ACA releases statement on Chip Timing System

From ACA website

Everyone involved with the Superior Morgul Classic appreciates the participation and enthusiasm from our athletes and families over the weekend.

As many of you know, we are still working to create accurate results from the weekend. Overall Omnium results cannot be completed until this has happened.

Of course, the notion in the racing community is that "The chips system was in use, the results should be perfect." The reality is that no scoring system can create perfect results if the event's registration is not accurate. This simple concept defines the situation in which we find ourselves. We have a world class timing system that functions at a very high level. We do not have world class data being inputted into this system.

When this happens, especially at an event that had more than 1,700 athletes in 20+ categories, creating results reverts largely to hand scoring. And this takes time.

Other questions have been:

1. Why were the Superior time trial results so fast? Answer: the event was pre-registration only, and our officials could rely on the results generated by the timing company.

2. Why do we need bib numbers if we have chips? Answer: Chip data includes info on the rider as it relates to the ACA database. It does NOT include category data, as the majority of our athletes can choose one of multiple categories on race day. The bib number is linked to the start list for a particular event, and therefore imperative for scoring. Bib numbers are also the best form of identification in event of an accident during a race.

3. Why do we have a timing system? Answer: The timing system was purchased in order to provide deep, accurate, and timely scoring for all categories (in a larger effort to provide results and a racing experience that is similar to running, triathlon, or mountain bike races). Please note that all these types of events are much simpler to score than a road race or criterium. As everyone knows, this has not been an easy implementation, and I apologize for the confusion that is out there.

4. What do we do now? Answer: We have had a major development with the timing company, in that Orion (the timing company) has opened a North American office in Boulder, which is run by ACA member Paul de Curnou. With his background, attitude, and training, we have seen significant progress in our communication and ability to work with the vendor. In order to address the problems we have with the data being put into the timing software, Paul is working to create day-of registration software that will be shared at no charge with our race promoters. A beta version of this new product will be available in the next three months.

5. What can ACA members do? Answer: Well, you could go on 303 Cycling and anonymously post a lot of vitriol, or you could call me to get an idea of the whole picture. My number is 303-458-5538. The simplest things that ACA members can do is 1) pre-register, and 2) complete registration accurately and legibly.

6. What can I say? Answer: I want to thank the ACA community for your support during this time. We have seen quite a bit of change, and we are appreciative of each and every member. I want to apologize for the confusion that has existed over the last six months. We have been working to define our relationship with USAC and the data flow between our organizations, to refine our database given this new source of information, and to continue using the timing system, which relies on the database to produce results. It is a lot of challenge, and I apologize that we have not communicated as effectively as perhaps we need to.

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78 Comments

I like pre-reg only as Andy

I like pre-reg only as Andy suggests, just make the deadline the day before. For god sake, if you cannot decide you are going to race on Saturday, by Friday night at midnight, then you need to deal. Short of being sick I have never decide day of I was going to race.

We have too many god dam categories, I agree with Andy (and I usually do not). I am not blaming that on the timing issues, but it sure does not help. Anyone looking at the average size of the categories? It is not that big. It is not like we have 120 ride fields and we split them down to two 60 rider fields. Often times the combined # for "35 Plus" is 100 riders across 35 open, 35 3's, and 35's. This is a drain on promoters, officials and the timing system. We should run fewer races each day, with larger fields, and shorter race days.

Andy: the ACA does not pick where the races are, they are the governing body, you know that. If you guys want to put on more events in the Springs go for it. Same with the guys up in Ft. Collins, or the western slope. I agree we need to diversity where our events take place, but I am not sure how the ACA has any responsibility for that.

Yep, we are filling up the

Yep, we are filling up the fields so we should make it pre-reg only. Seriously????? Mandating pre-registration, which will hurt the promoters, to mitigate problems with a broken system is ludicrous. Fix the damn system or get out of the way and let promoters choose to use systems that work.

I appreciate Without-Limits and Swift for taking a stand against the black mail and using systems that get accurate and timely results.

No Excuse

I want to be as level headed and vitriol free as possible here but there is absolutely no excuse for the continued train wreck after a year and a half, scores of events, untold thousands of dollars, and an endless stream of deflections and pointed fingers.

This is, quite simply, absolutely embarrassing and gross incompetence.

Under the bus

The statement from the ACA unfairly puts Boulder Racing / Without Limits under the bus. They know how to run a well timed event, however all of the events they have run without issue (and I've personally participated in many of them) have been with a system similar to Racing Underground, which works (and is local). If the ACA system isn't up to snuff, that needs to be addressed rather than forcing promoters to use systems that are inferior.

No soup for you!

From Chris McGee: "5. What can ACA members do? Answer: Well, you could go on 303 Cycling and anonymously post a lot of vitriol, or you could call me to get an idea of the whole picture. My number is 303-458-5538. The simplest things that ACA members can do is 1) pre-register, and 2) complete registration accurately and legibly."

The problem is MINE? Seriously? My penmanship is the issue? I'm at fault because I couldn't commit to racing until the last minute? That's just a sad attempt at blame deflection, Chris. You've grown weary of hearing the complaints about the timing system and now you've resorted to blaming others for the ACA's decision. The indifference to they concerns of the riders and promoters leads to the harsh words and acerbic comments. Riders and promoters are tired of ACA's apathy.

So the things I can do are commit my money early (benefit to ACA) and improve my penmanship (benefit to everyone). Well, there's also one more thing I and everyone else can do: stop giving ACA our money until they show a willingness to act on the needs of the promoters and riders.

Due in large part to ACA's apparent lack of concern about the inadequacy of the timing chip system, I have put off buying a racing license this year. I'm not interested in giving money to a group of people unwilling to take admit a mistake and then take the necessary steps to rectify that mistake. I don't reward bad behavior. No soup for you!

How much longer will ACA ask its members to be patient while issues are worked out? Seriously, how much longer? We've been hearing excuses since the timing system was purchased. And now the ACA has resorted to blaming the promoters and riders. When the ACA starts to blame others for its own shortcomings and ineptitude they should expect some vitriol in return.

Unfortunately that isn't

Unfortunately that isn't quite true. If you don't have an ACA license, you have to pay $5 day of race whether you care about RMRC points or not. If I am mistaken, please point me to the right language in the ACA rules or on the website that I can take to the next race with me.

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