The Big Picture: Cheer Globally, Race Locally II

This past Sunday was Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross. One of the oldest cyclocross races in the MABRA region that is put on by the National Capital Velo Club in memory of a teammate who died tragically. Ed Sander worked at the Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Maryland, and the owners of that venue generously allow this race to happen year after year on their grounds. The race, which started after Sander’s death in 2001, is a fundraiser for a scholarship fund that originally was set up to pay the education costs of Ed’s then young son. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Cheer Globally, Race Locally II”

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The Big Picture: Kings CX

Pedaling down back lanes surrounded by the bright yellows and oranges of the autumn leaves, my mind wanders from one thought to the next, from simple ideas to meaning-of-life level questions. It’s on the bike alone I have found that my mind opens itself with ease. There are times where I have felt like I have written the greatest short story of all, word after word flowing and painting these visions of adventure and peril, of emotional highs and lows of humanity and it’s all there strung effortlessly together. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Kings CX”

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The Big Picture: Pan Am Champs

While the mass of our peers were usually headed to football games, movies and awkward dates to Applebees we would plug cheap guitars into cheaper amplifiers and smash away at elementary song writing. Like most misfit teenagers who were into to skateboarding, it didn’t take long until we discovered punk rock. Between going to shows and listening to records, at a certain point a few of us thought collectively ‘this doesn’t seem that hard and definitely looks like a lot of fun,’ so we formed a band. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Pan Am Champs”

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The Big Picture: Cheer Globally, Race Locally

The duality of the North American cyclocross fan, and I suspect the same goes for the U.K., Australia and elsewhere, is that most of us race  in a local series,  then rush home to try and find a link to the Superprestige, Soudal Classic, DVV or World Cup race that happened the same day. The same goes with UCI races happening in the United States. We race our grassroots event while checking twitter to see what’s happening with the pro racers. It’s not a new story, but it still holds true. We are a participatory fan base. We compete in the sport we love. That’s a special thing and it’s what makes our sport great. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Cheer Globally, Race Locally”

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The Big Picture: DCCX 2016

[Editor’s note: CXHairs mainstay, Bruce Buckley, was on site at DCCX to capture the weekend in all its glory. Along with Bruce’s words and photos below, you can find a full gallery of his images from DCCX here: www.brucebuckleyphotography.com/Sports/Cyclocross/DCCX-2016/.]

Urban ‘cross racers are on a seemingly endless hunt for the perfect spot. Within the city limits, property is at a premium and bikes are usually prohibited in public green space. And so the search goes for that secluded corner of a park or that piece of abandoned property where you can cobble together a mini course for mid-week practices. Old staircases and punchy little climbs where you can do some session work. Stretches of lightly traveled pavement where you can work on your starts and knock out short intervals. Continue reading “The Big Picture: DCCX 2016”

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AFI … Ronse (again)

A Fan In……..Ronse……..again OR … On the bus with the K-Pauw Sups

Having moved to Antwerp in the off-season I now find myself in easier reaching distance of the Kevin Pauwels Supporters base. This means that I get the chance to travel to the races on the supporters bus. YAY!

First though, you must get to the bus. This was my first time and of course it was the day that Belgian Rail decided to do some work on the train line and I am faced with the three words guaranteed to put fear into every train traveler everywhere:-

REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICE! Continue reading “AFI … Ronse (again)”

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The Big Picture: KMC Cross Fest

I stood motionless in stagnant summer sweat, one arm supporting part of my weight while holding on to the trunk of a crying Bradford pear tree, my feet aching in dusty boots on the cracked dirt doing the rest of the work to keep me standing. Every 90 seconds I would drag the hundred or so feet of garden hose in small increments, from one withering dusty burlap sack to the next in the attempt to keep cultivated specimens of decorative trees from dispensing their last leaf onto the parched ground, sealing their fate in becoming another addition the mass grave of organic material steaming at the end of the lot. It was the summer of 2000 and earlier that spring I had taken a job at a local greenhouse and nursery. Continue reading “The Big Picture: KMC Cross Fest”

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AFI … Oostmalle

[Editor’s Note: Before we dive head first into this year’s A Fan In … (AFI) series, we had some unfinished business to tidy up. Here’ is Cat Armour’s final dispatch from the 2015-2016 season. Stay, tuned, though, the 2016-2017 is but a breath away.] 

I love this race.

Last year was my first time as, without private transport, it’s a bit of a bugger to get to. If you don’t know, this race is held on an old airfield. The landing strip today is a giant public carpark, the taxi lanes for the rider parking and the course is on half sand and half forest at the side of the airfield. Like the start of the Belgian season in Neerpelt this course winds its way through the carpet of pine needles. The only art installations here though are the gorgeous trees. Alas, some of them have had to be removed, but now you can see right across the lake from the beer tent! Continue reading “AFI … Oostmalle”

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