Yes - there is a bit of "OMG - they make no money" and then there's a bit of "tipping" for the show. We love these guys and gals and we see them almost as often as we see our own families. We bump into them in the parking lot and try to find ways to help out where we can.
For a couple of hours I get to see some of the best athletes in this sport slog around the course. I get to be inches away from them and cheer/heckle for them. Then I get to see their faces light up as they reach for a dollar, or $5 or $20 (Yeah, Hartley!), or watch them crack a smile when a good heckle lands and is heard.
As an industry business owner, team owner, sponsor, multi-event promoter, "racer" (OK I ride with a number on), and enthusiast for this sport I make no apologies. In fact I feel sorry for those that don't get to race in front of people like us.
"Hey Bart....you got something right 'heeeeeerrrrrreeee'!!!!!!!!!!!!"