How to depress race turnout #2 by NCNCA

June 8, 2015 § 143 Comments

The failure of licensed racers to race is the biggest barrier to a thriving sport, but there are other factors. After non-participation, the biggest obstacle in California is the local racing association. The SNCNA and NCNCA seem locked in a deadly competition to see who can strangle the sport the quickest.

I’ve always thought that the northern district was better than the southern one, a misperception that definitely falls into the category of wishful thinking. This past weekend I signed up for the Pescadero Road Race.

I’ve never raced in NorCal because it is too far away, even though their road races are legendary. “NorCal,” people whisper, “is where you find real road racing in California. Not this punk crit SoCal crap.” I wondered what road race could be harder than Punchbowl, or Boulevard, or Castaic, or Vlees Huis, or Tuttle Creek, and decided to find out.

Of course in order to make the trek I’d need company, and Wily, ever eager to do hard road races, agreed to split the $96.00 we’d have to pay at Ye Old Millipede Motel in Redwood City. Two days before liftoff Wily shot me an email. “Dude,” he said, “they won’t let me register.”

“What?”

“It’s their state elite championship race and they only allow district residents to race it.”

“That can’t be right. Every state lets non-residents race, they just can’t compete for the jersey. Anyway, you’re a resident of the state.”

“Nope,” he said, and forwarded me the emails.

Of course the only possible reason to ban non-district elite racers from the race is so that the tiny penis NorCal riders can not only win the jersey but also be first across the line. In our own elite championship race, the SoCal champion got fourth place, being beaten by out-of-state/out-of-district riders. No one cared, of course, least of all the promoter, because the more riders the more competitive the field the better the race’s reputation and the more money.

Wily first inquired as to whether or not he could race. The promoter responded:

Nope. Norcal only. Why not try one of the other 1/2/3 races?

Sounds good, Wily thought, What other race is it he’s referring to? Answer: There isn’t one. This was the promoter’s very clever way of saying Kcuf Ouy.

Wily next took a more analytical approach.

Pursuant to USA Cycling Rule 7J3(b), “State Championships are open to US Citizens and permanent residents (green card).” This plainly entitles me to register and race, as I’m a US citizen and licensed USA Cycling rider. Subsection (d) only gives the Administrator discretion with regard to ineligible riders, which does not apply to me as I am clearly eligible. Subsection (e) only applies to members of the local association, i.e. NorCal, which again, I am not. Can you cite me to any rule or authority that would allow you to prevent me from entering? If not, please confirm that I will be allowed to register and race.

He quickly learned, however, that analysis is useless with idiots. The promoter responded with this gem:

This is an Elite district championship, not state. You must be in the NCNCA district.

It’s a gem because this is not a rule except in the very loose sense of “I’m saying it therefore it is a rule.” Events held under USAC permits must conform to the USAC rule book with regard to all aspects of the race. What’s funnier is that the promoter calls it an “Elite district championship, not state.” There is, of course, no such event.

Other SoCal riders began inquiring and the promoter gave them the same runaround — you can’t race in THIS P/1/2 race but you can race in one of the OTHER 1/2/3 races, unless you don’t qualify because those are all masters races, which means you can’t race ANY of the races.

It’s not up to me to bypass the registration restriction. The flyer publicly states NCNCA only and the officials
expect me to enforce that for the two championship fields. You’re always welcome to come and race another field. If you reg’ed online there is a no refund policy in effect.

My favorite is the last line: If you already paid, Kcuf Ouy.

So now the asshole promoter claimed that it was up to the officials whose rules he was merely enforcing. So Wily pinged the chief poobah. As soon as I saw her 281 area code at the bottom of her email, I knew she was going to be an idiot because that’s the area code for Houston, my hometown.

Wily then tried this tack:

Is there any other rule than the ones you’ve cited that allows you to ban me from entering this race? If there is, please point me to it, as the rule you’ve cited to mentions state championships, an event you now claim that you are not hosting. If there is no other rule and you still won’t allow me to register, please confirm that you won’t allow me to register since it is a 7-hour drive and doesn’t make any sense for me to come up the night before, stay in a hotel, and show up only to be refused entry due to some rule that you claim USAC forgot to put in its rulebook because they somehow forgot that California has two districts, even though there are specific provisions that talk about states with multiple districts.

The promoters should be aware that their flyer constitutes false advertising and, according to an attorney who has reviewed the rule book and the flyer, it is a possible violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act as well.

I and the other SoCal racers who have contacted the promoter are very upset about this arbitrary exclusion from the race. It’s a violation of the USAC rules and it’s also illegal.

Please advise.

Instead, Wily received a response that will go down in history as one of the best pieces of Kcuf Ouy that anyone affiliated with NCNCA has ever sent out. And of course the maroon who sent it has the excellent email handle of papa.mike.bike@gmail.com, which is, you know, so cool.

These championships were once called “district” championships.  USACycling, for reasons of its own, decided that they should be called “state” championships and that is how they are addressed in the rule book.  It is likely that USAC forgot that California is divided in half along with Nevada, so Northern California and Nevada are administered by NCNCA as one state and Southern California and Nevada are administered by SCNCA as another.  Most other Local Associations in the country coincide with state borders.

The dividing line between the two “states” is the line running east-west across California with San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties to the south, and Monterey, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo Counties to the north.  Clark County Nevada is southern and the rest of Nevada is northern.

Your license states your residence as Palos Verdes which, of course, lies well south of that line, deep in southern Los Angeles County.  That puts you in the “state” administered by SCNCA.

NCNCA has determined that only riders living in its “state” of Northern California and Nevada are allowed to race in its “state” championships, much like other state’s championships are restricted to in-state residents. NCNCA has held NCNCA-only elite championships for many years and this very question has arisen before.  USAC has long stood by NCNCA’s determination.

Rule 7J1. “State Championships are allocated by the Local Associations to race directors based on the criteria that the LA or its administrator shall determine.”

Rule 7J1 puts the race director in the position of having to enforce NCNCA’s ruling even though he would love to have you pay your entry fee and race on the spectacular Pescadero course.

I’m sorry that you will miss out on this great race.

Mike Hardaway
NCNCA Officials’ Committee Chair

The first bit of analysis is priceless. NorCal is excluding SoCal because the USAC rules committee “forgot” about California being divided into two districts. They forgot about it so totally that there is an entire subsection devoted to states with multiple districts, of which there are two: Nevada and California. I will remember this argument the next time I’m in court. “Hey judge, the legislature forgot to put this in the law so I added it for them.”

