USA Cycling, OBRA to recognize corresponding categories

USA Cycling and the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association announced Thursday that they will formally begin collaborating to offer category reciprocity between the two organizations.

USA Cycling will recognize the OBRA category of its USA Cycling members for the purposes of upgrading. OBRA will do the same for its members who are USA Cycling members.

“This is a small but very important step for our organizations in beginning to work productively together and mending the two parties’ relationship,” said USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall. “We understand the challenges facing those in the northwest United States who are caught trying to navigate two organizations. We are very pleased to be working with OBRA to address some of those challenges.”

OBRA separated from USA Cycling in 1998 after dissatisfaction grew based on USA Cycling’s change in power structure that consolidated its regional control. Now OBRA hosts the largest cyclocross series in the U.S. and has about 5,000 members.

With the new agreement, OBRA has already modified its categorization system so all disciplines use the numbering designation of USA Cycling, which will enable a simple transfer of category between organizations.

The Washington State Bicycle Association, which as of 2016 is the USA Cycling local association for Oregon, will support USA Cycling members in the implementation of this agreement. Riders must submit a request to USA Cycling and OBRA in order to receive the category match.

USA Cycling events count toward OBRA upgrades and vice versa, according to USA Cycling; however, other non-USA Cycling events nationwide do not count toward USA Cycling upgrades.

“After speaking with Derek Bouchard-Hall, I am impressed with the outreach, enthusiasm and openness of the new CEO of USA Cycling,” said Kenji Sugahara, Executive Director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. “Both of our organizations have the goal of increasing participation in grassroots cycling, and we are looking forward to working toward that goal through collaboration and communication.”

These measures will go into effect immediately.

Main photo: OBRA/Leonard Johnson/Hot Foot Photo