Read your book, but don't remember that one. Book long gone now of course. Who knows in which hands.
I think the perceived threat is what prevents people from racing as much as the real threat.
But there's also a fear of being humiliated: dropped. Left behind. Like I've said elsewhere, you can't get so blatantly dropped out of the game in other sports like you can in road racing.
The sport is hard. There's a selection before the race even begins. Heck, even before registration.
Someone asked if it was safer back in the day. I don't know, there were plenty of crashes back then. The difference that I see now is back then the officials knew you. You did not get upgraded on points, you got upgraded because the LA officials knew who you were. They actually talked to other racers and got their opinion of you before they upgraded you. You would not get upgraded if the only way you won was to ride off the front of the field. You had to win in sprints, and you had to win in breaks. When I returned to racing, USAC had lost my original 5 digit license number and all records associated with it. To them I was a nobody (and to most of you as well haha). I came back as a Cat5 because I had no choice, but USAC told me to submit an upgrade request immediately to the category I wanted to return to. The LA official responded the next day, with a personal greeting, asking me why I wanted to return as a Cat3 when she knew me as a Cat2 back then. The point being, she knew me. She would have made me a Cat2 right then and there, but I chose to earn it back with points.
you already have lead referee/official reports post-race. Not sure what actually happens to them...
I don't race USAC (non-sanctioned league), so I don't have a horse in this race, but...
I would waive the 1 day license fee if you attend a training course, and discount the race fee for those on an annual license that haven't already taken the course. USAC can reimburse the race promoter for the lost income, because with training it's more likely you'll have a greater number of return customers. Hook them any way you can, and financial incentive to take a training course is a powerful motivator.
The training doesn't have to be cosmic to be effective. Basic stuff like cornering in a group and general pace-line guidelines can go a long way. There's going to be crashes, no matter what you do. People do stupid stuff when they're gassed. All you can do is mitigate that somewhat by opening their eyes to what many of us take for granted as common knowledge.
I've been dropped so many times I've lost count. It is not a nice feeling and really makes it difficult to keep coming back out, but I have. I'm sure lots of new racers experience this for the first time and think WTH, but there isn't much can do about except trainer harder and smarter, plus learn to race, so it doesn't happen.
Another race season is almost upon me, let's see if I heed my own advice :)
it's difficult for me to wrap my head around how anyone could view this as a bad idea. standard stuff on the track.
Some people just like to argue.
Going OTB in cross is celebrated. You might get some encouragement in road.
no doubt. as soon as anyone says one thing a counter example is bound to arise.
That is one reason why I am an old cyclist.
It's pretty much impossible for me to ride away from the field and start soloing or get away with 2-3 people unless everyone in the field is sleeping. Most races I'm riding 1-5 wide with 125 people who may or may not know how to handle a bike that are strong.
Bike racing is much much much more dangerous from my experience to charity rides. Again I don't know any charity ride that has Fred's who cant ride a bike that can hold 20 mph over a relatively hilly 100 mile course.
most people in the charity rides I've been in are the same people from my community with whom I ride regularly. And we don't really paceline, we just ride.