Friday, November 03, 2006


The Babblemeister smiles from his throne: All is well in crossdom.

His latest babble post hit an all time record for number of comments -- and without falling into the well of bile and vitriol that scarred earlier musings. The cyclocross masses have spoken and future seasons will be graced by a new kingdom wide Cross Cup. A messy civil war has been averted.

Babblemeister smiles... the Games are always helpful to pacify the seething crowd.

And to top it off, the weather has smiled upon the kingdom: a solid piece of rain falls in San Francisco just in time for Mudvember. There WILL be joy in Mudville this season.

From under the dirt encrusted throne, the Babblemeister draws out a tattered, dog eared yet much loved treatise. Stumbling to the castle wall (beer in hand) he lazily tosses the screed and it flutters down to the hungry masses:
The Mud Index.

Race in contentment, my flock.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally some moisture in the ground, we can now drink beer and be merry!

No more time to complain about bike set ups, or epo taking, or too many races, or too much beer drinking!

Only enough time to go get muddy and simply race instead of trying to manipulate the season with your opinions!

Time to slip and slide and ride and glide and then drink some wine and beer and have fun with no fear cross racing is here!

I am so thankful for so many races! There is time to enjoy a little bad weather or good weather, as long as I have a place to race!

2:36 PM  
Blogger singlespeedguy said...

Mud and Beer from our buds up north.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Jim Macdonald said...

Sigh. Nor-Cal weather is so anticlimactic. The weather reports were and rain that ensued were provided me with some feelings of anticipation and excitement. I was looking forward to racing on wet sand today at Granite Beach. Two days of rain did little to saturate the ground. In the end there were two turns that would have been very slippery had it not rained, but they were only brown in color during the race. No real moisture.

Well, maybe next time it will rain on race day. Sigh.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Tis true the seething horde of racers whiles their days dreaming of mud. But alas the warming globe teases us only with the occasional gray sky and drizzly damp. If it's mud we Nor-Cal'ers seek we have but three options: renounce our Nor-Cal citizenship and move east ... save our hard earned coin and travel to the great wet north ... or convince our dedicated Promotor-Kings-of-Cross to extend the season into the depths of the Nor-Cal winter. February I say!! February For Mud!!

When writing this new chapter in The Book Of Cross (Nor-Cal Cup?) they must do so with an eye toward February, when the cold winds blow from the north and the mud lays deep and viscous on the land. Unleash the hordes as usual in the withering heat of September, when the ground is hard and roady legs are fit and supple... then cast the race dates far and wide - into February!! February For Mud!!

Why must our preeminent series' expire in December? Why? A mere three months of suffering? Who degreed it so? Only recently has January been added to The Book (thanks be to you SCCCCCCCCCCCCC). Why not February too? January and February when the Cross-beast true to his Belgin ancesters thrives in the muck and chill and the roady-cross-wannabe sinks to the bottom of the mire, his legs tired, frozen and stiff, his speed of no value, helpless... gasping ...

For those who cry "too many races" I think the truth be too many consecutive weekends. The Cross Overlords could spread the suffering ... same number of races over a longer time period; off-week opportunities for the elite among you to venture east for Prix dollars and UCI points without missing a local spectacle; while the steaming masses that make up the majority of entry-fee payers has an occasional weekend off to muck out the stable, lay in the firewood or bring out our dead. And give one and all a chance to make merry with the relatives over the holidays without sacrificing your cross race standing. With such a plan we Nor-Cal racers might even be motivated to trek over the range-of-light to the dark foreboding hinterlands near Reno to test our distant cross-kin, there amongst the sage brush. Surely they must also be a part of our beloved Cross Kingdom, yes? (as in ncNca)

Go forth now... Beat the drums for MUD! Toll the bells for MUD!! Cry thee to the heavens for MUD!!! Storm the gates of our overlords and demand FEBRUARY - FOR MUD!
most humbly,
Brewster of the Black Market

12:39 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

that's hot.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the Brewster of Black Market.
Promoters could space out some dates and schedule fewer races in October/November and put some in January and February.
Many of us, who work 40 hour weeks and do not travel, just come into form by the middle of November.
What do we have left after November? 3 or 4 races.
That doesn't make sense.

1:42 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

So...the sad truth is that Nationals is the symbolic end of the season for many riders, even, surprisingly, the ones who don't go to Nationals. Perceptions need to be changed somehow.

...or maybe too many of us fall off the fitness wagon over the Christmas Holidays...

US Nationals won't be moving past December anytime soon - in most CX hotbeds the weather is far too extreme come January.

The solution is obvious - just have Natz at the end of January in Nor-Cal EVERY year. Well, it's obvious to US, at least...

2:02 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

It fails me why folks would rather freeze their asses off in Jan racing early birds, than race cross instead.

The wettest race I ever did was one of those January West Pole races in Occidental way back. Now that was wet.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Jim Macdonald said...

I’m still thinking about mud. Wasn’t there a Nationals in Santa Cruz back in the 80’s at some school? Elementary school? I can’t remember the location too vividly, I was more interested in driving my little Radio Shack remote control car.

There are some flashes that come back to me though. I do remember it was not raining. There was some huge fallen tree that was called a log. And there was this blue tarp laid on the ground atop a short hill with a hose running water on it. That tarp was used to create a man made mud pit. I believe. Is memory correct? Can someone justify this? Or am I delusional and having my first “freebie”?

Santa Cruz, School, Log, Tarp that’s all I remember. Oh the play ground was a kick ass surface for my remote control car.

