To Mountain Bike Event Promoters, From BRAC

A Message From the BRAC Executive Director
Aaron (Boups) Bouplon
Tue, 2014-04-15

Mountain Bike Event Promoters-

Thank you for being part of a sport that I love. I’m writing to you in the spirit of co-operation and commitment to cycling. I’ve recently been named the Executive Director of the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado. I am also a bike racer. I race cyclo-cross, road, and mountain bikes, and I’ve always wondered why mountain bike races were not included within BRAC’s support and promotion umbrella. Most mountain bike races that I’ve done were on my radar through word of mouth. Sand Creek Sports has a great calendar in place and I commend Andy for his hard work. However, the reach of BRAC’s calendar is much greater because BRAC is a non-profit 501(c)3 and has a mission to “Promote bicycle racing in Colorado and Southeastern Wyoming”. Remember that BRAC is not out to grab a piece of your pie, we would like to expand the size of that pie and get more people racing their bicycles regardless of the cycling discipline...

...Thank you for your time and consideration, please contact me at or phone 303-458-5538 to discuss being listed on our calendar of events or to discuss working together to improve cycling in our state.

Photo: courtesy of

That's just a short snippet. For the entire letter, please visit BRAC's website.

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How could you miss it? It's

How could you miss it? It's their mission! Because they're a 501c with a mission they bring instant value into the hands of everyone in Colorado who owns a bicycle, tricycle, or unicycle. Side bar, but my favorite moment was Steve Johnson's monumental speech on heroes and role models only months before I watched Armstrong on Oprah and Tommy D be, well, Tommy D. Why did we integrate with USAC again would be the better article Kris and Katie.

That would be great. For the

That would be great. For the racers who are interested racing in MTB National and other out of state events. Currently Colorado racers must travel to out of state races, to earn those call-up points. There are only 2 major USAC MTB events in Colorado, juniors in particularly are in disadvantage.

What are the the real

What are the the real drawbacks for joining BRAC? MTB racing is expensive (I don't know why, but I'm not a promoter); nobody questions RME pricing model - $80+ for a race without any prize money. I'd pay a bit more for a race if it helps Colorado juniors to be more competitive on a national level.

Most races are not nearly the

Most races are not nearly the price of RME events... My local series is $10 a race, and to me, is a way bigger value and better than the RME races and just as competitive at the level I race (advanced women). I haven't found too many USAC/BRAC road or cross races that match the price and value of most of the mountain bike races I attend.

I agree, RME is expensive.

I agree, RME is expensive. However, they do a very good job with the aid stations and you usually get a tee-shirt or socks or something. Results are pretty quick and the results/standing on the Website are well maintained. I've raced 7 of these over the past three years and overall I like the atmosphere and courses. I didn't need to buy a license this year. I guess my point is there is value beyond just lining-up and racing at the RME races.

To answer your question about the drawbacks to joining BRAC/USAC, there are a few costs that I think are a bit unnecessary or at least feel superfluous to promoters. USAC is notorious for nickle and dimeing and they are NOT responsive if you have questions about fees. What happens then is these extra costs gets shifted from the promoter to the racers. This is why CX races have gone up $5-10 per race in the past few years.

To me, these extra costs become prohibitive to gaining new racers into the sport. For example, a first time racer flirting with the sport gets nicked for one-time USAC fees, day of reg fee, etc. and the price goes up another $10-20. Why not just go for a rip up Lookout and check Strava?

not only are RME horrifically

not only are RME horrifically expensive for what you get (socks and cardboard certificates as prizes? seriously?) but this year they've decided to go with all open categories which I'm personally not interested in - racing is difficult enough out here without having to compete for 21st place with pro triathletes. And I get it, this is fine, as an unsanctioned promoter they can do whatever the heck they want, but they can do it without my participation.

USAC is many things, many of them not good. The one thing they do well is provide a central channel for growth and consistency in things like categorization and racer experience. The way to solve the problematic issues is from within as Boups is attempting to do, not to continue to fragment the racing experience for the region as a whole.

And I'm sorry if you're racing for any specific organization it is your responsibility to understand the rules, whether or not you feel they're dumb. ACA always followed the USAC rule book pretty much to the letter with their own, so I'm not sure even where this complaint comes from.

We've seen how road and CX experience has grown and improved with USAC involvement (the collegiate series especially), I'm pretty sure that with the new unified licensing approach, the MTB experience could follow suit. However this involves change, which everyone hates, so fine, forget I mentioned it.