What a great way to start the season. THE Open Relay was killer. Taxes are not killer and I should get those done instead of blogging. Hell, I haven't blogged in months and I find time to blog now. Amazing what I can fit in when I don't want to do something else. Just amazing.
My teammates looked great. They'll look even better in the new gear which I think will be here tomorrow based on the sticky note the FedEx man lovingly attached to my front door today. It's been a long time since someone gave me a note. I'm glad FedEx is thinking of me.
So, THE Open Relay is in the books. I think that makes four of them. Not sure if the 'cross one is going off this year. I really want it to, but since USAC seems to think "the earlier the better" when it comes to 'cross now...well, I ain't going to August with that event.
RANT ALERT....RANT ALERT
WTF is with USAC and 'cross anyway. Masters and Real Worlds are coming in the next couple years. I have to assume that USAC has noticed those happen in February. I would assume they've also noticed that 'cross racing basically shrivels up like a pro's twig and berries on a January ride come, well, January (really mid-December). So, instead of pushing the racing the other way on the calendar and promoting 'cross through the rest of Dec and Jan they move 'cross to the beginning of Sept. They also do this with no regard to anything else going on in the region at that time. Now not only do we have road and mtb events in conflict but 'cross is in the mix. That'd be fine except for the fact there are two full MONTHS with no racing where there should be - or arguably needs to be - some!!
It's not real hard to figure why USAC is doing this sort of thing. 'Cross must be making them some big bucks. 'Cross races are pulling 400+ racers around here where USAC wasn't getting shit from MTB so they gotta be stoked to have that cash flow. The more 'cross races the better in their mind, but only at times when people will show - which means not post-nats.
What do they care if they're mucking up the other events in the region; events that MOVED from their dates in part to avoid the conflicts of the past. The best part is the promoter of the particular mtb season finals event even stepped up to the plate to play with USAC and put on one of a very few USAC MTB events in the region. That's got to feel good to the promoter. It would to me. "Oh, no, no problem. I'm taking a big risk supporting you when no one around here does and help you get back into the region. Don't let that bother you about completely f'ing my race. Really, I appreciate what you do (?) for the sport." And those two conflicting events - the finals of the MASS MTB Series and the first race of the MAC 'cross series - are about 25 minutes apart. It is wonderful that the national governing body is helping to "grow" the sport in such an effective way.
Why doesn't USAC say, "We need to develop 'cross into the winter. First that's how it goes everywhere else that does this sport. Second we make more bank with more races. Actually we don't give a rat's ass about 1, but 2 is very appealing. So, first, lets move nationals to January since that's sure to encourage 'cross racing through December. Second, let's create incentives for promoters to run events in the long cold dark of winter and for racers to participate. Actually, ideally these changes happen in the opposite order since nats is in place for this year, but incentives could go into effect immediately. What kind of incentives? Reduce or eliminate USAC fees for late Dec/Jan events this year. Have USAC pay officials fees for these same events. Push all regional series to hold events post-2010 nats with sponsorship support for those that do. Offer start position bonuses for 2011 nationals for performance in Dec 2010/Jan 2011. Or, maybe a discount on your 2011 license with 'cross racing in January. The point is that 'cross needs to go the other direction on the calendar and there are ways to get it to work with support from the governing body while eliminating conflicts with road and mtb. Too bad that's not what the governing body is about.
Okay, taxes delay completed. More coming on the relay and the upcoming stuff too.
Right after I go blog for the team on the PAValleys.com team blog and maybe over on the Savvy Grouse too.
Ain't Braden cute? He's standing in the sink helping scrub fruit. And the counter. And pop-pop.