Friday, February 24, 2012

ACA State of the Nation – February 24th, 2012

The 41st Season of ACA Racing is Upon Us

The 2012 ACA Board of Directors assembled on Monday, February 6th to kick off our 41st year of racing. I would like to express my gratitude for the service of outgoing board member Kevin Rutledge and welcome his replacement Stacie Truszkowski. All other ACA Board Members remain in effect from 2011. We are very lucky to have volunteers among us willing to commit their time and efforts necessary to maintain the charter of the Allegheny Cycling Association.

The ACA experienced its largest turnout of racers ever in 2011. From April to September, we held 91 races, tallying up 2,483 entrants representing 2,260 racers – 223 entrants were double-dippers.  Entrants were spread out among 772 A racers, 670 B racers, 602 C racers and 439 Women/Juniors. 82 of you bought season passes (also a new record), with 77 actually paying for them (shame to you rule-breaking scofflaws).  Race day payouts and season awards totaled $6,355. I'm also happy to report our email group list has grown to 410 members.

2011 was a great year racing bicycles in Western PA. It's now time to focus our attention on 2012. Without further ado, I'm happy to share the following highlights the ACA Board has approved for 2012:
  • Race dates are set and we're kicking off the 2012 series on Tuesday, April 10th. We'll go 22 weeks through Wednesday, September 5th for the A, B, C & W/Jr. series.  
  • J.R. Petsko and his ABRA crew are helping us run the Saturday series. The 10 race dates are 4/28, 5/12, 6/9, 6/30, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4, 8/11, 9/8 and 9/22.
  • 100 laps was so much fun last year we're bringing it back in 2012. Mark your calendar for August 18th for 50 miles of 'round and 'round fun.
  • Race officiating will be handled by Doug Riegner & John Cotter on Tuesdays and Amy Garbarak and Sharon Slovenec on Wednesdays. John Fite and Stacie Truszkowski will be assisting with registration. Please take a moment to thank this crew the next time you see them. Our races are organized, safe and fun because of this crew.
  • A women's clinic is being planned. Stay tuned for a date and more details to come.

Get Registered NOW!
You need a license to race your bike at the Bud Harris Cycling Track and you need an ACA membership to score points for series awards and prizes. USAC and ACA web sites are ready to register you for racing. Note that an ACA season pass pays for a few extra races, reserves your spot on race night, registers you as an ACA member and provides a ticket to the end-of-season awards banquet.

Money Talks
The ACA is a non-profit organization. Truth be told, we had a positive cash flow of $286 last year. How did we manage such a staggering windfall? After all of our race expenses, supply costs and awards are totaled, the ACA squeaks out a $.12 profit per $10 race entry. We run a tight ship and we intend to keep it that way for 2012. I'm happy to say there will be no change to racing costs for 2012. Race fees will remain at $10 per racer, with a discount of $5 for Juniors in the Junior race only. ACA Memberships and prize money are to remain consistent as well.

The Pennsylvania Cycling Association (PCA) has graciously awarded the ACA a $500 grant for the continued subsidy of Junior race entry fees. In 2012, Junior race entry discounts amounted to $1,260 in expenses. Our Treasurer, the fiduciary gifted John Fite, has provided a detailed breakout of how your $10 entry fee keeps us in the black. I challenge anyone to find this much value for anything that costs $10. Thank you John for the great detail.

Race Entry Fee
USAC User Fees
Juniors Discount
Season Pass Juniors Discount
Series End Cash Awards
Race Numbers
Race Day Cash Awards
Season Permits
City User Fees
2012 A Champ Season Pass
Misc. Supplies
Total Expenses per Race per Racer

Mad Profit

Marshals and Volunteers Must Sign Insurance Waivers
USA Cycling is serious about registering and insuring specific volunteers for events. The ACA will require that all Officials, volunteers and marshals MUST sign a USAC release waiver or you cannot assist with an event. This applies to any volunteer, including race marshals. We appreciate the time and effort of our volunteers but we must take this matter seriously. Forms will be provided to those wishing to volunteer. If you don't sign a form, you cannot help.

USAC Cycling Meeting – Saturday, March 17th, 9 a.m. ProBikes Spin Studio, Squirrel Hill, 3rd Floor
The ACA has scheduled a meeting open to all cycling aficionados and targeted toward training new USAC officials. It will be hosted by Andy and Marilyn Taus and Ellen Dorsey. The date and time are Saturday, March 17th, 9 a.m. at ProBikes Squirrel Hill in their Spin Studio on the 3rd floor. Plenty of parking is available. Coffee and snacks will be available in the morning and we'll do pizzas for lunch. Special thanks to Todd Schoeni and ProBikes for providing the venue.

The meeting is open to all cycling enthusiasts. Training new USAC officials to keep racing safe and organized in Western Pennsylvania is critical. Races don't happen without officials. This meeting has become an important annual event as it helps us all learn about new cycling rules, share ideas and makes racing safer, stronger and more fun. We need you to come out and contribute to the cause. Please respond a.s.a.p. to let us know if you can attend the seminar.

Medical Plan – Doctors, EMTs, Specialists and First Responders
USAC has mandated that all events must carry a detailed Medical Plan. We've been relatively fortunate over the years with only a handful of significant accidents at the Bud Harris Cycling Track. However, bicycle racing is an inherently dangerous sport and accidents do occur. The ACA will be instituting new medical guidelines for our series and reinforcing existing regulations to keep racing safe and organized.
·         The Medical Plan and relative announcements will be made at the beginning of each race. The Chief Official is in charge. Please pay attention to what the officials have to say as it may affect the outcome of a race if a crash occurs. Failure to follow their direction can result in race relegation or expulsion from the series.
  • In the event of an accident, riders will be instructed to keep moving forward and move away from the accident. On-track marshals or race officials will make a decision to slow or suspend the race.
  • The Chief Official is in charge of the race at all times. In the event of an accident, the Chief Official will request medical assistance if necessary. Please refrain from attempting to direct riders or provide direction on your own. Your impulse may be counter to what's deemed necessary by the Chief Official. If an accident occurs, please keep your head straight and continue forward progress to maintain your safety as well as others.
  • The ACA membership is chock full of doctors, EMTs, medical specialists and first responders. While we appreciate your potential assistance, please refrain from attempting to participate or take control if an accident occurs. The Chief Official understands the Medical Plan and will recruit you if necessary. If you decide to take matters into your own hands, it can disrupt the safety of the event. If you feel as though you can contribute, please alert the Chief Official prior to the start of the race. If needed, you'll be engaged.
Bud Harris Plaque Fund Raising Effort - $1,500 Fund Raising Goal
As most of you know, the "oval" was officially renamed the "Bud Harris Cycling Track" in memoriam of the late Bud Harris. There is a sign marking the naming to the right of the officials stand. The sign is a good marker but many people are unaware of exactly who Bud Harris was and aware of his efforts in urging the City to create such a great cycling venue.

The ACA Board has commissioned a plaque through Matthew Bronze Memorial Products to commemorate Bud Harris. We've worked with Bud's wife, Ann Harris, in designing a plaque to be placed on a stone base near the current wooden sign. The plan was initially announced at the 2011 awards banquet. We were pleasantly surprised to receive over $420 in donations that night toward our fund raising goal. It was inspiring to see racers handing over their cash awards and others reaching deeply into their pockets.

We've received more donations since the announcement but are still short of our goal of $1,500 goal to cover expenses. I am reaching out to the membership to please consider contributing to the Bud Harris Memorial Marker fund. Checks can be made out to "Allegheny Cycling Association" and mailed to Chris Popovic, 825 Maple Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143. No amount is too small to make this happen. I thank you in advance for your contributions.

Juniors Racing in A Race Requirements
The New Year brings with it new potential for greatness. We all want to improve upon our past performances and this comes much faster to some riders vs. others. Junior membership has surged in recent years and now many Junior racers have ascended to Cat 3 status. It is an impressive feat for any Junior rider to obtain a Cat 3 license. However, a Cat 3 license doesn't automatically come with comprehensive racing experience. In an effort to help our Junior riders gain valuable race experience and to prepare accordingly for the intensity of the A races, the ACA is implementing a policy for Junior Cat 3 riders to compete in the A race series. Junior racers wishing to compete in the Wednesday night A race must adhere to the following requirements.
  • Junior racers are classified as any rider under 19 years of age.
  • A Junior racer must place in a top five (5) finishing spot in at least five (5) B series races consisting of at least 25 racers or more.
  • Junior gears are in effect. No Junior will be permitted to race any ACA race without Junior gearing. For complete details on Junior gearing, please visit the USA Cycling web site.
  • Junior racers who have already raced in the As are exempt from this policy.
Thank you for your time and attention regarding these announcements. We welcome any and all feedback. Here's to a healthy and fun racing season.

Chris Popovic
2012 ACA President

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

Hi Chris,

The new ACA "rule" about entry into the "A race" for those 18 and under is age discrimination. It is illegal. The city has strong anti-discrimination laws as well.

A qualified athlete using legal equipment can't be denied entry into the races.

Case in point:
+ A pro cyclist comes to town and he is held on the sidelines despite being a Cat 1, 2 or 3 rider = discrimination. Meanwhile, a guy 30 years old can get into the A race.

The ACA Board can make the policy suggestion a STRONG RECOMMENDATION but not a rule.

Finally, I would like to know what evidence exists, if any, to support the new policy?