Category: Rule of the Week

IBRA Rule of the Week – The Centerline is your friend!

After a much needed break, the rule of the week is back, but I wish it was for a different rule…

This week I want to talk about “the centerline”. What is a center line, it is the middle of the road as you might drive down it, it can also be called the edge of the earth!

According to the book:

3B. Riding Conduct 3B1. Center Line. If a course is not closed to traffic, all competitors must keep to the right of the center line or enforcement line.

3B2. Rules of the Road. Riders shall, of their own responsibility, conform to all traffic regulations in force in the area where the race is held.

The Official has a few options for dealing with riders who “cross the line”, penalties for crossing the centerline start at a warning and go up to relegation, fines, and disqualification.

This rule is there for many reasons, but primarily it is there to protect YOU!!!!!! So who else does this endanger? Well I have been in a group of racers 2 miles from the finish of a long road race and one rider crossed center, passed the entire field and took off, all hell broke loose, because of the chaos that ensued, there was a huge pile up. Guess who did not get hurt…yep, the centerline violator. But one person spent the night in the hospital, and lots of people spent the next few weeks picking gravel out of the road rash.

I have also seen Motor officials endangered because the field would push them across the road into oncoming traffic, or to a point where they were almost pushed off the road. Racers complain that the officials are just being “jerks”, but no, we are trying to make it safe and fair. Should a rider who cheats by crossing the centerline should be rewarded with a better race position, NOPE.

In my eyes, the only grey area is the bump or slip where a rider pops out and then goes back in because they may have been pushed, but what happens if there is a car there when they get bumped. Two years ago, a young lady in Illinois was killed because she got pushed across the centerline and a trailer towed behind a truck struck her. That could be you!

At an Iowa race for the past two years, an entire field had to be stopped because the actions of the riders were ridiculously dangerous. The officials pulled the entire field of riders over and they were given a warning, get it together, or go home. I fully support this, and honestly, because it endangers dozens of people, there is No. Other. Option. To those riders who make disparaging comments at the official who are there trying to protect you, you deserve no voice, and disqualification might be just what is needed.

There is another thing you are endangering, the race itself. Last year at the Tour of America’s Dairyland (TOAD), a race was stopped mid-event by the police because of continuous centerline violations, they had been happening over the years and riders were often put in a very dangerous position. The officials might be to blame because maybe over the years they wanted to be nice and they did not want to enforce the rule and shut down a race, but I am sure it was not the officials who pushed the riders across the centerline. The Sheriff, after many years of safety issues, stopped the race, sent every ride in every field home, and the race will never again take place in that jurisdiction. The actions of those riders have ruined a portion of that event for 300-500 riders forever, and may cause the Race Director a portion of his or her livelihood.

Lets be SAFE, lets be SMART, and lets be ALIVE. I don’t want to call an ambulance, I don’t want to call the emergency contact number on your race entry form because you were stupid, or because someone else did it. If it is dangerous, as racers you can police this, let the officials know what is going on, we can DQ them 30 miles later if we have enough complaints, and honestly, we would be glad to do it, your lives are the most important!

OK, next week, lets talk about something less dangerous. Thanks for playing!

IBRA Rule of the Week – Get your TT on!

The Rule of the Week took Spring Break last week but is back with its aero helmet on! This week we shall just highlight some topics concerning Time Trials. Speaking of Time Trials, you can find a complete list of Time Trials and all other events on the IBRA Event Schedule! Race Directors all over the state host several of them and there are a few rules that were implemented in the past few years that may not yet be engraved into the top tube of your TT bike, so here we go!

Sleeves vs. No Sleeves

Rule 1J5 was modified last year to add Time Trials to the list of events where sleeveless jerseys are allowed!. This rule was relaxed to make the races a little more user friendly and to welcome more triathletes to USAC events.