Then the Hon. Hardaway launches off into crazyland, explaining that since districts are the same as states according to the forgotten rule, you have to determine a rider’s “state of residence” by a fictitious line that divides NorCal and SoCal, kind of like Mason-Dixon. It’s in the forgotten rulebook, look it up.

Then, carried away by his Civil War remembrances, he reminds Wily that Wily is “deep in southern Los Angeles County,” who voted to secede and join the confederacy and is therefore not entitled to the protections of the Union army. Finally, we are directed to Supreme Court precedent, as we are told that USAC has “long stood by NCNCA’s determination.” You can find the text of the decision here:  60 U.S. 393 (1857).

Best of all, Hardaway quotes a rule, 7J1, and then simply invents what it says even though the actual rule, which he goes to the trouble to type out, says nothing of the kind.

In case Wily hadn’t gotten the message, it’s this: KCUF OUY!

The idiot with the Houston area code then piles on with this beaut:

I believe your question about racing Peacadero has been answered based on the rule book, our district boundaries and the race flyer which indicates the Elite 1/2 race is for NCNCA racers as well as the email from Mike Hardaway, the chair of our officials committee where he clarifies how the Nor Cal and So Cal districts are viewed.

Then, with everyone singing from the same page, the promoter decides to dispense with all of the indirect rigamarole and cut to the chase scene:

I have reviewed your communications with the officials and myself as well as several other SCNCA individuals. My decision is SCNCA members are *NOT* welcome to race in any of the elite championship races in 2015 that I promote.

Everyone understand what *NOT* welcome means? It’s the new stealth marketing ploy to get people to drive seven hours and pay nonrefundable entry fees in order to *NOT* race.

So to hell with the rules, to hell with promoting races, to hell with getting more riders to race, and to hell, especially to hell, with everyone who holds a racing license from The State of Southern California as Defined by the Invisible Mason-Dixon Line, in other words, in case you have trouble with all this backwards spelling and convoluted reasoning: FUCK YOU.

END

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§ 143 Responses to How to depress race turnout #2 by NCNCA

  • Johnnie Lee says:

    I guess after destroying juniors racing for the 9-14 year olds, the NCNCA is now trying to eliminate all forms of racing except for the Masters 45+ races.

    • fsethd says:

      Because masters racing is so cool! It is so awesome to see grouchy old men punch each other out in the parking lot after sprunting for a trinket! Old guys rule!

      Plus, young people suck. Who needs them? We can have a much better sport with 45+ categories ONLY. If we are diligent we can weed the young ones out of the pro peloton as well because my ultimate dream is a pro contract and a ride in the Tour.

      How awesome would that be? “Lead group of five riders, aged 65 to 73, crest the Tourmalet with the 85-year-olds in hot pursuit and crash carts.”

      OLD GUYS RULE! (And make the rules!)

      Add awesome sauce here!

      I love me!!!!!!!!!

  • Johnnie Lee says:

    For some reason this is really bugging me. Since I’m from Iowa, I looked up their road race championship. Turns out Iowa welcomes racers from any state or district and simply says on the race flyer that… “The fastest Iowa-licensed Mens 1/2 and Womens 1/2/3 riders will be awarded the 2014 State Road Race Champion’s jersey!” Really not a hard concept to grasp and implement. Huge thanks to the Pescadero promoter and NCNCA officials who are helping to further destroy bike racing in America. As if Lance wasn’t enough.

  • drbeachbum says:

    An eloquent diatribe my friend. But as a native Northern Californian I could have spared you the grief with this summary: NorCal Blows. It’s a crummy snobatorium with its head so far up its righteous ass that it must extend a 200 mile long snorkel just to get an breath of smug free air every now and again.

  • I had hoped for their to be a ‘revelatory, silver-lining’ spin at the end. Alas, Idiots in Positions of Power continue their reign!

  • CWire says:

    Fuck ’em – the officials and promoters. Bunch of ass wipes killing the sport. Don’t need ’em. Don’t want ’em. All hope for common sense was lost when area code 281 entered the equation. We have met the enemy and he is us.

    This type of bureaucratic shite is why I won’t give my jack to USAC, it’s regional puppet organizations or promoters operating under their rule.

    • fsethd says:

      Chris Lotts tried to fight The Man for years with CBR, but trinket-seekers just wouldn’t turn out if there weren’t USAC upgrade points on the line because you know, when you’re 55, whether you’re a Cat 4 or a Cat 1 really matters.

    • channel_zero says:

      Will any of you race Dorothy Wong’s NABRA races? Why not?

      How about organizing a bunch of Master’s wankers….
      Wait, a second, I’m not done imagining the impossibility of that……
      ……
      ……

      ..
      okay.

      How about coordinating with a promoter (hello Dorthy Wong…) an event or 5 run under NABRA. She has some confidence she’ll break even, you guys get a better product.

      Sounds crazy.. But it is SO CRAZY IT JUST MIGHT WORK!

  • casey723 says:

    I guess some history is needed here. Back in the 80’s we had USCF district championships. Back then California was divided into 3 districts, Northern California/Nevada, Central California, and Southern California/Nevada. Then someone on the then USCF Board of directors got the bright idea that changing the name of the championships from district to state championships would add tons more prestige to the championships and draw lots more riders to the events. At the time of the proposed name change it was pointed out that California had 3 districts but the people pushing the name change said that no changes would be made in how the event would run. Thus California would have three”state” championships so USCF changed the geography of the United states to divide California into 3 states.

    After a while it was decided that central California was to small to remain a separate region so at first they merged into Southern California/Nevada but then later the people in that area decided they raced more with the people in Northern California/Nevada so they changed “states” and moved into the Northern California/Nevada region. Thus today as far as USAC is concerned there isn’t a single state of California but there are two states one called Northern California/Nevada and the other called Southern California/Nevada. Each of these two “states” have their own “State Championship”. There has never been a California championship except in a couple of cases where a promoter received permission to have a special regional championship that was the combination of Northern California/Nevada and Southern California/Nevada.

