It is 11 p.m. Central and online registration for the season opener of the 2014 WCA cyclocross series has just closed. I intend to race on Saturday but I chose not to register online. As you can see in the picture above, online registration comes with no discounts: the race fee is still $25, just as it will be when I register in person. In fact, online registration is more expensive because of the service fee. And my registration would have been non-refundable if, for some reason, I can’t make it to Sheboygan.
I don’t mean to pick on the Sheboygan race; it’s not the only race for which online registration is a bad deal. But what’s the point? The fields won’t be so large that only by registering online could I secure my spot in the starting grid. Volunteers at the registration table will be happy to take my money on Saturday morning. Hell, I’ll even show up with a copy of the 2014 USA Cycling waiver already filled out. But that’s not me being a nice guy; that’s me making just a little extra effort now in order to save myself some time and hassle later. Even if I had registered online I would have to show up to sign the waiver and receive my numbers. Online registration should make my job easier but it especially should make the volunteers’ job easier, and that should be worth something. But it doesn’t, and it isn’t, and that’s a problem.