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  1. #1
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    USA Cycling Banning Helmet Cams

    USA Cycling has a proposed rule change to ban helmet cams from races in 2011

    Rule Change is on p 16 of this doc http://velonews.competitor.com/files...es-final-1.pdf

    Send any feedback to Tom Simonson at [email protected] or any other Trustee.

  2. #2
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    Lame!

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    You could always use these instead.

    http://www.firebox.com/product/2803/...oggles?via=ser

  4. #4
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    Seems like you could still use a chest or handlebar mount?
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  5. #5
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    I have a goggle mount for my camera, along with various mounts for seat post, and handle bars. Still lame though. are they banning helmet mounted lights too?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999
    I have a goggle mount for my camera, along with various mounts for seat post, and handle bars. Still lame though. are they banning helmet mounted lights too?
    Did someone get a camera imbedded in their skull?

    I wonder why a camera or light or any other helmet mounted object is any different than a small rock or another bike's part or a tree branch stub or any other small object that could similarly punch through the helmet if you hit it head first.
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  7. #7
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    Hard to imagine how they can allow helmet mounted lights in sanctioned 24hr races if they're taking this step.
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    interesting... wonder if some litigation started this or if the organization is having a hard time figuring out who has rights to the footage (hahaha!)
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  9. #9
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    A fair point yet

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Hard to imagine how they can allow helmet mounted lights in sanctioned 24hr races if they're taking this step.

    Riding without helmet-mounted lights, with their directional illumination, would be an even greater safety risk. It makes night racing possible.

    Reducing risk whenever possible is never a bad idea. Strictly defining the nature of helmets, which are built to close tolerances for ventilation, weight, and strength, (and let's not forget style) certainly must confront attachments which might destabilize their integrity by intrusion, leverage, or materials fatigue.. Keep in mind they did not just rule-out cameras but attachments

    Helmets and head injury, protection and injury management criteria, have become huge issues. No longer are we bid to "walk it off and get back in the game." Beyond issues of litigation, real-time damage is happening in ways that are understood and now hold our attention. We would be remiss in ignoring this knowledge.

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    I'm curious as to whether there is even a single case of documented injury through the use of a helmet camera. The dang things are probably going to break or come loose from whatever straps or clips attach them to the helmet before any injury occurs.

    I think it is a stupid rule. We've got several guys in our races series racing with cameras and posting videos, there is significant interest in it, and it helps enhance the interest in cycling.

    (I'm a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer by the way and fail to see how the failure to enact such a rule could in any way endanger USA Cycling from a liability perspective).

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    For everyone's info, I e-mailed tsimonson about the issue and received a very prompt response from him. He says it is his understanding the rule is being withdrawn.

    Here is his response:

    [QUOTE]FYI, I was told by staff that they are withdrawing their proposal about helmet
    cams etc./QUOTE]

    I thanked him for his prompt response. Its good to see he responded.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by millennium
    Did someone get a camera imbedded in their skull?

    I wonder why a camera or light or any other helmet mounted object is any different than a small rock or another bike's part or a tree branch stub or any other small object that could similarly punch through the helmet if you hit it head first.

    No, but it would allow more shady USAC's Youtube moment, can't have that.

    How many more rules they are going to introduce each year

  13. #13
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    Cycling BC banned them from racing last year. It was more driven by DH racing then XC racing.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme
    interesting... wonder if some litigation started this or if the organization is having a hard time figuring out who has rights to the footage (hahaha!)
    You could have the real answer here..........................

    Who owns it??
    The rider with camera?
    The event?
    Or the USAC since it's a sanction event? Who know what they have embedded in their fine print.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback
    I'm curious as to whether there is even a single case of documented injury through the use of a helmet camera. The dang things are probably going to break or come loose from whatever straps or clips attach them to the helmet before any injury occurs.

    I think it is a stupid rule. We've got several guys in our races series racing with cameras and posting videos, there is significant interest in it, and it helps enhance the interest in cycling.

