Jakes First Cyclocross Race

     So for the past three months, the only thing I ever speak about is cyclocross…. The cyclocross race season, cyclocross bikes, the awesome cyclocross family, the insanely hard cyclocross race courses, the heated battle in the points race, the misadventures of traveling with the fun loving crowd, yadda yadda yadda..you get the idea.

 

     Fellow DeLand aficionado of rad things, Jake, has endured a non-stop rant droning in his ear this entire time as I continually harangue anyone and everyone about this rather obscure sport. Finally he had enough, last Friday he bolts up from his desk and says “Hey I'm going to take a long lunch” then he comes back with a brand new 2017 Giant TCX cyclocross vessel from JC’s Bikes! Suuhweeeettt! I’m so jelly. ... really, I am, this bike is just awesome. Just marvel at its awesomeness. Pause for dramatic effect here..

     THEN, not even 24 hours later he shows up in Dade City for the Wicked Awesome Racing cyclocross weekend extravaganza for his first race! It also just happens to be on the toughest course of the season, so naturally he’s gonna pick this one, ‘cuz he’s Jake and that’s what Jake’s do.

                     Here he is, doin’ what he does: lookin’ serious

                     Here he is, doin’ what he does: lookin’ serious

     Without further rambling introduction, here’s the exclusive interview with Jake the following day.

“This weekend I competed in my first cyclocross race  at the Wicked Awesome Racing event in Dade City, FL. and I absolutely loved it! I first heard of this unique sport through my co-worker Wayne roughly three months ago, through all of his hype, one phrase that was consistently repeated like a broken record was “it is extremely fun but really tough”. I clearly underestimated “tough” and took the challenge anyways. Come race weekend, I’ve got all of my gear ready and I pulled up to the park where the race is. I see the taped off course and I’m starting to get excited. I could only see grassy sections and some small bumps on the course. It wasn’t until I rode the unseen back section of the course did I realize this is no ordinary day at the park.”

     Here’s the huge climb in the back section. That’s Jake at the top, everyone all together say “wow, that looks like fun!”

     Jake goes on to say “Cyclocross is extremely tough. Taking a road bike with knobby tires through natural terrain is so unnaturally hard that it is fun and comical at the same time. I was exhausted after two laps (of 7) and just thinking “who could think up this stuff?” By the end of my first race, I had fallen a few times, had a flat tire and had an absolute blast. Everyone who attended were the nicest people and super cool. It is too fun and weird to explain which makes it a must-try sport.”

 

     What a great way to get introduced to this wonderful sport, just jump right in….. my usual description is this is one of the hardest bicycle sports out there, yet amazingly one of the most fun and safe. It's family oriented, spectator friendly and darn challenging. There are categories for everyone from the lil’ ones 7-8-9 yrs old on up to us old fogies in our golden years of shuffleboard and Fixodent. This is a sport everyone can enjoy and participate in. You can just ride the course for fun in any number of wacky costumes (as many people do, it’s a thing, really….and it’s just crazy fun) or you can be one of the racer types out front trying to shave seconds from their lap times. There is also a large contingent of amazing women racers who are guaranteed to be faster than you are and look better doing it than you guys do.

     There's not really any risk as the speeds rarely go over 14 miles an hour, usually in low grass circling a field or through some singletrack path. There's usually some type of sandpit to traverse and barricades to jump over.

     Treat yourself to a visit to the absurd and try to catch one of the last few few races left in the season, the next one is early December in nearby Ocala. Anyone in the shop can help you with any questions. All in all, it's rather silly from the outside and difficult to explain to people what exactly is going on ….maybe that's the magic of it ... we just don't know ourselves ...but I do know is it’s darn fun.

-resident chest puffer, lifelong bike dork and humblebragger extraordinaire-

Wayne Keller