Monday, September 14, 2015
Where to even begin with this post? How do you put down on a virtual pad such an amazing day? It was like a #NECX reunion. We wait all year for CX season to start. All the haters can hate as Tay Tay would say. Just because we love CX doesn't mean we don't love what ever cycling pursuit that happens the other 8 months of the year. I have never understood this animosity towards CX. We LOVE CX. Get over it. Or just join Crossfit and do reps for Jesus. Give your life some meaning I guess. Just because we LOVE CX doesn't mean we hate X, Y or F'n Z.
Adam Myerson once gave me some sage advice (and I am going to screw this up but I will try my best to recall his words) "Never let anyone take CX away from you" Myerson rocks. The brief period in time I was a Cycle-Smart client his life advice meant more to me than the actual coaching. And that advice has stayed with me since he sent me a text on a dark day I was having. And it holds true today. Go ahead. Hate on CX. Chop me. Drop me. Say mean shit. Hate on SSCX. Hate on sandbaggers. Hate on masters. Hate zipties. Hate juniors. Hate masters women over 40 with carbon bikes. CX doesn't care about your hate. All we have is actual love. But we are the red-headed stepchild of cycling. We get it. And we welcome you and everyone to our table. On every given Sunday from September to January.
Sept 13 was the opening day of the #NECX. Quad CX has been the kick off race for New England for about 5 years now. Sucker Brook used to be the opener but you know CX has blown up. And Ted and the Quad crew do an amazing job. Ted gets it. I use that saying a lot. But I don't use it lightly. Ted works so hard to make Quad one of the most fun races in New England. What is not to like. A great venue at a gun club. Nothing like racing CX and hearing full auto in the distance. I keep saying one year I am going to ask Ted to let us do a CX biathlon during the SSCX race. I am not saying give some CX racer an AR-15 and let them go nuts. But maybe a nice air rifle or BB gun. Shotgun a Harpoon hit the target and move on. Don't hit the target? You lose spots bro...I think it has potential. But like flaming barriers may seem better in concept than application.
This year's Zank SSCX series presented by Mad Alchemy has me pretty stoked. This probably is no shocker to anyone who visits this blog. I hold friends dear to me. And Pete and Mad Alchemy are special to me on many levels. Pete and Mad Alchemy's support of the series pretty much took my usual stoke and sent it to 11 or 22 depending on your perspective. We have a lot of cool things planned to celebrate this partnership. We flew the MA Death Star at Quad as one step in this partnership. It was so amazing seeing it over Quad. It was the epicenter of the SSCX race. And nothing represents all that is SSCX in the #NECX like Gewilli and his orange jumpsuit. The orange jumpsuit is like the Holy Grail of SSCX. Or maybe the Excalibur. When I see G in that thing I lose my mind. Gewilli was in rare form. He had unveiled the #garbagetruck for the race. Here is the link to his post about it. It reminded me so much of when Paul Saddof made his dumpstervagen. People can lose their minds over zip ties. But what boggles my mind is the arms race that has infected CX. We used to just show up on cobbled together touring bikes and have at it. If you were super cool you had tubies. But that was it. You did not have matching 5k bikes. No one did. Maybe you had spare wheels. But yeah sure zip ties are ruining CX. But I digress.
Gewilli doubled up. He went full Quad CX mullet. Business at the front and SSCX party at the back. Doubling up is no joke as Mike Wissell and Matt Sousa I am sure can attest. If you do CX right you should be destroyed at the end. In G's case he at least had a couple of hours to "refuel" aka my start beers. Gewilli and I have a tradition. I "pay" him to rock the jumpsuit. Usually I pay him in beer. In this case it was Harpoon Take 5s so it was really more a pre-race #hydrationzone. I think he only had three. Maybe four. But what happened in that few hours was that Gewilli turned Syd the kid into a CX super fan. I am not kidding. I don't bring my kids to races. I just don't want to force my lifestyle on them. But she really got the bug at Great Glen. And when I told her I was racing she wanted to come. I couldn't say no. I was worried it would suck for her. But I knew Quad is super family friendly. They have a grill. The course is really self-contained. I had friends there. I told myself it would be ok. But was freaking out of course. But G saved my ass. And really set up one of the top ten race experiences of my life. I am a sucker for family. It just means everything to me. The #NECX is basically a family to me. But my real family makes me crazy. Getting to race in front of them always fills me with so much stoke.
Geoff brought a megaphone to the race. Of course he did. And he let Syd have it. Ok, that right there is a friend. Handing a megaphone to a 10 year old is like handing a loaded gun to a redneck. Ok bad pun but you get it. Kids love noise. And love being obnoxious. I told Syd she could make all the noise she wanted. Just be nice. She mostly liked the siren. For each race that went off she would hit that siren and scream her lungs out. It became a bit of a thing under the Mad Alchemy tent. A whole crew started to show up. Todd, Parke, Jeremy, Alex and Pat, Winston Porkchop. Syd was meeting everyone. And loving it. I couldn't believe how much she was digging the scene. Gewilli was so cool with Syd. He would be like "Syd do you really want to eat that potato chip?" Syd would be like but they are so goooood...on the drive home Syd gave G the ultimate compliment. She said "Geoff is like Uncle Randy (Shoogs)" Yeah buddy he is one of dad's best friends.
So you have Syd being bit by the CX bug. You have a whole NECX reunion in full effect. You have Gewilli in the orange jumpsuit with a new #NECX patch on his ass. You have Sara Bresnick out of retirement and FIRING LIVE BULLETS!!!! (sorry Fries moment). You have Lauren Kling back on a bike racing!!!!!!! You have so many cool friends rolling in and out of the tent. You have Kevin, Thea and Lesli doubling up in a day and racing BOTH Hartford CX & Quad. You have Sousa and Wissell coming off the 1/2/3 race and jumping back into the SSCX race. It was unreal. Sorry for so much rambling but it was just beyond words. The SSCX race was off the charts. Perfect mix of hardcore racing and shenanigans. The start got a bit nuts as some one went down hard right after the tree. How we avoided him and his bike cartwheeling through the air is beyond me. We rode our hearts out. Had a blast. And then Syd rocked the podium presentation. How many 10 year olds can take a print out of race results and read off names and teams and not even blink an eye? I even think she pronounced Mike Wissell's name right!
Thank you to all who came out. Thank you to Gewilli for turning Syd the kid into a CX fan for life. Thank you to all the "new" people on the podium. Why lie I have a bit of a Boloco team crush. Seeing them on the podium fills me with joy. And Ben Pagano on the top step. Very cool. Keep coming out. Let's make this the best SSCX season ever.