th Cir. 1988). [HN3] The party moving for summary judgment must demonstrate its entitlement to summary judgment beyond a reasonable doubt. Ellis v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., 754 F.2d 884, 885 (10th Cir. 1985). The moving party need not disprove plaintiff’s claim; it need only establish that the factual allegations have no legal significance. Dayton Hudson Corp. v. Macerich Real Estate Co., 812 F.2d 1319, 1323 (10th Cir. 1987).
[HN4] In resisting a motion for summary judgment, the opposing party may not rely upon mere allegations or denials contained in its pleadings or briefs. Rather, the nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing the presence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial and significant probative evidence supporting the allegation. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). Once the moving party has carried its burden under Rule 56(c), the party opposing summary judgment must do more than simply show there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. “In the language of the Rule, the nonmoving party must come forward with ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (emphasis in Matsushita). [HN5] One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses, and the rule should be interpreted in a way that allows it to accomplish this purpose. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986).
Walton was an employee of the Continental Cyclery Company in Hutchinson, Kansas, and participated in the race as a member of the Continental Cyclery team. An experienced racer, Walton had participated in 20 to 30 prior races, and had experienced two prior accidents while racing.
The August 12 race in Hutchinson was sponsored by Continental Cyclery, as well as a local pizzeria and mortuary. The race was conducted under the auspices of defendant Oz Bicycle Club of Wichita, which conducts periodic bicycle races as a part of its “Toto Racing Series.” For the August 12 race, local sponsors arranged for standby emergency medical and law enforcement services, planned the course of the race, and arranged for corner marshals along the route. Medders, the chairman of Oz, took participant applications, and served as the official and timer of the race.
Entrants in the race paid an $ 8.00 fee to Oz. In addition, entrants were required to sign a release. This release provides in part:
NOTICE: THIS ENTRY BLANK AND RELEASE FORM IS A CONTRACT WITH LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. READ IT CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING.
In consideration of the acceptance of my application for entry in the above event, I hereby freely agree to and make the following contractural [sic] representations and agreements.
I fully realize the dangers of participating in a bicycle race and fully assume the risks associated with such participation including, by way of example, and not limitation, the following: the dangers of collision with pedestrians, vehicles, other racers, and fixed or moving objects; the dangers arising from surface hazards, equipment failure, inadequate safety equipment, and weather conditions; and the possibility of serious physical and/or mental trauma or injury associated with athletic cycling competition.
I hereby waive, release and discharge for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, assigns, and successors in interest (hereinafter collectively “successors”) any and all rights and claims which I have or which may hereafter accrue to me against the sponsors of this event, the Oz Bicycle Club, the promoter and any promoting organization(s), property owners, law enforcement agencies, all public entities, special districts, and properties (and their respective agents, officials, and employees) through or by which the events will be held for any and all damages which may be sustained by me directly or indirectly in connection with, or arising out of, my participation in or association with the event, or travel to or return from the event.
Similar releases were contained in the registration forms for each of the 20 to 30 prior races in which Walton had participated. Walton was given an opportunity to read the release. Having read similar forms on prior occasions, Walton did not read this release. Walton was aware of what was in the release and understood its terms.
Walton’s participation in the race was not required. However, Walton voluntarily wished to enter the race and knew that signing the release was a requirement for participation. Walton recognized the dangers of participating in a bike race. Walton signed the release.
Prior to the start of the race, Medders had warned the participants that the course of the race was not closed to traffic, and during the course of the race Walton had encountered other cars on the course. However, as he cut the corner at the end of the sixth lap, Walton had not thought of the possibility of a car, hidden by the crowd, laying in his path on the other side of the intersection.
The status of the doctrine of assumption of risk is not clear under present Kansas law. In Shufelberger v. Worden, 189 Kan. 379, 385, 369 P.2d 382 (1962), the court indicated that the doctrine of assumption of risk was generally limited to situations involving an “employment relationship or [a] contractual relationship, express or implied.” By a process of slow osmosis, the Kansas Supreme Court has held most recently that the doctrine of assumption of risk is “limited to cases such as this where a master-servant relationship is involved.” Borth v. Borth, 221 Kan. 494, 499, 561 P.2d 408 (1977). To what extent this evolution, reflected in Smith v. Blakey, 213 Kan. 91, 101, 515 P.2d 1062 (1973); Ballhorst v. Hahner-Forman-Cale, Inc., 207 Kan. 89, 484 P.2d 38 (1971); Perry v. Schmitt, 184 Kan. 758, 339 P.2d 36 (1959); George v. Beggs, 1 Kan.App.2d 356 Syl para. 1, 564 P.2d 593 (1977), is the result of an intentional, conscious modification of the law is uncertain. At no time have the state courts considered the impact of the adoption of comparative fault in relation to the continued validity of the doctrine of assumption of risk. But it is unnecessary to resolve the issue of assumption of risk here, since the court finds that the release signed by Walton is a valid exculpatory agreement which bars the present action.
In his brief in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, Walton presents several arguments in opposition to the application of the release agreement. Walton contends that the agreement reflects “overreaching” by the defendant, and cites the long list of persons protected by the agreement, including property owners in the area, law enforcement officers, and all public entities. This argument might be considered if the defendant were such a party, unconnected with either the race or the release agreement. Here, however, Oz is the bicycle club which helped to organize the race, took the applications of participants, and required the release agreements to be signed by those participants. In inserted, typed language, the agreement specifically lists “Oz Bicycle Club” as one of the parties protected by the release agreement.
Citing several Kansas cases, Walton contends that the law does not favor exculpatory agreements. This is certainly correct. But the cases cited by Walton merely establish that such agreements are disfavored and therefore are to be strictly construed. They do not establish that exculpatory agreements are inherently void as contrary to law. Mid-America Sprayers, Inc., v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 8 Kan.App.2d 451, 660 P.2d 1380 (1979).
It is correct, as Walton notes, that exculpatory agreements are void where they are contrary to established public interests. Hunter v. American Rentals, 189 Kan. 615, 371 P.2d 131 (1962); In re Estate of Shirk, 186 Kan. 311, 350 P.2d 1 (1960). Yet, despite this suggestion, Walton does not attempt to explain how bicycle racing affects important and established public interests.
The position advanced by Walton has been expressly rejected elsewhere. [HN6] Voluntary sporting competitions are not matters of important public interest, as that term is used in considering which matters may not be the subject of exculpatory agreements. “There is no compelling public interest in facilitating sponsorship and organization of the leisure activity of bicycle racing for public participation.” Okura v. United States Cycling Fed., 186 Cal.App.3d 1462, 231 Cal. Rptr. 429 (1986). See also Dobratz v. Thomson, 161 Wis.2d 502, 468 N.W.2d 654 (1991) (water skiing); Barnes v. Birmingham Intern. Raceway, Inc., 551 So.2d 929 (Ala. 1989) (automobile racing); Milligan v. Big Valley Corp., 754 P.2d 1063 (Wyo. 1988) (downhill skiing); Boehm v. Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, 748 P.2d 704 (Wyo. 1987) (mock gunfight conducted by gun club); McAtee v. Newhall Land & Farming, 169 Cal.App.3d 1031, 216 Cal.Rptr. 465 (1985) (motorcross racing); Hulsey v. Elsinore Parachute Center, 168 Cal.App.3d 333, 214 Cal.Rptr. 194 (1985) (sky diving); Williams v. Cox Enternrises, Inc., 159 Ga.App. 333, 283 S.E.2d 367 (1981) (10,000 meter foot race). Even the fact that a participant considers the sport to be more than a “hobby” and hopes to someday participate at an Olympic level, will not raise the matter to a compelling public interest. Buchan v. U.S. Cycling Fed., 227 Cal. App.3d 134, 277 Cal. Rptr. 887 (1991).
Walton also argues that the danger herein — an automobile on the course of the race — was not a hazard normally associated with bicycle competitions, and cites the decision of the California Court of Appeals in Bennett v. United States Cycling Fed., 193 Cal.App.3d 1485, 239 Cal. Rptr. 55 (1987), in which the court found that an automobile’s presence on the course of the raceway was found to be a risk not normally associated with bicycle racing, and therefore not within the contemplation of an exculpatory agreement signed by the plaintiff. Unlike Bennett, where the bicycle race involved a “closed race” in which automobiles were not to be permitted on the raceway, the uncontradicted facts herein establish that the presence of automobiles on the course of the Toto race in Hutchinson was not unknown to the participants. Rather, the fact that the course was open to normal traffic was explicitly made known to the participants. Under the factual background of the case, there is no basis for the contention that the plaintiff could not or should not have anticipated the presence of automobiles on the raceway as a danger reflected in the release agreement.
[HN7] Although exculpatory agreements have an inherent potential for abuse and overreaching, and hence are subjected to close scrutiny by the courts, these agreements have a vital role to play in allowing the individual to participate in activities of his own choice. If the individual has entered into an exculpatory clause freely and knowingly, and the application of the clause violates no aspect of fundamental public policy, the individual’s free choice must be respected. Here, public policy supports, rather than detracts from, the application of the exculpatory clause. “Unless courts are willing to dismiss such actions without trial, many popular and lawful recreational activities are destined for extinction.” Buchan, 227 Cal.App.3d at 147.
IT IS ACCORDINGLY ORDERED this 21 day of November, 1991, that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 35) is hereby granted.
PATRICK F. KELLY, JUDGE