The Non-Renewal of My USA Cycling License
USA Cycling is the national (non-profit) entity whose purpose is, according to their official Articles of Incorporation, “the preservation, development, and administration of the sport of bicycle racing within the United States of America.”
Well, sort of. Keep in mind that we, as cyclists, pay anywhere from $60-100 a year for a racing licenses, to help facilitate this agencies $13 million budget, their $2.9 million payroll, international racers (like the Olympics) and ostensibly the organization of a grassroots cycling movement in this country.
…finally I was transferred to an entirely helpful gentleman in the “Athletics Department” named Gregory Cross. Mr. Cross confirmed for me that of the 5 Under-23 riders representing the United States at this weekend’s Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, only 1 of them was “funded”, i.e. getting their travel and expenses paid for by USA Cycling. The other 4 not only must pay for their own airfare & luggage fees, but they then must pay an $800 “team travel fee” to USA Cycling for hotel, food, and ground transportation during their stay in The Netherlands. And this is how we cultivate the next generation of champions?
I’ve always wondered why Americans riders, with a couple notable exceptions, suckitup when it comes to international cycling competition. This might go a ways to explaining it.