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  1. #1
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Appealing ad hoc equipment rules for a race

    This is sort of a follow up to a thread i started a few weeks ago regarding wheel covers and discs to be used in a time trial in a stage race.

    I just learned that time trial helmets would not be allowed, while aero road helmets would. Per USAC's own regulations Appendix 4 (see end of post), helmets are allowed as long as they meet a certain set of standards (CPSC standards). Nowhere is any distinction made between road helmets, aero helmets, and aero road helmets.

    I contacted the event promoter and the chief referee, and was told the following:

    While helmets such as the Evade and the Attack argue aerodynamic advantage, these are helmets that are routinely worn in mass start events, unlike, say the Giro Advantage or the Giro Selector.

    Exclusions:
    Helmets with any sort of faring or construction extending significantly beyond the back of the skull.
    Helmets with fewer than 6 vents.
    Helmet vents may NOT be taped.
    Helmet covers may NOT be used.
    I have responded to the chief referee, arguing against the merits of the ad hoc rule (which is not stated in the technical guide). Further, i informed the referee and the organizer that i will be wearing my LG Vorttice helmet to both the ITT and the criterium as the Vorttice is legal for a criterium, and therefore is an aero road helmet.

    I doubt they will agree with me, and I would like to escalate this up should it be necessary. What other recourses do I have?

    Thanks in advance for all suggestions.

    Btw, as a side note, i find it highly ironic that the Air Attack ($200) and Evade ($250) would be allowed while an Advantage 2 ($125) and Vorttice ($125) would not. All this, of course, in the name of "leveling the playing field."

    -------
    Appendix: USAC regulation on helmets
    Section 1. Helmets Mandatory
    Part 1. At all times when participating in or preparing for an event held under a USA Cycling permit, including club rides, motorcycle drivers and all motorcycle passengers shall wear a securely fastened helmet that meets the US DOT motorcycle helmet standard.
    Part 2. At all times when participating in or preparing for an event held under a USA Cycling permit, including club rides, all licensees who are mounted on a bicycle shall wear a securely fastened helmet that meets either the US DOT helmet standards or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for bicycle helmets.
    Helmets with the European CEN certification may be worn by riders only while participating in a race inscribed on the UCI calendar.
    Riders shall show documentary proof of this, such as a manufacturer's label, upon request by event officials.
    This provision does not apply to riders who are riding rollers or any other stationary device.
    Section 2. Responsibility Warranties
    The use of such helmets is strongly recommended for all bicycle riders. It is the rider's responsibility to select and wear such a helmet that offers sufficient protection against head injury and does not restrict the rider's vision. USA Cycling makes no warranties or representations regarding the protective adequacy or fitness for competition of any helmets and a rider, by entering an event conducted under USA Cycling or any member organization rules, agrees not to sue and to hold harmless USA Cycling from any and all claims arising from the use of any particular helmet.
    Section 3. Additional Requirements
    Associations may adopt additional, more stringent regulations regarding bicycle safety helmets, provided that such regulations may in no way supersede the requirements of this policy.

  2. #2
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Regardless of the legal merits, I wonder why this is a fight you want to have? Is the benefit of your TT helmet in the TT worth the unquantifiable cost of being the guy who makes a stink in order to wear his TT helmet in the crit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Regardless of the legal merits, I wonder why this is a fight you want to have? Is the benefit of your TT helmet in the TT worth the unquantifiable cost of being the guy who makes a stink in order to wear his TT helmet in the crit?
    this. find a better cause for your energy.

  4. #4
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Regardless of the legal merits, I wonder why this is a fight you want to have? Is the benefit of your TT helmet in the TT worth the unquantifiable cost of being the guy who makes a stink in order to wear his TT helmet in the crit?
    this.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  5. #5
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Just let it go.

