February 24th, 2011 by sprinterdellacasa

Please read these before calling or emailing your questions.  These questions are aimed at the Bethel Spring Series in particular, but some of the information applies to racing in general.

Cat 5 to 4 upgrade overview here.

Q: What can I do to make registration/racing easier on me and the organizer?
A:  Thanks for asking.  Here’s a list:

  1. Pre-register or arrive at least 1 hour before your race’s scheduled start
  2. Don’t forget your license or proof of license (if you have a smartphone then you can download USAC’s free app to show your virtual license)
  3. Pin your number correctly
  4. Don’t pee on anyone’s property
  5. Don’t be rude to local tenants/residents

Q:  What time do the Bethel Spring Series races start?
A:   The first race starts at 8:45 AM.

8:00 AM Clinic
8:40 AM Cat 5
9:30 AM Cat 4
10:30 AM Women
11:45 AM Masters 45+ (Cat 1-4)
1:00 PM Cat 3-4
2:15 PM Pro-1-2-3

Please note that races cannot start before a published start time unless every single racer agrees that it is okay.  However, this is not a guarantee that the races will start on time.

Q:  Do you take credit cards or Paypal on the day of the race?
A:  No, we do not have that capability.  If you would like to use your credit card to register, please use the online registration services we offer (bikereg.com). We do take personal checks and cash on the day of the race. Keep in mind that if you bounce a check you will be suspended by USAC until you make good on said check.

Q:  I am a Masters 45+ racer but my license says I am a Category 5 racer. Can I race the Masters race instead?
A:  NO. Category 5 racers (only men receive Cat 5 licenses) MUST RACE THE CATEGORY 5 race.  There are many reasons:

  1. If we allow Category 5 racers into the non-Cat 5 races, we must limit those other race sizes to 75.  We allow up to 125 racers in our non-Category 5 races and many fields exceed 75 racers.
  2. Category 5 racers need to demonstrate the ability to race in a pack with safety and proper etiquette.  If you are strong enough to race with the Masters, race a lot of races and upgrade as quickly as you can.  Category 5 is NOT a reflection on relative strength and fitness.  It IS a reflection on the amount of experience you have racing a bicycle in a mass start race.
  3. Category 5 only races are limited to 50 racers per field.  This makes it safer for the participants like yourself.  It is like stepping into the shallow end of the pool, not diving off the 10 meter high dive.

Q:  Why don’t you have a (fill in the blank) category race?
A:  Many racers ask why a particular category of racer is excluded from the race schedule.  The selection of races we hold is a result of a combination of potential field sizes, race length, and time limitations.  We are striving for a race day which will allow racers to get good base miles in while in a friendly, competitive atmosphere.

Q:  I would like to try bicycle racing. What do I need to do to race?
A:  For miscellaneous general questions on bike racing, please go to the CTInfo page.

Q:  Is there any advantage to pre-registering?
A:  Definitely.

  1. Shorter line for registration
  2. Cheaper fee per day of racing
  3. Once you pay for the Series the races are “free” since you don’t pay every week.
  4. More motivation to come out and race. You’re committed to racing the Series.

Disadvantages – if the weather is poor you have to choose between racing in poor weather or forfeiting your fee. You’re committed to racing the Series.

We try to accommodate the normal happenings in a racer’s life. For example, if you learn that you cannot attend a Bethel Spring Series race, tell us BEFORE that weekend and we will apply the race fee to another Series race or refund you your entry fee. This does not apply after a race weekend. For example, “I overslept and missed my race, can you refund me my entry fee?” is not acceptable.

Q:  Are you strict about the rules?
A:  We are pretty strict about the rules.  The rules are in place to protect the racers, the promoters, and the venue (i.e. prevent the race from being cancelled the next year). We try very hard to fulfull our obligations to the racers and to the town. In return we expect the racers to follow suit.

If you urinate or defecate in public at the Series, you will earn an immediate disqualification for the day, forfeit any Series Points earned that day, and forfeit your entry fee.

The most common infraction we see is riding without a helmet. All USAC licensed racers must wear a helmet everytime they get on a bike. This is to protect the promoter, USAC, hosting town, sponsors, etc., from getting sued by the families of dead or paralyzed racers who crashed while tooling around the parking lot. Two Masters racers died in a short period in NJ many years ago. They were not racing and did not have their helmets on. However, they were at a race and were warming up (or cooling down). Their deaths prompted this rule.

If you ride without a helmet, you will be fined and your license suspended until you pay the fine. This is a USAC rule.

Read the rule book. Be familiar with the rules that affect you, age or category related rules in particular.

Learn to respect racing and racing will respect you.