Waiting to Enter Races

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It is so strange how long people wait to enter races nowadays.  I’ve always waited until last minute, but when whole teams are going, you’d think that they would be entered way earlier than two days before.

Case and point is the Gateway Cup this weekend.  Earlier this week, I looked and the PRO 1 field had 40 riders entered.  I waited one day and there were 80.  Now there are 103 guys registered. The races start tomorrow night.

I do understand the rationale of individuals waiting.  The entry fee is substantial.  It is $200 for the weekend, plus USAC charges something like a $12 fee to process the electronic entry.  That is bullshit.  Just because USAC has taken over a lot of turf from BikeReg etc. doesn’t mean they should still charge the fees that an independent company charged.  USAC is the organization that is supposed to represent us.

But, these races all are on the National Racing Calender, thus important to some teams.  But the teams didn’t enter until last minute.  I’m not sure what that is all about.

I like the Gateway Cup.  The first two days are pretty wide open and normally are field sprints. Then it gets progressively harder.  On the Hill on Saturday can be hard.  It is in the Italian section of St. Louis, thus has a lot of character.  Sunday is a very hard race.  Especially if you get too far back in the field.

I thought I was riding okay, okay enough to gain form through racing.  I’m not so sure about that now.  I’ve been waking up the last two days with splitting headaches and feeling generally run down.  I hope it is just allergies, but Bill told me his is sick last night, so that goes around in tight circles.  I hope it works out.  I am banking on these 4 races to get some form for Chequamegon and then Jinglecross the next weekend.



Off subject, but does anyone know that this tool is for?  I found it in my mom’s stuff.  It is pretty cool, but I don’t really know its use.

IMG_1212 IMG_1213


Tucker at the coffeshop. He likes to go because a lot of people pet him. Bromont wasn't much into pettying. Tucker loves it.

Tucker at the coffeshop. He likes to go because a lot of people pet him. Bromont wasn’t much into petting. Tucker loves it.


36 thoughts on “Waiting to Enter Races

  1. Thomas

    Creditcard fees are brutal. Most charge about %3. USA Cycling is trying to keep its head above water. Eating creditcards fees is bad business for them.

  2. Jason

    Then they should pass that on to promoters that want to tack on an extra 10 to 20 dollars for day of registration. It’s a farce for the racers who get screwed either way

  3. Jon Paulos

    Any brand name on the handle? Is there a recess on the other jaw that corresponds to the star shape that I can see? Given the photos shown, I’d speculate that it’s a leather decorating tool, for either embossing or punching out that 4-pointed star shape.

    And you can bring Tucker by anytime for petting.

  4. Wildcat

    I’m going guess it’s a leather stamp. Like a decorating tool for a handmade leather belt or the like.

  5. channel_zero

    They charge $12? That’s double 3%. They don’t collect enough on “insurance” fees? You guys don’t seem to care.

    Any word on a 2015 USAC annual report? At all? How about the 2015 990? I wonder what is taking so long.

  6. Bill K

    $180 +$12 for Cat 4-5 racers??????
    Yeah…..USA Cycling is looking out for Grassroots……At least they can win “Medals and Glory” (3 places)

  7. Sean YD

    FYI, there is no longer a “National Racing Calendar,” Steve.

    The National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and the National Racing Calendar (NRC) were merged into one and completely revamped into the “Pro Road Tour” with a new points system and an overhauled calendar.

    Some details from last November are here:

    The Pro Road Tour description and current standings are here:

  8. Jake

    990s often take a while to be made public, but I’m not sure why. I work for a non profit and ours isn’t public yet. I did a quick search and USA Triathlon, USA Swimming, and the USOC’s 990s from 2015 are not available yet.

  9. Steve Tilford Post author

    Sean – I know the new deal is called the Pro Road Tour or whatever. It is so hard to keep straight. Even USAC can’t. Here’s from their website.

    The Pro Road Tour (PRT) is USA Cycling’s national race series that highlights road cycling’s premier domestic events to showcase the top U.S. team and rider.

    2017 PRT Application [PDF] If you need a fillable Word doc email Tara McCarthy
    PRT Event Requirements & Procedures
    The National Road Calendar (NRC) is USA Cycling’s regional race series that highlights road races.

    They do their best to segregate professionals and amateurs, then when they don’t have enough pros to race, they open the races to amateurs, not until they’ve charged their teams to qualify as “Elite teams”. The qualification procedure is you pay money. Then you can race the Professional Criterium Championships, but if you win, you can’t race the Elite Criterium Nationals later. WTF? It is all so silly.

  10. TimAnderson

    this particular promoter charges the same rate for the small races around St Louis. It is common for his races to pay out worse than any other promoter in the area. Take the Grove Crit or Edwardsville for instance: those are promoted by different groups and payout a ton in comparison. A winner of a non-Cat1 race is lucky to break even on the day. Edwardsville is the best race in the St Louis area (a hard course).
    Of course, I don’t race to try to make money (it’s a failing proposition) but I do keep track of my finances and tend to stay away from races by this promoter.
    I hear promoters don’t make much money from races, but I can’t understand why this one particular promoter charges more and pays less than anyone in the mid-west.

