Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trying to understand USAC licensing.

The last time I was licensed to race was in 2001, which was to race MTB that year. My confusion (and complaints) are in regards to racing Cyclocross under a MTB or Road license. I recently raced my first CX race and thoroughly enjoyed it. Enough so that I'd like to race a couple more this season. One issue holding me back is that the license costs $60 and expires this December. So I plan to get a 2010 license, but I notice that I have to choose between Cat-3 MTB-CX or Cat-5 Road-CX. What? I have to buy two licenses ($120) if I want to race Road, MTB and CX next year? If that's true, that's BS. Since I only plan to race a 1 or 2 road races, a couple MTB and a couple CX races a year, the cost doesn't justify a yearly license. But the major hang-up is that without a license I'm forced to race Cat-5, which in CX is only a 30-minute race. I'm 40+ and would prefer to race a longer race, perhaps with masters, which is where I think I belong (even though most masters kick my a$$).

Could someone explain the USAC "system" to me? I've read through their poorly designed web site and I can't find answers to my questions. Also, why restrict non-yearly license holders to shorter racers, for example the cat-4/5 CX race I was in last week. And, do I have to buy two licenses if I want to race road, cx and mtb next year?


RD said...

you have to have two licenses one for cx and road another one for mtb. I really don't think there is reason for it except for making money. I don't know about road but for mtb you can buy one day license for each event

The D said...

RD. I understand that much. I just think it's BS that you need multiple licences. But even worse is that even if you do buy a one day license you can only race in one limited category. I can't race Masters without a yearly license. BS I say. I fI pay for a once-day license then I should be able to race in whatever category that I'm qualified for (masters, cat-4/5, etc). Right?

munsoned said...

You can use either your road or MTB license for CX. If you buy a mtb license and want to race road(or visa versa), it's a $30 add on. So to race any race throughout a year is $90.

If you plan on doing just a few races a year, you can do the one day license deal. But, if you think you'll hit at least 9 races, full licensing is the way to go.

In road racing and CX, the masters races are open to cat 3-5(CX - 3/4s), so there'll be first timers and seasoned fast guys all together. In mtb, the masters races are strictly based on your category.

Now, even if you were to buy a 2010 license, I don't think you can use it for 2009 races. So for the rest of the year, you'll be stuck with 1 day licenses. But, since you can race your category (I'm asuming cat 4 in CX?) in either masters or cat 4, you should be fine.

munsoned said...

Oops, I just read the fine print on the cyclocross flyers. You're right, only cat 4s can get a 1 day license, no masters. However, I wonder if you can race in the cat 3/4s race as a 4 on a 1 day license. That'll be 40 minutes as opposed to 45 for masters or 30 for cat 4s only. I'd email the organizer and ask if it's possible to do that.

munsoned said...

Oh wait, were you told by an organizer that you couldn't race the Masters on a 1 day? Cause the wording on the flyers are very ambiguous. In fact, they don't even mention which cats can race in the masters. So if there was a cat 1 or pro guy who was 40, he could potentially race in the masters? Kinda weird. I'd talk to the promoter and find out exactly what's possible. Don't trust flyers, I've learned.

The D said...

Munson: You explained that VERY well and I'm clear now.

The race director said that I can only race Cat-4 CX on a one day. The remaining races on the calendar state the same.

I guess $90 is better than $120 if I foresee racing road, mtb and cs next year.

Thanks for the low down in plain English.

munsoned said...

No prob. And yes, USACycling's website needs HELP!! It's ridiculous, but I don't think they know it. I don't think they have too big a budget, so that may be the issue.