Fourth annual Local Association Summit aims to grow sport

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2008)— Twenty-nine of USA Cycling's 34 Local Associations (LA’s) attended the national governing body’s fourth annual Local Association Summit. The three-day conference, designed to offer overall organizational updates, resource sharing and informative sessions, was also attended by USA Cycling’s Collegiate Conference Directors and the United States Cycling Federation Board of Directors. Amongst the weekend’s activities, the 86 attendees participated in a number of breakout sessions and educational seminars while also reviewing current legislation.
Directed by USA Cycling’s Local Association Manager Frederike Blattspieler, the Local Association Summit represents one of the many initiatives employed by USA Cycling to reach out and drive the growth of cycling at the grassroots level. Often area leaders of cycling advocacy, these delegates came to Colorado Springs looking for the latest tools and information to take back to their local communities.
“I think the summit is always more than worth it,” explained four-time summit attendee Bonnie Walker of the Texas Bicycle Racing Association. “It offers us the ability to connect with people who go through the same things we do throughout the year. As associations we need to maximize that opportunity to share ideas as the breakout sessions offer the perfect setting for that. It was also nice to hear from and have involvement from people in all parts of USA Cycling.”  
Participants engaged in numerous informative sessions and educational seminars given by USA Cycling staff and various experts. After Friday night’s welcome dinner, USA Cycling Chief Executive Officer, Steve Johnson opened Saturday’s conference portion of the weekend by addressing reciprocity and the future of cycling in the U.S. Staff presentations were also given addressing risk management, USA Cycling website improvements, membership demographics, results and rankings, national events, marketing and sponsorship, collegiate cycling and more.
A short affinity fair wrapped up the afternoon session, offering the LA’s the opportunity to learn more about several USA Cycling partners, including Liberty Mutual, Adventure Advocates, AMBIT, Mattie O. Artworks and Imperial Headwear. Summit attendees were then treated to a dinner and post-Beijing report by USA Cycling Director of Athletics Pat McDonough in the United States Olympic Training Center Visitors Center.
A series of breakout sessions highlighted Sunday’s agenda. Long-time Local Association representative Steve Hansen spoke on LA basics while Nature Valley Grand Prix promoter David LaPorte shared his expertise on marketing and sponsorship in amateur racing. National commissaries Diane Fortini and Kristen Mills presented advice on how to attract and retain quality officials, while Michael Norton and Todd Scheske offered similar guidance regarding promoters. Representatives from AMB and Winning Time also provided information on the latest chip timing technology while Eric Smith and David Mitchell advised participants on rules and scoring.
“As a first-time attendee I really just wanted to make contacts and be able to share resources with the appropriate person in my area,” said Danielle Craven of the Virginia Cycling Association. “I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a really good experience that I will share with our entire region in a few weeks.”  
This season also marked the third year Collegiate Cycling Directors have been invited to the annual summit; with 2008 being the first stand-alone Collegiate Directors Summit. Ten conference directors were present for this year’s meetings, including representatives from seven conferences and two members of the National Collegiate Cycling Association Board of Trustees. A dozen members of the United States Cycling Federation Board of Trustees were also a part of the weekend summit.
“My primary focus for the 2008 LA Summit was not only to make sure the conference met everyone’s needs and that there was an open flow of communication, but to provide useful information they can in turn share with clubs, organizers and others in their local cycling community,” said Blattspieler. “We hope the knowledge and resources shared here will be distributed throughout grassroots cycling communities. I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to work with such an informed and engaged group of associations.”
About USA Cycling   
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or   

This Article Published November 10, 2008 For more information contact: