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.
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.