Moto Pacing is Back!

Everyone,

Motor pacing is getting underway at Marymoor! We’ve waded through more insurance policies and legal reviews than anyone should have to face in a lifetime, but we believe that — however ungainly this whole process is — we can get our riders behind motors and do so in compliance with insurance and regulations. Our first session is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 14, depending on if our drivers can get their USAC paperwork submitted in time.  See links below for information needed.

Yes, there are a number of what may seem like bizarre restrictions or steps. Be ready for them. Laugh at them. That’s what our insurance and regulatory issues have been like. But here are the highlights.

First, MVA will sanction, insure, and manage a series of times for motor paced training at Marymoor. We are planning two per week, and will adjust the number up or down based on attendance. We will try to work out that schedule by telephone and email with the coaches and drivers who plan to participate. Those will be the ONLY opportunities to have a moto for training on the track.

 
Tentative MotorPacing Dates(Tuesday mornings and Saturday/Sunday late afternoons): June 14th (4-8pm), June 17th (9am-1pm), June 24th(9am-1pm), June 28th (4-8pm), July 1st (9am-1pm), July 5th (4-8pm), July 8th (9am-1pm), July 15th (9am-1pm), July 19th (4-8pm), July 22nd(9am-1pm), July 27th (4-8pm), July 29th (9am-1pm), Aug 2nd (4-8pm), Aug 5th (9am-1pm), Aug 10th (4-8pm), Aug 12th (9am-1pm), Aug 16th(4-8pm).
Second, MVA is responsible for the velodrome, so we take care of the velodrome. You are responsible for your own coaching and training, so we ask you to arrange your own motos, drivers, and coaches. With one exception noted below, we will not provide motos, helmets, gas, or any support for the training that actually occurs. If you think about it, this is exactly like any training session at the track — the equipment, coach, and so on are all yours.

Third, MVA does have to manage the USE of the track. It’s in the contract. To do that, we will run it much like a regular race night — You will register and sign releases.  You will need to have your paper work and license and wear your race number. You, the rider, will pay a fee for each session. Initially, since we don’t know how many people will attend and because the insurance ends up being very expensive to expedite, we will charge $15 per session per rider. If enough riders attend, we will lower the fee.

That’s about all you as a rider have to do — show up, register, and bring your moto and driver. If we know you and know your racing ability, no problem. If you are unknown to us, or a cat 4 or 5, please contact us ahead of time. We have to be able to demonstrate that we qualify the riders who participate.

To continue. Fourth, your moto and your driver have to go through a more involved process, thanks to USAC, its insurance policy, and red tape. With one exception, that policy is restated below from what Amara posted a few days ago on the MVA website. The exception is that the owner of record of the moto has to be the driver — that means no borrowed motos and no switching drivers. If you own the bike, you can only ride behind another moto; you can’t rotate drivers. We’re trying to fix that, it makes no sense, but right now that’s not us — that’s the insurance.  Updated: There is no longer this restriction!  

 
Paperwork for drivers:
PLEASE NOTE THE TIMING: It takes a week to get insurance, and it will take time to get this paperwork completed for driver and moto. If you don’t have USAC paperwork for a moto and/or driver completed by end of day Friday, you won’t be ready for motor pacing when we are. Above and beyond USAC’s requirements, we are required to attest to the safety of your moto. We aren’t qualified motorcycle mechanics in a court of law, so we are identifying a Redmond motorcycle shop that will inspect your moto next week according to a few stipulations we are required to observe — safety equipment, brakes, etc. We won’t require rollers initially. You WILL have to have lights, speedo, rear view mirrors, that kind of stuff. Your bike will have to accelerate smoothly at motor pacing speeds and stop equally smoothly and reliably. Simple things.

Moving on. Fifth, We will start each session with a meeting of coaches and drivers to lay out the program for each moto. Hopefully this takes 5 minutes. Each session will be managed by an event manager provided by MVA; she/he will have authority comparable to a chief official — she/he can remove a rider, moto, or driver, can terminate a training session, and can make changes to the session as needed.  If we have several motos at a session, we will plan initially to run two moto workouts at a time. We are going to be exceedingly — in fact, excessively — cautious as we start this. We know everyone has experience behind motos and we’ve all motor paced with multiple motos on the track simultaneously at other tracks. Some of us have actually run derny racing before. But we need to get into the groove here. We’ll accommodate everybody, and when you’re taking a break, someone else will go on the track.

