There are few sports that allow, or actually encourage adults to dress up in stupid costumes and compete, cyclocross being the only one I can think of. I’m not sure just what it is about cx that encourages this behavior, but it does and I think it’s one of the things that makes ‘cross so f*#king awesome. Anyone who has an internet connection has seen videos of scores of idiots racing cx in drag, costume, and occasionally nothing but shoes, helmet and a whole lot of Chamois Buttr’.
I thought it was high time that the local cross community experience a bit of style. I pulled my moisture wicking, somewhat cycling friendly thrift store suit out of the closet and donning it for Series 60‘s ‘Cross Off The New Year CX Race on New Years Eve ’08. To look at it you would never know it came from a thrift store; 100% wool, no moth holes and it doesn’t even smell funny. I almost felt guilty racing in it, then I remembered it didn’t cost me a dime and if it got dirty I could either have it cleaned or throw it away. I doubt any thrift shop would accept a mud covered suit with pockets full of sand.
Coincidentally several others showed up in something not made of lycra, so I wasn’t the lone idiot wearing something stupid. I’d love to see this continue, along with more beer hand-ups, trees covered in dollar bills… Hmmm, I wonder where my Spiderman halloween costume is?
My biggest concerns was getting the crotch of my slacks catching the back of the saddle when remounting or strangling myself with my tie. I’ve had a few disasters trying a remount while wearing anything but cycling shorts or tights, ouch, and not a pretty sight. Luckily the slacks are a bit tight in the waist and crotchal areas and never caught the saddle, nor did I get my tie caught in my drive train while shouldering and running the bike, a clip on tie might be a bit safer.
Looking stylish was my only motivation, I’m afraid I would have quit the race if dressed differently, something I have never done. I have never felt physically worse during a cx race, I was dead, nothing in the tank to keep me going. I had one good lap in me and the following laps were something out of a bad dream. All of which was very disappointing since I had felt so good at Boss Cross III three days earlier.
Everyone was going on and on about how hard Boss Cross III was, with the ankle deep mud and 20 minute lap times. Personally I felt that the ‘Cross Off The Year course was much more difficult, even though it was dry and nearly mud free. There was that one muddy run-up but that was nearly the extent of the mud.
I didn’t even check the standings, I went straight to the keg of beer, Boulevard Double Wide I.P.A. Sometimes it’s best not knowing how bad you did, I know there were many people behind me, so at least I didn’t finish last, or get beat by a junior.
I was amazed by the turnout, who knew there were that many unemployed or unemployable cyclocross racers. I had delusions of grandeur, hoping everyone would not be able to get off work to race on a Wednesday afternoon and I could manage a podium spot. No such luck.
We now have two more cx races this season, Epic Holiday Cross Sunday and the Grote Prijs Shawnee the following Sunday. I can’t believe it’s almost over, it seems like the first race was only a few weeks ago. 16 races to date, and 2 more to go.