USA Cycling Modifies License Fees: One License for All Disciplines, Higher One Day Fees

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Patterson keeps a hard-earned 2 dollar bill. © David Mable

Racing is getting so pricey, this is the best way for racers to recoup losses! Patterson keeps a hard-earned 2 dollar bill. © David Mable

Last week, USA Cycling license holders were informed of a new policy: rather than buying separate licenses for road or MTB and then having to add licenses as your year went on and you decided to try new things, starting in 2014, USA Cycling license holders will have a simpler task: purchasing a single license for all disciplines (except BMX). In addition, the cost of a one-day license for new racers has risen by $5 for any discipline ( from $5 to $10 for MTB, $10 to $15 for road and ’cross). For you two-discipline cyclocross/roadies and cyclocross/MTBers, this means a $10 increase to your license, since you can currently race ’cross with a road or MTB license. For three-discipline racers (really anyone who wants to mix mountain biking and road or track), it means saving $20 since you don’t have to buy two licenses ($60 plus a $30 add-on for the second license).

This brings up two questions: Does raising the one-day fee by $5 hurt new racers who may be leery of the high cost of entry and trying the sport? Secondly, does it makes sense to pay more for the annual license if you’re not planning to race multiple disciplines? And for the multi-discipline folks out there: does it make sense that you save money, potentially at the expense of more people trying the sport?

 

From USA Cycling:

Beginning in 2014, USA Cycling will consolidate domestic road, track, cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing licenses into a single domestic racing license that will now allow you to compete in any cycling discipline (except BMX). The move to a one-license model replaces the discipline-specific licenses for road, track, cyclo-cross and mountain bike, and will simplify and streamline the licensing process as well as the on-site event registration and check-in process. The new license model also means that you will no longer need to purchase an additional license or a one-day license in order to compete across disciplines (a one-day trial membership is still required for non-members).

The cost of the new annual domestic racing license will be $70 and will represent a savings for our many members who held multiple-discipline licenses in the past. It will also be the first change in license fees implemented by USA Cycling in 10 years.

For non-members, the cost of a one-day trial membership for road, track and cyclo-cross will increase to $15 in 2014 [Ed. Note: a $5 increase]. The cost of a one-day trial membership for mountain bike will increase to $10 and will be required for anyone without an annual license who wishes to enter Cat 2 and 3 mountain bike races. The cost of a one-day trial membership can be applied toward the purchase of an annual license.

Feedback from a recent USA Cycling membership survey revealed that many of you currently enjoy riding in several different disciplines, and the majority of you would like to race in multiple disciplines. As a result, this move to one license better reflects the makeup of our current cycling community that is multi-disciplined and not as compartmentalized as in the past. We also believe this change will encourage more of you to try new events and enjoy the thrill of racing even more. [Ed. note: Cyclocross is unique in that it accepts both road and mountain bike licenses, so a racer would have to participate in three disciplines including cyclocross to save money.]

Lastly, a public service announcement reminding you ’crossers heading to Nationals to renew your licenses before your race!

As a final reminder, all riders must have a 2014 USA Cycling annual license to compete in any championship race at the Cyclo-cross National Championships. 2014 licenses will go on sale on Dec. 1 and you may register for the event prior to Dec. 1 ONLY if you have a 2013 annual racing license. If you don’t have a 2013 annual racing license, you can register after purchasing your 2014 license on Dec 1.

Do you think the new combined license and increase in Day-Of licenses from USAC is good for cyclists?

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We want to know what you think about the change: Are you happy about the multi-discipline license? How do you feel about the increase in one-day fees (bearing in mind that the cost can be applied to a license if you decide to purchase the annual license)? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, in the comments here.

 

 

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77 comments
CarlosFlanders
CarlosFlanders

Here's a real example: Local Grassroots race. Just trying to break even. 80 racers, 68 unique. 35 one-days. Subsequently, 8 or 9 of the one-days bought licenses. That means that USAC got fees of $950 out of this race - (I'm adding $400 extra for the licenses that USAC wouldn't have got if the race hadn't introduced the riders to cx).


The one day riders paid $40 ($30+$10) for either a 30 or 40 minute race, plus online reg fee ($3) or $5 late fee. With the new increase, new riders could be looking at  $48-50 for a 30 minute race next year. My guess is that that's too much and the race will get fewer first timers, lose money and the promoters will give up. USAC will lose out on possible revenue form the new riders who go on to  buy licenses and race future events. Bad for the sport all round.

zenbiking
zenbiking

@marcthollander One day fee is up, but only if you want to race cat 2 or 3. I still think it’s a bad idea though.

