NOBC New Orleans Bicycle Club

USA Cycling is the primary national governing body for bicycle road racing in the United States. Although the United States Cycling Federation is a component of USA Cycling, you will generally see the area of bicycle racing for which the USCF is responsible referred to as USA Cycling Road/Track/Cyclocross.

The USCF, the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA), the National Collegiate Cycling Association (NCCA) and Pro Cycling, together comprise USA Cycling. Presently, the NCCA is a program under the USCF. USa Cycling is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), and is an affiliated member of the International Cycling Union (UCI), which governs most international cycling competitions. Most bicycle road racing clubs and cyclists in the U.S. belong the the USCF, which holds annual National Championships competitions, maintains rules for competitions, certifies officials and coaches, conducts training workshops, etc. Most competitive road cyclists hold USCF Racing Licenses, which indicate to which class and category they belong. Bicycle races are usually divided up according to these age-based classes and experience-based categories, and riders strive to achieve results and gain experience in order to justify upgrading to more competitive categories.

You can access the USCF rulebook, Standard Entry Blank and Release Form, License Application Form, Online License Applications and Renewals and a number of other USCF-related items directly from the USA Cycling Website.

USA Cycling can be contacted directly at:
United States Cycling Federation
USA Cycling
210 USA Cycling Point
Colorado Springs, CO 80919


La-Ms Bicycle Racing AssociationThe Louisiana/Mississippi Bicycle Racing Association (LAMBRA) is the official point of contact for race permitting, officiating, event coordination, rider licensing, rider upgrades, etc. In order to compete in USCF-sanctioned events (all major races and the District Championships), you must join the United States Cycling Federation. Membership in the USCF insures that the rider will receive most regional race announcements, as well as Cycling USA, the USCF newspaper. The USCF conducts rider training camps, and clinics throughout the year. NOBC members are strongly urged to join the USCF. For information and an application, contact the Louisiana/Mississippi Bicycle Racing Association (LAMBRA).


Basic USA Cycling Road/Track/Cyclocross membership costs $60 (2009) and includes a racing license, supplemental accident and catastropic insurance, and other benefits. Applications are available, directly from the USAC. The best method is to join or renew online. USCF members can also have concurrent memberships in NORBA and NCCA using the same application form.

USCF Classes and Categories

USCF riders are divided up into a number of classes for both men and women according to age. Riders under 18 are classified as Juniors (although they can opt to race as seniors). Riders over the are of 30 are typically considered to be Masters (although they too can always race as Seniors). Within a given event, races may be held for a number of age divisions, at the discretion of the race organizers. Most often, there will be a race for Juniors, a number of races for the various racing categories, one or two races for Masters 35 and over, and a race for Women. Larger events will have races for more classes. Smaller events may combine classes into single races.

Each USCF rider is assigned to one of five numbered Categories (Women are assigned to one of four), depending on experience and race results. New members are automatically assigned to Category 5 for Men and Category 4 for Women. Many local recreational riders never seek to advance beyone Category 3. Riders can upgrade to the lower-numbered, more competitive categories based on a combination of experience and race results. In general, categories are as follows:

Category 1: National Caliber atheletes who often compete in the same races as professionals.
Category 2: Advanced riders with several successful seasons of experience in major races.
Category 3: Intermediate riders with one to three years of experience in major races.
Category 4: Experienced riders in their first or second seasons and riders who race only occasionally.
Category 5: New Licensees and 1-day licencees.


Most rider upgrades for Louisiana and Mississippi are handled by LAMBRA. To request an upgrade, sign on to your USA Cycling account ("My USA Cycling"), click on the "License Info." tab, and select "upgrade/downgrade" for the appropriate racing license, or contact Shane Hernandez (337-234-7474). Additional information on upgrading is available on the LAMBRA website.

USACycling has specific requirements and procedures for upgrading. You can see them on the USA Cycling Road Categorization Guidelines page. Upgrades from Category 5 to Category 4 require only experience in ten mass-start races. Upgrades to Categories 3, 2 and 1 require a combination of experience and results. There are specific upgrade points schedules that are used to determine when a riders is eligible to upgrade beyond Category 4. A summary of the guildelines from 2009 appears below.

Road Upgrades
Guidelines and Notes by Category:

  • 5-4: Experience in 10 mass start races.
    Local Associations may also establish policies where upgrade credit is given for taking a sanctioned rider education clinic.
  • 4-3: 20 points in any 12-month period; or experience in 25 races with a minimum of 10 top ten finishes with fields of 30 riders or more, or 20 pack finishes with fields over 50. 30 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade
  • 3-2: 25 points in any 12-month period
    40 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade
  • 2-1: 30 points in any 12-month period
    50 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade

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