If this really did happen, we need a mud pit at the Stick next year. That should be a safe location to harm the ground. Shoot, some vegetation might even sprout up there.

Another reason cross races are cool for kids. If they get bored, they can entertain themselves, and remember it later on in life. They don’t need a Gameboy, PSP, or whatever is the cool personal game player these days. A stick and some dirt should do them just fine.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Tom Simpson said...

Our last foray into post-Nationals racing was January, 2004 in Coyote point - the race course next to the Yacht Harbor. Mud puppies were in heaven but not enough of them to turn the key in the promoters door, even though it was final event of the series. Attendance was less than half the regular season and the 2 Mrs. Simpson's (Pilarcitos major stockholders)aren't keen on that much work and time just to lose money.

We'll let the next brave pioneers like Dave Gill establish more racing in January. Mud gives us the heebie-jeebies, though - it's very hard on venues and land managers could care less if the mud springs back to wonderful weeds and grass in 30 days. They only care how it looks the day after your event.

Now, Sand - that's another story - a different condition that we can really sink our teeth into. Think "Coyote Point Beach...."

Tom & Alec Simpson
Pilarcitos Cyclesports

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Sierra Point.
It's like a groomed Candlestick w/some sand.
Can't hurt the weeds, gravel and sand out there in January

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again it all comes down to dollars and sense (and a little help from 1989's Field of Dreams): "If you promote it, they will come", unless you're promoting a post-holiday, post-nationals event. No organizer is going to bother spending hundreds on a late season event just to get the same hundreds back (or less), because race (not just bicycle) organizers are 80% there for the money, 20% for the pleasure.

For those riders desiring January/February events, don't hassle the organizers, but instead organize your own. You don't even have to make it legal! Just pick a remote location and date, print out some flyers, hand them out at the year-end races, don't charge any fees, and hold your race! I've seen this done (and participated) and it's pretty cool - no prizes, no timing, no categories, just a good ol' cross race. The organizers even raced, and pulled out with one lap to go to see who won. If the cops show up, tell them it's a group ride and they shouldn't have a problem it since you are not charging a fee to race.

As far as the mud seekers, what's the big hype? I've done my share of mud & snow cross races and all I ended up with were some worn out brake pads, a dirty car, and the flu. Isn't cross racing about hammering for an hour on different race surfaces, not just towing your brown machine through one big bowl of soup.

If you Nor-Cal cross racers are really looking to get dirty, don't blame the organizers for setting up the season when it's the tail end of summer, but head elsewhere where other Americans don't see the sun until May.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is obvious some promoters are in it for the money like Tom Simpson declared about himself and his son. Other promoters put on Cross races just because they love it, and the accept what ever turn out they get.

There are promoters who claim dates thinking only of their own series of races. And other promoters who try and fill in the gaps between.

That is how the season works out!

But it could rain early in the year or late in the year? hard to say when it will rain. I can remember september and october wet a few years ago.

Each year is different as far as rain goes!

But Cross season is long and full of races, so dont gripe about rain or lack there of, because when it does rain, you will probably be the one staying home in bed and keeping your bike clean!

Personally I would like to see a wet race at a venue like Candlestick, that would keep that radioactive dust down.

I can remember the last few years there have been super wet races at Ft Ord, and that place seems to hold water well and not get too knee deep in sections.

I also remember a race at the Watsonville fairgrounds where it literally flooded and a guy the height of Anton Mcready was below the water level at one point and they actually needed a life guard. I think they even had to stop the race and switch the course route a bit.

One east bay race also flooded during the race as it poured rain extremely hard during the A race, and one of Liebold's little creek cross sections turned into a section where you had to throw your bike across the river and then swim across the drainage ditch which during the race turned into a free flowing river about 5 feet deep.

I can remember the race in Occidental Dave Carr talked about. That was a crazy day of non stop downpour! And a brutal course that was short and tuff!

I live in Oregon now and we could surely send you some off our rain, but it is not working out that way this year!


8:26 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Dude, you are smoking crack if you think anyone is going to retire on a mountain of cash from putting on cross races. And nobody puts on races "just because they love it" it if they're going to lose money. Do you think promoters do it just to give YOU a place to race every weekend?

Tom and Alec obviously love putting on cross races and Nor-Cal loves them for it. If they didn't love it, they could surely find a much more lucrative way to spend their weekends.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure they love it as long as they are in control and making money.

I want to see them go to some other races and race themselves.

Then they would actually love it!

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin has some good points Funke master, He never said anyone is going to retire, he just stated some facts. I do know people who have lost money, but keep putting on races because they love it, and because they like racing themselves and they give me a chance to race.

Simpson said he doesnt want to put on races with small turn outs. thats fair, but the promoters who just do it because they want races no matter how big the turn outs really diserve props.

I want to see alex race tom and see who the fastest simpson is>??
Id pay to watch those guys race cross!


8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think bart simpson is probably the best cross rider.

7:50 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

I know people who have lost money putting on races too - Tom and Alec. And they still keep putting them on...

Sorry, it just really irks me when people paint race promoters as money-grubbers. There is so much work involved in putting on a decent event, and what a silly notion of actually getting paid a little to do your work. I don't agree with everything they (and other promoters for that matter) do, but at the end of the race-day, they're the first ones I thank for a great day of racing.

You can't expect your races to be charity events. You guys make it sound like these guys who "do it for the love of the sport" actually expect to lose money. Everyone wants to close the books in the black...everyone.

But...I would like to see the Tom v. Alec race - bring it on!

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a better attitude Funkester!

Lets face it, we need to race to keep the promoters going!

We need races!

They should make money that is for sure!

11:58 PM  

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