USA Cycling and American Cycling Association

ACA Statement Regarding our Relationship with USAC, August 10, 2011

From the ACA
History of ACA
Prior to being an independent sanctioning body, the ACA was the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (BRAC). Formed in 1976, BRAC was the USCF (predecessor of USACycling) District that ran road racing in Colorado. Beth Wrenn-Estes was the President of BRAC. In 1994, when the USCF decided to change their district structure, Colorado clubs became upset and disenchanted with the perception that the USCF cared only about elite racers and gave no attention to local riders. Beth proposed breaking from USCF and the clubs agreed.

The ACA in its current form was born. Beth was hired as Executive Director and Yvonne van Gent, formerly the USCF District Representative, was hired as the Membership Coordinator. Beth served as Executive Director until 2007. The ACA’s commitment to quality local racing and junior development was established in this time. During her tenure, because of significant mutual animosity, there was no chance of reconciliation with USACycling (USAC).

In 2008, Jon Tarkington assumed the position of Executive Director of the ACA. Under the leadership of Jon and the Board of Directors, the ACA consolidated and made transparent its finances, grew its membership, created evaluation processes for race promoters and officials, created a dynamic website that is both the organization’s database and storefront, embraced and helped direct the substantial growth in cross racing, and purchased a cutting edge electronic timing system. Jon and representatives of the ACA’s Board of Directors met with USAC leaders four times in attempts to negotiate a return to USAC, but could not find an agreement that worked for both parties.

In 2010, Jon decided to step down as Executive Director. Chris McGee was hired for the job, and began as ED in late January, 2011.

The Situation in 2011 Beginning this spring, our relationship with USACycling has been strained by USAC's decision to enforce UCI rule 1.2.019.

UCI Rulebook regarding 'Forbidden Races"


1.2.019 No licence holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognised by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI. A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country.

Attempts by promoters to gain exceptions for specific races, so that they may host UCI
professional racers, have not been approved. The ACA has formally asked for exceptions for specific races that do not conflict with USAC’s National Racing Calendar, and these too have been declined. We have spoken with representatives from USAC, the US Olympic Committee, legal advisors, journalists, and other people who are close to the situation. The ACA continues to explore options to remedy this situation.

Other issues have arisen this year, the most notable of which are new call-up procedures for Masters at Cross Nationals and the difficulty with dual-permitted events.

The ACA’s Position in 2011

The ACA is a fully-functioning, financially solvent 501c3 non-profit organization. We have an accountant who oversees our finances and helps produce accurate, up-to-date financial documents, which are posted on our professionally-maintained website. Our member-run Board of Directors meets monthly to provide oversight on the organization’s finances, planning and operation. We have five part-time staff who are dedicated to creating the best racing experiences for our 3,000 annual members. We believe that we provide the highest quality racing and cycling development product for our members at a reasonable cost, and we believe that we are an asset to both the Colorado and American cycling communities.

Rejoin USAC?

We are occasionally asked, 'Why don't you just rejoin USAC?'
There are many reasons why this is not a simple discussion, but the primary reason is money.
Local racing in the United States is governed by USAC’s Local Association (LA) Agreement. There are 33 LAs the country, totaling approximately 35,000 road/cross/track racers. Each LA receives income from USAC in the form of $10 per Senior license sold in their LA area (no money for juniors, officials, mechanics, or mountain bike licenses). In addition, Las can raise money by charging separate membership fees, $1 or $2 for each race entry in races sanctioned in the LA area (these called race surcharges), and $1 per entry from USAC's online registration service.

Most LAs are run by volunteer boards with no paid staff.
A couple of facts to think about:

  1. Current annual membership prices are $45 for ACA and $60 for USAC.
  2. At this time, approximately 23% of ACA members also hold a USAC license.
  3. ACA members currently enjoy a lower license fee, incredible insurance with a low $1,000 deductible and great customer support, timely results on our website, timely calculations for racing points series (BARBAT, Cross Cup), a comprehensive race kit for our promoters that includes 2 high-speed cameras, laptops, and software, access to world-class timing and results companies at affordable pricing, world-class officials, on-site medical support at all races, neutral support at 17 races by ROL Wheels (paid by ACA), and a full 9 month calendar of affordable, great racing.
  4. The ACA's Junior Development Program is one of the best in the country. We offer Juniors Ride Free, Junior Road Camp, Junior Cross Camp, the Colorado Mini Classic, the 1st Bike Program, and in 2012 will introduce the Junior Race Grant Program. We have a paid Junior Development Coordinator who is a former professional racer. We spend more than $40,000 each year in this investment in cycling’s future.

When we talk about becoming an LA, we have to ask ourselves many questions:

  • If the ACA were to simply agree to the LA model, our income from memberships would fall approximately $100,000 annually.
  • As we function today, $45 from every ACA license goes toward local cycling. If we were a LA, only $10 from the USAC license goes to local Colorado racing.
  • What does the core of our membership (racers aged 35-54 in categories 3 & 4) gain from a realignment with USAC?
  • Would our members pay an additional fee to support the ACA's programs and services? In the past, BRAC used this model to generate income. Approximately 1/3 of Colorado racers voluntarily paid a separate fee to the local association.
  • If we do not have a separate ACA membership fee, how would we provide members with the same level of support with a reduction in staff?
  • How would the ACA continue its extraordinary support of junior development with significantly less budget?