  11. Mike Rodose

    Registration fees are expensive because the races are expensive to promote. And because there are not many advertisers nor sponsors stepping up to pay the costs for the races. Because bicycle racing isn’t enough of a viewer draw tomjustify their expenses.

    More coverage means more advertising and possibly lower registration fees. How to get there?

  12. KrakatoaEastofJava

    You can go to a website and get a 990 in a few minutes.

    I once asked to see my private college’s 990 back in 1994 and they practically crapped their pants over what kind of info was about to be revealed.

  13. Dave King

    It’s interesting to me that people wait so long to register to race. It suggests that fewer people are racing than were racing in the past, especially in non-masters categories. Here in NorCal, I can remember 1/2/Pro and Cat 3 races filling out and selling out well before race day. If you didn’t pre-reg you were screwed. It wasn’t every race but it would occur in the most prominent or popular ones from the late 80’s to the early 2000’s. That no longer occurs in those categories. Now it is the master’s categories that fill up. While the road USAC population seem to be “aging” I don’t recognize most of the names in the master’s categories that I raced with in the 1/2/Pro fields back in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

  14. Dave King

    Indeed. Prize money around NorCal road races is either unchanged from 20 – 25 years ago or lower, and that’s not even accounting for inflation (counting inflation, prize money is lower). Not that I raced for money but it was nice to place and cover some/all of your expenses for the day/weekend.

    Races outside the realm of USAC are gaining popularity here, especially amongst the “gravel” crowd. Gravel Gauntlet Series by Super Pro Racing and the Grasshopper Series are two of them here in Norcal. Interesting big loop course road races usually involving mix of road and dirt. High entry fee and no prize money. These events can be ridden as races or rides, which is kinda nice.

    My racing days are behind me. Mostly I’m in it for the rides, the friends, the fitness and adventure. Occasionally, I plan some longer adventure rides that take me on unknown roads to distant places while credit card touring.

  15. Jake

    Google 990 finder and you can find them, but like I said, most 2015 990s are not available on that site yet.

  16. KrakatoaEastofJava

    US law requires that you be allowed to inspect their most recently filed 990 form. If anyone happens to be in CO Springs, they can walk in and just ask to see it. That doesn’t mean they’ll welcome you with open arms. There is sensitive information contained within.

    When my college initially refused to show theirs to me, I reminded them of the law. No one had ever asked to see it before, so they were pretty damn wigged-out. A call to their lawyer informed them of the bad news. They had to show it to me. They told me I could come in and inspect it in a closed room under supervision. I told them that they could make this easier and just make a copy and give it to me, but they refused. So I showed up. The document had tons of revealing info in it. Top-10 paid employees (and the amounts paid), detailed information on income and expenses, top-paid vendors, etc.

    I really pised them off when I pulled-out a blank 990 form of my own and then spent 2 hours copying everything verbatim, line for line. I offered them (several times) the chance to save us all time and headache and just make the copy, but they insisted on making it as difficult as possible to get the info.

  17. KrakatoaEastofJava

    I’d be in favor of just removing the prizes from amateur cycling. It would take the pressure off the promoter and perhaps lower the entry fees. Looking back, I wish I had a few more trophies and medals. A pair of Spenco crocheted gloves doesn’t exactly invoke nostalgia.

    The biggest prize payout I ever received was a check from the city of Redlands for 5th place in the 1985 one-day event when I was a junior. Yeah, the city actually direct-funded the prize list. Usually I got old sew-ups donated from a bike shop. Meaning: prizes were never really what it was about.

  18. Dave King


    I agree. Prize money wasn’t what it was about. I always preferred a good race with little prize money to a mediocre or lousy race with prize money. Some races give out some cool trophies. Nowadays there are podium presentations/pics at all the races – back then it was a rarity.

  19. Touriste-Routier

    Unless fields are known to sell out, there is little incentive for riders to pre-register;a $5 – $10 increase in fee is not an incentive to pre-reg vs. a “no refunds” policy should you not be able to participate in the event. However, lack of pre-reg makes it much harder for organizers to plan the event properly.

  20. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Channel Zero: I don’t show up anymore. $35 to race for a half-hour +2 laps? Oh yeah, I can also race the Cat3, 50+, 40+ and 30+ for $35 each as well? I don’t think so. Just give me one event with a decent distance (relative to all the riding that I do) and I’ll think about it.

  21. Telford

    Steve– I think that is a pair of “snap pliers” for putting snaps on clothes that a seamstress would make. I found a couple that were very similar on eBay. My mom sewed and had a pair something like that.

  22. Carlos. Flanders

    That promoter puts on a ton of races and often makes big losses. Were it not for them the STL scene would be very small. I very much doubt they make any more than break even over the year. They do a very pro job on even the smallest events. STL is spoiled.

  23. sillypuddy

    That tool looks like something you would useto sharpen ink pens.WTF, i thought this was a blog about cycling. Not ” Ask this old House”.


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