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RE: Follow the leaders

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  • Rice, Micah
    Currently the National Calendar is a collection of races that are interested in eventually making the jump to UCI status. And yes, I will be sending
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 30, 2012
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      Currently the National Calendar is a collection of races that are interested in eventually making the jump to UCI status.  And yes, I will be sending information about that calendar to everyone—our hope is to eventually get more events on that list.  It is a calendar that the UCI requested us to create so we could have a stepping stone to UCI status.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Micah

       

      From: Myles Romanow [mailto:ilovetoracecross@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:02 PM
      To: Rice, Micah
      Cc: corey@...; Brook Watts; bcourier@...; Weiss, Michael; boups@...; paullyb@...; mitch_biowheels@...; Richard Fries; Dorothy Wong; usaico@yahoogroups.com; terry@...; Hanscom, Joan
      Subject: RE: Follow the leaders

       

      While tradition dictates that i wait a period of no less than 4 hrs before replying to the forum en masse, i will say this. 

      Considering that apparently we are being "judged" by usac on a set of criteria we still dont know, and in many cases some wont since their events have taken place already, i would hope usac is wise enough to not disqualify events based on these standards.  Use it as a punch list for the 2013-14 season.   Help elevate the standards. 

      Can you also send me a pm about what the national calendar (read non-uci but NC races)  is exactly?  My last exposure to that was with Kelli,  and if my recollection is correct she had no idea either.    Thanks!

      Myles

      On Oct 30, 2012 4:48 PM, "Rice, Micah" <mrice@...> wrote:

      Myles and all,

       

      The list of criteria that we will be looking at will be listed on the application that I will be sending to everyone.  While I wish there was a completely objective way of defining a level of event, there is no way to entirely take away all subjectivity.   I have just gone through this process for the 3rd year with the road calendars (NRC and NCC) and I expect that it will be a similar process.

       

      We will look at the following (in no particular order):

      1.       Calendar dates requested, traditional date of event, and calendar flow

      2.       Chief Ref, UCI and Team reports from your past races

      3.       All bills paid; officials, prizes and post event fees 

      4.       Photos of the event; particularly start/finish area and crowd

      5.       Estimated spectator and participant count, pro attendance

      6.       Marketing/PR reach and production value of event

      7.       Detail given to uphold UCI rules and requirements

      8.       Tech guide

       

      We expect the C1 events to hold a very high standard and we expect that the C2 events will also be able to take it up a notch.  In an ideal world, we keep most all of the events we have but everyone can reach the next bar.   With the help of the USAC Cyclo-cross Committee I will also be working on checklists for each level of event so it is very clear what the punch list is for each level—C1, C2 and National Calendar.

       

      I will have these bid applications out very soon.

       

      Cheers,

       

      Micah Rice

      Vice President of National Events

      USA Cycling

      210 USA Cycling Point, Suite 100

      Colorado Springs, CO  80919

      719-434-4283 phone

      719-434-4383 fax

      719-231-9390 cell

      mrice@...

      http://www.usacycling.org/

       

       

       Follow us! Twitter   Facebook  You Tube

       

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      On Oct 29, 2012, at 9:35 AM, Myles Romanow <ilovetoracecross@...> wrote:

      I think, Micah, with the national focus of many of these events, such conversations should always be held publicly.  Since all of these events are very likely to affect other events, in other states, and then in turn our own scheduling and preparedness, if nothing else, it's really the polite thing to do.  

       

      I must admit that the standard for a c1 event in this country has risen quite high.  Joan and the USGP organization, Brooke at CXV, Gloucester, and Ohio have set the standard for what  a top event is in this country.  (And forgive me if I left out additional top tier events, I am sure there are more.)    

       

       In your email to me you spoke of the "We have hundreds of cyclo-cross races that do incredibly well without UCI status." UCI status, has nothing to do with an event doing incredibly well.  UCI status serves really, only one thing, racers with either serious regional, national, or international aspirations.   There are events out there, that may not be as large as Gloucester, or a USGP, but they still serve that purpose, providing a platform for up and coming racers to get their feet wet nationally, earn UCI points, and embark on their own national campaigns before hopefully making that next step to international competition.  

