Officiating Part II

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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.

5 thoughts on “Officiating Part II

  1. Trevor

    The late Artie Greenberg, who was at the time of his death, the only American certified as a UCI commisaire, had a saying I have tended to think of in greater terms than cycling, ever since I heard it, such as laws, regulations, and legislation, “Rules aren’t against riders, rules are FOR riders”.

  2. Ryan Fiddler

    I understand your point but I’ve also seen your teammate Jensen totally disrespect officials by littering on the course after the officials actually asked the racers not to do just that. Therefore, I also understand the officials intolerance towards racers and there occasional outbursts. I’ve seen racers do everything they ask us not to do over and over after they ask, racers are too often disrespectful to officials.

  3. Yellow Line in Texas

    Totally agree with you. Since I know you race down here in Texas, you know how every cat gets a very loud preaching to about our infamous yellow line. This past weekend was the first all year that we didn’t get yelled for any reason at the start and the yellow line b.s. Always threatening to DQ a whole team, but they haven’t done it yet.

    You would have enjoyed yourself down here this past weekend and made a buck or two. Next year see you at Lago too!


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