WaynePignolet
WaynePignolet

Raising the one day license is stupid. We have promoted half a dozen Cx races and non-licensed riders say consistently that the cost of trying Cx is too high. $25 for the race, plus now $15 for a one day and for our series $5 for a number means they are paying $45 for a 30 minute race. Hard to sell that.

craigmacintyre
craigmacintyre

USAC once again has packaged a money grab as a good idea!  While it will save me some money, in general it will drive more people away from the sport.  I would actually prefer to see a base license fee good for all disciplines and then a per race add-on.  That way I pay, say $25, for my license and then a $3 per race add-on.  If I race more it costs more than the current fee BUT if I am injured, derailed, etc then I get to keep my license and only pay for what I am using.  Similarly, it is easier to sell a year license to a newb if the cost of entry is low enough and the variable expense of use is directly correlated to actual use!!!

ILe Powell
ILe Powell

Say what ya will folks, OBRA is a mere 25$ for for every discipline for the whole season. Track, road, MTB, cross, downhill one license 25 bucks... I'm doing a USAC double race this weekend, way too expensive! I could do 2 or 3 double races back West for the same amount of money. My case in point...

Sean Wittmer
Sean Wittmer

The combined license should have happened a long time ago. I'll let the rest of you discuss the fee issue. However, what do WE get from our $70 license! We are a bunch of weekend racers. Most over 30. Why do we need a national sanctioning body? If I'm paying $70 for a license, I WANT that money going towards 'cross programs. If most of you are like me and only get a license to race 'cross then why can't we have our fees support it? I would love to see my $70 support a Euro based US U23 team. I don't feel I should be supplementing the Olympic disciplines. If we are buying a license, then we should be able send a percentage to the discipline of our choice.

Brad Hayes
Brad Hayes

Works great for me and my son, we plan on racing Road, MTB and CX this year, so it's savings for us.

Billy Wherley
Billy Wherley

So psyched I moved to Oregon! OBRA is pretty sweet and much more reasonable. It is ridiculous that I can't participate in an USAC event without dropping 70 bucks now (plus race fees).

briscoelab
briscoelab

I think the combined license is great. But, then again, I race road, MTB, and CX. Shelling out $90 to be able to do that sucked. I think the very slight increase in overall fee is acceptable. Most of us are riding around on $120 tires for crying out loud... $10 is nothing. 

That said, the increased 1 day fees are total BS. USAC is going to be brining in a TON more money by charging all the roadies, who don't MTB, the extra $10 than they ever did on the extra $30 made from the minority racing road and MTB. That part is a total money grab and will hurt participation of new racers. 

Jody Prummer
Jody Prummer

I only buy a road license and now that is going to cost more next year. I think that sucks!!! Long live OBRA a true every person organization.

Sam Hammerdown Redden III
Sam Hammerdown Redden III

Promoters love when folks pre-register, to pre-register you must have a license. Get curious about racing, buy license, go racing, have fun, repeat! Let's see a road race every weekend from February to September in every state!

David Bussey
David Bussey

the fees in this case dont go to the promoter they go to the organization issuing the license. your payment to the promoter "race fees" are separate. the single day would cover the race curious as well as the licensed that forgot their card and cant produce a copy on their phone etc.

Tony Welborn
Tony Welborn

There are typically 1 or 2 CX races in your region geared toward first timers. They include discounted entries to cover the one day license fee. You have to look for them.

Chris Arndt
Chris Arndt

Makes sense. USAC members said they wanted one license for everything with one fee instead of the old structure and they gave it to us. Pretty responsive in my opinion. If you are racing more than four times on a one-day license you should just buy a license and help grow the sport. Not sure if anyone has checked out the prices of some of these "Mud Runs," but the extra $15 plus entry fees put it right in line with an event like that. Tough Mudder, etc... have no problem getting 1,000 people to shell out $45 to do one race. Not to mention unsanctioned MTB races such as the NUE Series are costing around $150 per race. If you can't stomach the extra $5 and you like sandbagging the Cat 5 races that much then unsanctioned open events might be more for you anyway.

Jason Karew
Jason Karew

Why not just buy a license that pays for itself in 7 events?

Larry Everett
Larry Everett

We got a Goddamned SS Lazio fan here?!??! Emphasis on the SS...