       

      The explosive growth you speak of in cyclocross is a direct response to these events existing, and the top end events as well.  EG in the past, the smaller UCI races in the verge series prepared the racers for the larger events in the verge series, and the USGP, and then nationals.   Remember, some markets may be smaller than others, but they are still served by UCI races, and the races perform a service to those communities, and racers, helping them advance to the next level.  

       

      While I applaud USAC's efforts at supporting regular cyclocross events with "insurance, permitting, and an online calendar and rankings system" (as you also stated) , I think USAC should seek to up it's support of UCI events as well.  If we are expected to provide more to our customers, USAC should do the same for theirs (us).    Someone effectively mediating these discussions impartially, would be an excellent way to start.    An organization providing the support for as many of these events in the country to flourish as possible, would be a great follow up.  

       

      While I agree whole heartedly that improvements can be made across the board to any event, the idea of being judged by some entirely subjective criteria that we don't know about, really just doesn't sit so well with me.  At the least, the UCI standards are given to us.    So, if USAC is going to judge us on some sort of additional criteria, then decide wether or not we are worthy of endorsement of UCI status based on.... our online media presence, or our twitter feed, or how many hits our website got when so and so crashed on the barriers in the pro race, please, let us know in advance.    

       

      Thanks again for the tireless work for our sport.  I'm certain we will speak again soon. 

      Myles Romanow

      Supercross Cup

       

       

       

       

      On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM, Rice, Micah <mrice@...> wrote:

      Hello all,

       

      Thanks Brook and Adam for copying me in on this.

       

      And while your concern is duly noted Adam, I really do believe that Brook was trying to act in everyone’s best interest getting the ball rolling on discussing dates for next season—it just turned into a larger conversation that required more stakeholders to get involved.

       

      All of this chatter and fighting over dates tells me one thing—it is time we raised the bar.  Just being able to keep up with UCI protocol is not enough anymore with the number of events that are seeking UCI status. 

       

      I will be working with all of you on a calendar for the 2013-2014 season.  I will be asking for a  lot more supporting evidence this go round—I will be asking for things like photos of your finish line, spectator count, information on marketing and broadcasting, and of course your CR reports.  I will be asking some of the larger teams and pro riders about your events and looking online at your PR/marketing footprint.  I should have this application out later this week—I started working on it last Friday.

       

      I completely get it that this is a very passionate group and many of you feel like you have a very large stake in the sport of ‘cross.  And I think we can all agree that the cycling world is a bit more emotional and on edge than normal right now.  All that being said I applaud all of you for being proactive on these discussions, but I think we can all do without the jabs at each other.  

       

      Any of you are welcome to reach out to me with any concerns privately by email or phone at any time—my cell number is below. 

       

      Cheers,

       

      Micah Rice

      Vice President of National Events

      USA Cycling

      210 USA Cycling Point, Suite 100

      Colorado Springs, CO  80919

      719-434-4283 phone

      719-434-4383 fax

      719-231-9390 cell

      mrice@...

      http://www.usacycling.org/

       

       

       Follow us! Twitter   Facebook  You Tube

       

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      From: Myles Romanow [mailto:ilovetoracecross@...]
      Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:25 AM
      To: Richard Fries
      Cc: bcourier@...; usaico@yahoogroups.com; brook@...; wongwongway@...; mitch_biowheels@...; Hanscom, Joan; paullyb@...; terry@...; Weiss, Michael; boups@...; corey@...; Rice, Micah
      Subject: Re: Follow the leaders

       

      Im not sure the dictionary definition of conspiracy has been achieved.  I think whats really being said, is for the betterment of all, such discussions should take place openly and honestly.  Thats been a substantial problem over the last few years. Moderation of such discussions should be by someone who is actually impartial.  With no one leading the group in such a capacity, the purpose of the group may be lost.  

       

       

       

      On Sat, Oct 27, 2012 at 2:48 AM, Richard Fries <richard_fries@...> wrote:

      Chris makes a good point.

      There are also the metrics of rider turnout, quality of venue, quality of the field, media impressions, purse, the grade each event receives from officials, and production value. All of these things weave together to determine the "prestige" of the event. And then there is the issue of calendar flow to consider, which is important to riders, media, exhibitors, teams, etc.

      I'm reading all the comments with interest. We have a happy problem with a few too many hard working, passionate promoters pouring a lot into their events. I believe Brook has done his best and focused on the C1 events primarily, which has become the standard.  

      The nationals moving to January opened a lot of dates and to my knowledge only Alan Atwood and Jason Knauff moved into that vacuum.  

      And having just watched the DCCX event last weekend, I have to say there is nothing wrong with having a kick-ass regional event. Those guys had more than 700 riders. And they had an awesome event. The promoter was picking my brain about how to make it better.

      At issue is Pirsig's argument about what is "quality."

      Although there seems to be a lot of hard feelings and some accusations of conspiracies in these notes, the quality of our events is skyrocketing due to this competition. It's hard to keep pace. But know this, complacency in this market will not be rewarded. As Bob Dylan says, "that which isn't busy being born is busy dying." If you want to be a UCI event it better be good. If you want to be a UCI C1 event, it better be great.


      Regards,

      R

       

       For Our  fringe sport , please consider keying off of the # of families / fans that attend to gauge the value/pecking order when making these decisions . 

       

      Until we have events in our own markets that have lots of spectators .....


      Sent from my iPhone


      On Oct 26, 2012, at 8:11 PM, Myles Romanow <ilovetoracecross@...> wrote:

      It  seems to me that the conversation was always about October november date conflicts, based on the emails you were shooting back and forth.  Which, is sort of interesting, since some of us promote races on those dates, and the courtesy of an email, phone call, voice mail, or text message would have been nice.  Are we to assume since "gateway" is suggesting they can go to Nov 17-18, that I know have a new conflict instead of just the current two?  Assuming I inscript races on the same day I did this year, which again, since no one bothered to even ask, is just an assumption.    

      Or, are we to assume that those not on your original emails, simply don't matter, or figure into the big picture?  
      I think we've already determined that for whatever reason in order to have a "successful" race we all have to have the same 6 guys show up and race.  And the same three girls.  Which is essentially ridiculous.    
      Adam is 100% right. If you guys really wanted to have an honest, up front, outcome inducing discussion, you would have had an honest up front discussion with all of us courtesy of the USAICO list serv.   Which, currently is the best method of communication we have.   Or, you can continue to have private discussions, that affect others behind their backs and make them wonder forever if they are just not one of the "cool kids", or what.  


      I'm also going to say that the void left by Adam is not being filled at all.  This entire email exchange would effectively be proof of that point.  


      Myles

      On Oct 26, 2012 9:53 PM, "Adam Myerson" <adam@...> wrote:

       

      Respectfully, Brook, I do appreciate that you've been trying to take up the slack the past two seasons and bring some organization into the void. 

       

      I do also agree that the World Cup limitation is definitely making things challenging for us.

       

      I will say this, though, since I stepped back from my unofficial ombudsman role, that job has not been filled. USAC and Kelli came and had a very much "we'll take it from here" attitude, and while she definitely did her best, that is not what's happened. We managed ourselves much better than we've been managed since. That's what started the infighting and lack of cooperation, in my opinion. Once we had a master, we turned on each other.

