A Drunk Letter to USAC

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Dearest USA Cycling,

You’ve released a clarification of the “rulesfor us mountain bikers to abide by and only one thing comes to mind; it’s a quote by Henry David Thoreau, “Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.”

I’m not sure which planet you live on, this is Earth by the way, and we are talking about America, which last time I checked is a democracy, and for your clarification, means we live in a society for the people and live by rules that are in the best interest of the majority. In our small-ish cycling community, recent consensus says your organization is full of shit and people are tired of it. Have you looked at the comments on your facebook recently? You try and force your way into the scene but we aren’t just going to follow suit like mindless cattle and subscribe to your crap, sorry.

Cycling, as overseen by USAC, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with fuzzy sentiments about caring for the continued development and well-bring of the sport. But it is, nonetheless a deeply flawed and overbearing organization that’s holding mountain biking back. A solution to your problems is not to restrict members their rights, but allow them to do more, or just continue as it has been (e.g. race unsanctioned events that pay real dollars). Of course, this isn’t something you would entertain because once you give up that last bit of power you have, you’re toast, kaput. You have an inferior product and seem to be clueless on how to appease the mountain bike community.

You see, what’s great about the internet  is that it’s easy to look up history. In your case, that’s not good. I recommend reading Les Earnest’s articles entitled, “USA Cycling’s History of Crooked Elections” and “USA Cycling Politics” for a better idea of where your ineptness came from and perhaps maybe you can put to use some of the information to avoid mistakes in the future, but I have a feeling it’s too late.

Another thing about the internet is you get to see people’s opinions on stuff. Take Eric for example, where he gave his thoughts on how you could improve:

Dear USA Cycling and the UCI,

I ran a 5k running race today. I didn’t have to buy any kind of licence. Entry was only 15 bucks. My heart rate went up. I raced some people. It was fun. No one gave me a hard time about categories or paperwork or not having sleeves on my jersey. Hundreds of other people showed up and did the same thing. If you want to grow the sport, look at that model, not telling people they can’t race events just because you don’t like competition from other insurance agencies. Thanks for listening (yeah right).


While in a state of contemplation, I often think about simple things, like how cool eyeballs are, or how whenever I smell TenFidy, I get a funny feeling in a different part of my body. Another cool thing about human beings is that we have this capability called thinking. It’s a way for us to decipher right from wrong, real from fake, and legitimacy from desperation. You come across as an organization in dire need of something, perhaps money, who knows. But it goes without saying that the enforcement of your “rules” act in the interest of USAC, and not the cycling community, which is unfortunate.

I particularly enjoyed reading the well thought-out perspective of Chloe Woodruff, who makes a living riding her bike and has dreams of racing the 2016 Olympics. The burden of your governance along with the ill-timed announcement of enforcing 1.2.019 should be enough to make you rethink the direction your heading and salvage whatever is left of this dying beast.

You’re called USA Cycling but this whole thing seems un-American. Mountain biking was born out of a bunch of hippies looking to have a rolling picnic and some friendly competition in the woods.

No thanks for your effort in trying to fuck everything up, but we will take our sport back now. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

Seems that Team Sho-Air has decided to deliver the first punch, we stand in their corner. Race the forbidden race. 123

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About Cupcake

I don’t have a beer gut, I’ve developed a liquid grain storage facility.

25 Replies to “A Drunk Letter to USAC”

  1. “Non-Sanctioned” races…..more like “Bullshit” races from their point of view. Every non-USAC race I’ve been to has been insured, well-promoted, and decently organized….a long way from Bullshit. BTW, does anybody have a list of races that are non-USAC for Colorado? I’m looking to getting my ass back into the game.

    Fortunately the Winter Park Epic is still rocking without USAC. However, I’d like to go balls out and do some CX this fall, and pop my cantilever cherry. Race fees in Colorado are $50+ when including the one-day USAC fee, which comes also with a free bitch slap and pat down for loose pocket change before you race. Or, you can buy the yearly BRAC membership and USAC membership which will set you back 75 bones……that’s some good beer money gone to waste. Wish there was an independent CX series in Colorado.

    If this crap keeps up, I’ll be setting up a race course in my front yard. Granted, it will only be 100ft long and the wife may be pissed when the daisies get run over, but probably more entertaining than what the USAC is bringing to the table.

    BTW, last I checked Strava leader boards are non-sanctioned.

  2. Question 1) How does this affect people who race multiple disciplines? For instance I know some of the Sho-Air riders do cyclocross, Road, and MTB will they be affected if they race non-sanctioned MTB events then try and do Cyclocross/road events.
    Question 2) How do independent promoters regulate “sand baggers”?
    Question 3) Do you guys see an independent/grass roots take happening in road?