    As the rules state it is up to the local association to decide it they want to allow the option of letting ineligible riders race in the championship events. Since Northern California is one of the largest “states” in terms of licensed riders there are more than enough riders to make for competitive events without allowing ineligible riders into the event. Why should riders who aren’t eligible for the championship have an effect on the outcome of the championship? In elite national championships do they allow people from other nations to compete? As far as I know this doesn’t happen because you want the championship to be decided among the people racing for the championship.

    Finally you might want to look on the USAC state championship page at this link https://www.usacycling.org/events/state.php notice that dashed line running across the lower part of California? That is the line that divides the two “states” of California/Nevada. for some reason the southern California promoters have tended to call their events state championships while the northern California promoters have stuck to the old district championship name or have use NCNCA championships or northern California championships.

    • David Huntsman says:

      Another difference is that in the 80’s, the district championships weren’t just to put someone in a bear flag jersey, they were the sole qualifier for national championships. The top 15 or so finishers qualified.

      • fsethd says:

        Another difference is that every other state welcomes racers to all their races. CoreStates used to regularly crown some Euro-winner and then some 15-th placed US National champion. It made the races better and a lot more interesting. But then people weren’t as afraid of racing back then.

    • CPbike says:

      Good points Casey. I agree that people who are not eligible for a championship should not be able to enter, because they do influence the outcome of the race. When a non eligible rider attacks, do you go with him/her and get outside assistance to win the championship? Often when this happens, the 2 riders will agree that the non championship eligible rider gets the race win, while the other rider gets the championship.
      Or, do you just ignore the non championship riders & let them go when they attack & let them sit on your break without working, then out sprint you for the win?

      • fsethd says:

        Yes, so terrible to have your race “influenced,” i.e. “raced” by someone who doesn’t know your secret handshake. Embarrassing when your “top” rider places fifth, eh? Of course a real racer would see the glass as completely full: Better to beat a field of peers than some cherry-picked, slimmed-down, Bro Club of nutscratchers.

      • cpbike says:

        fsethd,

        Dude, it has nothing to do with hand shakes. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re off the front with a guy sitting on your wheel who won’t work because he doesn’t want to “influence your championship race”, but he has no problem out sprinting you for the “win” after doing zero work?
        I’m all for an all CA State Championships, let’s all race! But having guys jump in races where they’re not eligible to win a championship & getting a free ride isn’t cool.

      • fsethd says:

        “Having guys jump in.”

        This is called racing, not jumping in. You pay the fee, pin on the number, and do your best. At the end, as Billy Stone would say, one person is fastest and the others aren’t.

        The whole “my district, my jersey” thing depresses turnout. There were at least ten riders here ready to go until the 1/2 racers were informed they were *NOT* welcome (promoter’s punctuation, not mine).

        I have never been off the front with a guy sitting on my wheel who won’t work because he doesn’t want to influence my championship race.

        The fact is that NCNCA closes its sandbox because it wants its own jersey (okay, I guess) and because it also wants to say “I came in first!” It’s not because of the scenario you describe above.

        CoreStates typicall had foreign winners and crowned a US champ separately. No one seemed to mind, and they certainly didn’t complain. In fact, the quality of the race was often judged by the number and level of the non-eligible riders.

        But they were pros, and what did they know, especially as compared to Cat 2 local racers?

    • fsethd says:

      “As the rules state it is up to the local association to decide it they want to allow the option of letting ineligible riders race in the championship events. ”

      Nice try, but that’s not a rule.

      This is a lengthy explanation of why NCNCA does what they want, not an explanation of how their actions comport with the rules.

      I like the new state-creation stuff! Really imaginative. They pretty much resolved that issue for good in 1865, though, so it’s not really all that compelling.

      The rule book is clear, and NCNCA happily rapes the rule with the complicity of the moron promoter who sends out a *NOT* welcome email to inquiring minds.

      What a bunch of self-centered, insecure maroons.

      • Bill Stone says:

        This does have a Lost Cause theme and thus perhaps Gov. Good Hair (cute new glasses) Perry should be consulted about the sovereign state of North California. I mean have you not been DVR ing the History Mangled Channel’s TEXAS RISING: The Evil of Mescans and assorted savages.

      • fsethd says:

        TEXAS RISING: Perry gets his first prescription for Viagra.

      • casey723 says:

        You might try , you know reading the rulebook. It states
        7J3. Eligibility
        (a) To be eligible for a State Championship jersey or medal, a rider must hold a current USA Cycling annual license and reside in the state as shown on his license.
        (b) State Championships are open to US Citizens and permanent residents (green card).
        (c) UCI continental team and UCI women’s team riders are not eligible unless there is a separate class for them.
        (d) At the option of the Administrators, State Championships may include riders who are ineligible for the championship but championship medals will be awarded only to riders who are eligible.

        please note item (d) above. Also note that under the USAC system there is no such thing as the state of California. There is California-SCNCA for those people living in the southern part of what is commonly known as California and California-NCNCA which is for the rest of the state. So yeah nice try.

      • fsethd says:

        You might try, you know, understanding what you read.

        7j3(a) makes all state residents with a license eligible. So, for example, foreign nation license holders are not eligible.

        7j3(d) allows ineligible racers to race per the director’s discretion. All California license holders are eligible, so (d) does not apply to them.

        Please point me to the rule that says California is not a state, and that defines the Calmason/Caldixon Line.

        And that was a terrible, illiterate try. Go back to your algorithms.

  • LesB says:

    Don’t know who these NorCal promoters are, but they smell like Marin County.

  • Dean Abt says:

    Miwok Indians can’t race up here either cause NCNCA say’s it wasn’t called “california” for the x-thousand years they lived here before bikes were invented. Man, I’m really sorry on behalf of Nor Cal racers who wish there was nothing but a huge welcome and strong encouragement for Southern Cal to go North, which of course would be nothing but awesome for everyone. Thanks for giving me a mission – hopefully we can get that insanity changed for next year.

  • Tamar T. says:

    If racing were my business, I would think I would want more people to race, not less? Funky business model. And I hope you hadn’t already registered online. It would blow to get dissed and ripped off. Fuckers.

    • fsethd says:

      Racing is their business, er, monopoly. That’s a business, right?

      • Dave Keefe says:

        The ‘Promoter’ is not a business looking to monopolize racing. It was a bike club that as part of out responsibility as being a club puts on a race each year…same race we have put on for 18 years. An awesome road race that takes over a hinder volunteers and thousands of non-paid hours to run.