Sam Hammerdown Redden III
Sam Hammerdown Redden III

I think most people who are complaining about the slight increase have no idea how difficult it is for promoters to have races. For a $10 increase and total of $70 you can race as much as you want instead of paying higher one day fees? You have to pay to play in every sport.Less complaining and more racing!

Kurt Desautels
Kurt Desautels

Pay-to-Play is a tough model when you're making a concerted effort to bring new people to the sport.

Ryan Allen
Ryan Allen

I was in a bad wreck at an unsanctioned race. The promoter's insurance (same McKay / Silentsports thing that Steve Vigneau mentioned) has been difficult to deal with. Actually, they kinda suck. As far as license fees go USAC is dirt cheap compared to my other professional memberships. Unsanctioned races are chock full of sandbaggers and sketchball riders. You can have 'em!

Steve Vigneau
Steve Vigneau

The reason I haven't done any of our local CX races this year is pretty much the cost. They are USAC events, but being a non-licensed person I'd have to pay race entry ($30) plus day-of license ($10), meaning that I'm paying $40 for doing a 30-minute CAT5 race. It just doesn't seem worth it.

Steve Vigneau
Steve Vigneau

Craig: This is who we (CRAMBA-IMBA) use when putting on our fundraiser race, the Addison Oaks Fall Classic: www.silentsportsinsurance.com We are NOT a USAC race, and I've seen nothing to convince me that USAC would be a benefit to us as a promoter. If the USAC switched things around to make it worth being a licensed event then we'd consider switching, but I think it'd take a LOT.

dypeterc
dypeterc

@cyclocross is this better/more attractive for promoters? I wouldn’t mind having an all-encompassing license and cheaper all-round reg fees

Phil Canning
Phil Canning

I get Sooo much more out of non-usac endurance mtb and cx events than any of these 40 minute usac sprint- fests. Plus, my perception is some of the usac officials have this off-putting elitists attitudes. Ill stay with grass root events.

Andy  di Michele
Andy di Michele

o well, to get my value, i guess i'll start doing crits...;)

Craig Schmidt
Craig Schmidt

most of us have insurance. now if we can just find an insurance friendly company for promoters. who needs usa cycling? I've been to many non-usa cycling events that are head and shoulders above usa cycling events. some are even free, people donate, by tshirts and prints to support the event. none of them are about money and are about the community....people who ride, promoters who put them on, towns who support them. GRASSROOTS.

Ryan Rickerts
Ryan Rickerts

They're still clueless why there are major unsanctioned races & series sustaining non-license buyers through several disciplines & seasons, making the 'package deal' a joke.

Kevin Hinton
Kevin Hinton

I think my non USAC and my Free to all races will continue to be un affected

Are Tee
Are Tee

USAC is not an insurance company...just a conduit to insurance which they charge the promoters a premium in order to make money on the events insurance and permitting.

Beth Boston Gearhart
Beth Boston Gearhart

The insurance really only helps if you don't have any other insurance. I have my own private insurance so USAC didn't pay anything when I crashed and broke my wrist.

muddymike
muddymike

Track, Road, and Cross were ALL covered by a single license before. You could also combine Cross and MTB if you wanted. This only helps the very small percentage that wanted to mix MTB and a paved (road, track) discipline. Since those seasons run concurrent, not many choose to do so. 

This is basically a $10 license fee increase for most license holders. 


cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

@zenbiking @marcthollander it's up for all one day licenses. the cat 2 or 3 is for mtb categories, meaning you can't race cat 1 on a one day. 

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

@Sam Hammerdown Redden III It's true there's a cost to everything. The one day fees impact people curious about trying the sport, and the ones who are casual participants. Not that USAC needs to serve those people over their current members, but it's a tough balance.

cyclocross
cyclocross

@dypeterc the reg fees don't seem to be impacted, and if race/promoter fees went down, not guaranteed to be passed down to racers.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

@muddymike Right, that's what we said here too just a few minutes prior: http://fyre.it/cvQGUo.4 basically fat tires plus skinny tires, since cx can be done with either license in 2013.  We think that's the confusing part of the press release talking about multiple disciplines. Many race multiple disciplines, as the survey suggests, but we're curious what percent will save money under this plan. There's a good spreadsheet behind all this for sure, but we have no problem with prices changing over time...that's just life and inflation in general. The question is who should pay more if costs go up. 


dypeterc
dypeterc

@mtbwrx depends on the support and quality of the race. I’m not too keen on $25 for 30 min of racing

cyclocross
cyclocross

@dypeterc it clearly helps some racers, by saving them $20. but the point could simply being trying to balance budgets via more revenue.

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