Monday, July 8, 2013

Lucky 13

The Zanconato SSCX series starts in 62 days. Quad CX will be opening day. We have ten races on the schedule this year. The series is set. No mid-season additions this year. We have a great line up. Some great grassroots races, New England Regionals, and a Friday evening race on the Hallowed Grounds of Providence for Holy Week! Each year we try and kick it up a notch. But the core idea that CX should be fun remains our primary reason for doing this. A couple of rules, or perhaps tone setters. There are no rules. Ok there are rules as we are under the USAC guidelines. So yeah it won't be all Flabongo, all the time. Even at Ice Weasels they had rules. Although I can only remember the one rule Colin told me. He said its all fun and games till a naked man tackles a bike racer. Yeah I can agree with that. Even though a half-naked man met me on the course and handed me an ice cold 'Gansett and it didn't ruin my race at all. In fact it may have enhanced it. But according to USAC beer and cupcakes are PED so we will honor their commitment to "clean" sport and try and keep our beer drinking and cupcake eating in the Death Star.

Ok I have gotten wayyyyyy off track! Its really a shocker that Zank let's me "run" this thing. OK HUGE NEWS! ENGVT the company owned by Jerry Chabot, one of the Zank SSCX founders, is presenting sponsor! What does this mean? It probably means there will be a foam party at one of the races (Providence sounds like a good fit). We will have more on this later. But for now, in all seriousness, I just want to say thank you to Jerry. Thank you for being a driving force in the NECX. Thank you for pushing us to do the Zank SSCX series. And thank you for forgetting about that "incident" at Midnight Ride...I still say its 20 Pound Skulls fault. If he wasn't so big I could have moved over a touch and let you through...

So what is the Zank SSCX series and why should you do it? Do you like fun? Do you like CX? Adam Myerson has been quoted on more than one occasion stating CX is NOT FUN. And he is right. At the highest level and to be halfway good at it you should be destroyed at the finish. Leave it all on the course. I have had a few races like that. I felt pretty proud of the efforts. But doing that for a whole season is a one way ticket to zombie land. Sure some of you are poised to take on the World Cup and perhaps take the top step at Nationals. For the rest of us this is Beer League Softball (*yes I got that line from Fatmarc!) It can still be competitive. The fun aspect of CX and this series are the little battles. Battling your friends and frenemies. SSCX throws some real challenges at you. Dare I say it makes you better at CX? Sure. You have to actually think about turns and transitions. Have to embrace the "No Brakes Lifestyle".

It couldn't possibly be easier to get started. Show up at one of the races. Come see us. We will have zip ties. We can zip tie your levers and voila singlespeed. Or you can show on a SSCX bike dedicated for radness. We like seeing dedicated bikes. But we like all bikes. No one has more SSCX street cred cause they show up on a dedicated bike. So zip ties are COOL. You may even see a t-shirt pop up with some sick zip tie art. Racing SSCX is not some political statement it just adds a new wrinkle to a sport we all love. CX is getting big. I am not a numbers guy but the growth numbers I have seen are pretty impressive. Just go to a big race in NE and you can see how big it has gotten. I am more interested, personally, about growing the sport from the bottom up, than the top down.

We really love seeing new people giving it a go. Fast, slow, young and old. Its all good to us. I have two highlights from last season. One was meeting a Jr who had done her first SSCX race at the finish line with a plush unicorn. She gave me a high five and was so stoked it was ridiculous. The other highlight was when Leah and I did the two-person coed class at Ice Weasels. I am pretty sure we are 2-person coed SSCX Champions of the world.

This season we really would love to see growth on the women's side. There are so many rad women riding bikes and racing CX. It would be beyond rad to see some of you come out and try SSCX. If you hate it no worries, but at least give it a shot. I swear it is fun.

A lot of people work to make this happen. Even though we don't put on our own race there is a lot of behind the scenes plotting and scheming that goes on. Hold on one minute!? Did I just say "we don't put on a race?" It is true. We are sort of like the Lamprey of the NECX. Each promoter runs the race as they see fit. Some are more open to working with the schedule than others. Some add their own twists. But at the end of the day its their race and we are their guests. We add a real value to their race. We promote their race and hopefully make it more rad. One of the main reasons we started this series was to bring some of our favorite grass roots races together and to help them grow. Mansfield Hollow is a good example of this. WE LOVE Mansfield Hollow. It is one of the best CX races in NE. But for some reason people don't know that much about it. We try and spread the word. But as a rough outline here is how we are doing it. 

• 10 races 

9/8-Quad CX
9/21-CX @ White Park
9/22-Sucker Brook

10/4-Providence Cross Festival
10/12-Mansfield Hollow
10/13-MRC CX
10/27-Orchard CX

11/17-Cheshire CX
11/23-New England Regional Championships

12/14-Ice Weasels

• It is a series. We will publish the points structure before the season starts. Winner of the series wins a sick trophy! And probably a case of beer. At the end of season keg party we will do a sick raffle. Each year it gets better and better. Each race you do, you get your name in the raffle. 10 races=10 chances to win cool stuff! 

• Zip ties are COOL! Oh I said that before didn't I? Its the concussion. I forget easily. 

• We will stage up as the promoter dictates. Zank SSCX series preferred staging is men go first then a 1 minute gap then the women go. This will at least limit total chaos at the start. Lapping may happen. Please try not to use other racers as traffic cones. 

• We have been talking about doing a clinic or series of practices to introduce SSCX to racers. One of the NECX's finest may be leading this. I will be doing the Flabongo hand up drills. I hope that is cool. Its important. All eyes are on us. You think I am kidding. I wish I was. One dropped hand up. One lame Wizard's staff and ALL of the Pac Northwest is laughing their asses off that us type A east coasters can't even learn to have fun. 

• Research. An instructional website for the SSCX curious. I present Death Touch CX

• I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few items to appease or new rad sponsor ENGVT. One. No Uni-cycles. Ever. Ever. Ever. And no costumes. Ok at Orchard Costumes are cool. And Ice Weasels. Ok fuck it I like costumes. I may race the whole season as Bob Seals. Google it. It won't be pretty

• One last thought. SSCX Worlds are in Philly. Bilenky is working with the promoter to have a two-day race weekend filled with Mayhem. Who wants to go with me and win Philly and bring SSCX Worlds to the NECX? Thom? Buddy? You in? I know you can drink a pint glass of maple syrup. We got this. Ok party people. Start working on your waffle handups. And leave the 4 loko at home. 


  1. raaaaaaaaadddddddnnnnnnneeeeeesssssss

  2. If I didn't see a photo of Chip actually drinking from the Flabongo, I wouldn't have believed it. Not sure if he inhaled, though.

  3. Sweeeeeeeet! I raced only SSCX last year, mostly against geared fields. Bummer about the USAC-ness, but understandable, I'm gonna try and make it out to one of these races. #foamparty at Providence? Sounds good to me!

    Also SOST OKED about worlds in Philly.