        This year it was requested that it be the District Championships for the 1/2 Fields. We agreed to host. The NCNCA as a district provides rules of who can enter.

        The number one thing I feel here is that a bad addititude and lack of acknowledgement for the work it takes a volunteer org to put on a huge race like this is a limiting belief.

        Come race the race next year when it isn’t a Championship Event. When you act the way you are now, it doesn’t help racing or turnout in anyway…just a flaming rant.

        How many hours did you volunteer last year in supporting racing?

      • fsethd says:

        0 hours. How many did you spend in court last year defending cyclists for free who were harassed by law enforcement?

      • Dave Keefe says:

        Great work defending cyclists. That is a good cause.

        Promoting a bicycle race for the community is also a great cause, particularly so when the bike race is the largest single source of funds for a children’s charity, wouldn’t you agree?

        A wonderful place to be is gratitude. I am grateful for your work with cyclists defending them in courts. I invite you an any others who have been upset with the situation to ‘try on’ being grateful for the volunteerism and community building that was demonstrated by putting on high level of event, simply for the love of bike racing and for racers to have a venue to demonstrate their mastery.

        This year the event was closed in only 2 of our 13 categories. There was a masters 45/55 1/2/3 field that you could have raced and we would have loved to have you.

      • fsethd says:

        Thanks for the very kind and welcoming response!

  • Sausage™ says:

    Wily is doing some serious damage to his chances of defending his Wanker of the Year title.

  • Winemaker says:

    In 1973 (I know, thass a loooonnnng time ago) I had a New York license because well, that was where I was going to school…I moved around July1, and lived in Monterey (ewwww….Norcal), where I transferred my license (took one letter, and a phone call to the district rep)…Then moved again to San Diego in late September to go back to school. Again, one letter, and one phone call to the district rep (Good ol’ Bob Enright, R.I.P,, who got paid pennies per hour and showed up at every single road or track event for as long as he was the rep). Simple bike racing life.

    Everybody was welcome everywhere because, well, fringe sport and micro niche, you know?, But then there were fewer categories and we called young people racing bikes who were under 12 years old “Midgets”.

    What happened to good old political incorrectness and suffering?

    • fsethd says:

      It’s all about the trinkets now, buddy. Trinkets for old people, that is. Youngsters don’t even get that.

  • chris evans says:

    Author and commenters taking a lot of shots at NCNCA racers as if most of us, with our day jobs and lives, have any idea of the bureaucratic shenanigans like this going on. I thought we were on the same side – participants.

    Might have been productive to post this when the issue started, not 2 days after it became unsolvable for this year.

    • fsethd says:

      This came to a head two days before the race and was “resolved” with a nastygram of *NOT* welcome from the promoter the day before.

      You are right about us being on the same side. This is a criticism of the NCNCA, and of the riders only to the extent that they support/agree with this inane made-up rule.

      Thanks for commenting, though.

    • channel_zero says:

      It might be productive to stop spending money at USAC too.

      There are alternatives. http://www.nabra.us/

  • Bearclaw says:

    Sad. I wonder if racers are required to ride certain bike brands exclusively decked out with carbon wheels.

  • Worldchamp says:

    Actually, they quoted the wrong rule (not surprising given everything else they said). 7J2d says:

    (d) At the option of the Administrators, State Championships
    may include riders who are ineligible for the championship but
    championship medals will be awarded only to riders who are
    eligible.

    SCNCA used to exclude “outsiders” also but it was generally agreed that was stupid. “Outsiders” can’t win the jersey, but can win the gold medal.

    Outsiders can affect the race outcome, but I’m with Seth, a good race matters more. And a good racer will deal with whatever is thrown at them. That’s what makes a good racer. If an outsider attacks and you think it’ll stick and you can stay with them, why would you NOT go with them? You don’t even have to be in cahoots with them to take advantage of that train! If you’ve done proper stalking before the championship (which any potential winner would do), you’d know who the players are in or out of state/district.

    I would far prefer racing with the best people I can. Better to be a little fish in a big pond than a big fish in a little pond, in my book. But that’s me. Everyone has their own opinion.

    • fsethd says:

      Nope. This only applies to riders who are ineligible. According to the previous rule, any rider with a license who resides in the state is eligible. Sorry!

      Also: There is no such thing as an “Elite district championship” so none of the USAC rules on state championships apply to this race. In other words, they’re required to accept eligible riders either way.

      Next!

  • Sausage™ says:

    I’m sympathetic to NCNCA racers having priority in the NCNCA championship race; that is, I can see a problem if non-NCNCA racers fill up the field so that NCNCA racers are unable to participate in their own championship event.

    But the event flyer (http://www.ncnca.org/sites/default/files/02/12/2015%20-%2011%3A39am/FL_2015-807%20Pescadero%20RR%20E_Champ%20OKED.pdf) set the 1/2 field at 100 racers and the race results (http://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?year=2015&id=807) show a grand total of 28 finishers. Three racers show up as DNS and 39 show up as DNP. I think DNP is the same as a DNF.

    I dunno how many of those DNF’s actually pinned on a number and were in the race, but the absolute maximum number of starters in that race was 67. So fully 1/3 (or more) of the field size went unused.

    He might be the reigning (if not defending) Wanker of the Year, but I’d be willing to wager that if Wily had been allowed to race, there would have been 29 finishers rather than 28. Actually on second thought, there may well have been even fewer than 28 finishers. But Wily would have been one of them.

    Full disclosure: While I have been an SCNCA resident for 17 years, I was born and raised in NCNCA territory and that’s where I first discovered the bike. Go Warriors!

    • fsethd says:

      They just don’t want anyone else in their sandbox.

      • Winemaker says:

        I was out contemplating the latest outbreak of powdery-frugging-mildew on the vines, when it occurred to me that the only sandbox I find myself interested in is the one our cat uses far too often, resulting in yours truly having to clean it. As for all of the rest of it…It is still, to me, disturbing, even after all these years, that people act this way and protect their status, no matter how bad the results are for “their” activity. From non-profits to corporations, from fringe sports to the Major Leagues, to silly county-fair pie bake offs and wine competitions — sliminess, catbox protectivity, and good old immaturity abound. i think I shall have a glass of wine.

      • fsethd says:

        Drain the second one for me.

