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Do I REALLY Like Cyclocross, or Am I Just a Fashion Victim?

December 22, 2009

From the looks of this blog, it seems I spent the entire cyclocross season infrequently posting about the “next fixed-gear” (which will of course be the quad-ring).  While finding a new alternative cool-source is important, I was actually spending most of my real-life time riding/racing my ass off, preoccupied by latest two-wheeled obsession: cyclocross!

“Well, how very fitting,” a savvy onlooker might declare.  “A bikefag getting into cyclocross.  In 2009. Right after that one video with the robot cartoons hipsters came out.  Lemme guess, you’re riding singlespeed?”

Yes I am.  It is all true.  I am guilty.

But the thing is that I’m different.  I truly love cyclocross!

Or do I…?

Let me make my case:

It’s a perfect sport for me.  I already wore mountain bike shoes on my road bike anyway, so why not start putting that tread to use?  Plus, I’m good.  I’m a born mountain biker (tiny, can’t build muscle mass to save my life, DTH since since I came out the womb), which makes me a born cyclocrosser. And let me testify: there’s nothing more satisfying than beating the lustre-legged, plastic-hearted roadie squares who race categories above me on the tarmac.

I used to hate winter riding.  Thinking of the shower of muddy water all over my feet and my ass and my beautiful Eisentraut – it was enough to stay home.  I’ve always been a mountain biker, but the hard packed trails around here get snowed on, then melt into peanut-butter, clay, glue, hate-mud – not too cool when you only have one gear… And the ol’ fixed-gear bike could only go so many places since I refused to put brakes on it or ride a reasonable gear (51/15/fo life!).

But then comes cyclocross!  Having only one gear is suddenly an advantage most of the time (39/18 for life…)! Allathesudden riding in the most depressing road riding conditions is fun.  You start praying for shitty weather!

Unlike road or MTB riding, I don’t have to go far.  I have a top-secret cyclocross course that I sawed out of a forest in a park maybe two miles from my house, so I can go hammer for an hour then call it a day.

Cyclocross races are more fun.  The roadie-Grinch’s heart seems to grow three sizes at a cyclocross race (it’s probably just the beer).  Even though i don’t drink myself (long story), I can definitely appreciate the rowdy atmosphere at cyclocross races (and CX blogs).

And if you’ve gotta lose, who would you rather lose to?


Or Sir Smirks-a-Lot?

Anyway, it seems that cyclocross is the perfect alternative cyclist’s sport.  And that’s why shit like this can go down:

But do I really love cyclocross myself, or am I just jumping on the bandwagon?

OK, let’s do it, motherfuckers.  Let’s watch that fucking goddamn robot video:

(it won’t let me embed since I haven’t paid for Custom CSS Upgrade (or will it…?))

I really hate this video – and you can probably guess why.  No matter how “next-level” of a bikefag I consider myself; no matter how many years it’s been since I became too cool to shop at Urban Outfitters; no matter how “over” pedophile glasses and flannel shirts I am, this video still hits too close to home.

I too am dismayed that I now have to color-coordinate yet another bike.

I also over-utilize Facebook to promote myself.

And just a few years ago, I used to smoke cigarettes and call people “bike jocks.”

Is it possible that I am just like these poorly-dressed, cartoon “hipsters?”

Am I succumbing to social pressure?

Do I just want to be involved in an “outsider sport” in the cycling world, rather than a sport that I have genuine affection for?

Could it be that the same phenomenon that compelled me to start smoking cigarettes when I was 15, get a brakeless fixed-gear bike at 23, and shave my legs when I was 27, is now compelling me to get involved in “next big thing.” cyclocross?

I guess I’ll never know for sure.

But, like I said in my first post, who cares? (I do, obviously..)

I love cyclocross.

I don’t wear Urban Counterfieters.

And, unfortunately for us bikefags, it’s too late for cyclocross to be the “next big thing” anyway.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. tristan permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:10 pm

    I too race single speed cyclocross on my Van Dessel Country Road Bob (which was previously used as my Sweet Fixie, but throwing on a freewheel on some poorly planned Deep V to Phil Wood wheels made for a killer set of Cross wheels). Unfortunately, there is no single speed class, and a good majority of the courses here are at least 20%+ of pavement, if not hard packed dirt, so I end up being a spinning like crazy, DFL turtle.

    Then the one race in the snow when there was actually a single speed class, the last race of the year, I just come off 2 weeks of swine flu. FROWN. That and my Mavic Razor shoe strap decides to blow apart mid race (I was in last anyways so it didn’t matter).

    That being said, I have to agree with the whole concept of disliking dirty riding except for Cross. When I’m on a bike that I pieced together out of a banged up frame, cheap components, wearing gear that I bought to commute through the winter, suddenly I don’t care when I get dirty, or my bike gets dirty.

    Now if I like cross, why not mountain bikes? Mountain biking is just not cool compared to cross if only through the constant exposure we had to it through the nineties an early 2000’s as the NEW EXTREME SPORT and the proliferation of cheap y-frame full suspension mountain bikes ridden on the sidewalk with two chinese food bags on the sides. Compared to Mountain bikes, cross bikes are elusive gazelles.

    I’ll be a little honest on my opinion on cross, in which that while I don’t quite love cross with all my heart (I prefer road racing/TTs/Track), it’s a fun way to close out the season versus sitting on a trainer all week, and like I said before in my previous comment, people actually enjoy watching cyclocross. It has a much more fun atmosphere than track racing or road work.

    And I have already color coordinated my cross bike. In fact, it’s more coordinated than when it was on the street. 😦 I got into cross mostly because I already had a bike that was cross ready with canti mounts. And now I want to put gears on it and spend even more money.

    I wouldn’t feel too guilty about the video though, if you’re racing, you’re racing, even if you’re DFL. Even if you don’t know anything about tire pressures and your dismounts are comically terrible. I went down at least five times my first race. It’s not like you’re pulling up to a mud puddle in back, riding around in it, and then going to a bar and talking about how the weekend cross race was so brutal, because you really can’t bullshit with cross. No one talks about “epic” cross rides through some weeds/grass. You can be a roadie poser, but being a cross poser just comes off weird (I think it’s because no one wants to be a cross poser).

    Once again I wrote a lot of words. 😦

  2. December 22, 2009 11:35 pm

    I’ve seriously considered turning my Klein into a quad-ring… That video is so funny! The only thing I don’t like is that they rip on messenger bags. I really like my messenger bag. It’s so big! And waterproof (for wet days like today). And invincible! And easy to load groceries into on my way to work when I’m running late… And my broke ass can’t afford another bag… I’ve had the thing for at least 4 years… Curses!

  3. December 23, 2009 3:12 pm

    Dude, why’d you change it?! That was hilarious! Jeff’s a friend of mine and a messenger, I’m sure he can take the roadie joking…that sign has something to do with scissors or something…

  4. bikefag permalink*
    December 23, 2009 5:33 pm

    OK, I’ll change it back.

  5. Brad permalink
    December 23, 2009 6:55 pm

    Much more convincing and equally well written:

    • bikefag permalink*
      February 23, 2010 8:35 am

      The problem for the “adventure bike” or the “monster cross” bike is that they get like a -12 on impracticality.

  6. December 25, 2009 9:35 pm

    Great to have that issue settled! Cyclocross it is. Though I will keep an eye open for rollerblade suits on ebay.

  7. December 28, 2009 5:41 am

    You really need to discover bicycle polo.

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