I miss my road bike. The cross bike I’ve been enjoying is nice, all the flats I’ve been getting aside. It’s just not the same. Maybe, I’m not beyond admitting this, it has to do with how badly I suck at ripping through the dirt. But there is something more. What I feel like I need right now is hours on the bike, but I suppose my inability to get those hours has more to do with life at the moment then anything else. For me, there us a beauty to road riding, and the road bike that speaks to me. ‘Cross is fun, and because of it I will probably come into my base miles fitter than I was the last two seasons. In a town where ‘Cross is king I am an outlier in the racing community here.
I am trying to come around. I really am. I’ve been geeking out over PRO bikes and dialing in my set up. I have been watching races, and getting excited. I’ve enjoyed, as much as one can, running through sand and jumping over barriers, but deep down it does nothing for me. A cheap thrill. The difference between being with someone you love and watching a movie about the same thing. I say ‘Cross is king here because its true. At the Cross Crusade, what Adam Myerson referred to as a “Hipster tractor pull”, there will close to a 150 people in some categories.
At the race on Saturday, which was not as well attended, I saw some shop regulars. People who I thought were riders but not racers. They were there with their families, wife and kids lined the sides of the course screaming for their Dad/ Husband. I heard “Go Daddy!” more than anything else. Aside from the one woman who heckled the hell out of me. Cyclo-cross allows these guys and gals with real jobs and families can come out and race with out worrying about such race specific things like fitness. Road racing, is a bleak affair where you may only see your loved one pass by once or twice. After that you are left standing there twittling your thumbs wondering how you are going to entertain your three year old until the finish Who wants to go to that? I don’t know what it is that makes people think its okay to race ‘Cross with no fitness.
Maybe its the history of road racing. The giants, resplendent in kit, their style elegant, a mask of pain upon their face. Does Cyclo-cross have this emphasis on history? Probably. We here in the states have no sense of history. But maybe I know more about road racing because I care more about road racing.