During the first week of the new year I got an email from USA Cycling tell me about all the great cycling events happening in 2009… AND a friendly reminder to renew my license. I went to crab my credit card and then I looked at my license fee, its going to be $150!! Last year, I only used my NORBA license at a handful of events, races like BC Bike Race and the Winter Park races don’t require a NORBA license. I also don’t know of too many Pros that head out for a full international World Cup circuit.
While pondering this dilemma about renewing my license, I remembered NORBA is implementing a new category system this year…. The new categories makes sense for the Expert, Sport and Beginner racers, the Semi Pros are left in limbo. They have to make the ‘tough’ choice between racing Cat 1 (Experts) or move on up to Pro. The Semi-Pros will pony up the $150 with out blinking an eye. I can’t think of one Semi-Pro who is going to say no to racing Pro verse racing Experts. I feel letting the Semi-Pros joining the Pro ranks is only going to dilute the Pro race field. The race categories should be like a Bell Curve. There should be should be the largest number of racers in the Expert field, while the Begineer and Pro fields should have the smallest. By letting the Semi-Pros join the Pros, you are now going to have a huge spread of racer abilities! Are the race organizers going to be pulling lapped riders? Are the prizes going to be deeper then top 3?
Then it hit me, I put 2 and 2 together! The large Pro fields and the high cost of the Pro license is going to be making USA Cyling some big $ this year! Great for them… but what about the loss of the NORBA backed National Series? USA Cycling to going to be getting more money then any other year from registered racers while at the same time, NOT putting on a National Series. This is what makes me frustrated and dissapointed in NORBA! Where is that money going to be used?
It seems to me like NORBA/USA Cycling is more worried making money then promoting the sport…