    (I'm a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer by the way and fail to see how the failure to enact such a rule could in any way endanger USA Cycling from a liability perspective).
    At least for road racing, I can see attaching pointy hard objects to the helmet being an issue. Road race crashes almost always involve multiple people and going head first over the bars into a group of fallen riders does happen. Do you want to catch a helmet cam in the stomach with a hefty cat 5 rider behind it?

    Safety in crashes is at least where many of the equipment rules start, not that they always make sense, but I can at least see some sense to this rule for road racing. I think the problem is that USA Cycling hasn't really come to grips with the need for different sets of rules for different disciplines.

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    I've seen several different cameras, including one on a rider in a Pro/Cat 1/Cat 2 State Championship road race this past weekend. None of the cameras I've seen would pose any significant danger to a rider, certainly much less than a chain ring, a bar end, etc. When you really think about it, the cameras aren't really that dangerous. They are covered in plastic, are not pointy, and don't have sharp edges. They are made for sport, not just cycling but surfing, water skiing, snow skiing, motocross, etc.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Gatorback]For everyone's info, I e-mailed tsimonson about the issue and received a very prompt response from him. He says it is his understanding the rule is being withdrawn.

    Here is his response:

    FYI, I was told by staff that they are withdrawing their proposal about helmet
    cams etc./QUOTE]

    I thanked him for his prompt response. Its good to see he responded.
    Well cool. Maybe our opinions made a difference.

  18. #18
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    Yes, thanks for posting the info. I was just watching videos of my teammates from a race from this past weekend. Until they have TV networks paying for broadcasting rights, helmet cameras should be allowed.

  19. #19
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    Note that those were proposed rule changes to be voted on at the USCF board meeting- the roadies. The NORBA board will get a chance to vote on the changes that affect us at our board meeting later this week. These are not final or approved rule changes, only proposals that the USAC staff has presented to the boards to vote on.

    Rest assured, the general opinion of mtb racers on this issue is pretty clear. In fact, I've raced with a helmet cam before myself...
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  20. #20
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    I'll bet the motivation for the policy had little to do with safety and everything to do with litigation. Try bringing a camera into any major chain store these days and note how quickly their staff will tell you *not* to take pictures.

    They just don't want you capturing your opponents tossing a stick into your spokes Or worse yet - capturing a pole or something that isn't adequetely wrapped in foam with warnings progressively getting more pronounced as you approach.

  21. #21
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    I don't understand why you would even want a camera on top of your head during a race. I race to win not make videos, and i'm sure i am not alone here, or am I?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    I'll bet the motivation for the policy had little to do with safety and everything to do with litigation. Try bringing a camera into any major chain store these days and note how quickly their staff will tell you *not* to take pictures.

    They just don't want you capturing your opponents tossing a stick into your spokes Or worse yet - capturing a pole or something that isn't adequetely wrapped in foam with warnings progressively getting more pronounced as you approach.
    Highly doubtful (I'm a personal injury lawyer). The stores that don't want you taking pictures or video have that policy primarily for other reasons (trade dress, pricing issues, etc.). The employees in the store following the rule don't even know why it exists.

    The proposed policy likely has everything to do with not wanting to deal with the issue of who has rights to these videos and/or wanting to make sure it doesn't set a precedent that could impede the USAC's own ability to have video rights in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback
    Highly doubtful (I'm a personal injury lawyer). The stores that don't want you taking pictures or video have that policy primarily for other reasons (trade dress, pricing issues, etc.). The employees in the store following the rule don't even know why it exists.

    The proposed policy likely has everything to do with not wanting to deal with the issue of who has rights to these videos and/or wanting to make sure it doesn't set a precedent that could impede the USAC's own ability to have video rights in the future.
    Figures...

    See whats happened? The preponderance of frivoulous personal injury suits has tainted my perception of reality.

    Perhaps we should pursue a suit against all contributors of existing and historical suits who have undermined thought processes - they have in effect, induced another form of personal injury.
    Last edited by Self Motivated; 11-10-2010 at 06:41 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dust3313
    I don't understand why you would even want a camera on top of your head during a race. I race to win not make videos, and i'm sure i am not alone here, or am I?
    I doubt a camera that weighs a few hundred grams is going to keep you from winning. Just sayin...