1J5: Jerseys must be worn in all races and shall cover the shoulders.
(a) Sleeveless jerseys are allowed only in non-international MTB races and individual time trials. Skin suits may not be worn in Pro gravity events per UCI rules.

Bonus Rule about Jerseys: For Road, Criterium, CycloCross, and Track races, you must have sleeves covering your shoulder, so throw a t-shirt on top of, or under your sleeveless jersey and you are ready to race.

Category Entries

Another rule, 1H4(c) was relaxed for the same reason, to allow more people to compete in the variety of race levels at a single day time trial. Riders may now enter single-day time trial events in their proper category or a higher category at their discretion.

This was changed because there are some really fast time trialists out there, but to upgrade you are judged based on your road/criterium results. If you only do TT’s how do you upgrade, well, this makes it so you don’t have upgrade. Size up your competition and race against the people who challenge you the most.


With the new race age of 9 this year, juniors with a race age of 9-14 are now required to ride massed-start legal bicycles in all disciplines (no aero equipment).

That is all for this week, now, grab you sleeveless jersey and go enter that TT and try to beat Jeff Barnes, Vanessa Curtis, Carmen Small, or Tom Zirbel, even as a Cat 5, that would be awesome!

Officials – New and Old…

Most of you have been hiding in basements riding the hamster wheel getting in shape for the spring and summer road season. The IBRA Officials have been working hard as well. Working on upgrades, studying the rules, attending clinics, and pressing our blue shirts. Before the road season starts, I want to take a moment to recognize those efforts. This list of training adds up to hundreds of hours of time donated by these folks to help race promoters, racers, volunteers, and spectators enjoy the race days we have in Iowa.

NEW OFFICIALS – This past Sunday, March 9th, six folks traveled to Grinnell, IA to attend the USA Cycling New Officials Clinic. Larry Martin, the Midwest Regional Coordinator for USA Cycling traveled to Iowa and helped lead the clinic. After 5 hours of presentations and a written exam, we have six new C Level officials.

Congratulations to the following New C Level Officials in Iowa!

Tobin Benett

Derek Claussen

Paul Jensen

Rachelle Little

Lee McFee

Jim White

MOTO CLINIC & CARRAVAN INSTRUCTIONS – Friday, Joe Laso and Tobbin Bennet are off to Colorado Springs to take a Moto Officiating course and a Caravan Clinic. The classes are an opportunity to strengthen our officials base and get these guys some more training for road races.

UPGRADE TO A LEVEL – The weekend of Feb 28-March 2nd, an A Level Officials Clinic held in Des Moines hosted by IBRA and USA Cycling. Leading the class was Phil Miller, International Commissaire from Redmond, WA. Phil was assisted by Bonnie Walker, National Commissaire from Austin, TX, and they were joined by Shawn Farrell, USA Cycling Technical Director. Nine Officials from Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, and Iowa participated in the 3 days of classroom work and testing. Seven of the officials were successful in passing the class and are now A level officials. There are only 100 A level Officials in the US.

Congratulations to the new A Level Officials in Iowa!

Jeff Mertz

Bruce Pesch

UPGRADE TO NATIONAL ELITE COMMISSAIRE – This past week, two Iowa Officials traveled to Colorado Springs, CO to attend a Clinic to achieve the status of National Elite Commissaire, they completed thier testing on Sunday, and results wont be known for a few weeks. This test is administered by the UCI and requires 5 days of class work and testing. I will let you know the results as they become available, there are only 60 National Commissaires in the US.

CONTINUING EDUCATION – 17 Iowa Officials traveled to Grinnell for the Annual Race Officials Refresher Clinic. This event hosted by IBRA on a yearly basis provides an opportunity to get caught up on the latest rule changes from USA Cycling and to share in discussions about effectively working with Race Directors and racers to provide a good race day experience for the Iowa Bicycle Racing Association members and our guests from out of state.

Congratulations to our new officials, those who have gained an upgrade, and to those working to continue their education. Thanks for letting me steal the rule of the week post to recognize those efforts.

