2016 Policy and Fee Changes
A renewed focus on grassroots development and anti-doping
Since starting as CEO at USA Cycling this summer, I’ve received a lot of very helpful feedback from our members on a number of issues and areas of concern. As I’ve mentioned in past emails and blog entries, some of the top items that our membership feels most strongly about are anti-doping and an increased focus on amateur racing. As we move into the new year, these issues are at the forefront of our 2016 policy changes.
Through close collaboration with all constituents— from the positive and passionate to the frustrated— we've quickly built plans that start to show real change. I think we have found excellent ways to start to address these issues without putting an unreasonable cost onto our members, which was an important goal for us.
Highlighting the policy changes are: an increased Local Association rebate, which will put more money into the hands of those that manage amateur racing at the local level; a reduction in the one-day beginner license fee for road, track and cyclo-cross events from $15 to $10, thereby reducing a key barrier to entry; improved economics for mountain bike promoters, with a $5 rebate on one-day licenses, the elimination of permitting fees and the removal of the need for one-day licenses for practice days; and the addition of a RaceClean anti-doping surcharge to upper-category racers that will be used to significantly increase the number of anti-doping tests in the U.S. next year, particularly at the amateur level.
In 2015, Local Associations received a $10 rebate for each adult racing membership sold in their regions, which is intended to help grow and improve amateur racing on a local level. In 2016, Local Associations will still receive $10, plus $0.17 per competitive racer day, increasing grassroots funding by roughly 20 percent. Additionally, LAs will no longer be required to contribute to the USA Cycling RaceClean program, saving each LA up to $3,500 per year.
Membership fees for domestic racers will not increase, but a $5 RaceClean anti-doping surcharge will be added to Category 1 mountain bike, and Category 2 and 3 road, track and cyclo-cross memberships. A $25 RaceClean anti-doping surcharge will be added to pro mountain bike and Category 1 road, track and cyclo-cross memberships, and a $50 RaceClean anti-doping surcharge will be added to UCI pro road licenses.
We were loath to increase the racer day surcharge, but we felt it was necessary for the most equitable distribution of our rising insurance costs. And racers must understand how comprehensive and complete our policy is – no other insurance coverage comes close to the protection level of our policy. Anything less leaves our community at risk, including our racing members, which we simply will not do. Please see this insurance document for more information.
USA Cycling is in a somewhat difficult financial situation for 2016, but we have worked hard to avoid burdensome price increases on most of our members. By cutting back costs and tightening our belt in Colorado Springs, we are able to do more for grassroots development and raise the bar in our continued fight against doping without an across-the-board membership fee increase.
Given the short time since I’ve joined USA Cycling, wholesale business model changes were not feasible for 2016, so some of these changes may appear small, but they could have a large impact and are indicative of our change in direction. We look ahead to the coming months and years to make more substantial changes in an effort to give race directors and members more value from USA Cycling.
Other notable areas of change:
- A new one-day license option will be available for former racing members in non-beginner racing categories that want to try racing again without becoming an annual member. Priced at $25, this one-day license will be available as a one-time option for any upper-category former racer through his or her online account starting in Spring 2016.
- Race director certifications are no longer required.
- Recreational ride event surcharges will increase from $2 per rider/day to $2.25 per rider/day for first 1,000 participants, but will remain at $2 per rider/day for next 1,000 participants, and will decrease to $1.80 per rider/day for all participants after the first 2,000 riders. This tiered pricing structure will assist USAC’s efforts to support larger participation events.
- International junior licenses will drop from $175 to $100.
- Professional and elite individual and team membership fees will increase to reflect the greater allocation of resource USA Cycling makes to elite cycling.
- Collegiate-only memberships will increase to $45 to fund collegiate programs intended to improve safety and quality of collegiate cycling.
Click here for an outline of all changes, and here for the 2016 schedule of fees.
I hope you agree we are moving in the right direction – and recognize this is just the beginning.
Enjoy the ride,