Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Pro-B's

Ok gang, here's a rant I've been sitting on all season. I'm speaking of the cyclocross phenomenon you could call The Pro-B's.

During the races this season, especially at bigger events like Surf City, Pilarcitos and US Gran Prix, I started noticing something ... a lot of the guys warming up for the B races looked a lot more "pro" than the A/Elite racers themselves.

I'm not talking about sandbaggers here (I'll leave that to the comments section and the Cross Crusade
forums), or about the question of the UCI and their stinkin' badges that consigned the lesser licensed elites to the B category at Golden Gate Park, and which may be fixed next year with license categories.

What I'm talking about is B riders with sterner
game face, better kit, tighter bikes, taking more time with course recon, and generally more amperage than the average A racer. (Those A's being the less-employed, under-groomed, old-bike, chilling out attitude, old school type of bike racer that you see so much in the A's, especially in the 831 area code).

Not a good thing, not a bad thing, just an interesting thing. So what's up with that?


--Dave Carr

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see the same thing with the Cat.3's in road racing. These guys and gals are super motivated for a few years before either burning out or chilling out. I don't mind them so much, it feels good to beat them once in a while and their excessive use of carbon gadgetry offers a handy excuse when I'm five minutes back. And hey, its better they spend money on bikes than SUV's. I have 10yrs of racing and I need about five more to be as cool as that DFL guy swiggin on a beer!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These "Pro B's" are just what the sport needs. These guys and girls are the future of the sport. They are the ones fueling the fire of cx around the country by the size of their fields no matter what region they are in. There will always be sandbaggers which is a basic moral issue in any sport. I've been racing for years at the top level and don't think I have as much fun that most of the "B's" do. I admire them and am jealous at the same time.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, is it "bad" to race the B's seriously? Is our category just a joke? I mean, we're all driving an hour or more and paying $30 bucks to RACE aren't we?

Yeah, I'm one of them. I have the gear, the kit, and this year (for once) I took every aspect of every race seriously. I got results and next year I'm already looking forward to suffering in the A's.

I think most of us in the B's, foolishly squandering our money on nice bikes, Tufo's and spare wheels, practicing technique in the off season, are operating under the delusion that we're preparing for bigger and better things, we're steadily improving and that our time as "Pro B's" is preparation for the next category.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

I agree... those B's are the future of cross, especially on the women's side... just look at what the Bellas and Velo Girls have accomplished there. DC

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former shop rat (sales - ie. retail scum as the wrenches like to put it) we sometimes forget that the industry (from small builders like Paul at R.L. to the big boys at "S") needs B's and masters with pimped out bikes to stay afloat....if only elites bought nice bikes the makers of nice bikes couldnt survive...so wtf...buy nice stuff...just dont be an ahole snot about it and its all good.

guy who likes bike porn

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What he said. Lots of riders have way nicer bikes and gear than their abilities merit. So. What. Welcome to the sport of cycling.

And there's nothing wrong with taking your efforts (and your gear) in the B's or C's just as seriously as the Tuff Guys and beer-swigging hipsters in the A's.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Sporza was covering the B’s race on Sunday?

I don’t believe Dave was trying to make fun of the B’s category. It was just an observation that he made. Maybe it even caught him off guard a bit.

I had fun this season racing B’s with my Pro bike, wheels, and kit. Look forward to racing as an A- next season.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous leatherlungs666 said...

Come on anonymous, just one bike? You're halfway to acheiving proB status...

3:20 PM  
Blogger ali-la-pointe said...

used gear comes from somewhere...

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amperage? what counts is wattage, and if you can kick @ss like cam then it doesn't matter what you look like. if cam steps up and starts fighting BJM for wins, then he should clean up in order to get the higher dollar sponsors, just as the winner of the B's should be reasonably presentable to appease their sponsors as well. i hope the Pro B's don't miss out on the fun factor though, your pressure is still way less then the top A's. cam's having fun and still riding way faster then you guys.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a blast this year. Love that hard grind :)

10:19 PM  
Blogger cxbikerboy said...

