Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Question and Answer.

I was asked a few questions when my Pro upgrade was approved. I figured I should bite my tongue and not answer them immediately. I had nothing nice to say, and still don't; but I was appreciative of finally getting the upgrade. However, now that I actually have the physical license in my wallet, go grab your gas, let's burn these bridges.

Most of my opinions have already been voiced in the comments (here, and here) sections of other posts. This is bad because I like to think all my thoughts are original. This is good because it shows that just about everyone that pays attention to USAC's policies, rules, and regulations recognizes that they seem to have been assembled without much thought. I rewrote that last sentence twice to tone it down. Let's get to it.

Q) If you want to go pro...

A) It's not that I really want to go Pro, it's that I feel I've earned it. If I am only racing in the Pro race, and I am competitive against other Pros, then why shouldn't I have a Pro license? It's more of a matter of wanting to move past Cat1.

Q) ...why wouldn't you want to race in the big races like the Mt. Snow National and Windham last year????

A) Let's break it down:

1. Ski areas suck. Like everyone else in New England, I am sick of racing at ski areas. The fact that every national level race in New England is at a ski area, and I always suck at ski area races, only adds to my hatred of ski area races.

2. It's at 8 o-f'n-clock in the morning. I think Lewis Black said it best when he said (paraphrasing) "8AM IN THE MORNING!?! ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP THIS SHIT A SECRET!?!"

3. Price. These so called "big races" cost twice as much as any other race on the calendar. That only makes sense if you're paying for the amount of suck.

4. If anything else is going on that weekend, it's guaranteed to be better. Last year the 24 Hours of Great Glen was the second most fun I had on a bike, right behind the first three laps of the Darkhorse 40. (that last lap hurt so much). Windham was the same weekend as the 40, Mt. Snow was the same weekend as Great Glen. Ski area races don't stand a chance against any other event, even if the upgrade requirements force people to go to them. USAC can't even give a single reason why someone would want to race one of their own events (3:50 of this video). "The promoters want them [amateurs] there" is another way of saying "we need your money". I could bitch about that video for 3 or 4 more days.

USAC needs to avoid ski areas, and give the keys to the National Calendar events to the Darkhorse Cycles guys; attendance will triple.

Q) Especially since those are the pro QUALIFICATION races???

A) That's not a question, it's a sentence fragment. Regardless, haven't we already gone over this? You have to be faster than 75% of the Pros to earn the smallest fraction of the upgrade requirement and the only ones earning that small fraction are the sandbaggers that have already earned their upgrade, but have no interest in racing against people as fast as them. That's a game I don't want to play.

In summary:

USA Cycling's qualification races suck (in New England at least), and USA Cycling upgrade requirements suck. The only thing USAC has done right is ignore their own process and upgrade individuals that deserve the upgrade, but have not meet the ridiculous requirements. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the bank to put my new license in a safe deposit box. I have a feeling it's not safe anymore.

Burn bridge, burn.


  1. You finally acknowledge that Great Glen was awesome! I am vindicated.

  2. Nice work. The bahstadz denied me last year, not that I'm still bitter, which resulted in me becoming slightly disinterested in MTB racing this year. What little I am doing will likely be back in Cat1's though, which is where they made it abundantly clear I belong. This can be good depending on who shows, or it can be a "fun" ITT to see if I can be the 1st Cat1 to finish and see how many Pro's I can catch. Worked mint at Winding Trails.

  3. Thanks for the pro license, USAC. I just farted on your pillow.