Monday, August 22, 2011

USA Cycling - The view from the Springs

For brief period of time today, I thought I'd gotten the scoop ahead of 303 Cycling the ACA, and everyone else. Brief visions of journalistic greatness were dashed when I had some housework to do, and dinner to cook. By the time I sit down to reveal the "inside information" 303 Cycling had already posted it, and the comments start coming in. See, after spamming pretty much the full USA Cycling contact list asking what the USAC position on the ACA Coup-de-e-tat was, I was forwarded the link to the USAC position paper from Andrea Smith, USAC Communications Director, at the direct request of Steve Johnson USAC CEO. Wow, what power I wield now-a-days. Oh well, snooze and you are not the first on to put news on the web.

Anyway, here is the link to the full, 8 rambling pages of history, psychology and strange, corporate diagrams (oh, and maybe a few justifications about why ACA should rejoin USAC, too...)

I'll let you read it, eventually you get down to what the proposed benefits to rejoining USAC are. I think.

I have to comment on a couple of things. One, I have a bit of trouble with the strange reference to voting here:

Today we find ourselves embroiled in a discussion of the relative merits of USA Cycling versus

the ACA as a preamble to some sort of “vote” by the clubs to determine whether or not

Colorado racing should join USA Cycling and the national family of 33 other local bike racing

associations, or remain an autonomous organization without any affiliation to the national or

international sport structure.

Not sure what is implied here, but since the VOTE (No Quotes ...) by ACA clubs is how any legislation or changes are made by charter in the ACA, could I conclude that a democratic process seems strange to the USAC folks? Do they not trust us to make decisions? Quite strange wording at best.


The most important take‐home message from the work of these scientists is that the decision to

participate in a sport is a social process that must be considered in light of the social context of

the participant. Important questions are asked either consciously or subconsciously by

prospective athletes including: 1) does participation in the sport provide meaningful personal

opportunities, 2) can I make a living doing it, 3) are there role models that define things to which

I aspire or would like to accomplish, 4) do my friends do it, 5) will my parents support it, and/or

6) does participation in the sport positively affect my personal “equity” at home, among my

friends, at my school or in my community, i.e., is the sport socially acceptable or “cool?”

Huh? Social Context? Social Process? Subconsciously? Uhhh.... what?
And, I'll ask you all out there.... Did ANYONE out there ask "can I make a living doing it" when they started racing bikes? Anyone? Really? I think this attitude is one of my biggest fears about having ANYTHING to do with the USAC.

And Finally, comments like this:

USA Cycling has just undergone the most profound

governance overhaul since its formation in 1995. Under the new model, the associations and

their boards have been replaced by Sport Committees that will work with designated staff to

manage and grow their respective disciplines. In the process, we have added 20 additional

positions and two entirely new committees so we now have separate committees for road,

track, cyclo‐cross, mountain bike, collegiate, bmx and professional road racing.

and "charts" like these:

This should set off alarm bells for ANYONE who has ever worked in a large, unwieldily, giant corporate "structure". Such corporate-drivel speak frightens me a LOT, especially when it is applied to one of my recreational pursuits. Add 20 Positions! Form a Committee! Split into business units!
And those Charts..... Oh, yea, uh... God, it's ALL clear to me now.... uh, well, uh, whatever it is the chart is trying to tell me......

I for one am pretty much even more confused & conflicted than ever about the whop proposal. Almost like a regular election in our fine country, actual information and solid data is not really forthcoming. Both sides say "it will all be great", without much actual, functional information. While NONE of this will dramatically affect a mid pack old slow guy like me (or really most all the existing riders), one wants to at least TRY and help make a good decision.

Good luck with the "right" answer on this one...

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