2009 licenses now on sale!

November 25, 2008
Dear USA Cycling Members,
Now that the 2008 calendar year is coming to a close, I’d like to once again thank you for your continued support of USA Cycling and your participation in this great sport. 
The past 12 months have proven to be a another remarkable year for American cycling as membership in USA Cycling rose nearly 3% compared to 2007, marking our sixth consecutive year of growth.  Additionally, our number of affiliated clubs increased by almost 5% and we saw a 4% increase in the number of competitive event sanctions. Overall, USA Cycling counted 63,300 licensees, 2,050 clubs and 2,550 events across the United States in 2008. Thank you for helping to sustain the success of competitive cycling in America!
The growth of cycling at the amateur level here in the United States, combined with the international successes of our elite athletes around the world, has elevated our sport to new heights. Three months ago in Beijing, American cyclists brought home five Olympic medals – the most ever from a non-boycotted Games. U.S. riders also won a total of 13 world championship medals across the five major disciplines of competitive cycling at the elite level.
In looking ahead to next year’s racing season, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that 2009 licenses go on sale beginning Dec. 1, 2008. As you renew your membership, you’ll notice that the fee structure for 2009 is mostly unchanged and the price of an annual license is still the same as it was compared to five years ago! However, as a result of a significant increase in insurance claims and premiums, we will be forced to increase our insurance surcharge by an additional $1.00 per race day to $3.00 per day for all sanctioned competitive events. This increase is a direct result of rising insurance costs driven by a 125% increase in claims compared to 2006. In addition to the increase in our medical insurance premium, we are also facing a 15% increase in our liability premium for 2009. All told, we are very pleased that in spite of this increase in insurance costs and the uncertain state of the insurance industry, we were able to hold the additional cost to merely $1.00 per day of racing for each rider. Going forward, we will continue to work with our insurance carriers to keep the premiums as low as possible.
The introduction of new mountain bike categories for the 2009 racing season also warrants some clarification of the license requirements for our off-road members. The traditional Beginner, Sport, Expert and Semi-Pro categories have been replaced by numerical categories 3, 2 and 1. The Pro category will remain unchanged; and you Semi-pro riders will have the option of registering as either Pro or Category 1 when you renew your license for 2009. To take advantage of this automatic upgrade to the Pro category, Semi-Pro members must purchase an annual license between Dec. 1, 2008 and Nov. 30, 2009. This automatic upgrade will only be offered during the 2009 season, therefore if a current Semi-Pro member does not purchase a 2009 racing license, he will automatically default to Category 1 status for the 2010 racing season. At that point, regular upgrade procedures will apply. Category 3 and 2 riders can continue to race on a one-day license, though in many cases, holding an annual USA Cycling license can earn competitors a discount on entry fees at the discretion of the race promoter.
Many new and exciting changes have been added to our website (www.usacycling.org) and more will be coming soon.  As we enter 2009, we will continue to work to provide you with added benefits for your membership in USA Cycling and we encourage all of you to visit your My USA Cycling page on a regular basis to learn about our latest membership benefits and services we offer to the competitive cycling community.
Once again, thank you for your continued membership in USA Cycling and please remember that you can quickly and easily renew your USA Cycling license for the 2009 racing season online via your My USA Cycling account at www.usacycling.org.   
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.
Steve Johnson

This Article Published November 25, 2008 For more information contact: