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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Boreas Bolinas Day Pack


BOREAS
Bolinas Pack
http://boreasgear.com/products/bolinas/
Boreas Bolinas pack, 30L


This 30 liter pack touts its versatility that it is a bike pack that can convert to a long-haul day pack.  The goal of this pack is pure function.  Where other pack offer big padded shoulder and hip straps, the Boreas crew knows this can be over-kill.  The secret is in the suspension system.



30 Liters of storage, water resistant, expansion segments, 3 external zipper pockets, hydration bladder compatible, daisy loops tucked into access pockets, and most important the trampoline suspension system that adjust to fit the contours of your back for hiking or cycling.

The key to the packs versatile function is the internal wire frame that also serves as a spring.  The ends are aluminum for light weight, wile the center is spring steel.

By tightening the tension straps you can have the pack flat on your back for hiking, or more rounded for cycling.  Finely tuning the curve ensures a perfect fit.





The frame sits behind a trampoline mesh which provides ample air flow on the users back.


The frame is not meant to be removable, but is possible as we found out for purposes of showing you how it works.
The pack opens by unrolling the top, which holds its shape thanks to a semi-rigid plastic strip in the seam.
Rolled inside out to show the water bladder pocked with velcro strap, and a side pocket.





I first took this pack out on an overnight bike packing trip.  One complaint is the corners of the mesh trampoline did rub my hips the wrong way and eventually became uncomfortable.  A more upright position might prevent this. Also, accessing anything in the bag during a quick stop was not easy. It is one big compartment, and everything disappears when you want to find it.  Some side pockets would make storage more organized, but at the same time would also add weight.

The pack was comfortable riding all day, and the minimalist design kept the work space clutter-free.  Strap adjustments are easy to make.

The big downside is the lack of external zipper compartments.  The pack is intended to haul your stuff into camp and then be unloaded.  If you want to have quick access to little items all during your trek this pack might not be right for you.

Overall, this is a great pack for day trip hiking or cycling, and even for light-weight camping trips.







From Boreas site:


  • COLORS:Farallon Black, Golden Gate Red, Marina Blue
  • FABRICS:210D nylon ripstop with UTS impregnated silicone coating
  • SUSPENSION: Our variable suspension, aka SUPER-TRAMP (patent pending), lets users adjust their pack with the tug of a strap. Tighten the strap and it’s a trampoline suspension, perfect for biking and hot weather travel. Loosen the strap and the pack reverts to a standard suspension, moving the weight closer to your back for more stability while hiking or climbing. And because the tension setting is infinitely variable, you can pick a spot somewhere in the middle for the best of both worlds
  • BODY: Rolltop lid, waterproof  side pocket, stretch panels allow the pack body to expand and curve depending on load and suspension setting, hydration or laptop sleeve with two hydration ports, hidden daisy chains, removable hipbelt and adjustable sternum strap

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THOMSON Carbon Road Bar


THOMSON Carbon Road Bar
I have had the chance to put some serious miles on the Thomson carbon road bar.  It is a carbon bar, what makes it better?  Well, any carbon bar will have the desired ride characteristics of damping road vibration while maintaining strength and light weight.

What sets Thomson apart is their fine quality and exact specifications.  A nice touch is that the bar is exactly 31.8mm diameter under the clear coat.  The clear coat compresses when clamped, so mated to a Thomson stem that is exactly 31.8mm you get a perfect fit, and a reduction of stress to the bar as well as a tighter fit.

The bar comes with a tiny tube of carbon application lube, that is a gritty gel to increase friction between the stem and the bar. This reduces the clamping force necessary to hold the bar.  A torque wrench should be used to 4Nm when tightening the stem bolts to avoid over-clamping and crushing the carbon.


Thomson found that the sticky goo other bars have at the clamp area only cause the bar to slip easier, especially in the drop test.

The bar comes in different widths, and there is also a CX version for the winter racer.

The Thomson website reports:

Our road bar features a mild wing shape on top, clamping area wide enough for aero bars, mid-compact reach and drop. This is the modern bar for the modern road bike. Our Road bar wing section is small enough not to restrict hand movement when riding on the top and allows bar angle adjustment with out “locking out” your wrists. Shaping on the bottom side of the wing allows housing to be taped out of the way without the use of narrow housing channels or internal routing, both of which shorten bar life. Certified to EN, tested to DIN+.

For Cyclocross we present the KFC-One, Katie Compton Signature ‘cross bar. Katie brings her multiple National Championships and European racing experience to give you a bar built her way for cross. The natural transition from your Thomson road bar for the ‘cross season. Twin flats on the bottom of the bar allow taping your housing to create a completely round bar when wrapped. Top profile is round and as wide as possible. This allows auxiliary brake levers to be safely used and still leaves lots of room for your hands. Certified to EN, tested to DIN+.

Layup uses 3 different fiber types with different tensile strengths and tensile modulus, including High Strength carbon fiber. This helps allocate stiffness and flex where needed.

All carbon fiber is produced by Toray and uses tailor made Nano Epoxy Resin for very high impact resistance. Toray is the main supplier of carbon fiber for Boeing and Airbus.

Both the Road and Cross bar are made in one piece, not three pieces co-molded and glued together.

Bars are molded over an EPS mandrel to avoid wrinkles inside the layup during molding. Most other bars are molded over inflatable nylon bladders.

Reach for the Road and Cross bars is the same at 78.5mm. Drop is proportional. Road drops are: 40CM 137mm, 42CM 140mm, 44CM 140mm, 46CM 143mm. Cross drops are: 40CM 131mm, 42CM 133mm, 44CM 135mm.

1.5K woven impact ends help prevent damage to uni-directional fibers from impact

Model NumberHandlebar DescriptionWeightRetail Price
HB-E10440cm center to center-Road x 31.8188 g$249.95
HB-E10542cm center to center-Road x 31.8190 g$249.95
HB-E10644cm center to center-Road x 31.8192 g$249.95
HB-E10746cm center to center-Road x 31.8194 g$249.95
HB-E11040cm center to center-KfC-One-Cross x 31.8202 g$249.95
HB-E11142cm center to center-KfC-One-Cross x 31.8204 g$249.95
HB-E11244cm center to center-KfC-One-Cross x 31.8

Monday, December 9, 2013

usac's UCI Rule Enforcement

Mountain bike racers have long raced all kinds of event and always will.  The sense of adventure and need to compete and test their skills will draw them in many directions.  The American governing body of cycling, the one recognized by the Olympics and the UCI (world governing body), known as u-sac or USA Cycling has been riddled in controversy since its inception in the mid 90's.  They have made many enemies, but none so motivated as the  US  Cup guys.

During the 2013 season this rule came up and ShoAir-US Cup looked into fighting it, but decided it was not worth it.  Since then usac has been wooing them, the final results not fully public yet.

USAC asked the UCI to make it look like the UCI was making USAC to enforce this rule.  USAC asked the UCI to enforce this rule world-wide.  The UCI typically had let each governing body decide wether to enforce this rule or not.

USAC wants this rule so they can maintain a monopoly, possibly an illegal one given America's anti-trust laws.  A law that needs a challenger to test it in court.  No takers so far.

America's best mountain bike events are non-usac. Many racers and promoters literally hate usac.  Steve Johnson is "owner" of usac and has been observed to literally hate the sport of mountain biking.  A former road racer himself, he saw mtb gain popularity and take all the athletes and money away from his beloved pavement sport.  To gain control back NORBA, the original governing body for mtb, was tricked into merging with USCF (original road body) under the banner USA Cycling.  Control of the money left the sport of MTB and the 35,000 MTB licensees suddenly were paying for improvements to the road scene (14,000 members).  

MTB events went downhill as usac knowingly put much less effort into the quality of these events, but did everything for the road events.  Just recently, Mica Rice, was quoted in a usac.org article as calling the road racing their "marquee event".  If that was a slip, or if they just don't try to hide it anymore, it is clear that USAC is a road bike organization.  They just keep MTB around to satisfy the UCI and Olympic committee's regulations that a governing body must encompass all cycling disciplines.  It did not hurt that they had license and promoter fees coming in weekly from those 35,000 mtb racers. 
Now the mtb'ers have abandon usac, or gone to the road in their love-affair with Lance.  USAC MTB license numbers are way down, but USAC must keep it under their wing nonetheless.  Keep its head under water would be more accurate.  By maintaining the minimal requirements for the sport, or to rephrase, make it just good enough no one leaves, but bad enough that people are not in love with it, this tends to make the road scene more attractive.  Those talented mtb'ers, "should come to the road", as Steve Johnson told me in person.  I did give him a earful to no effect, but he confirmed everything I knew and suspected about USAC and their devious ways.

I could go on about the corruption at usac, but will stop here.

Will this rule be enforced in 2014?  That is to be seen.  My prediction when all this started was that they will enforce it of course.

The ShoAir/ US Cup, the largest promoter of big mtb events, left usac to host their events without the burden of usac, and this was very popular among the racing crowd, but the very few top pros that needed usac to gain access to UCI World Cup events pouted.  The US Cup has come to some agreement with Steve to join the dark side again, but unless power and control have been taken and given to a mtb advocate then little will change, and in the long run nothing will.

Time will tell.  There are few mtb'ers left who remember what the sport was before usac.  The new crowd can not see reality, wether they are a world cup pro or a weekend warrior matters not.

Many, many promoters are non-usac and have always been. This, in part, explains the low usac mtb license sales, as many refuse to buy a usac license, and have plenty of quality non-usac mtb events to attend.

Star Wars fans might recognize usac as being run by an evil Sith lord, but most mtb licensees are painfully ignorant that the very organization they are supporting is the very one causing hard to their sport.

If you agree you can refuse to purchase a usac license and tell your local promoter that you are choosing to support supporters of mtb rather than those that harm it.  The small local promoters are the ones driving support for usac and, thus, their preferences for the road.

Below is some more info on how the rule all started.



Just in case usac decides to remove this post here is what they said the UCI told them:

Clarification of UCI Rule 1.2.019 and related sanctions



 

 



To: USA Cycling Members
RE: UCI Rule 1.2.019

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion and misinformation recently in articles and forums regarding UCI rule 1.2.019, which prohibits all UCI licensed riders from competing in events that are not sanctioned by a national federation. USA Cycling received the following letter from the International Cycling Union (UCI) on March 26 to all national federations clarifying its expectations in the enforcement of rule 1.2.019.  It also explains what the few possible exceptions to its rule are.

The UCI confirmed that Rule 1.2.019 and the related sanctions in 1.2.020 and 1.2.021 must apply to every UCI-recognized national federation in the world. Therefore, as a member of the International Federation, USA Cycling will comply with the direction from the UCI.








INT
ERNATIONAL CYCLING UNION


President

To all National Federations


Sent by email only

Aigle, 26 March 2013
Ref: Presidency

 Re: forbidden races


Dear President,

It has recently come to our attention that some National Federations are experiencing difficulties in the interpretation and  application of  the rules relating  to "forbidden races",  namely  Articles 1.2.019,
1.2.020 and 1.2.021 of the UCI Regulations.

With this in mind, we would like to provide the following clarification which we hope you will find useful. Article 1.2.019 of the UCI Regulations states:

"No licence holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognised by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.

A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country."

The objective of this regulation is to protect the hard work and resources you pour into the development of your events at national level. It allows for a federative structure,  something which is inherent in organised sport and which is essential to being a part of the Olympic movement.

Of course the regulation also allows the UCI, in line with its mission as an international federation, to guarantee uniform regulation.

Article 1.2.019 applies to all licence holders, without exception. It does not solely concern professional riders or just the members of UCI teams, contrary to certain statements in the press and on some blogs.

The second paragraph of Article 1.2.019 affords each national federation the facility to grant a special exception for specific races or events taking place in its territory.

Special races or events are understood to be cycle events which are not registered on the national calendar of the country's federation or on the UCI international calendar. This generally concerns events that are occasional and which do not recur, most often organised by persons or entities who do not belong to the world of organised sport. For example, an event may be organised by an association that does not have a link to the National Federation, such as a race specifically for members of the armed forces, fire fighters or students or perhaps as part of a national multisport event.

With the exception of these special cases, the National Federation is not permitted to grant an exemption to a cycle event which is held, deliberately or not, outside the federative movement. For example, in no case should an exception be granted to a cycling event that is organised by a person or entity who regularly organises cycling events.

CH 1860 Aigle Switzerland
Q)+41 24 468 58 11      fax +41 24 468 58 12
www.uci.ch

The objective of Article 1.2.019 is that exemptions should only be granted in exceptional cases.

Licence holders who participate in a "forbidden race" make themselves liable not only to sanctions  by their National Federation, as scheduled by Article 1.2.021 of the UCI regulations,  but also run the risk of not having sufficient insurance cover in the event of an accident.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please accept our kindest regards,






Pat McQuaid
President
CH 1860 Aigle Switzerland
Q)+41 24 468 58 11      fax +41 24 468 58 12
www.uci.ch




Clarification on affected riders: The letter from the UCI confirms no UCI licensed rider, in any discipline, may participate in an event not sanctioned by a national federation recognized by the UCI (USA Cycling is the sole national federation in the United States). Originally, this was described as only affecting those UCI-licensed riders on UCI teams. The UCI has subsequently clarified that the rule extends to ALLUCI-licensed riders, even those not associated with a UCI team. This rule only pertains to those riders holding an international/UCI license.

USA Cycling Working to Ease the Transition
USA Cycling understands the fact that this rule enforcement has a far-reaching impact on riders and race directors alike, particularly in the mountain bike discipline. To help manage the impact and assist riders and race directors with the transition, USA Cycling will work with non-sanctioned mountain bike events by providing the following for mountain bike events permitted with USA Cycling after April 1, 2013:
  • For any mountain bike event that occurred in 2012, but did not sanction with USA Cycling in 2012, USA Cycling will waive the permit fee (2013 only). USA Cycling will also subsidize $1 of the $3 dollar per rider insurance surcharge. The per-rider insurance surcharge for mountain bike events that occurred in 2012 but were not permitted in 2012 will be $2 per rider (2013 only).
What a USA Cycling Event Permit Provides for Race Promoters:
  • Low permit fees. A mountain bike race of less than 500 riders has a maximum permit fee of $100 a day. The only other fee USA Cycling collects is a per-rider insurance charge of $3 which covers one of the most robust insurance packages in cycling for the race director, the landowners, the sponsors, and excess accident medical coverage for participants. Comparable insurance coverage cost per rider is much more expensive.
     
  • Racing infrastructure for a safe and level playing field including anti-doping, rules and trained officials. As the only USOC and UCI recognized cycling organization in the U.S., riders in USA Cycling events can be subject to the groundbreaking USA Cycling RaceClean™ anti-doping program to create a level playing field.
     
  • Access to USA Cycling's online registration system that allows riders to register for events and sign electronic waivers on the USA Cycling website or by using the USA Cycling smartphone app.
     
  • $0.40 rebate to race directors for each registration when you use USA Cycling’s online registration system.
     
Why you Should Support USA Cycling Sanctioned Events:
  • USA Cycling spends more than $4 million per year supporting American athletes in development and international competition programs. Much of that money is generated from the racing activities of our more than 74,000 members racing more than 600,000 racing days each year in sanctioned events. Every time you race in a sanctioned event, a small amount of revenue is generated to support critical athlete programs.  Most importantly, virtually every dime USA Cycling generates as a result of your racing activities is reinvested in the sport.  However, when you compete in an unsanctioned event, nothing goes to support these important programs that help to maintain our international success and create the heroes and role models that are so important to the sport.
     
  • In 2012, USA Cycling spent more than $530,000 in support of mountain bike development programs, world championships and pre-Olympic camps to help riders achieve their dreams on the world's biggest stages.
     
  • Professionally-licensed riders are the direct beneficiaries of USA Cycling's significant investment in athlete support. As such, they have a vested interest to support the sanctioned events that fuel that support.
     
  • Insurance protection at sanctioned events is some of the best available and provides coverage not only for the race directors, but also for the volunteers and officials working the event, as well as the racers themselves. At unsanctioned events, there is no guarantee that the insurance provides adequate coverage to anyone other than the race owner. Most unsanctioned events will claim they have comparable overall insurance coverage for their event when compared to what USA Cycling’s insurance program provides, but our own research and analysis have shown that is just not the case.
     
  • Sanctioned events provide a safe and level playing field by a consistent standard  for athlete protection such as accident insurance, an enforceable code of conduct and USA Cycling's RaceClean™ anti-doping controls conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
     
  • Sanctioned events provide licensed participants with the opportunity to be part of the USA Cycling National Results and Ranking System that allows you to compare your results to everyone else in your age group by city, state, region or even nationally.
For complete information on fees, benefits and how to sanction an event with USA Cycling, click HERE



This Article Published April 5, 2013 For more information contact: bkellick@usacycling.org

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Two-Fish Bottle Cage Mount

Here is a little product that should be in every one's arsenal for that special occasion.  No, not your sisters wedding anniversary party, but for that time when you will need extra water, but do not have extra space for it.

Simply, this is a water bottle mount that can be put almost anywhere.  It has a rubber half-circle backing and a big velcro strap.  The back side of the seat post is the most common placement, but for my one-cage bike, I sometimes use it under the top tube while racing long events.

I have ridden a few hundred miles with no issues, but finally lost it in the woods with it strapped to the post.  I found the bottle a month later, but someone decided to keep the Two-Fish.


It straps on in seconds and is usually pretty secure.  With it under the top tube I have never had any issues.  Access to the bottle is fairly easy and did not interfere with my other bottle on my size large frame.  Smaller frames might require only using the smaller bottles.

Here is my old race bike set up for a summer camping trip.
 This model came with an alloy cage, but can easily be changed out to your cage choice.

The rubber backing molds to any shape or size application and is tacky enough to stay in place.
The velcro is wide and strong.  I only experienced a little wobble with it mounted, but was not an issue - not until I lost it.


Two-Fish has many other products for bottle placements.



Update:
Since the review I have continued to use the mount.  Mostly it is used on the back of the seat post, but it fell out on a not-so-bumpy trail.  I found the bottle a month later, but someone kepis the Two Fish. I now use a modified bottle cage and hold it in place with an automotive hose clamp.  If you are worried I suggest using a hose clamp in place of the velcro.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MTB National Championships Video Interviews

Clips from the event.  More footage on the way will be added into this page as they upload.
Juniors, Pros, Women, U 23...


Pro Mens Highlights

Stephen Ettinger takes the win in this 6-lap race, Todd ins, JB 3rd.

Junior Sport Nationals

Highlights from the Cat II Jr XC race.

Junior Expert Nationals 

Highlights from the race

U-23 Nationals

Highlights from the race

Pro Men before and near start


pre-race with JB and Todd and a few race clips

JB


JB after the race and a few clips


Mary McConneloug

pre-race interview

Georgia Gould

pre-race interview on the start line

Carey

post-race interview with women's single speed national champion.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Carbon full suspension BMV


Cheap carbon options from China


Their business practices are shady, their English worse, but they almost own manufacturing in the World.  Already making bicycle parts for name brand cycling companies, now these factories have turned their expertise to making their own in-house bicycle parts for much less money.

These parts have all the technology behind them as workers already make parts for their high-end customers.    What is lacking is all the media hype and research and development seen in brands you already know.


The above bike frame is a near replica of a Scott Spark, their high-end full carbon race bike. The geometry is identical, but they take design tips from other brands and incorporate them, such as the "handle" at the seat tube/top tube junction seen on many Specialized bikes.


This bike was purchased from a China seller.  The main difference is in the price as the ride and weights are near identical to their near-cousin name brand versions.

Already this test frame has been put through the paces on some of the southeast's most demanding trails and has put smiles on the riders faces.  The frames are offered in 29 and 27.5 inch wheeled versions as well as hard tails.

In a time where carbon bicycle components and frames are seeing sky-rocketing prices riders still want to protect their wallets.  The name-brand frames are not US made; the money goes over seas anyway, but these cheap alternatives are cutting out the middle man and giving the bike shops a source of reasonably priced bicycles.

I call it BMV because the ride is so sweet you will want it to be your Valentine too.

Update:  I have well over 7,000 miles on this frame and with no issues.  I have serviced the pivot bearings once, and the ones lower on the frame needed it, as is common to all frames.
My only complaint was in the initial build I could only arrange the front derailleur high enough to fit a 38 tooth ring, but this is no longer an issue with 1x11.
I have just replaced the chain stay portion with a new thru-axle chain stay, and this has stiffened up the rear end a little.

The cable routing is wrong.  When will frame makers realize that the cables from the right side of the bar route around the left side of the frame, and the ones on left to the right?  This also has the rear brake as an internal routing through the frame and the derailleurs external.  I do not route the brake internally because that requires disconnecting the hose and finding new parts to re-connect. Instead I routed one of the derailleur cables through, and this is not the smoothest of routing lines, but works just fine.  I then attach the brake hose externally where the shifter housing went.  It works, but smart riders have been routing cables smoothly around the other side for over 20 years now.  Come on guys….

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mountain Bike US Nationals 2013

July 20, 2013, Bear Creek resort, PA

Stephen Ettinger National Champion
Across the cycling world mountain bikers are contesting their one-day national championships to crown the national champion in cross country, short track and super-d.  The mountain bike race changes locations every two years encompassing all the diversity the US has to offer mountain bike racers.

Pennsylvania's uniqueness consist of very technically challenging terrain, mostly lots of cabbage-sized rocks sprinkled on the trailed. Locals know this as just a trail, visitors see an impossible series of obstacles that they must learn to navigate before they can race.

