There was some paperwork that needed to be filed with USAC, and certain privileges had to be activated for me in the USA Cycling online system. The first part of this was accomplished by January 20, with other parts done by January 30. USAC has been developing an online system for managing rider upgrades and event permitting for some time. The online system seems to function fairly well, although there are some issues…
USAC is encouraging clubs to initially apply for a permit for their event online. This has the benefit of getting the basic information, and the application fee, into the system quickly. But it doesn’t really address the issue of event organization oversight, which is one of the most important and time consuming parts of the permit process. Permitting a race with a prior successful history, with an experienced promoter, isn’t such a big deal. If no major changes have occurred, there isn’t much to worry about, or to double check.
But if venues, schedules, or participating individuals have changed, or an entirely new event is contemplated, the process gets exponentially more difficult. And many of these questions and issues cannot simply be handled by shuffling paper. An experienced individual is needed to look things over and check things out.
This is another issue of oversight and control that bears discussion. There is not currently an established policy for the education and discipline for promoters. As officials, every effort is made to be flexible, and to refrain from cancelling races. But there have been numerous instances where promoters had difficulties, the race was allowed to go on, and then the problem would recur again the next year. We have rules and penalties for rider misbehavior, but none for promoters (other than cancelling the race). It would be prudent for us as an association to adopt rules for promoters, so that problems can be handled and corrected in a fair and impartial manner.
I spent time talking to Kathleen Gleason (of Tri-Cyclists and a practicing lawyer), who has been contributing her time pro bono to manage our attempts to incorporate as a non-profit entity. I also caught up with David Poole, who has been treasurer of the CCA for a number of years, and treasurer for the NC District Association before that. I was trying to get up to date about what had been done, and where we stood on things. On the legal side, we need to complete officer elections, and discuss/ratify/adopt bylaws. On the financial side, we currently have about $30K in the bank. Our annual operating expenses and income from equipment rental fees generally run around $1K respectively. The reimbursement from USA Cycling from annual licenses is around $8K per year. I made contact with a CPA who is willing to advise us on the tax consequences and bookkeeping requirements that we’ll need to face in the future.
David & I also discussed issues concerning equipment ownership. Currently, the NC Association owns one set of gear used for event promotion, which includes two way radios, a finish line camera, a PA system, a lap board, a portable copier, and some other miscellaneous equipment. Basically, it’s a system tailored to fit in Chips Chapman’s car, and he has been in charge of keeping all the parts and pieces in working order, and delivered to the races he would work as Chief Referee. It did not include any finish line staging, barriers, cones, tents, chairs, tables, or the like (mostly for logistical reasons). And it has been awkward from time to time trying to handle more than one event handled on the same day, or getting the equipment to and from Chips in the event that he was not Chief Referee.
Some Local Associations require that much of this equipment be provided, set up, and operated by the promoter. Providing and operating the finish line camera is often handled by the officiating crew, with equipment provided by the Local Association. Some associations have a full promoter’s race kit, including all of the equipment mentioned in the previous paragraph, plus race marshal vests, whistles, brooms, generator sets, lights, etc., all stored in an enclosed trailer.
We’re likely to need to invest in a second race kit, and also to address a system for shipping that equipment where it’s needed. There are many ways to address these issues, and we’ll need to discuss what is in the best interest of our association’s members in order to make the best decision.