Oh and Sunday, March 16th, is the first outdoor race on the IBRA Calendar, head on over to Colfax and get some gravel goodness at the first Iowa Spring Classic event.

IBRA Rule of the Week – This one is for the Ladies

This week I want to cover a rule that is often forgotten, it is about what races folks are allowed to enter based on age, race category, and sex. The Juniors and Masters rules below apply to all riders, but Women have some additional entry rules they should know and take advantage of. Remember, for Juniors and Masters events, the Race Category of the event still applies and may restrict the race age entry, here we go:

Juniors – Riders may compete in any races for their age or older, subject to category restrictions. So a 14 year old can race in the 15-16, or 17-18 race and beat up on the older kids. This rule does not apply to national championships.

Masters – If the age class is open-ended (e.g. 35+), then they may enter one of the age classes per discipline for which they meet the minimum age. So a 44 year old can race in the 35+ race and beat up on the younger kids, but that same rider can not enter a 35-39 race.

Women – Women may enter any men’s race for which they are eligible by age, category, and any performance requirements. They may also enter categorized races for men that are up to one category lower than their women’s category. For road, track, and cyclo-cross events, category 1 women may enter men’s races up to two categories lower. There are some additional restrictions for National Championships, but lets focus on Iowa events. The following additional rules apply:

Womens Masters – Women may compete in men’s masters races as follows:

Category 1 and 2 master women may enter men’s events for riders up to 10 years above their racing ages.

Category 3 and 4 master women may enter men’s events for riders up to 20 years above their racing ages.

Alright, have you signed up for any gravel races yet? They are getting closer!

That is all for this week, has anyone seen the sun, and if they have, can they ask it to move closer to the earth…speaking of the sun getting closer, this sunday we spring forward and get one more hour of sun in the evening, that is a sign of spring isn’t it.

Rule of the Week – License changes for 2014

If you have not renewed your license yet, there are some things about your license that USA Cycling has changed for 2014.

This year they are implementing what is called the new “One License”, previously when purchasing a license it was good for Road & Cross or MTB & Cross. To add MTB or Road to your license you needed to purchase a $30 “add-on” license to cover the other discipline for the year or pay for a One-Day license to race that “other” discipline for the day. If you were racing on a One-day, you were not eligible for a State Championship.

In 2014 with all three disciplines are wrapped up into one license, you do not need to purchase a One-Day license if you are a roadie and want to race mountain bikes, or a mountain biker who wanted to race the road. It also means, because you have an annual license for all 3 disciplines, you can race for state championships in all three disciplines.

They have also changes some of the race license fee structure.

JUNIORS: Annual License goes from $30 to $35

COLLEGIATE LICENSE: Annual License goes from $30 to $35

As a reminder: Collegiate Licenses are good for Collegiate Races only.

If you purchase a standard annual USAC license, a Collegiate license is free if you purchase them at the same time. If you buy a Collegiate and then decide to get a Regular License, the cost of the annual license is just the price difference between the two, if you buy an Annual, and then later on decide you want a Collegiate, there is a $20 Administrative fee.

ANNUAL RACE LICENSE: USAC has raised the price of an annual license by $10 to $70, this is the first increase since 2003. For some this is an increase, if you race road and Mtn, this will be offset by less one day fees. The following chages as a result of the price increase go into effect For all licenses; Collegiate, Juniors, and Standard.

ONE DAY LICENSE – Road: USAC has raised the price of an One-day trial License by $5, it is now $15. This $15 can be fully credited toward the purchase of an Annual License.

ONE DAY LICENSE – Mountain Bike: USAC has now made the One-day trial License for Mountain Biking $10. Previously this was an optional fee by the race director, and most organizers simply did not charge anything for it, now you show up, show off your new license and you are good to go.

For a full list of the USAC Schedule of Fees:

If you have any questions, as always, ask your local friendly official and we will be glad to help!