  6. #6
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Regardless of the legal merits, I wonder why this is a fight you want to have? Is the benefit of your TT helmet in the TT worth the unquantifiable cost of being the guy who makes a stink in order to wear his TT helmet in the crit?
    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    this. find a better cause for your energy.
    i like arguing with lawyers and drafting letters by ending them with "respectfully submitted"

    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    Just let it go.
    the unjustness in all this is that it is the de-jure sanctioning of unfair advantage to some, and i fully intend on appealing it.

    unlike other regions of the country, we don't get many stage races (which suits my slow twitching characteristics) in my area. This is one of the two races available, and I intend not to give up any advantage because of some ad hoc rule

    i will wear a stupid TT helmet in a criterium just to prove the point

  7. #7
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    OK, I know you a little from these boards as well as having met and talked with you a few times, so I'm going to type here what I'd tell you if we were standing around having a discussion and drinking a beer. In my opinion, you're just being an annoyance. I think you should go out and race within the framework of the rules and let your abilities do the talking instead of your keyboard. If you have the juice, whatever helmet is on your head in the mass start events will have a similar effect on your results as the weather at the 2004 TdF will. In your category, the GC for both of these events will be decided in the TT, by minutes not seconds. Wear your aero stuff for the TT and be a normal racer for the other events.

  8. #8
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Yes, it is unfair. "No aero equipment" TTs are, in general, a misguided effort to impose a level playing field that cannot possibly be consistent enough to actually produce a "more fair" competition. So, premise accepted.

    Now, let's break down the avenues you have for appeal and your odds of successfully overturning the ruling that you disagree with. For the former, let's see: oh, right, zero avenues for appeal. The allowance for organizers and/or officials to make any specific rules that they please regarding equipment use in time trials leaves you pretty much nowhere to go. Odds of getting them to change their mind through persuasive argumentation: arbitrarily close to zero. I suppose there's some chance that they will hear reason, but honestly I think you're just going to come across as "crazy won't stop emailing the promoters guy," and all you will get for your trouble is a promoter and a chief official (if you choose to make this their problem as well) who will consider you a high-maintenance racer rather than a customer whose needs must be met. What on earth is that going to do for you?

    What can I say? Life ain't fair. And honestly, if we make a list of what's wrong with local stage races, the aero equipment rules have to be pretty low on the list. If you want to build yourself a reputation as a high-maintenance bellyacher on the high-minded principle of which helmet you'll wear in a local stage race TT... well, the nice thing about life is that we can certainly choose which hill to die on, but I wouldn't really recommend that this be the one.

  9. #9
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    Please at least win.

    Don't be "that guy" and not win.

  10. #10
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    I appreciate the candor. However, the 2nd-13th place racers from last year (people i'll be racing against) were separated by 20 seconds or so (high 21 into low 22 minutes), in other words well within the advantages provided by an Evade over a regular road helmet.

    Right now it's either my regular road helmet or an Evade/Air Attack, and people having the latter will be at a 15 second advantage. I work hard to improve my TT, and spend tons of time on my TT bike. When i was told that TT bikes weren't allowed; fine, i rolled with it. I started practicing IAB on my road bike and fiddling with my position, though it may have been too much as i tweaked my knee slightly. 15 second advantage is the equivalent of 8-10 watts, and we all know how hard it is to obtain those watts.

    The unjustness in all this is is while tt helmets aren't okay, aero road helmet are; the irony being there is still an unfair advantage here.

    I know i'm being a PITA, and i'm fine with it. If i don't have to commit the additional outlay for the helmet, great. Though that said, if my appeal does get rejected, i'll go buy an Evade and sell it afterwards. I just don't like how the promoter thinks he's being fair to people when in reality he's not. And with all that said, i actually like him as he promotes a lot of events and works with the local communities.

    Perhaps this just means that i'll need to do ToWC to really blaze away on my TT bike...

