SSCX 13 Philly
Let's begin our coverage of this past weekend's single speed cross shenanigans with the big one, race day at the Belmont for the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships of the Flipping Universe. As you may have already seen some photos creep out, it was both snowy and magical.
As I did not qualify for the finals at Junkyard Cross (more on that event in a later post), I was relegated to the Everyone's A Winner Race during which the snow started to fall, temps were in the 30's, and I managed a respectable fifth place or so while drinking every handup in site the last two laps. (The city of Philly was so behind the event that the flipping Mayor was out there and officially declared "handups are not a crime") Not to get all braggy on you, but I did this while clad in a lovely teal silk pajama top, that Heather from Bicycle Rev's was kind enough to screenprint some shop logos onto the back of so I could rep the homies in style.
After that first race, it was time for the mens World Championships and the snow really began to come down and pound the course and racers. What happened next was an event for the ages as the snow made everything, surreal, beautiful, and singularly special. The crowd was amazing, the racers were killing it, and the cameraderie was palpable.
All up and down the historic woods, there was an overwhelming feeling that we were all blessed to be there and in this together. Everyone you ran into had your next beer, a puff of the good stuff, or a hot bite of food for your mouth. It was impossible to not get swept up in. You should have been there...
Here are some of my more favorite photos from the day.
I just realized I haven't said anything about the course... The organizers did an amazing job, the singletrack sections were sweet, the signs on the course added to the festivities, the climb up parachute hill and the classics esque scene was amazing, not to mention the boxing glove clad spinner deals and the liberty bells that you had to duck under. (I heard one rider lost a tooth to them bells)
I have always watched the classics and been a bit annoyed for the riders having to squeeze their way through a throng of drunkies while trying to win a race. I know when I'm racing I want everyone the fuck out of my way and don't touch, but up on that Pennsylvania hill, in the grips of the liquor and warmed by the inherit goodness of the human spirit it all clicked. I'll never look at crowds in a bike race the same way. Shit's magic.
but the crowd's spirits were not dampened
Check out the rest of the photos from the day, and get a sneak peak at the upcoming posts for Bicycle Revolutions, Bandit Cross, and Junkyard Cross here