NEBRA’s Outlook as a USA Cycling Local Association for 2020 and Beyond
December 17, 2019

Following the Local Association Symposium at USA Cycling this past September there has been much speculation about the future of the Local Associations under USA Cycling. In the next few weeks NEBRA will be producing a year-end Annual Report for our regional community (an idea we brought home from the Symposium) discussing the state of our region and our vision for the future. But as we work on preparing that report we feel we should provide some brief updates to our community.


An overview of the 2019 Local Association Symposium provided by USA Cycling and can be found here: 

For more answers to common questions about USA Cycling and a little more on the upcoming changes NEBRA would also highly recommend the new USACommunique podcast by USA Cycling Membership Director Lindsay Goldman. The first two episodes can be found here:  


Beginning in 2020 USA Cycling will be making changes to the relationships with the 34 Local Associations that currently support regions around the United States. The core of the changes involve the return of administrative duties currently performed by the LA’s to USA Cycling. As a result, some of the funding provided to the Local Associations will be reduced or redirected to other responsibilities.


In 2020 all rider category changes for road, track and cyclocross will be handled by USA Cycling directly. Previously Local Association upgrade coordinators (in NEBRA’s case our Administrator) handled upgrade / downgrade requests for category 2,3,4 and 5. At the same time some of the upgrade rules will be rewritten to simplify the process and make it easier for riders to move through the category structure.


NEBRA has long advocated for updates to the category change system, having adopted reduced point requirements for women’s road category changes in 2011 and adopting entirely new points schedules for cyclocross in 2015. We have every intention of providing support to our racing community through the transition to USA Cycling’s oversight of upgrades. We continue to work with USA Cycling on the category change guidelines and continue to advocate for a simple transparent process. Ultimately we hope that moving category changes back to USA Cycling will standardize the process and provide a consistent experience for all athletes nationwide.


The second change to the Local Association role in 2020 will be in the way in which event permits will be handled. Currently Event Directors file permits online with USA Cycling, then the permit information is provided to the Local Associations for review and approval. The permit then goes back to USA Cycling for insurance certificates etc. With a new permitting system USA Cycling will handle the permit process in 2020, removing the need for Local Associations approval.


The goal is to speed the permit approval process and offer a more consistent experience for Event Directors. Local Associations will still receive notice that permits are being taken out and can still provide input on events (schedules, category structure etc). As with category changes NEBRA expects that a standardized process will result in an improved experience for race directors and for riders who travel across various Local Associations. 


As part of this reorganization USA Cycling has ended all license rebate payments made to Local Associations. In 2019 NEBRA received $8 for each full priced adult racing license with a primary discipline of road, track or cyclocross sold in New England- about $19,000 in total. Per rider day payments will continue in 2020. Last year the rate was .31 cents per rider day, which brought NEBRA an additional $9000. The 2020 rate/compensation model has not been determined at this time. 


Replacing the license rebates will be a combination of fixed payments for services, such as Officials Assignments, Officials Training, Equipment etc. These fixed payments will vary from LA to LA. NEBRA anticipates about $7250 in base payment for services in 2020. Additionally each LA will receive a one time transitional payment based on 2018 funding- for NEBRA this will be $7321. Additional funding will be available through the Local Association Grant Program in 2020.


Currently the NEBRA Board and Administrator are budgeting for 2020 and are planning for a potential reduction in USA Cycling funding of 15-20%, or $5,000 to $6,000. That reduction represents about 8% of NEBRA’s annual budget at our current operating expenses. For NEBRA to continue providing the level of support we have over the past few years- which we fully intend to do- we will need to close that budget gap in the coming year.


We do not wish to increase our per rider surcharge in 2020 or implement any additional mandatory fees in our region. Rather we will seek to close any potential budget shortfall through our voluntary Annual Support Campaign which is now open ( as well as merchandise sales like our winter hats ( and sponsorships. We are also working on a new fundraising event in early 2020. Our aim in diversifying our income is to reduce our dependence on direct USA Cycling funding and minimize the potential impact of future changes. 


NEBRA was founded two decades ago with the intention of providing independent regional support to the riders and event directors here in New England. Over the past twenty years we have evolved and adapted to best serve our region and we will evolve and adapt yet again. It is our view that the changes to the Local Association relationship with USA Cycling may be disruptive in the short term but are ultimately a necessary and positive evolution that parallels the changes we see in the sport of cycling. It is our hope that this evolution of the Local Associations and their relationship with USA Cycling will ultimately provide greater support for our region allowing NEBRA to continue to foster an environment that provides lifelong opportunities in the sport for all participants, promoters and supporters.