CEO BLOG: Ride With US!
My family loves to ride.
My dad has retired to Florida and rides about 50 miles a week. He records his rides on Strava and pushes himself to see if he can do his favorite loops faster each time he goes out. Several times a year, he participates in an organized cycling event like a gran fondo to challenge himself.
My older brother lives outside New York City and rides regularly when the weather is good. A long-time fan of the Tour de France, we took a trip to the French Alps and he was thrilled to have the chance to experience what it’s like to climb and descend on the roads on which his cycling heroes battled.
Like me, my younger brother spent some portion of his life as a professional cyclist and still enjoys racing to this day.
While my younger brother and I have had a connection with USA Cycling for decades, my Dad, older brother, and nephew – each active and enthusiastic participants in the sport of cycling – had virtually no connection to USA Cycling as they pursued their love for cycling. The reason for this is clear – we had nothing to offer them. USA Cycling was focused exclusively on mass-start categorized racing. To be honest, pinning a number on and racing head to head is still my favorite form of cycling – but as much as I wish everyone felt the same, racing is not for all cyclists. To enthusiasts like my family, we are just not relevant.
I would like to change that. My goal for USA Cycling is to continue to improve the membership experience for the first-time and longtime racer while making our organization more welcoming to new members who share our passion for the bike but have not, until recently, had a reason to connect with USA Cycling. We want to offer them something of value, help them enjoy their cycling passion to its fullest and be an advocate for their needs and interests.
Related, we all recognize that our sport is changing – and the line between traditional racing and what we may have formerly considered “non-competitive” events like gran fondos is blurring or even fading away. The market is shifting to offer a broader range of events in which people can participate – and I see this as an exciting time in cycling.
Given this expansion of our focus, we revised our mission and vision statements earlier in the year. While racing, and our racing member, will always be our core focus, we want to make it clear that enthusiasts and mass participation events are also entirely relevant to USA Cycling’s mission. These are just words, of course, and ultimately it is our actions that truly matter – but I believe a change in our mission and vision is an important statement of intention which will guide the actions of USA Cycling’s and its vast community. Not only will this help us to grow but it will hold us accountable to improving the sport for all of our members – racers and enthusiasts alike.
Now that our intentions are clear, I hope you will ride with us as we work to engage the millions of cyclists like my Dad, brother, and nephew to grow the sport of cycling.
This Article Updated June 5, 2017 @ 03:54 PM For more information contact: