USA BMX Membership: What you need to know.

June 20, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Update: June 22– Read through this article and check out some recent changes that have been announced since we posted. Old data gets a strike-thru like this, and is replaced with the new info.

The ABA/NBL Merger is now final-and-official! And with that, will come lots of questions. BMX NEWS will be sitting down with USA BMX CEO BA Anderson for a comprehensive Podcast interview on Tuesday to get a ton of your questions answered. We expect to post the interview sometime Tuesday Friday afternoon (due to power outage cause by the Midwest storms this week), so check back often!

But, as a lead-up to that, News felt it was important to address the speculation on where rider memberships stand, as BMX racing enters its first full week as a sport unified under one “flag.”

USA BMX will issue its first communiqué to the BMX Racing community on Tuesday. BMX News has obtained some advance, official, details as relates to memberships, and how NBL members and ABA members will go about transitioning to the unified system.

We are thinking, specifically about the NBL Nationals in Warsaw, IN and Fresno, CA this weekend, but the same will hold true for any situation locally as well. In ALL below instances, you will pay the entry fee of the day.

Where noted, the “USA BMX” membership is good for access to all tracks in the system, on the bike listed on your card.

Apply the following, as it pertains to your situation:

If you are a paid-in-full NBL member of any category (Local, Challenger or Championship), you will complete a “USA BMX waiver” at signups the first time you race at any track. You will receive a USA BMX membership card, expiring December 31, 2011. This membership is good to race any ABA or NBL track in the system, and will get you Class and Cruiser access.

If you are a current ABA member going to an NBL track or National, you will complete an NBL membership application, without fee, and can race NBL tracks. You will receive a USA BMX membership card for the bike(s) on which you hold a current ABA membership.

If you are a pay-monthly NBL member, you will pay the $45 USA BMX membership fee for the first bike, and $35 for the second, which will be a regular annual membership–giving you access to all ABA and NBL tracks for one year from sign up date (as with any new or renewal member). This was updated, via a release on Wednesday to say “All current NBL license holders, both “paid in full” and “monthly plan” members will receive a USA BMX License that is good until December 31, 2011. Disregard what was said earlier about the monthly members paying for memberships, that is no longer the case.”

If you hold dual licenses, ABA and NBL, you will get a USA BMX license until December 31, 2011 or the expiration date on your ABA card, which ever is longer.

If you are a temp or Strider member, you will pay $25 to upgrade your membership to the full USA BMX membership–giving you access to all ABA and NBL tracks, on one bike, for one year from sign up date (as with any new or renewal member). Updated Info: All valid NBL memberships (annual, monthly, and 30-day) will be converted to USA BMX memberships for both class and cruiser effective immediately. These memberships will be valid through December 31, 2011, and can be facilitated by simply completing the USA BMX membership form.

And, of course, if you are a totally-new member (no active membership, in either sanction), you will pay $45 for the USA BMX membership (for the first bike, $35 for the second, if applicable). This membership is good to race any ABA or NBL track in the system for the bike(s) you choose.

If you are going to any NBL Track or National, you will need to fill out a USA BMX Membership Application (the same form for ABA or NBL members)

Click here to download the form, so you can have it pre-filled when you get to the track.

More to come peoples, so stay tuned!

—Mike Carruth

Moving Day

June 20, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Enroute from Rockford to Cape Cod, the ABA Semi rolled into Gahanna, OH today (photo), presumably to load up the remnants of the NBL offices. This, following the recent chatter that the ABA/NBL deal is now complete.

Watch BMX News for a full report on the final details of the merger, as well as an interview with USA BMX CEO, BA Anderson.

Be That Sanction

June 19, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Shannon Gillette models a prototype USA BMX jersey at Chandler BMX

The Berlin Wall of BMX is about to officially come down. And like November 9, 1989, when millions of us (well, those of us who were born, and had control of a remote) were glued to our televisions, watching something that, only months ago, was an utter impossibility–so, too, will BMX now be united.

The official word has yet to come, but it is fait accompli that a release is little more than a formality. We expect confirmation, via a news release, that a final version of the ABA/NBL merger agreement, set forth on May 17, has been signed by the parties at any time.

BMX News will bring you more on the final version of this landmark agreement, and how it will reveal itself at your local track, in the coming days. Keep your eyes on, and follow BMXNOW for the latest on this game-changing story.

Above: Shannon Gillette in a prototype USA BMX jersey at Chandler BMX

Replay: ABA/NBL Merger Webinar Audio

May 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Mike Carruth

With the permission of the NBL and ABA, BMX News was allowed to record, and rebroadcast, the evening Webinar, so that the entire BMX Racing community could hear what was going on with the ABA/NBL merger.

