Now that Singlespeeder 'crossers will likely get their own National Championship, complete with a qualifying time trial, how many of you who were thinking about going to Nats in Bend will stay home? How many of you who were thinking of racing SS will switch to a geared bike for Nats? What do you think of the rule changes regarding singlespeed cyclocross? Do you think they're an improvement, or will they adversely affect the grass-roots nature and mechanical/financial accessibility of the discipline?
I'll still be going and racing SS and Masters 40-44 just like last year. I think making it 1-2 is a little harsh at this late a date but limiting the field size is a good idea. Not sure how this ruling affect the mechanical/financial aspect of the category, I'm pretty sure that the standard equipment rules were in effect for SS last year (I could be wrong).
I like the SS 1-2 jersey race, with a TT for start position. I would hope they still have the non jersey race that is open to anyone. I wasn't planning on doing the SS race at Natz. Too many people and the course it too short. The rule changes won't effect my decisions.
Just so I'm reading the proposed rule changes right, can someone confirm or refute my understanding? To be sure, if I do NOT have a Cat 1 or Cat 2 CX license, I will NOT even be allowed to enter the SS category, much less have the time trial put me in my rightful spot? I'm a 3, so I guess I stay home or go and drink beer at the race while crying instead of racing?
I get that a national championship should be for those cat 1 & 2 riders who can actually ride at that level, but then why open the masters fields up to cats 1,2 AND 3? Seems strange to me that our little cult, within a cult, within a cult gets further restricted.
This ruling is harsh for us from NorCal (and I'm sure others around the country), as I don't even know of a promoter that puts on CX events under the USA cycling banner. No USA Cycling races = no points. Still, doesn't affect my day job whatsoever, the world will still turn.
I'm working from a lack of experience here so feel free to correct any of my assumptions.
I assume it takes no small amount of time and money to put on a bicycle race. Perhaps putting on a USAC-sanctioned race (with its attendant points system, rules and the like) gets the promoter at least a little logistical help, and maybe some financial assistance as well, from USAC.
If none of the above is true, then it makes little sense to throw a USAC-sanctioned race, in which case there's little reason for most folks to worry about USAC points -- or to pay the entry fees to USAC-sanctioned races in the first place.
How many of us out there truly race with the full intention of seeing how far we can go in the sport, no matter what; and how many of us race as weekend warriors, balancing our racing fun with jobs, families and other responsibilities? I'd guess that the main reason to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were, is to make the fields smaller and more mangeable for organizers, and faster for the more serious competitors.
By making the fields smaller, USAC will need to find other ways to deal with the cost of putting on national events, including higher race fees, more money from sponsors, and perhaps higher membership fees for racers all around.
In short, unless I'm missing something here, it seems almost counter-intuitive to refine and regulate the sport to the extent of shrinking the start fields, especially in light of a new rule that regulates the equipment that juniors can run specifically as a way to keep bike racing more affordable and accessible (at least for juniors).
Which begs the question, exactly what is USA Cycling for?
Am I missing something? Seriously, please enlighten me.
Note from the local USA Cycling rep, Cat 3 exclusion was an error:
The USCF Board of Trustees agreed in principal to have the SS event at cx nats
become a full championship. Unfortunately we failed to pass enabling
legislation to put it into the rule book. The way that rule changes take place
is that (our) rule changes made during the year take effect on Jan 1 of the
Thus we have to pass an item this weekend and treat it as "emergency" in order
to authorize the SS championship. There was an oversight that nobody caught -
that the legislation described it as for 1/2, but the event is for 1/2/3. This
error has been corrected, so the version that we will consider and adopt is
for cat 1/2/3. In future years, if the fields grow too large in the SS to
allow cat 3 riders it might be changed, but not at the last minute.
Thus the emergency was not to switch categories, but to arrange for the event
to be a championship. FYI the UCI operates differently and can change rules
whenever they want to, as they did with the bike/tire rules.
Singlespeed National Championship
At the recent Board of Trustees meeting, the addition of Singlespeed as a championship discipline was approved. The Singlespeed National Championship will be open to all rider ability categories (there will not be any category restrictions). Riders must have a freewheel, one cog, and drop bars. Mountain bikes and straight bars will not be allowed."
I have heard alot of complaints about the initial category restrictions now that it is no longer an issue. How many people are looking at having to change their setup to conform with the drop bar rule. While I am not a hardcore SS rider it seems like alot of SS riders choose the flat bar option.
In other words, anyone who got into this by way of their mountain bike is now going to have to come up with a singlespeed cyclocross bike, with drop bars and 700 x 33 tires. This is simply another nail in the coffin of the grass-roots nature of singlespeed racing; will regulation regarding singlespeed mountain biking be next?
I am glad I don't need a USAC license to race in my part of the world.
well, some of this isn't a surprise in that flat bars have not been allowed in title races for a while, I think, so it comes with the territory of a USAC title race. you can ride tires up to 35mm as per the new rules. at least there aren't some category restrictions to make it difficult for the non USAC folks...