One solution is to charge a separate ACA membership fee after racers pay for their USAC license. The questions: How many riders are willing to pay an additional fee for their racing licenses? What is the value of the ACA’s services to Colorado racing? What could the ACA reasonably charge as a LA membership fee?
To address these questions and get sense of our clubs’ needs, the ACA will conduct a survey of our 95 clubs. As a member-driven non-profit, it is imperative that we receive the input necessary to act in the interests of our membership. This survey will be sent the week of August 15th, 2011.

Summary
Colorado has always been a fantastic place to ride, race and train, for beginners and professional racers alike. We are committed to providing high quality events for all bicycle racers regardless of their level. The ACA always has, and always will, welcome all racers to our events. It is important to note that the ACA is not creating any barriers for racer participation, and we will not bend or break our own policy in the interests of one segment of our membership.

The ACA is a grassroots, amateur-based organization. "The mission of the ACA is to expand and develop the sport of amateur bicycle racing in the Rocky Mountain region while ensuring quality experiences for all involved." We continue to pursue remedies to the situation with professional racers and elite level racers, but at the same time must remain focused on our mission. Please know that we work every day to fulfill this mission. Board and staff information is available under 'Contacts' on the ACA website.

If you have questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact us.
Bill Barr, President, ACA Board of Directors 303-355-9914
Chris McGee, Executive Director, ACA 303-458-5538

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110 Comments

Really? Last time the ACA

Really? Last time the ACA put out the stats about 55% of the membership did not race at all, or raced 5 times/year or less. And remember those # included all members, so it did cover cross.

So those are the "paid license" you think matter? At the same time the total # of members of the ACA has not increased. In fact most road events are down, it would appear the only thing growing under the ACA is cross. I think the 45% of us who actually race matter, versus just the # of memberships. But the ACA has sold out many of us who race a lot, to get more of these new masters, lower cat riders, who like to race 0 to 5 times a year. I am not saying we are better then those guys (those of us who race 20 plus days a year, do all different kids of event, even race out of state with a USAC license), but I am tired of getting treated as if we are worse.

Fort Collins Cycling

Fort Collins Cycling Festival
Friday, Aug 19 is the TT and it is the USAC CO Championship
and UCI World Tour Qualifier
Saturday, Aug 20 is ACA Masters Crit Championship
Sunday, Aug 21 is Rist Canyon RR and USAC CO Championship RR
and UCI World Tour Qualifier and final Tour of Colorado
race

Colorado Springs both are with USA Pro Cycling Challenge (or,
whatever name today) events

Saturday, Aug 20 is USAC permitted crit w/3 180 turns in about 1+ km
Race is begging for volunteers in local blogs,

Sunday is Colorado Springs USAC permitted North Cheyenne Cañon Hill Climb at 3.2 miles...Why bother?

Cheyenne Canon Hill Climb

Yes the North Cheyenne Canon Hill climb is short. So is the Lookout Mtn Hill Climb, and like Lookout Mtn is is a hard little climb. Your point? The short course crit with lots of turns, sounds like the crits I have done all over the midwest. My only complaint is that the ACA, USAC, & UCI didn't get together and provide a better shedule for us for the upcoming weekend. Why have some many events at the opposite ends of the state?

CLEAR AND SIMPLE. The USAC

CLEAR AND SIMPLE.

The USAC sees the $$ and numbers at OBRA and ACA races and they want to get their grubby little hands in our pockets.

USAC is better for pro's and big events, ACA better for grassroots promoters and amateurs. I'm an amateur.

I buy one cheap ACA license a year for CX and the few road races I do, and there's no need for another license because Winter Park and RME do not require two licenses. I 25-30 races a year.

Geographically Isolated...but...

Yes, we have Kansas to the east, NE & WY to the north, UT to the west and NM to the south...great buffers which keep many of the nations and some world class cyclist in Colorado...and keeps the Tilfords east of Limon. :-) Many riders, including myself, came to CO to train the mountains and race against the Grewals, Phinneys, Keifels, McCormacks, Carters, etc (when in town)...and non-Coloradans still do...CO is a great state with great racers, and an occasional NRC race. I for one do not complain about racing in CO. If you don't like it, leave it and do the crits in NYC...:-)

Really - occassional NRC race?

Please,

tell me the last NRC race held here (The Parker Crit if I recall was the last one). And with the current ACA/USAC rift, this is even less likely.

And I hate to bring this up, but all the names you mentioned are from 20 years ago. Which is exactly our point - road racing in Colorado is kind of either stagnant at best or dying. How often to you "race" anymore? Have you seen the numbers at most events? Have you seen the types of events held? The entire reason we are worried about the future of road racing in Colorado is because it is turning more and more into NY Style crit racing with a few hill climbs. Gone are the great 1 day or multi-day races along the front range.

And even those held (Dead Dog), the numbers are not growing for what should be one of the top-notch events. Hell - Steamboat just had to change to a stage race with two crits? Where was the ACA in trying to work with Steamboat to find a better alternative circuit race course versus a crit course?

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