COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) – USA Cycling reports that race participation in national championships reflects the current cycling boom with national mountain bike participation up nearly 11% from 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USAC also said the number of junior athletes competing in races and events is ahead of 2019 and the total membership will exceed by more than 25% two years ago.
“The total number of race days is over budget for 2020, and we are very optimistic that the total number of race days will be higher than in 2019 by the end of the year,” said to BRAIN Matt Heitmann, USAC Marketing Director. “When news of the increase in bike sales and people joining or returning to the sport was announced, we were hopeful this would spill over into races and events. We are delighted that it did and will continue to work to accommodate all levels of runners, new to or returning to the sport. “
USA Cycling has added programs this year including the Let’s Ride which pairs coaches and kids together for skills camps and the High School Festival for young riders. “Our goal remains to continue providing resources, events and racing opportunities to champion the entire cycling community,” said Heitmann.
In addition to the Let’s Ride program, USAC’s Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Wish 4 Wheels have donated over 600 bikes to children in need. Additionally, the We Champion initiative kicked off in June with the goal of improving access for cyclists of all skill levels and backgrounds.
Heitmann said when bicycle sales started to increase during the pandemic, the USAC was optimistic it would lead to increased participation this year. “We are delighted he has done so and will continue to work to welcome all levels of runners, new to and returning to the sport.”
As for the next USAC cyclocross season, Heitmann said the organization is hoping for full participation despite the increase in COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated.
“We’re putting a lot of marketing power behind these events, and we’re optimistic,” Heitmann said. “That said, with the COVID variants on the rise, we cannot be completely sure that we will continue to see the same numbers that we have seen this summer. “
While revenues were down last year, Heitmann said USAC “came out well ahead of the plan. This is a good result in the face of a global pandemic when your life force mainly comes from events of. mass. More importantly, we’re happy to see those numbers increase and that’s where we’re focusing right now. “