Here's my analysis.
Who Responded: Old Cat 3s.Maryland, DC, Delaware, and Virginia have 1217 registered bike racers in the men's categories (and about 140 in the women's categories). **
For the men, our largest categories are 3 and 4. By far, most bike racers are not elite. In fact, there are more registered category 4 racers than categories 2 and 3 combined.
This is our population--the folks whose opinions matter in this discussion. A perfect survey would have had 1217 responses (and made a place for the responses of women bike racers in MABRA).
Clearly, our survey fell a bit short of the 1217--about 133 people responded.*
This is only a problem if our respondents are not representative of MABRA in all the important ways. Unfortunately, our responders are not typical MABRA bike racers. The graph above (the population of MABRA) should look as close as possible to the graph below (our sample) showing the categories who answered our question.
Percentage of riders in Category who took survey:
Category 1: 24.1%
Category 2: 16.3%
Category 3: 12.3%
Category 4: 4.4%
Category 5: 1.6%
The results of this survey, then, are skewed toward the upper category riders. We may want to weight their opinions more; after all, they're the ones who race most. On the other hand, the Orwellian phrase--some "being more equal than others"--leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
If we're awarding extra weight, we should probably think of juniors, since they're the future of the sport. Unfortunately, the results are skewed toward masters racers. 60% of respondents were masters racers; only 2%*** were juniors.
Another interesting trend in this sample--81% of respondents have been racing for 3 or more years. Not very many new racers answered the survey. This again suggests that the results may be skewed toward the more dedicated, older racer--not a bad thing, necessarily.
On the whole, however, 8% of MABRA responded. While it might not be fit for advanced econometrics, it does still give us a good idea what our community believes and wants.
So, what do we think about drugs and drug testing?
Are we using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)?
Almost all of us (94%) believe PED use is rare; only 1 person thought it was common at all levels.
Who should we test?Four folks thought there should be no testing, but almost everyone agreed pros and elites should be tested--in fact, they barely distinguished between them, (with only a 2% difference).
What are potential concerns about testing?Almost everyone cited some concerns with testing. The largest concern was a false positive--about 3/4 of respondents cited it as a reservation. On the other hand, 1/4 of responders had no concerns.
What are potential benefits of local testing?Just as most cited concerns with testing, most all noted benefits. This suggests that most people checked both--we see testing as a complicated issue with potential benefits and drawbacks. A significant chunk--13%--did not cite a single benefit in testing.
We don't think doping is common in MABRA, but most of us are in favor of some kind of testing. However, very few of us wish to test novice racers, and we are concerned about false positives, about cost, and a number of other things. Almost all of us see deterrence as a big reason for instituting more local testing, and no one is hoping races will slow down as a result of this.
Clearly, we all have swinging brass ones. Congratulate yourself on that.
To those who took the survey, thanks.
In my next post I hope to address important questions: do elite and novice racers have different opinions about testing and drug? does being in the sport longer correlate with a desire for more or less testing?
- Survey Monkey (SM) charges money to process more than 100 responses;
- SM charges money to send a spreadsheet or CSV or any other useful format of answers;
- SM charges money charges money to share results with others;
- SM does not allow a single month membership (at $17); instead, it bills you $204.
So, the bad news is that I don't have a handy link to send you to a site with beautiful graphs and charts, and that the last 33 respondents will have to be ignored. I'm sorry.
** One of the failings of my survey was a failure to distinguish the sexes, but I wanted to keep the questions at a minimum. Also, I we may all be sexist idiots when it comes to women and doping.
***I added this question (on juniors), which explains why 20 skipped it.