Having raced in four states, every state not yet doing it needs to create an OBRA or ABA-similar organization and kick USAC to the curb. Since last racing in NorCal in 2005, I've not purchased a USAC license, nor will I until I'm forced to in order to participate in an event. I don't have much use for the way USAC runs or what contribution (or lack of) they're currently making to the sport. State organizations could create a baseline code and rules that would easily be superior to USAC.
Breaking News: USAC Passes Emergency Singlespeed Legislation, Votes Down Junior Equipment Restrictions
This past weekend USA Cycling voted on a handful of proposed rules that could impact cyclocross racing here in the States. The topics and short notice of the upcoming vote caused quite a stir, with racers expressing concerns about banning carbon rims and tubular and tubeless tires for juniors, limiting who gets to race singlespeed in Bend, whether helmet-mounted cameras and visors are unsafe and when and where lapped riders should be pulled (see both the comments on our news story and our cowbell forums).
USA Cycling’s technical director Shawn Farrell told Cyclocross Magazine this morning that the emergency singlespeed legislation has passed, meaning that the singlespeed race at the 2010 National Championships in Bend, Oregon, will be a title race for both men and women. Farrell was unclear at the moment whether the restrictions on which categories are allowed to race was passed as part of the legislation. Currently race registration for the event allows Cat 1-3 men to register (previous singlespeed events at Nationals were non-title races and were open to all categories), and Western Regional Representative Tom Simonson told Cyclocross Magazine last week before the vote that the additional category restrictions to limit the event to Cat 1-2 men and Cat 1-3 women were unlikely to be passed because registration was already open. [Update: Tom Simonson has confirmed the singlespeed category will be open for Cat 1-3 Men and Women]
Farrell also said that the proposal to limit Junior wheel and tires was voted down, allowing riders to continue to use any equipment allowed for Elite racers (although gear restrictions still apply). The proposed rule, as written, would have banned not only composite rims but tubular and tubeless tires.
The controversial helmet camera and visor rule was not passed either, as it was withdrawn before a vote was held.
Stay tuned for all the latest USAC cyclocross rule change news from Cyclocross Magazine.
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BULLSHIT. USAC can F up a wet dream. Ill never buy another USAC licence again. They're so bad at this they actually make me miss NORBA.
I think this begs the larger and more serious discussion of growth and the size of start fields. If we are serious about "growing the sport", what does that mean, and what do we want the growth to look like? Ultimately, if 'cross continues to grow in popularity, we will be forced to make difficult decision about Who Gets To Race -- and not only at the national level, if you're paying attention to start fields at Cross Crusade. Opening day at Crusade this year saw over 1,700 participants in all categories -- at a one-day event!
I am happy to be able to participate in my local series, but if it keeps growing this way, the time may come when I may be excluded (for racing in too low a category, or for being too slow to pass a qualifier heat). When that happens in my local series I'll pissed. How many other racers will feel the same way if and when it happens to them?
Is the purpose of bicycle racing to promote health and fitness, and to encourage a friendly-but-competitive spirit among participants of all ageas and skill levels? Or is it to grow more elite athletes who can represent the USA at international events where large purses are at stake? Can USA Cycling promote both kids of racing and manage the growth carefully and sustainably? Does it even want to promote both kinds of racing? And how big can cyclocross get before it gets TOO big?
These are the questions that cyclocross racers, promoters and officials need to be asking.
great. singlespeed, just about the most inclusive/welcoming category out there, gets new, exclusionary rules for nats. one year in oregon with a big field, and this is our reward. worth it for a national title and jersey? i dunno, i aint gonna win it - but this news makes me sad.
Another way to think about this...As this is about 'racing' it does assume that you're out there to A) try to win B) do your best to win C) progress within the ranks, i.e., move up in category. As a 'race' it does not assume that you sit in the lowest category and come out to just have fun and drink beers! (not that everyone does this - just an extreme example).
The challenge is that if you don't work to progress in the categories, the lower categories get completely swelled with participants and the upper categories stay thinner (in comparison). It's a balance that's needed to keep the sport moving along. Just an opinion!