       

      I think you missed Micah, so I added him. If Micah is going to take this role on, we need a couple of things. First, we need complete and total openness. That's why the list was created, and that's why it worked for so long. I realize we are all competitors now, and that may make some of us vulnerable. In the end, I truly believe the openness will benefit us all in the end. Second, we need Micah to do the job I was doing in the past. We need a negotiator that everyone trusts, that everyone feels like they can talk to, and will work for the best interests of the whole rather than any one individual organizer. Even though I was an organizer, you guys all trusted me and essentially empowered me to do that negotiating, and you saw that it was often at my own expense. I don't want that job back, and if USAC is going to "take it from here," then we need that same level of service and commitment.

       

      If it's going to be a free market, then fine, let it be a free market, and we can all go to war. But I much preferred the social democracy we had going up until 2 seasons ago.

       

      Adam

       

      On Oct 26, 2012, at 9:36 PM, Brook Watts wrote:

       

      Adam,

       

      I'll repeat for the group what I emailed you privately…this discussion was started by me to resolve Sept/Oct date/conflict issues.  It has now drifted into a discussion about November and beyond.  Not saying that's a bad thing, just simply saying there was no attempt to leave you out since you've always been the early Nov event guy.

       

      Yes, clearly we need a strong, central voice in this process. I've cc'ed Micah Rice on this so he can better grasp what the landscape of date scheduling is.  Perhaps some discussion during our USAC Cross Committee meeting next Mon and Tues might open a dialogue leading to a more sane process.

       

      What you fail to mention in your narration is the manner we are all held captive by the World Cup schedule.  How much simpler life was when we could have a C1 on this side of the globe on a World Cup weekend……

       

       

       

       

       

      On Oct 26, 2012, at 7:26 PM, Adam Myerson wrote:

       

      If you could all bear with me for a minute, I'd like to provide a short history lesson that starts back before some of you were involved in putting on UCI races.

       

      When the Northampton race started, it was originally 2 towns away in Amherst, on the UMass campus. 1991 is when I began. I was 19. Back then the race was always on the second weekend of November, and was originally just one day, paired with the West Hill Shop race in Putney, VT.

       

      By the end of the 90s, the race was two days and had a day of collegiate racing. That was 1999.

       

      In 2000 we went UCI, I took over what has now become the Verge Series from Tom Stevens, and we set about our 3-year plan of having every Verge race be a UCI event, which we eventually achieved. In that window we became a double weekend with the Chainbiter in CT, run by Jan Bolland, which some of you may remember.

       

      Eventually, New England increased it's cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic, as their scene and the number of UCI races there continued to grow. This is also the window where I created the USAICO and the email list (the first message is from the fall of 2003), and started the annual meeting of the UCI race organizers at nationals. This is when I started sharing our information with the rest of the country, and particularly people like Jim Brown, to finally kill the stupid regional rivalries that existed before us, none better exemplified than perhaps Tom Stevens v. Dan Norton. Jim and I were the antidote to that, and the new generation.

       

      As part of that cooperation, and in order to space the events out for better flow, my race weekend moved up one weekend to the first weekend of November to accommodate Beacon the weekend before, and Highland Park the weekend following. At the same time, 4 new races popped up in CO, with the Xilinx Cup, Boulder Cup, Boulder 'Cross, and Aurora 'Cross on the last weekend of October and first weekend of November. Mitch's races in Ohio that had been the second week of October in this period, conflicting with the Rad Racing weekend in the NW, had now moved back one weekend, conflicting with Downeast in ME. All still manageable at this point, and cooperative. 

       

      Eventually, as the calendar and number of races grew, we had a new conflicts. In 2007, Boulder Cup solidified on the first weekend of November, conflicting with Northampton. (And Gloucester started it's move forward on the calendar, conflicting with Ohio.) This sucked for everyone, even though the races were geographically far apart. It continued like this for a few years. Gloucester conflicting with Ohio, USGP alone on the last weekend of October, Boulder and Noho on the first weekend of November, and the now double Beacon/HPCX the second weekend of November.

