On Sunday I lent a hand to the organizer of the Schenectady Central Park Cyclocross Race. Cyclocross, for those unfamiliar with the sport, is a type of bicycle racing that combines rough terrain, course obstacles (like the ones below), and calculated danger. I would describe it as part exercise, part recklessness. Somebody else described it as American Gladiators on bikes.
What else would you expect from a sport where the winner gets.......MUDDY!I was part of the registration team, and although we operated smoothly enough, at dinner the topic of discussion was ways to make improvements for next year. Of course, the smarta pantalones of the group had the brightest idea, which was to have two separate registration tables - one for people who pre-registered, and another for day-of registrations. This suggestion stemmed from her observation that often times people that had pre-registered had to wait in line as we registered new entrants. Another issue that came up was that some riders did not have their USAC license with them, which is required for racing. One memorable female (?) rider came up and said, "I don't have my license, but here is my license number - I wrote it on my hand." This begs the question: If you are willing to take the time to grab a pen, take out your license, scrupulously copy the number on your hand, then why are you not willing to stick said license in your wallet and bring it with you to the race?
It also made me wonder if at some point in history, somebody came up to a registration table and said, "Here is my license, but I forgot my bike. Here's a picture of it, though. Can I still race?"
Anyways, to avoid this problem in the future, I suggested that the registration team adopt an "airport security" mentality. Before riders approach the registration table, their license would be checked at the stairs. No license? No racing. Just like at the airport: No ID? No flying.
We'll even let them keep their shoes on.