Discussion Room

We’ve noticed everyone has taken a liking to talking about the race. So we’re giving you a place to do that, and just that.

Feel free to use this area to discuss anything and everything about the Little 500 — Qualifications, Spring Series, the race itself.

Please, no character attacks. Trash-talking is great, but slandering people isn’t. Let’s keep it clean. Or your post will be deleted.



1,913 thoughts on “Discussion Room

  1. After a competitive Fall, its a good time to revisit the good ole’ power rankings.

    1a/1b. Cutters / BKB
    2. Phi Psi
    3. Nicks
    4. Jetblach
    5. Fiji
    6. Gray Goat / Bears
    7. 3PH

    Based on Summer/Fall results, work ethic, and culture.

      • Not a hater, just early predictions. Beta sig riding a lot of miles, phi Delt has fast legs in Curtis if his team can get him there, sigep has the talent to get to the last lap but needs to decide who their finisher should be, strong underclassmen in that program.
        SAE is another interesting program, If Rob can make it to the last lap, he can definitely make it competitive

      • @Astute Observer by SAE is interesting do you mean they are a damn mystery? Always good for a top 10 finish but nobody knows how

  2. Before anything can change we need a race director that can actually do their job. Cancelled events, lack of advertising, and what seems like an attempt to discourage growth in the community cannot be acceptable if the race is to continue. Want a more competitive Women’s field? Want less cancelled event? Want the races to be better attended? Find a race director that actually cares!

    • Little 500 requires a race director with burning passion. Its unfortunate that this RD’s competence is a debatable issue and that she has exhibited zero passion for race, the riders or for IU.

  3. Why is the Little 500 declining in attendance and riders? Look no further than Andrea Balzano and Tara Vickers. From seeing what has happened to the race as an alumni, its sad to see the people who were appointed to lead the race, are really just a bunch of self-absorbed people only worried about themselves and their career. The race is not what it use to be.

    • IF there is a decline in attendance and participation its largely caused by the decline of IU’s greek houses over the last decade or more. Please correct me if I am wrong but if we exclude Cutters (Delta Chi) only the Greek houses have histories stretching back more than 20 years at IU. With decades of existence comes institutional support. A greek house brings many more fans to the race than the average independent team – alums and their families, families of the riders as well as current house members. A house permanently kicked off campus results in a loss of more than a hundred fans in addition to removing a year in and year out team.

      • You make a good point. But your institutional support reason doesn’t hold up. For example, two years ago Acacia, a team that sits 2nd in the overall Little 500 standings, had virtually no students in the stands on race day. This past year, their stands were full. I asked a friend there what happened. He said that the house paid for the tickets and for a bus to take them from 3rd street to the track. In the recent past, sororities told their pledge class that they needed to have a team so they could get a Little 5 pair. Or another house that has an incredible L5 history and had to fine their members to get them to attend.
        And when Mom, Dad, younger brother and sister come to the race. It is $190.00 to get in. OK, if they have a Subaru they get special parking! My roommate Jim just reminded me that there are actually more security people there than riders. I’ll bet that Tara and Andrea are testing excuses right now for why the men’s field won’t be filled. $20.00 says they’ll blame Tom. Jim said, make in $50.00

  4. Andrea does a good job and 90 percent of people who comment about her performance are likely many years removed from the race and hearing incomplete accounts of what is currently happening with the track. It sucks but the weather can’t be helped and IUSF is actively finding a solution to dig up past cinders or even add in a common substitute currently used for classic “cinder” track and field tracks.

    As far as her take on rules I’d have to agree we have to draw some lines in the sand regarding safety, enforcement of eligibility rules, etc. we have rules for a reason and the appeals process does a fair job allowing for special case exceptions.

