Have some days be category racing and some be A/B/C, where riders can self-select. San Diego runs mostly A/B/C, and Encino and Carson historically run mostly category. But Encino has wednesday night racing that ends up working like A/B/C, and Carson has had periods where there were A/B/C. When we tried friday nights at Carson, we did A/B/C so that we could get more people on the track in an evening- you can really only run 3 fields in a 2.5 hour session, and are maxed at 24 riders on a 250. They're doing about half cat and half A/B/C this year. Encino also has some hipster kids putting on races that are effectively A/B/C under ATRA insurance. They get great turnout. The other nice thing about A/B/C is that if you're injured or getting over being sick or something, you can downgrade and get some race practice, and as long as you don't act like a sandbagger and clean up, nobody will mind.I'd like the option to race Cat 3 mass start races, but if I ever won anything in a "3" race while holding a "2" license, that would be grounds for a complaint. But, if I downgraded to "2", then I wouldn't be able to participate in "P/1/2 only" events. So, I choose to keep the 2 on the license and suffer in the mass start stuff.
Not really worth the trouble...Some say we should have Sprint and Endurance license categories. That would solve that problem, but may not be worth the trouble.
That rule ran around 2005-2010, and it worked pretty well til they mucked it up in 2010 and made it really complicated. They made the number qualifying depend on the number of riders entered, instead of top 5 or top 3 (depending on the 2 day or 1 day format of the qualifier). Qualifiers were pretty much self-selecting, so turnout tended to be small, but racing hard and fast. You still had to race to qualify, because the same 3-5 people could take the spots in all the events if they wanted.USAC did have a rule in 2010 when one had to qualify for Elite Nationals that one could race Sprint events if you qualified via a sprint event, and the same applied to Endurance and Omnium. That was a fair rule. But, of course, if you race at a fast track (like TTown) and there were few qualification spots available, then a fast guy couldn't win the right to go. Similar to the Olympic debacle now.
In the first year or two, there was a little ambiguity, and some tracks would "roll up" people from the lower spots in a race if the people in front were already in--i.e. if places 1-5 had already qualified, then 6th place would qualify. That let in too many unqualified people (who were getting dropped like rocks, or passed in 500 m TTs), so they explicitly eliminated that by 08 or 09. In SoCal it was never *that* hard to qualify, with three tracks. The first year I qualified I think was 05, when I made it in the Keirin by accident by nipping someone at the line and getting rolled past a foreign rider (which the rule said was supposed to happen).
After that year, there were effectively only 2 tracks to qualify at in SoCal-- at Carson we usually had our qualifier last, or nearly last, and people from up and down the coast would show up and use it as a practice race. A few times I think the races were faster than at elites- people would do crazy things like take a 2 lap, 35 mph pull in the scratch race, then drop out. Then another guy would do the same thing...very strange. But I think very few people qualified at Carson after 2006, because of the numbers of already qualified people showing up for practice. I knew a few people who even traveled to the midwest to qualify. I had the impression that some tracks didn't even hold qualifiers, but sent in results... I often had trouble finding the races or results posted at the smaller tracks (I wanted to do stats on time at track X vs. time at Carson)
I think if they had kept it at the 2009 rule, it probably would have been reasonable. A few people at a place like TTown would have to travel, but it still was a pretty fair situation, and easy enough to qualify that a 40+ never-was like me never had any trouble getting in.
That's such a great, informative post!
Hey Carleton, so I asked Scrod about gloves and he told me to come ask you. What should I be looking for? Full-fingered or half? What kind of material, etc.?
We dispense LOTS of heat via our hands. Gloves impair this. This is why summer cycling gloves have no fingers and some sort of thin/webbed material on the tops, to dispense heat.
Half-finger in the summer and full finger in the winter to keep your finger tips from getting numb.
Hey carleton, who do you like better? Carleton or scrod?
Carelton- what gear ratio would be good for use on a trainer? I have a 48t chain ring and 15,16,17 tooth cogs? Looking for sprint speed.
Kinetic fluid trainer
hey man, i saw in a different post you use to ride on the street with mavic ellipses.
do you have anything interesting to say about them?
would you not recommend using brakes with them?