  • Bruce says:

    I live here in FL, another huge State. Key West to Pensacola is like 1200 miles or something crazy. I guess our Mason/Dixon line is Orlando?? We are civil here though, no such idiocracy. We are conservative folk, but understand fairness. Hey, I thought CALI was liberal?? Live and let live….and ride? No?

  • nealhe says:

    Hello fsethd-san and All,

    “Yossarian comes to fear his commanding officers more than he fears the Germans attempting to shoot him down and he feels that “they” are “out to get him.” Key among the reasons Yossarian fears his commanders more than the enemy is that as he flies more missions, Colonel Cathcart increases the number of required combat missions before a soldier may return home; he reaches the magic number only to have it retroactively raised.

    He comes to despair of ever getting home and is greatly relieved when he is sent to the hospital for a condition that is almost jaundice.”

    Catch-22

    What do the rules say about a racer with multiple residences registered in Northern and Southern CA/NV ? ….. This is the age of moving targets …. worldwide.

    Cheers,

    Neal

    +1 mph Faster

  • Ben Foster says:

    It’s amazing to read about all this. I had a very similar frustrating volley of emails back and forth with John, as did another SoCal racer. He was incredibly unprofessional, rude, and uninformed. Regardless of how you read the rules, what’s clear is that it is up to their discretion to allow us to ride and they’re deciding not to for no apparent reason. There were 53 people pre-registered when reg closed on Thursday, so that’s 47 potential spots that could have been filled and paid for. If this race was a qualifier for something they would have a potential argument, but as it is people are competing for a jersey that I don’t think anyone cares about, so they’re just taking money out of their own pockets and depriving SCNCA racers of the only road race in the state this month. It doesn’t look like Alto Velo throws any other races but they definitely won’t be getting any support from me in the future.

    • fsethd says:

      Yeah, it’s their sandbox. And any promoter who tells 18 million people they are *NOT* welcome at his race is not very good at what he does.

  • Tim says:

    This blog entry is a sad diatribe of someone who just can’t accept a simple straightforward answer. Three sources gave the author or Wily the same answer, the Promoter, the Chief Ref and a high ranking official, that they weren’t eligible to enter the NCNCA Road Race Championships. The response wasn’t even rational or coherent, full of personal as well as blanket attacks on anyone and everyone involved.

    This NCNCA policy has been in place for several years and came about due to rider complaints of out of area ringers entering those races in order to affect the outcome. A championship crowns a single winner, but we all know that it is also a group or team effort to get that one person into that jersey. NCNCA is an organization of teams and clubs who are members, and as such is responsive to them.

    NCNCA hosts hundreds of days of racing year round in all sorts of venues and all kinds of racing disciplines. Everyone is welcome to enter any of them that they qualify for, except for a handful of championship events that are restricted to NCNCA residents (per their USAC license, etc.). There are plenty more Road Races that even Wily might find challenging, and others that are closer to those who live down in SCNCA. Go to http://www.ncnca.org and click on the schedule to find out more. If Pescadero is your heart’s desire, it is available most years too. Check back in November when the upcoming year’s schedule gets posted.

    • fsethd says:

      Still just making up rules and insulting people who want to do your races. Great job promoting your area and your races.

      In fact, Pescadero, Mt. Hamilton, and several other races in NorCal are legendary for their difficulty and quality of competition. THAT’S WHY WE CONSIDERED DRIVING 8 HOURS AND RENTING A HOTEL ROOM.

      To be told to fuck off, that you don’t have to follow USAC rules, that if you paid tough shit, and that you snidely don’t think we’re good enough proves my point: This is not how you increase participation, it’s how you depress it.

      Also, you still haven’t cited the USAC rule covering “Elite district championship” races, which is the “category” your “promoter” claimed the race falls under. Do a quick word search in the USAC rule book, it will only take a second.

      You also prove my second point, which is that NCNCA doesn’t want “outside competition” in its bragging rights race. It just wants a jersey and a trinket and a guarantee that the local guy gets to raise his hands in the air.

      That, my anonymous friend with strong opinions backed by the inability to give his real name, pretty much says it all.

      • Tim says:

        Huh, my name is Tim, but I doubt that your Momma and Poppa looked at you and gave you the name fsethd at birth.

        As for rules, I thought that “worldchamp” had already done that:
        “7J2d says:

        (d) At the option of the Administrators, State Championships
        may include riders who are ineligible for the championship but
        championship medals will be awarded only to riders who are
        eligible.”

        NCNCA being the Administrators in this case made that decision years ago to exclude inegligible racers. As has been noted, so did SCNCA in the past, as as do other Local Associations today. There are even other LAs that split states or comprise multiple states who make their own decisions on this issue. Some open the events and others do not.

        The other twist on this is that NCNCA doesn’t restrict participation to just residents of California, the championships are open to all NCNCA registered racers in both Nevada and California. That’s where your fight over semantics about State versus district championships falls apart.

        You could have raced Mt. Hamilton, Wente, or several other events this year, and Challenge, Deathly Valley, Little City, Winters, Dunnigan Hills and many others are open for your brave southern legs to take on. One event wasn’t, and you got notice in advance that you’d missed or ignored the flyer when it made clear you weren’t eligible. I’m honestly glad that you didn’t waste the time and money to make the trip. But you’re more than welcome to do so in the future at any of NCNCA’s hundreds of non-championship races.

      • fsethd says:

        Yes, I’m pretty anonymous here as Seth Davidson, Tim. What’s your last name?

        You’ve also ignored the first subsection (a), which defines eligibility: anyone with a license who is listed as a California resident on their license. Subsection (d) applies to ineligible riders, e.g. foreign racers.

        You can “note” whatever you want, but you’re still excluding riders from an event that the rules allow them to race, and you’re doing it under the insurance coverage provided by a USAC permit.

        What people did in the past, of course, does not justify the wrong you’re perpetrating in the present.

        I like your insult about brave southern legs. More incentive to encourage people to come do your races.

        The more you write, the more you make my point: NCNCA doesn’t like outsiders, depresses participation, and doesn’t follow the rules.

        So, thank you.

      • TimB says:

        Sorry sparky, the invitation to come race wasn’t an insult. it was just that, an open and welcoming invitation. And my name is Burgess, so can we be friends now?

        Since we are sharing, you left pertinent fact out – that you were not excluded from racing. No you couldn’t have entered the championship, because you’re a Cat 3. Instead you were more than welcome to race in the Masters field that you did enter.

