Reader Letter: Does USA BMX Send Reminders?

June 2, 2014 by  

BMX News Reader Letter: Renewal Notices

It’s been a few weeks since we had a reader letter come in, then a flurry of them in just the past few days.
Lots of folks getting back to the track after having the winter off. And pulling the bike out of the rafters also means pulling the USA BMX card out from behind your christmas receipts and the folded 3×5 card with your new years resolutions.

One BMX Mom from the Midwest found that her daughter’s USA BMX card was past its expiration date on their first-in-a-while outing to the track.

Dear BMX News

We have been racing for two years and my daughter’s USA BMX membership expired in April. We did not know this until we went to the track, and they told us she was expired. I did not have the cash on me to renew, so we had to go home. It was very embarrassing for me and a real disappointment for my daughter. We never got a renewal notice in the mail for her membership. Do they send them out and we didn’t get it? Should the track allow us to race anyway?

–A BMX Mom, Midwest

First of all, good on you for getting back to the track. It’s a bummer that it had to go this way, but hopefully you will not be deterred, and your daughter will be back on the moto sheets soon.

For the answer to the questions “Do they send (renewal reminders) out,” and “Should the track allow us to race anyway?,” we contacted Nick Adams at USA BMX.

Regarding the renewal reminders, Nick tells us that USA BMX normally sends three renewal postcards in the 90 days leading up to a members’ renewal. These notices, however, are not currently being sent out, due to the changeover from one internal database system to another. Changing systems over is an arduous process, but USA BMX tells us that the changeover is almost complete. Doesn’t do much to for your issue this time, but help is on the way for next time.

As a secondary level of notification, the monthly copy of Pull Magazine has a “slip cover” on the final month of your membership, which states “this is your last issue and that your membership will expire.” So, to those of you who get to the mailbox before your racer does, take heed of the expiration slip cover.

View of USA BMX Expired Member
If you are actively involved in racing, and checking your points, you would also see “Expired” next to your name (as shown above) in the points if your membership had lapsed.

On the question of “Should the track allow us to race anyway,” the answer is no. Aside from points, and magazines, and other goodies you get, your USA BMX membership is also necessary for inclusion in track and secondary medical insurance. Riders are not permitted to race without a membership.

That said, we know that track operators do their best to work with customers in a case like this.

For some first-hand 4-1-1 on how that might play out, while staying within the rules, we rang up Jackie Altizer–Track Operator at Steel Wheels and Imagination Glenn BMX in Indiana (not the track in the letter). Jackie says “we do whatever we can to keep kids racing.”

Jackie tells us that, if a rider were to show up and have an expired membership–but not have the money on them to renew that day (as in your case), they would usually hold a credit or debit card number for a week, until the transaction could be processed. Or, sometimes we’ll hold a check written and dated for that day, but not deposit it for a few days or a week. It’s on a case-by-case basis, and if the rider was not a familiar local rider, it may not work out that way, but the last thing we would want is to send the rider home.

Jackie added “This happens once in a while, and of the 50 times or so over the years, we have only been burned once (by working with the rider so they could race that day).” BMXers are honorable people, so that doesn’t surprise us one bit.

We hope this answers your question, and also gives all BMX News readers a reminder to check the expire dates on your cards. PRO TIP: Set a calendar event, or a smartphone alarm for six weeks before expiration, so you don’t miss an issue of the magazine, sail-past registration, and on to the fun that awaits your rider on the track.

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