The real story is the athletes, as Todd Wells of Specialized puts it, "the same riders always seem to surface to the top no matter what the course is like".  Todd was the favorite going into this event, but a very technical course would have favored Jeremiah Bishop of Sho-Air/Cannondale.  The location and technical, very technical, nature of the trails seemed to give Bishop an obvious advantage, but the governing body of road cycling had the race course re-surfaced to bring it in line with the average western-style course.  Bishop was hoping for rain to come in and make a mess of the course to favor his east coast style riding, but his rain dance efforts were of no use as the rain did come, but the dry course absorbed it overnight.  In the end it was the 90 degree heat and high humidity that played the protagonist.

During the 6-lap race both Bishop and Wells traded off the lead as they distanced themselves from the pack.  Not too far behind were a group containing Mike Broderick, riding a great race, but who flatted out to 8th near the end.

Todd Wells, who is a former national champion, looked like he had command of the race with a healthy lead of near a minute over challenger Bishop.  The humidity was working on the fast charging lead riders though; Todd was suffering and Bishop was suffering.  Their charge off the front at the start was catching up with them.  Meanwhile, back in the main group of followers, StephEttinger had been pacing himself well.  By the 4th lap Steven was close enough to see the dust trails and would soon be sitting in Bishop's then Todd's draft.  That order would not last long before Steven passed and dropped everyone and looked comfortable doing it.
en
Steven had hoped for a good finish, so a win was not totally unexpected, but he was ecstatic in the light of his celebrity competitors.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

USA National Championships. Usac brings children to tears.



What's become of our sport? For years and years usac, the governing body of cycling, has neglected the sport of mountain biking.  At Nationals usac typically treats the 12 and under racers as incapable of riding trails.  It may seem like a minor issue, but is a big deal for those parents and kids involved.

The young kids ride the adult race course lap all season so are used to whatever trail conditions are present, and are more than capable of managing any course their adult counterparts can handle.

The purpose of a National Championship is to crown the best of the best.  It is a time when the top racers from across the nation converge, and for juniors might be the only event all the top racers in their category are together.

Every year, without fail, usac advertises the juniors event as it should be run, but changes everything entirely one or two days before the event.  They change it for the worse.  They say it is for safety reasons or that the course is too hard or too long for anyone of these young ages.  They hear from first-time racers present that complain, but hear nothing from able racers who ride and are fine with the original course.  This is not a place for first-time racers or those unable to complete a normal lap.  The laps were advertised and the distances were set.

usac hosted a "riders meeting" two days before the kids races.  They announced the course changes and explained there were safety concerns about "kids being out there for hours".  In short, all their reasons were bogus and kids and parents at the meeting voiced their anger, outrage and complaints.  Many of those who spoke out against the "dumbing-down" of the race course received rounds of applause.  

One particular 14 year old girl who traveled quite a distance explained that she had trained for this event, purchased expensive equipment for this event, and had been practicing on the original course all week.  Almost in tears she asked why she, a very capable and talented rider, was expected to race through the grass and around some cones at the National 
Championship.  The usac official conducting the meeting, err press release, explained that that was the decision handed down and was final.

The highest level of junior racing, Cat I 15-18, was not forgotten about.  Per their own rules the junior races should last between 60 and 75 minutes.  All reports indicated that the top juniors would be doing about an 18 minute lap.   Usac decided for them to do 3 laps, breaking their own guidelines giving the racers a race less than 60 minutes when a 4 lap race would put them right at the normal finish time as the sport has always seen.

The usac official continued to insist this is what is in the best interest of the racers and that there is nothing she could do.  She would take these concerns back to the board.  The angry crowd requested that the board attend the meeting.  The board meets in "secret" and will not bother to attend the meeting.  People started to get the feeling that usac felt they were almighty, but it was clear that usac's opinions did not reflect the racing publics expectations.

In the end some changes were made to return the course to something more resembling the original advertised route, but people were soured on usac and only satisfied on a mediocre level.

Usac was unwilling to admit mistakes.  Perhaps the only mistake they will admit to is offering a public forum for people to voice their concerns. We will see if there is ever another meeting, or if the meetings are changed to "announcements" in the future.

Even after the races, when mistakes were found, usac was unwilling to admit there could be mistakes.  They stand their ground and announce they are flawless, without error and that their systems could never allow a mistake.

Attendees walk away from their National Championship disgusted, but trying to find the good experiences they had rather than let the dirty underbelly of usac ruin their enjoyment of a sport they love so much.

Mid-week there was a internet radio talk show aired.  In it issues with usac of another topic were raised.  Quite a bit of insight was revealed about the problems with usac.  The radio show left hope that things will change very soon.

Mountain biking is a great sport and there are many, many great people with big hearts and a passion for the sport that are doing great things.  This sport thrives despite usac.