       

      And then, finally, in 2010, with a lot of work, we "fixed it" as best we could. Gloucester moved up another weekend, and I moved back, negotiating for Beacon and Highland Park to swap weekends with me. They had no plans to make their races any bigger than they were, and it seemed like a much smaller conflict with Boulder than Northampton was. Further, we were now at Look Park, where there are extensive Halloween and Christmas activities. The first weekend of November meant we were after the Halloween business was over (as well as soccer), but before they put out the Christmas gear the next week. So, better for the venue, better for the schedule, and back to our traditional date. That left the USGP the next weekend in NJ, and we had a nice rhythm to schedule. Perfect. Except for one thing. We had had a new race in Providence that moved into Gloucester's old spot, which, while great for the northeast schedule, still left Ohio with a conflict.

       

      In this growth period, as most of you know, I spent a lot of time and energy helping other races learn the ropes of UCI race organization, and a lot of time on the phone and email negotiating conflicts and assembling a cooperative calendar. In this window, we had a boom. USAC left us alone. The road NRC organizers were jealous of us. We were an example of how, when people put the sport ahead of their own interests, we could be productive and respectful of each other. Partners rather than competitors. Even in this interview:

       

       

      Mitch says: "I called up the Michigan UCI promoter, Robert Linden, asked him who to talk to about getting this UCI-sanctioning, and he put me in touch with Adam Myerson. Adam educated me about the basic requirements and then walked me through the process getting our event on the calendar."

       

      Obviously, all along, Mitch was faced with some of the same challenges I was. He had  conflicts with other races around the country for the most, if not all of the years he organized his event, whether it was Seattle or or Gloucester, or eventually Providence. The conflict with Providence obviously wasn't great, and I couldn't find a solution for it. And while I enjoyed one year of no conflicts between Boulder and Northampton, the Canadian national championships ended up on my date. Being in New England, that actually costs me quite a lot of riders, and all the best central and eastern Canadian elites.

       

      Last year, though, last year really bummed me out. At this point, as you all know, I'd stepped back from trying to solve everyone's problems. USAC had finally engaged, and my volunteer work negotiating the calendar should no longer not only have been needed, it started to appear that it was also not wanted. USAC was going to "take it from here." And what did we end up with? Well, in 2011, we ended up with the USGP, Providence, and Ohio all fighting for the same date, on the the second weekend of October. And so what happened as a result of that? Ohio moved to the first weekend of November, in conflict with Northampton. 

       

      What pissed me off about this at the time was that there was no discussion about it like there would have been in the past. No emails. No negotiation. No consensus. Just a notification that it was happening. If that wasn't the indicator that times had changed, I don't know what was. Last year was the year that showed me we were all no longer collaborators, but competitors. And so for me, that was the end of an era, and the very clear end of my time as our ombudsman and problem solver. 

       

      I don't know if there was a better date for Ohio. I only know I didn't like the way it went down, and honestly, I thought after all these years of serving other organizers I deserved a little more consideration. So the fact there's a private, off-list email conversation right now between all of you, discussing dates that include my race, eh. I think that's bullshit.

       

      What you've all shown me is that not only did I work really hard to grow the sport over the past 10-15 years, I also created all my own competition in the process. And that really, really sucks. I would have liked to think I deserved slightly more than that, considering.

       

      Adam

       

       

      On Oct 26, 2012, at 7:38 PM, Adam Myerson wrote:

       

      That would not work for me.

       

      Northampton is planning to continue on its traditional date, the first weekend of November, and will again request to be a C1 for one of those two days.

       

      I would really appreciate being considered in this conversation.

       

      Adam

      -- 
      Adam F. Myerson
      President, Cycle-Smart, Inc.: Solutions for Cycling
      Organizer, Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross
      President, Verge New England Cyclocross Series

      Captain, Manager, Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis

      32 Ditson St., #5
      Dorchester, MA 02122
      (413) 204-3202 Mobile
      (512) 681-7043 Fax
      adam@...
      http://cycle-smart.com

       

       

      From: Dorothy Wong <wongwongway@...>
      Date: Oct

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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