To all interested participants, spectators, and well wishers:
I thank every one of you for welcoming the idea of the IUP Crimson Crit Training Series. This entry will be quite wordy, so bear with me.
As most of you know, planning a race of any sort takes substantial effort, networking, and time on the part of not only the race director, myself, but also the committed involvement of capable individuals, IUP Cycling officers. Throughout the process of planning and organizing, we full-time IUP students planning this race have not only gone through the University's bureaucratic process to make these races happen, but also through the borough of Indiana. Being a first-time event, we have had to work especially hard to make all necessary preparations/precautions; all the while demonstrating flexibility, team work, and respect.
In order to successfully manage all of these, we have reached out to USA Cycling, PA Cycling, the Allegheny Cycling Association, and various experienced members of the cycling community. I am grateful for each and every helpful suggestion and recommendation received. I am confident that the using this combined knowledge and experience would allow IUP Cycling to host a successful Criterium Series showcasing the university to all of Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.
As with any endeavor, challenges have arisen. A comprehensive budget for the races had been detailed for the Criterium Series well in advance so that all possible measures could be taken to ensure the events' feasibility. The original quote from the University Police was deemed to be rather extensive, but justified at the same time. However, upon further examination of race logistics, the University Police were inclined to increase their fee (to ~$1200/day) in order to staff more officers. This would better account for the safety of race course closure, even though volunteer race marshals will be fully screened and briefed of their race-day duties. This new quote presents a last-minute challenge that will effectively nullify the Criterium Series' operating budget.
I assure all of you that all possible measures we could have taken had been made to prepare for such an occurrence. IUP Cycling reached out to many Indiana businesses, businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh area, and several cycling associations for sponsorship and/or grant funding. I am proud of our efforts, especially considering the fact that each of us is a full-time college student involved with multiple extracurriculars.
In conclusion, I would again like to thank all of you for welcoming IUP Cycling's effort in organizing a race series that would add to the region's cycling scene. The status of our first day of races, March 7th, is very tentative. We cannot predict the level participation for these events to establish an accurate value to race-day earnings; therefore we will be unable to operate without either a fee-reduction, or further funding.
President, IUP Cycling
Indiana University of Pennsylvania