        I get it that you are sticking up for your friends and feel that this NCNCA policy unfairly restricts your or their access to a race or two a year. That is a valid opinion. So is NCNCA’s decision to restrict the NCNCA Championships to residents of the local Association. No matter what label you give it, district, state, or LA, it is the NCNCA championship.

        Earlier in Chapter 7 of the USAC rule book eligibility for those events is restricted to U.S. Citizens (section 7B). NCNCA applies the smell principle when restricting entry to its championships. This NCNCA policy was reviewed and approved by USAC before it was enacted.

      • fsethd says:

        Thanks for sharing, Tim. Now I can look you up on USAC and see that you have done four races, ever, all in 2007. This ties in perfectly with my earlier thesis, that the real problem with the sport is people like you: Licensed riders who never race.

        If you don’t think your entire approach to out-of-district racers is insulting, perhaps you should run it by, you know, the customers who you’ve insulted. Last time I checked, Customer was … oh, yeah, shit. Customers Are Shit.

        I’m not sticking up for anyone. I registered and didn’t want to make the late night sojourn alone, leaving here at 7:00 PM.

        No you say that “no matter what you label it” as if words don’t matter. They, unfortunately, do matter, which is why we have them and put them into rules.

        Your smell test is indicative of your disrespect for words and language. Chapter 7 says nothing about district elite championships. And let’s see the written review and approval that you claim exists. And then let’s see anything in the rule book that uses the phrase “elite district championships.”

        Finally, I hope you’re not pointing to our own dysfunctional and racer-hating SCNCA as your role model. With your mutual antipathy towards racers (understandable given your, um, brief race history), I’d think the two groups would get along great.

      • TimB says:

        Ah penis wagging at its finest. Yes, I raced for parts of two years, and a lot more than four times. Can’t make Cat 4 on four races, not that that is much of an accomplishment.

        Unfortunately a drunk driver nearly took me out in the summer of ’07, so after two weeks in a coma and three more months in hospitals, my racing was done. I started judging races before I could even walk again and now work 40 or so racing days a year, from local stuff to NRC/NCC events. if you had been at Manhattan Beach the other day we might have met.

        That word by the way was spell, not “smell” – darned autocorrupt.

        Anyway I’ve made my points politely and civilly and made sure that you know that you’re welcome to race up north. I wish you well in your racing, but for now I’m done with this discussion.

      • fsethd says:

        Tim, I’m very, very sorry to hear that you were hit by a drunk.

        Without diminishing your injury, amateur bike racing seems to be very heavily managed by people who don’t actually race. Although it makes sense in sports where, at “advanced” ages, you can’t really compete, bike racing is open to all ages, all ability levels, and all disability levels as well.

        It’s not just NCNCA that suffers from this perspective, we have the same problem here, and we had it in Texas before I got evicted from that fine state.

        In this forum civility doesn’t count for nearly as much as well reasoned argument, although I’d suggest that if you consider the phrase “penis wagging at its finest” a polite and civil comment you probably aren’t a butler for Prince Charles.

        NCNCA will benefit by actively encouraging those who live south of the Calmason/Caldixon line to come up and race. We will benefit, too. Sending out *NOT* welcome messages and setting up “Only NorCalians Need Apply” races hurts you, hurts us, hurts the sport, and only saves the tender egos of a tiny minority.

        Instead of banning us, roll out the welcome mat. There are a lot of racers here who would, with some encouragement, race there.

    • devin says:

      So exclusion is a NCNCA policy, not a rule. Members only. Why did your “high ranking official” not say so? I will guess. Your permit?

  • dangerstu says:

    Oh bother…

  • casey723 says:

    You said

    “My license says my state is California and denotes my district as SCNCA. The rule book makes no provision for “elite district championship races,” only for state championships. See subsection (a) defining eligibility. So all CA residents are eligible for all CA state championship races. Oh, and we’re still waiting for that map of the Calmason/Caldixon Line.”

    Interesting interpretation you have on what California-SCNCA means on you license. They haven’t officially had districts under the USCF/USAC system since the District Reps were eliminated. Of course your interpretation of what that means doesn’t mean squat. As for a map showing the line between Nor Cal and S Cal in terms of state championships you might take a look at this link, the state championship page on the USAC site. https://www.usacycling.org/events/state.php

    And of course there is this little item from the SCNCA Junior Track Championship race announcement.

    “Eligibility: Only male and female cyclists who hold a valid 2015 USA Cycling license AND reside in the SCNCA territory defined as Zip Codes 89000 – 89299 in NV and 900000 – 93599 in CA may compete in this event.”

    • Waldo says:

      All this dick swinging has created a hurricane force fart field in my NCNCA hometown of Oakland.

    • fsethd says:

      Hi, Casey. I see you’re another person with strong opinions but no last name.

      I clicked on your link and it took me to a graphic of California with a line drawn through it. Will you please connect that with, you know, a rule? Because your officials have already admitted that it was a “forgotten” rule. Your promoter has also admitted that his race isn’t a state championship but rather an “elite district championship.” But I suppose you have a map with that rule on the back of a napkin somewhere.

      Now, on to the more fun things, like, who are you? Do you race? Can I look you up on USAC? Because if you’re like Mr. Tim, chances are very good that you’re just in this for the power trip–another non-racer who loves to legislate and bureacratize racers and racing.

      • Waldo says:

        Seth, you’re punching above your weight class now. I believe this Casey is Casey Kerrigan. Look him up.

      • fsethd says:

        Not sure what that has to do with it. Is he an NCNCA board member? Why does he insist on anonymity in defending a rule his board put in place and enforces? The point is that we had people ready to pay and race at what NorCal claims is one of their most scenic and challenging road races. This is a time of year when our good road races in SoCal are over. *NOT* Welcome is the message, and unfortunately, for many it’s been received as intended.

      • Joe Camacho says:

        Seth,

        You are punching above your weight class because you are reading written English words, and trying to apply logic when there is clear evidence that , previously this has not been the case. And, because it has never been done previously, examining the content and spirit of the rules would just lead to complete… Chaos!

        What would an exchange like this lead to?

        Racer X: Hey Race Director, can I come race your race? I know I am from out of town and all…

        RD: Yes but, its our Championship and you wont be able to take home a cool jersey.

        RX: That is cool I just want to be able to race with some cool folks and see a different part of the world. I might bring some friends, they like to race too!