    The job of race director is stressful, often thankless, but I imagine incredibly rewarding for the avid Little 500 fans that have served the role. That being said, I think Luke T would make a great race director

    • “Stefan A. Smith, Only get one, Astute Observer, Snu Rat, The Truth, An RC member, Mr. Obvious, Perpetual Good Guy” (I have a reply for each of you)

      1. OK, which name is on your RC jacket? (Or is this just YOU, Andrea?)
      2. I can assure you that 90% of the people posting here are more informed than you are.
      3. Andrea is a low functioning Sociopath.
      4. I believe there will be another post on your “cinders” comment.
      5. Andrea is unparalleled when it comes to drawing lines in the sand. She does it at low tide. The tide rises covers the rule and when it goes out again, NO RULE! She just makes a new one up.
      6. And seriously lines in the sand for safety. I’m still trying to get my head around rider resources that have the Concussion Clinic and the Disability Student Services you should at least add Student Legal Services. (812) 855-7867
      7. The appeals process is very good, of course Andrea’s rules cannot be appealed. And the “implied rules” she dreams up are so vague she can and DOES whatever she wants. And how about the Riders Manual. Supposed to be done in August, then she said October, last word was the end of the semester. I could print that manual in one page, it would say: “Whatever Andrea says, will be considered a long standing rule and cannot be appealed. EVER!”
      8. Yes it is incredibly rewarding for the RD, the riders… Not so much. (And in most cases, not at all). At the next RC meeting ask her how rewarding it was to cancel ITT’s or the Alumni panel. Take a look at the Fall Calendar. If you don’t count the appeals dates 44% of the fall rider activities were cancelled. Thanks! Andrea!!! (Now do you feel better? We don’t.)

    • Clinical Assessment of Andrea – Dunning-Kruger Effect

      The Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence. The combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their own capabilities.

      The term lends a scientific name and explanation to a problem that many people immediately recognize—that fools are blind to their own foolishness. As Charles Darwin wrote in his book The Descent of Man, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

  5. While we lost axs tv under JB, and the track started going down hill toward the end of his tenure at least he actually managed to have some events in the fall. #fireAB

  6. When are we gonna get a new race director? Yeesh it’s long overdue and this year proves it. How unprofessional can one be by canceling an alumni panel event at during the day of the actual event for no reason? The track is absolute crap and was mismanaged all summer? Andrea is making Jordan bailey’s losing AXS TV like nothing… chances she doesn’t have the track ready in time for the race? Pretty high.

  7. In 2016 IUF/IUSF started to look at serious track maintenance. The cinders were below the edge of the drain, like they are now, so drainage was a huge problem. They looked at a couple of alternatives but not cinders. I had been told, by a Riders Council member, that Bailey said that “Obama no longer permitted cinders”. I commented that I doubted that the President would be working at that level of detail. I decided to see if Coal Ash (cinders) were indeed banned from being used as it is for Little 500. I was finally able to locate a document by Thomas Easterly, the Commissioner of the Indiana EPA that dispels that idea. It states:

    “Coal Ash is Non-Hazardous. As an initial point, I express agreement with EPA’s finding that coal ash is not a hazardous waste, and that coal ash can be safely and beneficially reused.”

    “EPA’s determination to regulate coal ash as a solid waste ensures that important coal ash reuses will continue, such as in concrete, road bed fill, wallboard, and other uses.”

    I was told by the EPA that coal plants have so much of this stuff, they would give it to IU and even deliver it for free. I mentioned that to IUSF but no one was interested. Note, the cinders for the original track came from the IU Power Plant west of the business school.

    Bailey and John Wilhite from IUF went to New Jersey to look at an alternative surface; clay. The company was Beam Clay (http://beamclay.com/product_brochures/view_photos.pdf). The website talks about changing cinder tracks to clay. But remember, Little 5 is not running, it is bike racing. They set up a straight “track” so Jordan could test the bike he brought with him. I was told that the tests went well. I had three concerns however, about the surface and the maintenance.

    1. The surface was to be clay. Similar to baseball diamond use. (Note: There are 5 different types of clay used in a baseball diamond). When clay gets wet, it gets slippery. That is obviously a problem.
    2. At a baseball game when it stars raining, they tarp the field. Among other reasons, to keep the clay dry. I imagined IUSF having to tarp the track, that’s a big tarp. I was also told by a grounds person at Wrigley Field that baseball diamond clay is a very high maintenance surface.
    3. Finally was the price. I calculated the price just of the clay. Not the prep or shipping or anything else. For a 3 inch deep surface based on their costs on their website, the clay alone was going to be between 1/3 and 1/2 a million dollars. And I believed that 3 inches was not going to be enough, given exchange ruts. 5 to 6 inches would be necessary.

    In the end, Physical Plant (Darren) were able to take the cinders that had accumulated up along the fence and move that to the gutter and it was a one-time solution that worked quite nicely.

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