The USCF held one of its biannual Board Meetings the weekend of March 21st in Monterey, California. The meeting was held during the Sea Otter Classic which for the first time, showcased cycling events in every discipline, from BMX to track.
At least six Utah riders participated. Congratulations to Tana Stone, John Osguthorpe, Levi Leiphemier, Burke Swin-dlehurst, Allan Butler, and Jeff Louder for representing Utah.
The Sea Otter is the one of the events within the National Championship Series and is held over four days. Nearly 1,000 athletes participated. Expenses for this event exceed $60,000. How-ever, it seemed you could count the spectators on one hand.
I have been and will continue to be instrumental in steering the nature of the meetings away from rule legislation and towards issues that directly impact membership such as customer service, local market representation and community cohesiveness. We are already seeing some successes.
At the snowbound meeting in Colorado Springs last October, many of the important issues regarding membership were not even brought to the table until I put them there mid way through the meeting. At this meeting, the USCF board addressed membership issues for more than three hours.
Many board members were surprised to hear that USCF junior membership has declined over 85% over the last ten years. I remain adamant that membership is in crisis. The fact that the board discussed membership at length is a good sign. Of note, the board discussed a fee process which considers its impact on membership and promoters first rather than the consequences to the bottom line, tracking and soliciting one-day licensed riders as method to target new members for both NORBA and USCF, and most importantly, establishing a club incentive program for USA Cycling. I have been charged with developing a club incentive proposal with the managing director.
Evan Call, Managing Director of USA Cycling opened the meeting with his report which included updates on the Kids on Bikes, a USAC cooperative program between USAC bicycle clubs and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Next, I am very glad to report, USAC has opened a dialog with the League of American Bicyclists and for this year will participate in several bicycle awareness festivals which promote ISTEA, bike month and public safety for cyclists.
The USCF board passed a resolution recommending that NCCA have a full seat on the USAC Board. This is a good thing. Obviously, collegiate cycling has great potential for growth. If collegiate cycling is successful, consider the draw it will create among youth and secondary school programs.
If NCCA has its own seat, USAC is forced to fund collegiate cycling.
USAC's technical director is developing a safety evaluation program. Liability issues and the litigious nature of citizens in this country prompts independence from UCI initiatives. I support some restrictions based on legitimate safety concerns in mass start events. I've heard rumor of banning Spinergy wheels, and get this, disk wheels in any event in 2000. Some of the basis for the arguments to limit technically advanced equipment is to preserve the tradition and limit the economics for being competitive in the sport. While some of the economic argument might be valid in considering junior participation, I believe that cutting off industry's technological initiative would seriously damage the growth potential of the sport.
If you have any suggestions or concerns, let me know. I can be reached at 801-582-8332 or [email protected] or go to my web sit at EDC.