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

This is reality, even if

This is reality, even if their system works how will they continue to fund it throughout the years when all of the revenue generated from it goes to the timer and zero goes to BRAC? Ask yourself that question. Nothing is perfect, and things in 2012 worked out ok, but if they continue to become a timing company that doesn't make any money what will happen down the road to your membership and race fees when they realize they need to raise more money to fund the purchase of chips? Open your eyes now or keep opening your wallet in the future.

This is stated much better than...

the original post - which came across as typical anonymous user cynical message board drivel.

You bring up some good points to which I certainly don't have answers. I haven't scoured BRAC financials (and doubt 2012 are available yet) so no idea on how each race affects their P&L.

I believe this to be an

I believe this to be an accurate assessment.

I was at the club meeting and someone raised the "why are there so few road races and the calendar" question. It was very telling that the response from the room--which contained most of the big players on the local scene--was utter silence. In short, there are no easy answers.

One thing Stephen Haydel mentioned that I found interesting was that apparently, the participation of the 20-29 year old demographic in the sport has fallen off a cliff in the last ten years. These are the racers without the weekend family commitments, who will drive 4 hours to a race, eat Subway and sleep 6 to a hotel room to save $$ (as I once did...those were the days...)

Bike racing wasn't cheap "back then" but it wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now. I bought my first Italian steel racing bike for $1700 in 1996. A good helmet or pair of shoes was $100 or so. Now, it's China starter bikes for $3K+ and the implication that you've got to have a $900+ power meter and a $150+/month coach to compete even as a Cat 4. Thousands of dollars spent, hundreds of hours of training and it can all disappear in an instant when some fool idiot touches wheels and flops down in front of your line between turns two and three....any wonder why the 20-29 set isn't interested?

<strong>Good assessment!</strong>

Very well stated. This may be true for the Colorado racing scene, but maybe not true for other areas such as SoCal.
As a member of the 20-29 age group, I must second the above statement. Although I initially sank that kind of money to start racing, after a brief stint through the 5's and 4's, I have realized that no matter how much I enjoy racing, the costs of the sport are absolutely unsustainable, and the prize money is insufficient to even defray the costs slightly.
Currently a 3, the frequent accidents have made me step back, reduce my participation, and look critically at the benefits of participating in a sport that takes alot, and gives back nowhere near the proportion to the level of my effort or dollars spent. There are other sports that give the same fitness level without incurring the same cost every weekend and enduring bureaucratic nonsense that we put up with in the cycling world.
It would be interesting to survey the individuals that have stopped participating (in the 20-29 bracket) to find their reasons.

New chip for each race??

So, according to the recently released statement, racers won't have a dedicated chip. Instead, we'll get a new chip at registration for each event, and that chip will be keyed to the bib number and not the racer license number. They say this will be an improvement, but I can't imagine how.

My question: what happens for races like the CCTT series, where you register once and just check in at the start line for each week of the series? Will there be chips handed out each week? If so, this will be waaay more complicated than the current system.

Didn't folks without chips,

Didn't folks without chips, like out of state racers, have to leave an ID as a deposit for their chips in 2012? Are we going to have to leave an ID for the race-day only chip in 2013? If so, can you imagine how big a pain this is going to be for promoters and racers alike?

New Chips and CX Call Ups

Getting a new/different chip at each race worked well for CX when WOL ran their races this way. Dont know if it creates a bit more work for the promoter but their wasnt much issue with lines to pick up a chip after getting your bib.

Is this the same systems WOL used in CX? Regardless, my question is if this is going to solve the call-up 'issue' in CX and allow same day registration so one doesnt have to forfeit their call-up if they cant pre-reg?

WOL didnt require pre-reg to get an accurate start list and a hard earned call up on same day registration. I hope this is the case with the new chips. Can you answer in ACA?

New Chips and CX Call Ups

Getting a new/different chip at each race worked well for CX when WOL ran their races this way. Dont know if it creates a bit more work for the promoter but their wasnt much issue with lines to pick up a chip after getting your bib.

Is this the same systems WOL used in CX? Regardless, my question is if this is going to solve the call-up 'issue' in CX and allow same day registration so one doesnt have to forfeit their call-up if they cant pre-reg?

WOL didnt require pre-reg to get an accurate start list and a hard earned call up on same day registration. I hope this is the case with the new chips. Can you answer in ACA?

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