Let me say that this is an amazing moment in the history of BMX racing, and if you care about the sport and its future, it is worth a full listen (maybe in a few “bites,” which is why we split it into four segments).

More than 100 questions were answered live, as they came in from NBL Track Directors and others concerned with the process. In our opinion, Gary, BA and John David did an outstanding job of fielding all questions that came in, though some details are still to be worked out, and the “proposal” for the merger, while approved by the NBL board, will be finalized in the coming days/weeks.

Many times throughout the webinar, both Gary and BA made it clear that the letter of intent to do the merger is a “living, breathing,” and “working” document, and that details discussed here may change before the final document is signed, hopefully by June 1.

I recommend you look at the original post from earlier today to read the updates and clarifications that were made, as well as highlights of key points in the segments below.

Many readers have asked “Why is Gary Aragon running this meeting if the ABA is the one assuming the responsibility of running the combined organization?” This is because the webinar is directed to NBL Track Directors, so it is fitting the NBL CEO run the meeting, with BA and John there for “after-the-closing” questions. We, as the BMX Racing community, are a “fly on the wall” in this webinar.

Full-Play Audio of the Evening Webinar:

*note: apologies if the first three minutes of segment one sound like an obscene “breather” phonecall for you headphone wearers. I didn’t realize my headset mic was hot and it was about a millimeter from my mouth

Part 1 of 4:

Part 2 of 4

^^Clarification: At :10 in segment 2, BA says that as of January 1, all riders will be able to race both ABA and NBL tracks with one membership. The riders will be able to “cross-race” (ABA riders can race NBL tracks and vice-versa), as of the start of the USA BMX program (slated for June 1). However, current NBL riders will only be able to redeem their “credits” (as mentioned above) at NBL tracks. This was confirmed after the fact by BA.

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

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On the Forum

ABA and NBL to come together, via USA BMX

May 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

NBL and ABA will become USA BMX

In a Webinar conducted this morning, NBL CEO Gary Aragon announced that the NBL board of directors has approved a letter of intent on a proposal made by the ABA for the two organizations to “merge operations.”

Both “league brands” will remain in place (meaning there will still be an ABA and an NBL, racing their own style of BMX), but under the proposal, a new, “umbrella” organization, USA BMX, will be created to manage the operations of both league brands and handle support services to tracks, fulfill memberships, etc.

Details are being finalized, and the agreement, while approved by the NBL board, is not yet final. The parties are hoping for an effective date of June 1, 2011 for the proposal to become BMX reality. Repeat, this is a proposal, and not a legally-binding commitment by any party, as of this writing. As Gary Aragon put it on the evening Webinar “this is a living, breathing document, so there may be subtle changes from this point.”

Here are some highlights:

* USA BMX Membership cards will carry both ABA and NBL logos, and all members can race at any track in North America.

* Under the proposal, the NBL’s “All You Can Race” membership format would be discontinued, and all tracks would return to a “pay as you go” format, as in years past.

* A formula will be applied to all of NBL’s “all-you-can-race” memberships to arrive at a “value realized” / “value credit” number. The money you paid in to your 2011 membership will be “debited” at a rate of $5 per local race and $60 per national race you have ridden thus far. For example, if you paid $99 for your local membership, and raced four local races since you bought it, you will have $79 of entry fee credits to use toward further racing under the new…old…well, let’s just say the “pay as you go” system after this goes into effect.

* The NBL rulebook, tracks, racing format, national series, Grand Nationals and other programs will continue, as scheduled, for the balance of 2011.

* All NBL tracks that are presently owed money by the NBL will be paid in full. NBL Pros owerd money by the NBL will also be paid. Both are expected to be paid in full within 30 days of the agreement’s effective date.

* The Christmas Classic will, under the new system, be a combined “East vs. West” shootout, where champions of both Grand Nationals will slug it out to see who is best. Qualifying and other granular details were not yet available.

* ABA CEO BA Anderson, who was in the room with Gary Aragon for the event (along with ABA COO John David), responded to a question from a listener asking “will I have to buy an ABA membership to race one day in Nashville this weekend.” BA said (in the evening Webinar) “for one day, yes you will have to buy an ABA membership” If you are signing up for two days, and have NEVER held an ABA license, you will get your ABA license free.

* The NBL “Board of Directors” will live on, overseeing the “NBL Foundation” which will be charged with “Advocacy, governance, will fund athlete training, fund USA athletes to the UCI worlds and USAC national championships, act as a trustee to a to-be-created “BMX Racing promotion fund,” and other tasks befitting such a board.