        RD: Ok but they can’t take home a cool jersey either.

        RX: We get it, but your race seems fun and challenging and we would like the experience

        RD: That is our goal, get more people racing and grow the sport.

        RX: Thanks see you soon.

        Clearly to expect this kind of exchange is completely unreasonable!!!! It would lead to multiple more exchanges and reasoned thinking and we can ‘t have any of that!

        Personally I am insulted you would think that what any promoter wants is to increase attendance in any way, shape or form.

      • fsethd says:

        Yep.

  • Sausage™ says:

    Brentwood Grand Prix. August 2nd. 2015 SCNCA Elite District/State/Westeros/Old Valyria/Solar System/Universe Criterium Championship Race.

    Here is the promo video from last year. This year, maybe we’ll add:

    “NCNCA Racers Welcome!”

    We’d be more than happy to have out of district racers affect the race outcome! The more the merrier!

    • fsethd says:

      Anytime a racer affects the outcome, well, that is just wrong.

      • Sausage™ says:

        Oh and by the way, the part in the promo video about “cool custom jerseys for all race winners” can be read literally, i.e. NCNCA racers who win WILL get the cool custom jersey! So NCNCA racers, come on down and snake some jerseys, prize money and other assorted trinkets from your SCNCA brethren!

      • fsethd says:

        Hey, quit promoting!!

  • Well if we’re gonna swing big d**ks and be jerks based on a zip code…who has more PED suspensions? oh yea…and Colorado is the best district in the US…we all know that anyway.

    Lighten up Francis….

  • channel_zero says:

    The replies to this post are pure entertainment. (Excluding my own excretment of course.)

    The reality is the rules are lengthy and complex and I don’t expect anyone to “know” them. Yet, USA Cycling aparatchiks cannot be bothered to look twice at rules and conclude you are right.

    Everything about this episode from USAC’s side is so wrong. That’s why whatever is left of the sport creeps along more turgid and foul than the year before it.

    To some extent, most of you don’t think about this stuff on race day or whatever, but, man, what a sh!t show. Whenever it pops up like this, most of you seem not to mind the abuse and how the sport is being defined.

    To the outside world, it’s a joke. You do a great job of pointing that out Seth.

    • fsethd says:

      Thank you!! It all seemed so innocent … “Everyone complains about turnout and here’s one reason why” became “SoCal dopers suck!”

      Which they do.

  • MCB says:

    “*NOT* welcome” instead of “not eligible”…Promoter comes off as a real asshole. I don’t know how people like that succeed in any sort of endeavor that requires paying customers.

    • channel_zero says:

      They operate a monopoly granted by the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act. There’s only one place to go and you’ll like it.

      Look up Ted Stevens sometime.

    • fsethd says:

      The whole thing is surreal. I wish I still drank. Then it would make sense, maybe.

  • ZAL says:

    I think this merits a call to USAC’s technical director is COS. Not that I was a huge fan of Shawn Farrell when he was in that role, but I did watch on a couple occasions were a promoter attempted to deny entry to a racer in good standing with USAC and he came down on the promoter with (an albeit too big) hammer.

  • Bill says:

    Entitled bike racers always make me laugh. OMG you’ll have to take one week off racing ?!?! You’ll likely lose all you’re fitness and then do terrible next week in an event that someone else went through the trouble of organizing for your self-indulgent addiction. You’re not eligible for their closed event, get over yourself.

    • fsethd says:

      That sums up the other side’s position perfectly. And it’s a perfect conclusion to my thesis, which is that one reason turnout in bike racing sucks is because [see comment above].

      Trying hard to think of a business model that functions on the concepts of:
      1. Get over yourself.
      2. You make me laugh.
      3. You are self-indulgent addict.

      Not coming up with any …

    • Ben Foster says:

      This was also the only road race in the state for a 5 week span.

      • TimB says:

        Not true, that was the fifth weekend in a row of Road racing in NCNCA’s part of the state, all of which anyone was welcome to join in on. And that doesn’t count the stage races or the Tour of California.

        1 race field on one day restricted entry based on LA, everything else was just on the usual restrictions based on Category, Age and/or Gender.

      • fsethd says:

        They wouldn’t take my entry at TOC, either.

      • fsethd says:

        Yep.

      • Ben Foster says:

        Tim, I was referring to the gap between Mt. Hamilton Race on the 24th of May (which I raced) and Lodoga Road Race on the 5th of July. So it’s actually 6 weeks. There’s not a lot of road racing opportunities this time of year, so it was a shame to miss out on one.

      • TimB says:

        Ok Ben, that is true. Seems like June is bereft of road racing, mostly. Though there’s always Elite Nats, which is in California this year. Though that event may be drawing down interest by promoters in putting on a road race this month.

        My point was that it was the culmination of a series of weekends chock full of road races that any eligible rider was welcome to participate in. So the glass is either half full or half empty, depending on how you look at it.

        So sounds like there is an opportunity for an enterprising promoter to put on a Road Race next June. Let’s see who picks up that.

      • Ben Foster says:

        I’m glad you brought up Elite Nationals. I would love to participate in that event, but the road race is 1’s only. I’m a 2, with close to enough points for an upgrade so you can see why every road racing opportunity counts for me right now. This, combined with the fact that Pescadero is just a great race that I’d love to ride makes excluding riders seem silly when all that’s on the line is a jersey. Add in that the SCNCA allows it, there’s all the more reason to just let everyone in California race together all the time. Even the NCNCA Elite District TT allows non-NCNCA riders.

      • fsethd says:

        Tim is waiting for an enterprising promoter to promote an early June road race that would compete with Pescadero so that you can race it and so that certain unnamed sensitive NCNCA bike racers won’t have to poop in their didies at the thought of foreigners, aliens, and heathens south of the Calmason-Caldixon Line.

      • fsethd says:

        There is an opportunity for a non-brain dead promoter to allow P/1/2 riders to race Pescadero, which was kind of the whole point. And I thought you were done with this thread?

      • fsethd says:

        Instead of saying “Ok Ben, that is true,” what about saying, “Ok Ben, I was totally wrong”? Just a thought.