  3. On the road side, I seem to recall a few offshoot organizations springing up out West about a decade ago. Didn’t NCNCA split off (with I believe the biggest racing calendar in the country), as well as Oregon and Colorado?

  4. El Jefe, we have CBR (local crit race circuit) out here but I wasn’t clear in what I was saying sorry about that. I meant seeing big purse events like the Whiskey 50 in road/cyclocross?

  5. The only remaining independent organization I’m aware of is OBRA. ACA (colorado) was enveloped by the USAC because of this very rule, due to the numerous pros in CO not being able to race local (ACA) races. Now everyone in the state has to pay $25 to ACA to race in addition to paying for the USAC license. So now we’re all paying $25 more for the same inferior product.

  6. Mr. dirty biker quite reasonably opines:

    “How is it possible for USAC to be so completely out of touch.”

    Money. Money and power.

  7. USAC need the funds to promote its ever growing, secret doping program for the developing riders. Kinda like what has been going on for the last 25 years here…

  8. It is pretty hard to take the UCI seriously as it is…way to take a stand USACycling. Makes me feel even better about the money I dump into my annual license.
    Laughable for domestic road, a joke for domestic mountain bike racing and completely ridiculous for cx. It can’t be said enough how out of touch this makes USAC appear, although I suspect it is even more unforgivable than simply being out of touch with their main demographic. good on Sho-air. Good on the Whiskey. Can’t imagine the possible rationale for denying the elite racers the opportunity to compete for one of the best purses in the country, particularly for the women. assholes. take a stand and at best do what you are already pretty good at – nothing – and turn a blind eye. whats the UCI going to do? File a lawsuit? piss and moan? Think Patty has bigger things to worry about…

  9. Point of order, Cupcake: The U.S. of A is not a “democracy”. It is a representative republic. Jeeze, don’t they teach you kids anything in school these days?

  10. Pingback: Link roundup: April 10 | Tucson VeloTucson Velo

  11. @Joethehistorian
    You are correct, however modern America can be viewed as a blend of the two systems:

    A republic is a system in which the people choose representatives who, in turn, make policy decisions on their behalf.

    A democracy is a form of government in which the people decide policy matters directly–through town hall meetings or by voting on ballot initiatives and referendums.

    By popular usage, the word “democracy” come to mean a form of government in which the government derives its power from the people and is accountable to them for the use of that power. In this sense the US might accurately be called a democracy as many states allow for policy questions to be decided directly by the people by voting on ballot initiatives or referendums.

  12. Cupcake and Joe, You’re both wrong. the U.S. of A is a plutocracy which is rule by the wealthy. Every once in a while democracy breaks out ie. the last election. That’s why Herr Rove and his sycophants were so incredulous that Obama won. The Republicans had the fix in but people showed up to vote instead of letting the corporations decide.

    Now Joe, don’t get your panties in a twist. I’m not an Obamaniac. I don’t like him anymore than any other prostitute er… I mean politician.

    It’s just like USAC. If people voted with their feet and wallets, these shit money grubbing organizations wouldn’t exist. Of course at the elite level, the choices narrow for riders. That’s why we have that corrupt shitshow in Europe.

    $50 + for race fees. Fuck that. When I was racing about a hundred years ago I thought the fees were too high.

  13. O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring.

    blah blah blah. ride bikes, drink beer, and fuck everything else.

  14. Yes, Fuck the UCI. But how come people keep racing? If everyone’s so ass hurt about the situation why not boycott and have no entries for a high caliber race. That would sure give them the word.

  15. @Tony— Dude.

    You called me out (rightfully enough) a few days ago for posting a link to a video clip of Casey Stoner’s vicious high-side crash at the Indianapolis MotoGP event last year… and now you link a video of a sweaty black guy plooking a cow?

    Remember what the Greeks said: “[weblog comments] are like arrows; once loosed, they cannot be retrieved.”

  16. The Internet is a playground, hombres.

    @Mikey, web comments are like diarrhea, once loosed they cannot be retrieved. But why would you take anything I say seriously?

    @cupcake You gotta admit the cringe factor on that was close to 11 and you said “Fuck everything” so I was just using Reductio ad absurdum logic to conduct a trip to the weird side of youtube.

  17. What. The. Holy. Hell, Cap’n? The internet is a dark, dark place…

    Cavey, people keep racing because it doesn’t affect them. The cat 1-5 amateur racers will likely never see any difference, and don’t care about the difference between a UCI/USAC race and an independent. I’m amazed that given the cost of racing, anyone shows up. But a mid-range bike is now $4K+, and they are moving in shops, so somebody out there has money…

  18. Apparently the ignorant bliss of USAC to doping cyclists and complicit coaches was not enough. Now they push out this rule to limit racing, instead of promoting it. My coaching license is really starting to lose its relevance, credibility, and marketability.