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    Self-Motivated, I would say you are probably right in your "frivolous lawsuit" guess. There's people out there who would definitely try to get some cash out of a lawsuit because a logover "wasn't properly secured", despite the fact that they're flying down a pile of dirt and rocks at 25 miles an hour on two strips of rubber in the middle of the woods after they've signed a waiver that says they can die from this.

    I'm sure USACycling was just worried about those kind of people looking to blame anyone but themselves and having video evidence to "prove" it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    Figures...

    See whats happened? The preponderance of frivoulous personal injury suits has tainted my perception of reality.

    Perhaps we should pursue a suit against all contributors of existing and historical suits who have undermined thought processes - they have in effect, induced another form of personal injury.
    Maybe a little too much cable TV for you?

    While I'm a Plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, I sit on the board of my local mountain bike association and the board of my state trial lawyer's association, drafted my mountain biking association's waivers/releases, completely redrafted our agreement with our governmental land manager to limit its liability and ours, handle our liability insurance, and even helped draft and get legislation passed in Florida which provides complete immunity for injuries resulting from the inherent risks of mountain biking to all governmental entities which make land available to trail users. I'm kind of in the know on these issues and can tell you that you are being fooled if you think there is a "preponderance of frivolous personal injury suits" out there. Most civil lawsuits are businesses suing businesses over money, not personal injury claims.

    I'll just stop there and if you want to debate these issues we should do so privately so as not to subject others to political/legal issues in a forum addressing whether helmet cams should be permitted or not.

  27. #27
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    Let me get this straight:

    You have participated in drafting legal documents that serve to protect government land trusts from potential suits from users of said property and are suggesting that frivolous lawsuits are not an issue?

    Then we go on to compare civil lawsuits that stem from business quabbles as "outnumbering personal injury lawsuits" which somehow validates them?

    You lost me there. If anything - this reinforces my suggestion that litigation is partly to blame for the helmet cam decision. Cable TV optional

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999
    I doubt a camera that weighs a few hundred grams is going to keep you from winning. Just sayin...
    I agree. my 30+ pound bike probably will though!

    I was thinking it was more of a distraction than anything. I just wouldn't want to have something like that on my head during a race. Also, I think it is kind of ironic that you list your bike weight in your sig but then post how a few hundred grams is no big deal. just sayin (sarcasm)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    Let me get this straight:

    You have participated in drafting legal documents that serve to protect government land trusts from potential suits from users of said property and are suggesting that frivolous lawsuits are not an issue?

    Then we go on to compare civil lawsuits that stem from business quabbles as "outnumbering personal injury lawsuits" which somehow validates them?

    You lost me there. If anything - this reinforces my suggestion that litigation is partly to blame for the helmet cam decision. Cable TV optional
    Frivolous lawsuits are not a significant problem because we have people like me, legislators, judges, defense attorneys, and yes Plaintiff's attorneys all involved in some way in the judicial process to help make sure legitimate causes are brought, frivolous cases are not, and those relatively few frivolous cases that are filed get bumped out of the system quickly. The work I've done is to help make sure everyone understands when you get on a mountain bike and go ride off-road, you are assuming significant risks and you need to take responsibility for yourself and accept that risk.

    What basis do you have to think there is any credence to your suggestion that frivolous lawsuits were the cause of the rule proposal by staff? Just pure speculation? Did you see that a guy on the committee promptly confirmed the staff recommendation regarding banning helmet cams has been withdrawn?

    Don't use a mountain bike forum to air your political beliefs. I'm using my knowledge and area of expertise to explain things people have asked. And I can tell you that video evidence that could be used in court on some hypothetical injury lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed rule that has now been withdrawn.
    Last edited by Gatorback; 11-11-2010 at 04:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dust3313
    I agree. my 30+ pound bike probably will though!

    I was thinking it was more of a distraction than anything. I just wouldn't want to have something like that on my head during a race. Also, I think it is kind of ironic that you list your bike weight in your sig but then post how a few hundred grams is no big deal. just sayin (sarcasm)
    Good point! I dont use my helmet cam for races.... My fitness holds me back more than a few hundred grams will though. My reasoning is the same as yours. My cam isnt cordless (Vio POV1.5) so, I dont want to be worrying about things like that while racing. But if someone else wants to, thats fine by me. Gives me something to watch!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback
    Frivolous lawsuits are not a significant problem because we have people like me, legislators, judges, defense attorneys, and yes Plaintiff's attorneys all involved in some way in the judicial process to help make sure legitimate causes are brought, frivolous cases are not, and those relatively few frivolous cases that are filed get bumped out of the system quickly. The work I've done is to help make sure everyone understands when you get on a mountain bike and go ride off-road, you are assuming significant risks and you need to take responsibility for yourself and accept that risk.

    What basis do you have to think there is any credence to your suggestion that frivolous lawsuits were the cause of the rule proposal by staff? Just pure speculation? Did you see that a guy on the committee promptly confirmed the staff recommendation regarding banning helmet cams has been withdrawn?

    Don't use a mountain bike forum to air your political beliefs. I'm using my knowledge and area of expertise to explain things people have asked. And I can tell you that video evidence that could be used in court on some hypothetical injury lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed rule that has now been withdrawn.
    Speculation simply drives more investigation. I haven't determined that it is the cause. Myself and a host of others know better than to trust everything dispensed. Especially from lawyers.

    I believe that the point of these forums *is* to air out scenarios politically and otherwise. Often here on the racing forum, issues of political nature arise. If you are suggesting that the initial helmet ban and retraction have nothing to do with politics and/or money, I can do little to help.

    Your first line: "Frivolous lawsuits are not a significant problem because we have people like me, legislators, judges, defense attorneys, and yes Plaintiff's attorneys all involved in some way in the judicial process to help make sure legitimate causes are brought, frivolous cases are not, and those relatively few frivolous cases that are filed get bumped out of the system quickly" continues to surface that there is a problem! Forest for the trees anyone? Was there not anti frivolous lawsuit legislation buzzing around in 2009? Do you suppose it had anything to do with frivolous lawsuits getting out of hand?

    Right now I am speculating that your attempts to take the high road have little to do with anything related to the subject.

    Goof greif!

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    Seriously, guys, the proposed rule change was driven by a ban on European helmets that don't meet more stringent US safety standards. The logic being if we ban helmets because they're not protective enough, how do we allow helmet cams that decrease the protective ability of helmets?

    Thankfully, the USAC staff has decided to separate those two issues.

    It has nothing to do with video of anything that happens at races, video rights, insurance, lawsuits, or anything like that, so you can put away the tinfoil hats...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner
    so you can put away the tinfoil hats...

    Fair enough. I'll go draw the shades and reheat some leftovers.

    But be warned... I'm watching.

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    The "problem" with frivolous lawsuits is not the problem that many people believe. For the most part, the "Stella Awards" are fiction. When someone comes up with an outlandish story of a huge award over something stupid -- but can't document the who, what, when and wheres, you can bet it's likely made up, grossly exaggerated, or that some very significant parts of the story were left out of the telling (or multiple re-telling).

    Why the buzz about frivolous lawsuits? Easy. Increase profits. Regardless of what the commercials say, if an insurance company's insured is grossly negligent and takes out a family's primary wage earner that insurance company is not going to just happily make sure that everyone is fairly compensated. They are going to do everything they can -- including enticing people to clamor for tort reform based upon Stella award stories -- to keep what they have to pay in claims to an absolute minimum. You can also bet that despite their moaning about how terrible it is to file a personal injury lawsuit, if they have to pay a claim to their insured because of something you did that they will not hesitate in bringing a suit against you.

    Yes, even plaintiff's lawyers help keep frivolous suits from being filed. Many people believe that a personal injury suit simply involves going into court one day and hoping that you get lucky with a big payoff - but if not, it's a contingency fee and no big deal at least you tried. That may sound good to a plaintiff, but the reality is that lawsuits involve a significant amount of time, work and usually the attorney is advancing money out of his/her own pocket. How often do you think the attorney is going want to risk being sanctioned for bringing a frivolous lawsuit just to bring a case in which they are almost certain to lose (and in a contingency case that means lose your own money and not get paid for all of the work you put into the case).

