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NACS: this should be interesting
Last Post 10/18/2015 12:57 PM by Nicholas Arenella. 10 Replies.
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ChinookPass

Posts:809

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10/15/2015 11:45 AM
I don't know any of these folks or when they will have their ship off and sailing but they have a good story. Not sure it is the right time though with a new guy in charge of USAC who is also saying the right things.

Unfortunately their site doesn't show up on google yet....

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/new-national-sanctioning-body-emerges-in-us/

nacs.bike
79pmooney

Posts:1758

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10/15/2015 12:59 PM
Yeah! I hope they succeed. Here in Oregon, we have OBRA, lots of events, road, cyclocross and track. Lots of events to take your whole family to, beer gardens, local vendors and a feeling of accessibility; that riders, people and fun are what count. OBRA has stayed away from USAC (or drifted away - I am not involved with their politics and history) because belonging to USAC negatively affected their primary focus; to promote bike racing in Oregon at all levels.

I have had an issue with USAC from several names before. In the '70s, we used to drive from Boston up to New Hampshire for the State TTs because there was a little used stretch of highway that ran the 12 1/5 miles with a good turnaround. Safe and riders could focus on just their ride, not traffic. Our local rep was Grace Jones who with her husband owned a small bike clothing outfit. Made our club jerseys. She was deeply invested in the sport, not just as a district rep. (And here it gets a little personal. She was at our annual club dinner with it's awards presentation when all learned that I was in a coma in a nearby hospital after my fork broke. Over the next season, she was my biggest fan. She saw me take the field sprint at the State road race for 10th place. She upgraded me to a Cat 2 so I could race the Mt Washington road race as my final big race. She watched me get dropped like a rock at the Cat 1,2 criteriums that August, once being caught by and drafting the lead woman until we got lapped and I had to drop out. And at the Mt Washington race, that year a point to point flat race in a wild wind, she watched me get dropped, chase, catch the next rider and so on until 5 of us re-joined the field from the front seat of the official's/wheel van. I stayed out in the middle of the lane so the van couldn't pass me. I knew if it did, I was cooked. I finished in the field. Mission accomplished. Rode Mt Washington the next day (hammered!). She watched me finish in the field a week later at the Martha's Vineyard RR, my last race. Thank you, Grace Jones.)

Two years after that race, at the National TT Championships, reigning champ and expected winner was hit and nearly killed by a cement truck that entered the crossing of the TT with right of way and having been given no clues that there was a bike racing happening. Huh? The organizers had staffed that intersection with one or two young girls who were occupied with traffic coming from the other direction and had marked the cross streets with right of way very poorly. It was Sunday morning. The cement truck driver had no clue anything extraordinary was happening as he was delivering a load of cement.

The organization changed names and a lot of other stuff, but I never felt the basic care of the riders and sport changed.

Ben
ChinookPass

Posts:809

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10/15/2015 01:28 PM
Interesting story, Ben. Sounds like you feel that the officials did not do a proper inspection of the course?

One of the issues with sanctioning is satisfying the weekend warriors and the aspiring elites. Is the pie big enough to support both crowds with separate events? The elites need the national sanctioning to participate in national championships. The weekend warriors could care less and just want a safe event with lower fees.

In any case, the big thing keeping me out of racing is travel. I just don't want to drive hours every weekend for some race way out in the boonies. The holy grail is to be able to have local races near where the people live and right now the sanctioning bodies don't have the clout to help organizers make that happen.
longslowdistance

Posts:1500

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10/16/2015 01:39 AM
Alan Kingsbury was the poor soul who got annihilated by the cement truck. Broke almost every bone in his body. He was a good rider, too. Career over. Damn shame.
Jones Cycle Wear did awesomely excellent custom stuff in the late70s. I kept my college jersey as a momento until recently passed on to a then current undergrad who is way faster than I ever was.
Nick A

Posts:525

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10/16/2015 09:07 AM
I raced for a few years ages ago when it was USCF. I never got too involved in the politics, and at least at the time, I had never heard of any other sanctioning bodies. Sometimes it takes upstarts to shake up the establishment. By the same token, the cycling pie is pretty small as it is, without dividing it further.

I'm pretty resigned to riding alone these days. But when I did go on some group rides here in Albuquerque, I was amazed at how there were like a half dozen group rides at nearly the same time, each with like six people...hardly a "group" at all. Kind of the same idea at an unofficial level.

N
Orange Crush

Posts:2017

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10/16/2015 09:55 AM
Small pie being divvied up into small fiefdoms is bad idea. It's a big reason why grassroots soccer isn't going anywhere in terms of identifying and nurturing soccer talent in north america.

You need to top-down structure with sufficient regional/local representation but a uniformity of standards and procedures. Based on experience in the local soccer governance world I'll say good luck.

And it's not about you old farts trying to get a final race in before the grave, its about the kids
Nick A

Posts:525

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10/16/2015 10:19 AM
And it's not about you old farts trying to get a final race in before the grave, its about the kids


VERY true!

N
79pmooney

Posts:1758

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10/16/2015 10:25 AM
I disagree about the small pie approach. There are a lot of people in North America. The percentage of those folks we need racing bikes to make a real racing scene is tiny. Get masters out there racing at events where their kids are welcome and involved, not just watching daddy race and the pie can start to build. Get those kids watching the best and watching dad n the same event and gettng to go there themselves. You just might have a new bike racer.

Events like that is something OBRA can pull off well. A national organization that is focused on that level of events would be a huge plus as it would make it feasible for the OBRAs to get on board. The big boys can come to local events to race (especially in their home areas). Fun for them and great exposure.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2017

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10/16/2015 10:42 AM
Look at it this way Ben....here in Lower Mainland BC we have a lot of kids playing soccer, its the thing parents sign their kids up for cause its cheap, no lack of pie. But any talent there is going around is as it stands dilluted over three different leagues in four different lower mainland regions. There is zero concentration of talent and opportunity for that talent to grow. Is it any wonder then that the local MLS club has no locally grown talent but is full of players from central and south america, a scene that's repeated in pretty much every other MLS club.

Same goes for cycling, if one starts getting competing organizations and leagues, its a recipy for disaster for a sport this small on the radar screen.
79pmooney

Posts:1758

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10/16/2015 01:00 PM
OC, USAC does very little at the grassroots level. This isn't really splitting a pie. This is fertilizing a small struggling plant. Yeah, if all went as I would like ot see, the top US riders would dilute their efforts a little riding a couple of hometown non-USAC sanctioned events each year, something USAC has tried to discourage (and that UCI has big time discouraged), but the return in interest and growth in the sport, if done right, could be huge. (Again, as pointed out above, going from .00001% participation to .00002% is, for cycling, huge!

Ben
Nick A

Posts:525

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10/18/2015 12:57 PM
But they have in the past. Unfortunately, maybe it takes people migrating elsewhere to make it happen again. Well, at least in the early mid-'80's they did grass roots stuff in the NYC area.

I remember having dollar signs in my eyes making a two to go flyer in a criterium sponsored by 7-11. This was circa 1983 with $700 for first place...for the Junior race!

I did a senior III/IV race as a junior around Union Square in NYC with the whole Manhattan course closed to traffic.

I mean, they really "worked it".

N
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