I hope the Cat 1 surcharge blows up in USAC's face with a raft of downgrades. There very little benefit beyond being able to jump into a couple races a year in having that "1", and bragging rights. I'll save that $20, thanks.
If I thought that $20 would do anything to clean up the sport I'd be OK with it. But it's shoveling a lot of money out with no accountability to at best catch a few stupid people while even a half a brain let's you proclaim your cleanliness in the extremely unlikely event you get tested. If the testers even show up, which they didn't at several events where promoters paid the fees.
And the guy who oversaw a boatload of dopers is still collecting a USAC paycheck. So bite me USAC.
Ba ba ba bite me.
Emailed the new guy in charge who has "personally responded to every email". Except mine...
Ba ba ba bite me.
And we're going to send more money to the Local Associations. Without any plan where that money will go. To places where a lot of it has already disappeared off the books with no repercussions.
Perhaps lots outs will feel as he does.
No no matter what my individual opinion is, people seem to feel amateur doping is a/the big issue. Perception of doping with nothing being done does crate a barrier to entry. If they are going to bother to collect the money, I hope it goes somewhere and is effective (I'd gladly pay more for effective controls, tbh), but the truth is that simply the perception of caring about it MAY help participation.
I I did the math and the new fees are roughly 38k from cat 1s and 35 or 40k from 2s and 3s. The reader can decide whether or not they believe an effective program can be run off of 70k.
I just don't follow it. They can't come up with a way to effectively control doping in the pro ranks, despite biological passports, but now they're going to police the wild west of amateur racing? super meh. The day it costs me an extra hour at a race is probably the last time I pin up a number.
That said I'm not giving up my 1. Not for anyone. I worked hard for it, and it's mine.
I can also name as many lower cats / masters who got popped, as I can Cat 1s I'm not sure why the cost disparity…and I don't really care about the money.
The idea behind the cost disparity is to make the barrier to entry lower for new racers by putting more of the costs on members who are presumably more committed already. License fees are already pretty high and with USAC saying they want to do a better job of developing grassroots racing going forward, that's an obvious obstacle for new members. If you don't agree with that reasoning that's cool, but they've been very clear about why the costs are different.
The Workingman's Honest Bicycle Program - Heady talk about bikes, bike racing, bike racers and bike riding. standarddouble.com/whbp
I don't really respect or care much about USAC so other than this forum or a random post on facebook there's not many ways I'd come across their reasoning. In fact the only reason I'm even aware of the doping surcharge is through those same ways I named.
I have no problem with a $5 or $25 anti doping surcharge and I'm willing to give the new guy the benefit of the doubt that the money will be spent for what it's supposed to be spent on.
I have yet to hear anybody suggest a better way of handling doping, except for ignoring it, which is basically what happens now.
@tetonrider where are you getting the USAC membership by category numbers?
grolby gave the basics.
none of us have inside info or any special interest in or respect for USAC -- the same email went out to all on nov 24th. it was essentially a copy of this:
This thread couldn't possibly be more hijacked at this point
significantly increase the number of anti-doping tests in the U.S. next year, particularly at the amateur level." (their words)
i'm curious if you actually do get tested as to what will happen -- not that you are doping, just whether you will decide the time to piss is your departure from the sport. maybe others feel the same as you
if i had to stay an extra hour at EVERY race but it guaranteed that dopers would be gone/caught, i'd do it. maybe i err on the side of optimism, but i'm at least hopeful that the new policy will have some impact. i don't intend to judge DBH before he has had a year or more in his position -- it takes time to change a sick organization. maybe USAC is beyond repair, but maybe not.
re: giving up the 1.....if one truly does not believe the extra $20 will help and they no longer race p/1 races, then keeping the cat 1 is just about ego. that's fine, but that's what it is. i suspect USAC also recognized that -- for anyone who makes a stink about the $$ (and some have) few will actually give it up for the reason you mentioned. they 'worked too hard.'
smart. there pretty much total inelasticity there.
giving it up (esp as a protest) does not erase the record books. you earned it and that part can never be taken away. when you're dead, they can list cat 1 racer on your tombstone even if one downgrades to a cat 2 when they're 75.
my sincere hope is that if many of us are forced to pay higher fees that at least those fees might achieve some greater good. i'm a little torn on whether chasing doping is wasting money, but the perception of doping in the sport does seem to be a very real barrier to entry for many.
me saying the time I'm late for something because I get stuck at a race for a test (or my car mate is late, or makes me late) is hardly an admission of doping or me saying I wouldn't take the test. I've seen my teammate incur his wife's wrath for being late because there was a crash, or traffic, to not want to deal with it. the more times one of us is late for something the more difficult it is to travel to races. at a certain point, particularly when the testing is pointless, it makes more sense to do other things with the time.I'll decide when that is, when I decide when that is.
i used the ranking system and looked at all licensed racers for 2015 for road races, by category. i did not look at crits or TTs, so there are probably some licensed riders who are ranked for crits but didn't do a single RR. i.e., my estimate is probably just a bit low but in the ballpark. i was willing to do 5' of work but not do 30' to pull all the #s and then filter out dupes.
as you'd expect, there are fewer 1s than 2s or 3s -- the # of 2s + 3s is about 5x larger than the # of 1s, so the 5x greater surcharge ($25 vs $5) makes the 1s bear about the same burden, collectively, as the 2s + 3s. the 4s & 5s get the free ride, which is in agreement with what @grolby said.
i'm just curious if you (or others) will actually quit the sport when it is time to test and you are an hour late.
if clean guys leave the sport, that is sad, and it would be another shameful thing about what doping --or the impression of it -- does to an amateur sport.
(i suspect you are clean but i'd never place any money on you, or pretty much anyone else, being clean; that is no disrespect to you.)
They tested the NJ elite crit. They don't test a lot of races. The protocol for things is sketchy. Who is being tested? What's the obligation of the rider.
In the 1,2,3 they tested the top three. In the later 35+ non championship event, I guess they predetermined a different selection. A rider flatted outside the free laps, and split. He was on the list. Got suspended for two years.
Is that right? Clearly he broke the rules. Did it serve the intent? I don't know. I can tell you he's marked as a doper now in the eyes of NJ riders. Was he doping? I don't know.
The reasons I race have nothing to do with how others do. I spent 2 hours on the rollers today, with an hour of it waging a war to make myself crack, barf, quit, That's why I race.
This is why OBRA (Oregon bike racing association, for those who don't know) will never die. Good or bad, I'm not sure.
I didn't know about this surcharge or what it's for - this forum is keeping me in the loop!
I wouldn't focus too much on the personal part of that. It's mostly irrelevant. Guys on the same team don't know what one another are doing, I'd hardly place cartesian certainty on a guy I never met from an internet forum.
The important point I think is that for the overwhelming majority of folks this is a hobby. That which adds complexity to the hobby impacts the reality of their lives. So it's inline with the part about clean guys leaving the sport.