Several weeks ago, Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team launched a new fan club site called The Paceline. This was promoted on LanceArmstrong.com, and I quickly found out that the Paceline site was:
- membership-based (you have to provide personal information), and
- fee-based (you have to pay a fee to become a member).
Now that I have looked at the site carefully, I've found that it is membership-based, but there is no cost to creating a membership. It's hard to tell that because the user interface of the site is so confusing. When you register as a member, the instructions say that it's free, but you are directed to the Paceline Store to create an account. I think this is because the site was originally intended to be fee-based, but the operators changed their minds after implementation.
My next problem with the Paceline site is that the login or activation process after you create your Paceline account failed when I tried it. I got a really complex-looking server error page when I tried to log in with my user name and password. I got around this by going back to the home page (http://www.thepaceline.com/) and it recognized me as a member.
If you are interested in joining the USPS Cycling Team fan club, by all means join Paceline. There is some very good information about the team there, including a good selection of pictures and desktop wallpaper for people that like that sort of thing. Don't worry about the fact that it looks like you are going to puchase something at the end of the registration process. I hope that my experience with account registration difficulties helps a few people to get through it.