Okay. I’ve received a ton of emails about the crumpled number post. From all ends of the spectrum. I think I need to clarify the point I was trying to get across.
Cycling is way to complex a sport nit pick over over rules that don’t affect the outcome of the race. I don’t know why that rule is in the book. I obviously don’t agree with it. And I don’t think that should have been the main topic at the pre-race officials meeting at a road race.
There a lots of different ways to handle specific situations. In cycling and in general life. An example is signing in before stages at a stage race. At some races, the officials takes down the sign-in exactly 15 minutes before the start and then proceeds to level fines on the guys that missed it. At some races, like Nature Valley, the officials will bring the sign in sheet to the start and announce that certain riders had failed to sign in. Completely opposite enforcements. The rule is there so the officials know who was starting the race and to make the scoring easier. It seems obvious to me which way is best for all involved.
I’ve been to many a pre-race meeting where the head official shouts at the riders. Rants about potential disqualifications. About violations of the yellow line to peeing somewhere. That isn’t how it should go. There should be no shouting or threats. Especially at the start of a PRO-1 race. Or any race for that matter.
The pre-race meeting isn’t the time for a refreshment course on the USAC rulebook. My perfect pre-race speech from a official would go something like this. “Thanks for coming here. You all know the rules. Good luck and ride safe.” That’s it. If there is a dangerous point on the course, it is nice if they point that out. All the other stuff is just stuff.
Somewhere along the way it seems like officials and riders somehow got on different sides of some imaginary line. That shouldn’t be the case. We’re all on the same side. Bike racing. The officials are there for us, the riders. So, let try to concentrate on the important aspects of the sport and let the minor stuff stay minor. We should all be working together to make the sport successful and safe.