  • TheTurchinator says:

    Great post. I traveled from Las Vegas for this race and raced the Cat 3 and was unaware of all the P/1/2 controversy. Even though I got shelled in my race, I was thinking that I would like to travel up to NorCal more for these races, pay for hotels, eat in restaurants, and take in the local sites like I did the rest of last weekend. I guess the race promoters won’t give me much choice soon. I’m sure the local businesses are on the same page with the promoters too. What a joke.

    • channel_zero says:

      The local businesses didn’t have a clue there were a few hundred cyclists in town who are picky eaters and occupy all the cheap hotel rooms… for one night.

    • fsethd says:

      *NOT* welcome. Go spend your money and your time in a different place on a different hobby.

      PS: Welcome to the world of road racing!

    • TimB says:

      Thanks for coming out Turchinator, I’m sure that the promoter was glad to have you race. Same would have gone for fsethd if he’d chosen to attend. As a Cat three you weren’t eligible to enter the Championship 1/2 race regardless.

      The only person who said anything about “NOT welcome” is fsethd, who was welcome to race. The only question was eligibility.

      • fsethd says:

        *NOT* welcome was in the email sent out by the promoter. Shoot me your EM and I’ll forward it to you. *NOT* Welcome. Promoting sport 24/7!!

      • TimB says:

        No Thanks Set, you don’t need to. If that was said in response to the 3rd or fourth email from the same person not liking the consistent responses they’re getting, I can understand if someone made a mistake and said “not welcome” instead of “not eligible”. If you’ve ever promoted a race, then you know how hectic things get as you count down the hours to race start. So making that kind of mistake is understandable, particularly when the decision being challenged wasn’t the promoter’s choice just something they were required to enforce. If it were up to the promoter they’d be happy to sell more bib numbers, of course they would.

        Let me repeat, you’re of course welcome to attend the hundreds of days of racing events held in Northern California and Northern Nevada every year and enter every field that you’re eligible for based on your Category, Age and/or Gender. The only exception are NCNCA Championships, as specified on the race flyer.

      • fsethd says:

        First I was “Sparky.” Now I’m “Set.” Can we please pick an insult and stick with it?

      • fsethd says:

        The other thing Tim doesn’t bother to tell us is that this policy has only been in effect for two years. Pray tell what changed so dramatically in the world of amateur cycling?

  • umbilical says:

    Just jump in the race – a little civil disobedience is in order here.

  • jorgensen says:

    41 years ago, all the “state” championships were all held on one weekend. That kept things simple as far as entries, The challenge was if you needed to scramble back from Mission Viejo to make the Sunday evening Championships at Encino.
    The following year, there was a Central California District also, they used Encino during the day.
    The races were often hosted by a club but the “promotor” was the national body. I don’t remember an entry fee either. Kucharik made the jerseys.

    The last of the corinthians.

  • Jim says:

    Well this one really got some traction. Showed up on my FB page. NorCal guys arguing both sides. Well done!

  • Dean Abt says:

    Notably – you were called “sparky” which is kinda awesome. Also, it appears there’s an NCNCA board meeting this coming Monday, a quick 30 minutes from my home in Oakland. I’m going. I’ll see if I can walk the walk, make the case for inclusion and sensibility and explore whether there’s hope for assuring no one is turned away, ever, from any race – especially NorCal races of any championship or other variety because that makes absolutely no sense on any level. Politburo process may inhibit real action – but it’s worth a try!!

    • fsethd says:

      I would make that my permanent nickname except that when you Google “wanker cyclist” guess which blog hits the #1 spot every time?

      Thanks for taking the time to voice your concern to the board. Very eloquent.

  • Phil says:

    God damn, but this was entertaining! The thread about it on Facebag seems to have been pulled down, unfortunately. The NCNCA member discussion on that was arguably even better than thread here. Thanks for stirring the pot, Seth! Let’s hope things become less parochial in the future! Or what the hell; a true State (that would be NCNCA/SCNCA together) championship with district championships as qualifiers perhaps? Hold it in central CA so no one has to travel too far to make it. Talk to Bob Leibold at VeloPromo. If there’s a course that would suit, he’s sure to know about it. My 2 cents here.

    • fsethd says:

      I didn’t see the thread, but I love it when people get all excited and voice their opinions and such and then, in a fit of paranoia, delete everything because, you know, once you hit “delete” it’s gone forever. #NSA

      Thanks for the support!

    • Hello Phil and All,

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

      Continue stirring the pot and get a grudge match going …

      North vs. South at Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo or maybe Solvang …. Amgen Tour had a TT there a few year back.

      My relatives in Napa say they want to cut off ‘our’ water so they can flood the rice paddies in Sacramento.

      North and South are naturally competitive.

      Maybe it would be worth TV coverage?

      What do you suppose the line would be?

      http://sports.bovada.lv/sports-betting/Cycling.jsp

  • […] days ago I ran a little thing about the NCNCA rule that prohibits outsiders, aliens, foreigners, ineligiblers, and anyone south of the Calmason-Caldixon Line from competing in […]

  • Todd says:

    All’s I know is that I just did the Gran Fondo Promo Volpi in Pienza, Tuscany last weekend while in a family vacation. For €15 the morning of, I got my ass kicked in the “competitive” category by a bunch of whippet thin Italian profamatuers (profamatueri?), got a swag bag with a bottle of local olive oil, a bottle of red wine and two bags of pasta, had a post race lunch with all the racers, lunch consisting of bread, pasta with tomato and basil sauce, red wine, prosciutto and cheese. I had a ball and couldn’t understand a word people were saying.

    There was one category and it was faaaaast. Nut up and race or do the cyclo tourist ride. That was the choice. Here’s the interesting part: participation was great! The fields (both) were packed. So it seems the eternal subdividing of races is not actually mproving participation (duh, we knew that). Promotors trying to attract racers with a better experience seems to work! Of course it is Italy and everyone rides, but I would guess SoCal and NorCal have a similar high density of cyclists that can be attracted to events with a bit of well placed effort.

    • fsethd says:

      Love it. Racers in one category, tourists in another. That’s real bike racing. Trinkets for the winner, singular.

  • IKickYourAssAndYouAlwaysComplain says:

    On an important issue, I just saved a tonne of money by switching to Gieco. That means I have enough cash now to drive to lots of road races. There are many each weekend that are in and out of my district. Now, if I am interested in watching the best in another district compete for a jersey, I can go up and watch. Maybe even help out in the feed zone to give back to the sport. Interesting though, but without Gieco it was all too expensive before.

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