    Even when someone asks you to sign a waiver, that doesn't mean they will be liable or subject to a suit if the waiver isn't signed. It can simply be another "layer of protection," or make sure everyone is given notice of the limits of liability.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthemRider
    The "problem" with frivolous lawsuits is not the problem that many people believe. For the most part, the "Stella Awards" are fiction. When someone comes up with an outlandish story of a huge award over something stupid -- but can't document the who, what, when and wheres, you can bet it's likely made up, grossly exaggerated, or that some very significant parts of the story were left out of the telling (or multiple re-telling).

    Why the buzz about frivolous lawsuits? Easy. Increase profits. Regardless of what the commercials say, if an insurance company's insured is grossly negligent and takes out a family's primary wage earner that insurance company is not going to just happily make sure that everyone is fairly compensated. They are going to do everything they can -- including enticing people to clamor for tort reform based upon Stella award stories -- to keep what they have to pay in claims to an absolute minimum. You can also bet that despite their moaning about how terrible it is to file a personal injury lawsuit, if they have to pay a claim to their insured because of something you did that they will not hesitate in bringing a suit against you.

    Yes, even plaintiff's lawyers help keep frivolous suits from being filed. Many people believe that a personal injury suit simply involves going into court one day and hoping that you get lucky with a big payoff - but if not, it's a contingency fee and no big deal at least you tried. That may sound good to a plaintiff, but the reality is that lawsuits involve a significant amount of time, work and usually the attorney is advancing money out of his/her own pocket. How often do you think the attorney is going want to risk being sanctioned for bringing a frivolous lawsuit just to bring a case in which they are almost certain to lose (and in a contingency case that means lose your own money and not get paid for all of the work you put into the case).

    Even when someone asks you to sign a waiver, that doesn't mean they will be liable or subject to a suit if the waiver isn't signed. It can simply be another "layer of protection," or make sure everyone is given notice of the limits of liability.
    Thank you, my friend.

    It sounds like you also may have the experience I do that allows some genuinely informed judgment on these issues. When you put your name, professional reputation, time, money, livelihood, ability to support your own family, and ability to support your hard working employees on the line you don't file frivolous lawsuits. And those that foolishly try quickly find themselves in another line of work.

  36. #36
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    I know my stance could be interpreted as trolling - but it stems from a couple of years worth of depositions as service manager for a major automatic door company.

    In one particular instance, it was less expensive for the chain store and my company to settle with the plaintiff for 20 large rather than pursue things in court. Even though video footage clearly showed the individual has sustained some kind of arm injury *before* walking through the door, and the door never touched them.

    A couple of those 6 hour sessions with lawyers repeating the same questions waiting for your slip up also.. you might say - "left a mark"

  37. #37
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    Just talked to Shawn Farrell, Technical Director for USAC, and he confirmed that the proposed ban on helmet cams has been dropped.

    Film away...
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  38. #38
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    aaaaaaand the UCI just banned solid metal or plastic camera mounts on helmets.

    Helmet cameras are not permitted during qualifying rounds and finals. The riders are responsible for securing the fixation of the helmet cameras in order to avoid any danger. The UCI can decide to allow a helmet camera during finals but only for the usage of the TV production company. Metal/permanent fixtures to attach the helmet cameras are not allowed, tape and velcro are allowed.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  39. #39
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    Aaaaaand we get to the real reason the UCI banned helmet cams.
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  40. #40
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    You mean that rider and spectator safety wasn't the big issue and the TV rights were the primary concern? I'm shocked, shocked I say.

    After the UCI banned people using camcorders and posting World Cup and Champs coverage on Youtube before the Freecaster coverage was posted, something like this had to be coming.
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    [QUOTE=rockyuphill]You mean that rider and spectator safety wasn't the big issue and the TV rights were the primary concern? QUOTE]



    And the WTC isn't much better.
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