* GSX, and their management of the UCI Supercross series will continue as a separate, independent entity. The NBL will divest itself of the shares it currently owns in GSX, and Gary said a purchaser of those shares is already in the picture.

* Gary Aragon will, himself, resign as of the closing of this transaction. He added that he will “put his name in” with the NBL Board to play a role in the NBL Foundation, but it would be up to them, at that time, to re-hire him or not.

* Both Gary and BA were strong in their position that the NBL brand and legacy should continue, with every bit of the sense of pride it always has. The sentiment was that the only thing that would change is the postmark (from Ohio to Arizona).

* The NBL Magazine will reportedly be discontinued (no word on whether Floyd Publications plans on continuing it under a new name).

* In a moment of levity, former NBL Chairman James Bagwell submitted a “question” asking BA for an executive decision on whether his ABA and NBL memberships could be reclassified to Novice. BA said he would grant him the Reclass only if he agreed to a challenge race. If James won, he’d get his reclass. If BA won, James would continue in Expert. No word on whether they’d be using the transfer system or total points.

Update 3:37 CDT: BMX News will post a podcast of tonight’s NBL Webinar. Watch for it soon after the call, around 10:30PM, EDT right here on News

UPDATE 7:58PM CDT RE: NationsTour. We reported earlier that it was officially canceled. After the evening Webinar, it was clarified that the NationsTour was a GSX matter and no final determination has been made yet.

Update 5:10 CDT: Another clarification: USA BMX will pay tracks the $5.95 per rider for any riders that have “credits” on their existing NBL membership. If a rider shows up at an NBL track once USA BMX is in place, they will be able to race without paying an entry fee, and one credit will be debited from their membership. All other riders will be paying a per-race entry fee as of the effective date, and track operators will, once again, pay their race report and insurance fees, as they did before the NBL’s “all you can race” format went into effect, 137 days ago.

Update 6:17 CDT: Former NBL Chairman Darol Carr was brought in to speak for and to the NBL board in the negotiations with the ABA. Gary Aragon says Darol wholeheartedly endorses this agreement.

Update 6:21 CDT:ABA and NBL Halls Of Fame will be combined, and move forward as the National BMX Hall Of Fame.

Update 6:25 CDT: NBL Tracks will fold into ABA state districts as of next season, and all riders in that district will compete for district plates.

Update 6:25 CDT: USA BMX will run one Regional series, to which ABA and NBL riders will be invited to participate.

Update 6:27 CDT: ABA and NBL National series will continue independently, and will end with each league’s Grands…but then both will come together at the Christmas Classic. President’s cup will continue in its current format (with ABA riders brought in for 2012). That is going to probably be the biggest race of all time.

Update 6:30 CDT: “One Membership Card” will take effect as of the closing of the deal

Update 6:27 CDT: $5.95 is the value of one local race to be debited from your paid-in value. Regional and Nationals will be calculated at “Entry Fee” value (the amount you would have paid if you were using a local membership $60 for nationals and $50 for regionals). Team Sheets will work the same way, where a value is assigned to each team sheet going forward, and that amount is deducted.

Update 6:34 CDT: Gary spoke for 34 mins, then opened it up to questions.
NBL Tracks have been told to sign new riders up for a 30-day membership and not a full membership. The thinking is that the new USA BMX membership will be in place for sale by then.

Update 6:48 CDT:Opens Do not count toward your “Debited” racing from your paid-in value.

Update 6:56 CDT: Your 2011 NBL membership will be evaluated in this way:
1). How much did you pay for your membership to date (either up front, or as a per month charge).
2). Less a “membership fee” (undetermined as of this writing)
3). Less how many races you rode based on a value of $5.95 for local, $50 for regionals and $60 for Nationals.

Anything left over against your paid-in value will be a credit toward future entry fees.

Update 6:56 CDT: No location set for President’s Cup/Christmas Classic in 2011 yet. USA BMX will make the announcement in the future.

Below are four segments containing the full audio of the evening Webinar (total running time: about two hours).

*note: apologies if the first three minutes sound like an obscene “breather” phonecall for you headphone wearers. I didn’t realize my headset mic was hot and it was about a millimeter from my mouth

Full-Play Audio of the Evening Webinar:

Part 1 of 4:

Part 2 of 4

^^Clarification: At :10 in segment 2, BA says that as of January 1, all riders will be able to race both ABA and NBL tracks with one membership. The riders will be able to “cross-race” (ABA riders can race NBL tracks and vice-versa), as of the start of the USA BMX program (slated for June 1). However, current NBL riders will only be able to redeem their “credits” (as mentioned above) at NBL tracks. This was confirmed after the fact by BA.

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4



On the Forum