  11. #11
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    What can I say? Life ain't fair. And honestly, if we make a list of what's wrong with local stage races, the aero equipment rules have to be pretty low on the list. If you want to build yourself a reputation as a high-maintenance bellyacher on the high-minded principle of which helmet you'll wear in a local stage race TT... well, the nice thing about life is that we can certainly choose which hill to die on, but I wouldn't really recommend that this be the one.
    very fair points.

    and you know, i agree with you on the list of what's wrong with local stage races. This guy cares about women's racing. This guy cares about the local community. This guy is a genuinely nice guy, and i actually like his events. I would much prefer to do his races than the guy who decided not to do a women's field (ToWC mentioned in previous post). But as such, i think i'll be doing the latter anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
    Please at least win.

    Don't be "that guy" and not win.
    winning and losing are irrelevant here. i'm perfectly fine being "that guy" and not win.

  12. #12
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    echappist.... I support you in this.

    USAC race... USAC rules. You're not violating the rules of the body that governs the race.

    Ad-hoc rules are B.S. Where do they stop? Why not just make a rule that says you can't go faster than any other rider?

  13. #13
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
    echappist.... I support you in this.

    USAC race... USAC rules. You're not violating the rules of the body that governs the race.

    Ad-hoc rules are B.S. Where do they stop? Why not just make a rule that says you can't go faster than any other rider?
    Track stand competition!

  14. #14
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    I am all about pushing the legal merits of something especially when it has become common place to just let the vast majority of people decide it's just not worth it. No advice to give other than I would do the same thing as you and appeal.

  15. #15
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
    echappist.... I support you in this.

    USAC race... USAC rules. You're not violating the rules of the body that governs the race.

    Ad-hoc rules are B.S. Where do they stop? Why not just make a rule that says you can't go faster than any other rider?
    +1

  16. #16
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    To everyone else... would you have such a "let it go" attitude, if you showed up at a race with your 27mm deep rims, and the race organizer wanted to 'level the field" by spec'ing only box rims? What if they said "no aero spokes"?

    At what point would you get upset 'on principle", as echappist is willing to do?

  17. #17
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    maybe you guys can consolidate your power and bargain collectively against such unjustness.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
    To everyone else... would you have such a "let it go" attitude, if you showed up at a race with your 27mm deep rims, and the race organizer wanted to 'level the field" by spec'ing only box rims? What if they said "no aero spokes"?

    At what point would you get upset 'on principle", as echappist is willing to do?
    red herring

  19. #19
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    i like arguing with lawyers and drafting letters by ending them with "respectfully submitted"
    don't argue with them. you can't make someone change their mind, only dig in harder.

    Argue your point to USAC: USA Cycling Staff Contacts Directory - USA Cycling

    Of course, your local guy can just not run a usac race and do it as a fondo or whatever.

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  20. #20
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    the race is already permitted as is through usac

    hey echappist, here's an idea if you want to use your aero ****, do the P123 race. we're allowed. but you still cant dork up the crit with a TT helmet.

  21. #21
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    the race is already permitted as is through usac

    hey echappist, here's an idea if you want to use your aero ****, do the P123 race. we're allowed. but you still cant dork up the crit with a TT helmet.
    That's the point. Permitting through USAC certainly means using USAC rulebook right? That's to whom he should be appealing, no?

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  22. #22
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    What other recourses do I have?
    Hmm I dunno, maybe stfu and race like a normal person? =]
    cat 1.

    blog

  23. #23
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Hmm I dunno, maybe stfu and race like a normal person? =]

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    That's the point. Permitting through USAC certainly means using USAC rulebook right? That's to whom he should be appealing, no?
    I'm reasonable certain (but not 100% sure) that an ad-hoc rule such as this would need to be submitted as part of the permit approval by USAC, so they would already have approved as is.

  25. #25
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    I'm reasonable certain (but not 100% sure) that an ad-hoc rule such as this would need to be submitted as part of the permit approval by USAC, so they would already have approved as is.
    Well, that's the thing to find out. If it is known and permitted to have home-rules, then echap is SOL, dumb rule or not.

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