back in the days of toe clips, converted road bikes, and skinny clincher wire-bead tires called tri-cross i was a newbie junior B. then i was a junior A racing in the senior B's. then i was a senior A (sonkas apple farm 1993, cold) then i quit cx for a bit, then came back to it and raced senior B's. Then i quit again for awhile. then a few years later i raced cx in the senior B's again (still jungle years, Alston Park Napa, etc). then i got serious and was a proB for a season. then i was an A again. i raced A's for 3-4 years, meanwhile i was a 1 and a Pro on the road for several seasons. then i quit racing altogether for 2 years and didn't ever wear spandex for 9 of those months. then i raced a couple A races a couple times this season and was handed a whoopin' a dudes i used to whoop. then at usgpcxggp this year i raced in the proB's and got whooped by alot of dudes (masters, ss, B's, juniors, A's). i've been up/down/all-around the categories and that's why you shouldn't ever shit-talk about another category because one day you may end up getting spanked by a B! or in some cases your girlfriend might even whoop up on you during 'out-of-competition' rides.

j.morgan (of Giles & Sorani lineage)

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup....

All the pro b's will be back next year as A's to exact their due.... It's all good.

And please talk more shit about our fancy bikes, over-enthusiasm, etc. These comments are all great motivation.

I saw a few C's out there last week that were trying real hard. What a bunch of dorks....they'll all sell their bikes soon or give up.

...

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is with all the labels? The bottom line is we are all a bunch of dorks! Riding road bikes with knobbies then running with them, how &%@#ed up is that? Cx is for mutants, just try and explain what all (Pro B's, juniors, masters and A's....) of us do on sunday afternoons to a "normal" person and look at the bewilderment in their eyes. All for one and one for all.....

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jsage said...

Well to answer the question about the pimped out bikes in the B's. You also have to look at the fact that most of us, (I'm one of them) are really starting to love CX and devote more energy to it.
Last year, I rode the C's with a 32 lbs bike. Now that I'm in the B's you bet I'm going to get a newer, lighter, pimped out bike. Screw lugging around a 32lb bike for 45 mins.

I got hooked on CX and made the commitment to actually have a decent bike to give me a little bit better of a chance or at least look cool while I get my butt kicked. Besides it's an awesome commute bike.

I have to agree as well, I try telling friends and co-workers what I do on the weekend (especially when I miss a football game, and thus out of the conversation) they just give me a puzzled look and then ask how I got the big ass bruise on my shin....

J Sven Van Der Sage

8:41 AM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Dave, as far as rants go, that's pretty lame. You didn't evem piss anyone off. Try harder next time.

BTW don't underestimate the psychological value of looking like a pro, these guys used to psyche me out even before the races started...

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now you have Sea Otter CC Expert winner racing and suprise winning in 35+ Bs.
The systems broke and the the new categories (1-4) are only going to lead to more ambiguity and more sandbaging. I give a lot of credit to those riders that are truly realistic about what category they sign up for.

All you you b and c winners should enjoy your prizes but think about jumping up next year.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I liked the one about the Pro-B's "exacting their due" on the A's next year....I think that's kinda what Dave was talking about....if your seeking to exact revenge your probably taking 'cross too seriously! Oh by the way remind us when you get done with your first A's race how much A** you kicked..I guarantee it's a whole different world in the A's when all the hard core's are here. Pro-B's...keep racing, training, spending and talking smack..then when you're ready you can spend a few years groveling in the A's for a top 20 and feel like a champ for even getting that! Simply put..don't be a poser just race your bike and, if you're fast enough you'll get to kick some A butt! til then....

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

No one that I know in the B's thinks that they'll be exacting anything when they move up to A's, and I pretty much hang out with all the consistent top ten finishers. They're really a good group of guys and know there place in the grand scheme of things...we all know the big jump that occurs between B's and A's, we can do the math - i.e. lap times.

Dude, I think you stepped in a big pile of flame bait...

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt, you're a knucklehead. Most of us "Pro B's" haven't been "talking smack" in this thread or anywhere. I know all the top 10 B's from this past season well, and yes, we take racing seriously, but we're having fun and none of us are waving our egos around in any way. And we're looking forward to the A's next year.

Seems to be the insecure, pack fodder A's that are talking all the smack.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous badassteleskierguy said...

Step-up,,I imagined top-20 in A/elite was more honorable than top-5 in mens B. Wanna be fast? Step-up and push yourself on the level. Do not be shy.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, that last post didn't make any sense. Badassteleskierguy, did you even read the rest of the thread?

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of you are still racing? It is Jan 9 and we have three more weeks of racing. If you are still racing cross, then it is more than just something you do in the "off season". I always hear about how short the seasonis and how we don't have real CX conditions. Well we do now. If you have forsaken dark art of cross in lieu of the early bird world championships than you are not a crosser, you are are a dabbler.

5:48 PM  

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