What happens to those racers who, for whatever reasons, do not "progress" according to schedule?
Races with huge start fields (1,700 participants at Alpenrose this year!) are obviously doing a good job of bringing people into the sport; but if regulations eventually begin to shut out the back-of-the-pack stalwarts even as we try to welcome them with open arms, then the organizers and officials of the sport are sending a mixed message that doesn't serve anyone.
Is racing mostly for the development and encouragement of the fast rider? Will there always be room for the folks who "come out just to have fun and drink beers"? Can there be room for both, and if the sport continues to grow what will it look like? Will we eventually need to have separate or multi-day events to give the elite racers a little more elbow room? We're not all prime physical specimens but we all want to enjoy racing -- and we all pay for the chance to do so.
Perhaps I'm looking a little too far down the road, but this scenario of continued growth has potential to upset a lot of racers if the discussion doesn't begin now.
of course, for most of us racing singlespeed, theres nothing to cat up to or down from. the whole category system, and thus, your point, just wasnt even relevant to our races until this "emergency" ruling, and really only remains relevant at nats.
singlespeed has always just been its own category, separate from a/b/c or 1/2/3 or whatever. trying to win, doing your best to win, and progressing within the ranks, to a singlespeeder, basically all mean the same thing - finishing higher in the singlespeed category.
I agree with Grumpi...my goals in racing, are exactly the "A", "B", and "C" items that he describes above.
I'm glad that this legislations has passed for singlespeed. As a Cat 2 single speeder who 'tries' to be competitive, I think it brings a bit more legitimacy and credibility to the category. Which I'm glad to see. I don't think it will lose any of the "fun" associated with the category as all. None of my local races are held under USAC regs anyway (ok, maybe 1 or 2 of them are), so far the vast majority of singlespeeders I don't think this legislation will have much of an effect on them locally.
Maybe where you all live SS has a category of its own. Where I live there has never been a SS cat in CX and I doubt there ever will be one, yet here we exist and race very competitively among the geared cat 1/2/3's. It's what we have so there are no complaints except from the geared guys when they get beat by SS. The recent legislation totally legitimizes SSCX for those of us that race competitively vs. goofiness.
"singlespeed has always just been its own category, separate from a/b/c or 1/2/3 or whatever. trying to win, doing your best to win, and progressing within the ranks, to a singlespeeder, basically all mean the same thing - finishing higher in the singlespeed category"
True^^ for the most part...but there are singlespeeders out there who compare their own lap times (my race series uses chip timing so you can everyone's lap times and total time) against the geared riders in the A/B/C divisions...and then once they are able to, move out of the singlespeed category and compete in the faster geared category (typicaly A near me as the singlespeed field in my neck of the woods is faster than B's usually) and try to hold their own.
Finishing higher and higher in the singlespeed group is a good goal. But once you reach a point where you are consistently podiuming or winning your singlespeed group...it's time to race in the A's...on your singlespeed.
Got confirmation from USAC that non USAC races never count for upgrades - so technically, especially for folks who focus mostly on cyclocross (no road and mtb categories to help), they will need to find some USAC races to compete in to get an upgrade. The trickier part is how to get upgrade points for a non-categorized USAC singlespeed race. Stay tuned for more details on that.
Good points. I agree...I'm based in NorCal (Sacto area) and realize that i would be difficult for SS'ers to get points. I was only able to upgrade to CX Cat 2 on my USAC license only due to my current Cat 1 status in MTB.
This is nats legislation, so the only impact on local races would be for folks who want to try to get points to upgrade so they can race nats.
The only difficulty is the paperwork and administrative burden for all those in non USAC areas to get an upgrade done so they can even register for Nats. Norcal, Oregon, Colorado and other scenes are mostly not USA Cycling areas for cyclocross, and it'll be very interesting to see how USAC upgrades happen and what the criteria will be.
Since SS races locally are typically non-category (though we have A and B in Norcal) what results would warrant points? Or does someone have to race a geared race as a Cat 4 or Cat 3 to get upgrade points to become a Cat 2? Or any top X place in a singlespeed race will get points?
We'll find out as much as we can.