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Home > Magazine > Bikes > CX Races: Party Time!

CX Races: Party Time!
December 14, 2012

Whenever there's a guy in a sombrero at your race, watch out!

I did the Detroit Invitational a couple weeks ago at the old Dorais velodrome and had a blast. ("DICX" for short.)

...But they had a Tequila Shortcut. Ouch.

This CX stuff has the right idea for fun, popular outdoor action. The unpredictable variety of the sport downplays expensive tech and gives more people a chance, no matter what they're riding. It also downplays pure training. Mayhem is an equal opportunity deal. If you're game, gungho and keep your hand in, you're in the mix. And it kinda doesn't matter how you do. Your own flow, your own moves are pretty clearly the main source of the good vibe. The crowd can see a lot. So even if you're midpack if you suddenly get your act together for awhile the crowd can easily see this and they'll respond. And get in your face about it. And try to make you drink beer while you're riding. It's not all that fast. And if you crash, it's not such a big deal most-times. I suppose those new Mudder races have also caught this vibe.

Also: CX doesn't depend on the weather. Indeed, bring on the weather. Any. In these days of unpredictable weather, this is the way to go.

People like football because of its complexity: big guys and little guys together; fast and slow together; air and ground. Well, CX has a lot of games going on at the same time, too. Some might say it's less pure and if purity is your thing (Mandrake), yeah, stick to the 100M Dash. I like a mixed bag. I love a surprise.

So this was a free event, not an official race, but it had all the bells'n'whistles and then some. With the emphasis on the "then some." Instead of having us hurdle 2 barriers, as usual -- they had SEVEN, with some of them being really TALL. They had a big pile of snow we had to charge thru. They let the kids run wild -- kids threw snowballs at us AND marshmallows.

There was bacon. A guy was frying it in the infield and folks were handing it to the racers. I don't know what's up with the bacon, but it's nice.

There was also a buncha money. People dangled dollars on fishing lines. They were poked into the openings of beer cans that were lined up along the route after those nasty hurdles. "All" you had to do was limbo on down and grab a buck. Folks were handing out shots and chugs of beer left'n'right. And they were making a lotta cowbell noise.

There was even a mid-race poker game! ...Every lap you picked up a card. Or any you found on the ground. Best hand won. (I tied for first!)

After the race everyone repaired to a local microbrewery. ...After driving their cars around the old velodrome at up to 50mph. (A cop also drove around the 'drome.)

There was only one tambourine. We needed more brass instruments as well. ...Next time.

There's also a huge flagpole on the premises. Bare. I wanna see a big Belgian flag up there. I'll try to get Martha to sew one.

The old Nishiki held up fine. My sewups were, as usual, fine secret weapons. I heard lots of hollering during the race about how old and heavy it is. The course was so crazy that I never did sort it out very well in terms of flow, but I got 12th overall out of about 50, all classes lumped together, thanks to the Shortcuts. (I took a bit of a nap afterward.)


Caution flag on the tequila. But don't forget your poker card.


Classy guy. About to get hit by a snowball.


Handup.


Grab the buck!


Beware sombreros!


In the twisties...


I do like the run-ups. Now to figure out how to do them...


Ugh.


Arty!

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