Sixth, we’ll adhere to a schedule developed by the drivers, coaches, and the event manager for each session. If you are going to be off the track for five or ten minutes, you might bring rollers to stay warmed up if you feel the need. Initially, only paced riders on the track.

Seventh, we hope, no charge for motos or drivers and also no payment to them. We are not allowed to pay them or to facilitate the motos or drivers except on a volunteer basis — that is why you find and bring the motos and MVA provides and manages the track. Funky, but unless insurance requirements change, that’s how other tracks will probably be doing it soon too. It’s certainly what our own regulations and insurance call for.

Eighth, and last, if a rider shows up who doesn’t have a moto or driver, we will try to accommodate you. We suggest first that you try to join a moto that’s already been organized. If the motos present are doing motor pacing schedules that don’t work for you, we will expect motos and drivers to volunteer some time for those who need to train. We’ll work this out at the planning meeting at the beginning of each session. Drivers have always done this at Marymoor; it’s nothing new.

There are plenty of nits that we will all have to steer through together. We agree — totally — that this is a study in absurdism and bureaucracy. But it gets motor pacing on the track. And we are working to simplify it and to get changes to the limitations we have to deal with. For now, just train and win.

We are drafting a motor pacing session manual and will have it up on this site next week. Right now the biggest limiting factor is getting your motos and drivers through the USAC screening process. Any questions on that issue, contact Amara at amara@velodrome.org. Any questions on any other matters, contact Lane at lanedecamp@gmail.com or at 206-910-9009.

Comments

An update on limitations on moto ownership

After further discussions with USAC, we can delete the restrition stated above that the driver of a moto has to be the owner of record. This means that if you are the owner of a moto, you can have it driven by someone else as long as they meet the requirements cited above. It also means that as long as multiple drivers have completed the vetting process with USAC as described above, they can swap on a moto during a session. Good news. 

TrackDaddy's picture

Communication and Planning.

Status updates regarding where we were in the process and challenges that are still to come would have allowed for the membership to prepare. Purchasing of motors and gaining motorcycle endorsements takes time.

Sharing of information allows for people to work together in parallel. Its a force multiplier.

I welcome the opportunity to help our national and world class athlete's train with the same tools their competitors have enjoyed. I just hope with such short notice of the lengthy requirements that we can pull this together.

Details

Everyone,

Our new moto training sessions start Saturday. Friday we’ll be posting a training handbook that covers the obnoxious rules we have to live by to do this. It’s a brief read, and we’ll update it as the bureaucratic impulse hits us.

One aspect of the handbook will be the moto inspection we need to have for any moto used at the track. We spoke to I-90 Motosports in Issaquah and they will do a QC review on your bike that accomplishes pretty much what we need to see. They are close and they come highly recommended by Tom Gentry, who should know.

First good news: It’s only 48 hours til the first session, so we’ll do a brief inspection on Saturday at the velodrome before training starts. Please have your motos inspected before the next session.

Second good news: Bring Amara the report from I-90 Motosports (which you need to do anyway) and MVA will reimburse you for the inspection. This is with the proviso that you are running a moto regularly, and that you regularly make it available so riders without motos can also train. (The training event manager will manage a reasonable amount of use of motos for riders without one, and if you are a moto owner you should talk to the event manager about the other training you’ll be doing, any concerns you have about any particular training protocols, concerns about any riders, etc. Your being a safe driver is correlated very directly to how comfortable you are with the riders and the training protocols you are involved with.)

In short, MVA is underwriting the insurance, management, permitting, and the safety inspections so that if you go on the track to motor pace, you can be sure you’re safe. This is a relatively big expense for MVA, but it’s a commitment to our riders and a commitment to solve a problem that has bedeviled us for a couple years.

We’re not able to house your motos at the track. We may have an opportunity to use a storage locker just outside the park, and issue keys to any drivers or owners so your motos can all be stored within a couple minutes’ drive from the velodrome. If you are interested, please let Lane know.

That’s about it. Any questions, Amara at amara@velodrome.org or Lane at lanedecamp@gmail.com.

Thanks all!