This past weekend I made my first but defianitly not last cyclocross appearance. I felt a little out of place one because I am a roadie, two because I am incredibly out of shape, and three because I was at a collegiate cross race...sorta. See cross does something pretty cool as collegiate cross is mixed in with senior races open to the rest of us card carrying USAC members. I was never fortuent enough to race in college and had an absolute blast racing with the B's against athletes from Army, RPI, Rutgers, and other schools.
The amazing thing about the Northeast is that we have racing at every level and for every age. I enjoyed watching the stars and strpes jersey fly by me at Spa:CX last week on the shoulders if Emma White, the junior national champion, then heading off to ME, NH, and VT where there is an incredibaly active cycling scene between many of the independent schools who have formed a high school cycling conference. This conference is really an untapped resource
for cycling as it gets little to no press or attention of any kind and I can only hope that this changes. These juniors can absolutely crush it on a bike.
After returning from VT through some light snow and passing out in my own bed, forgetting what the feel of my own sheets are like, I found myself raking mountain biking trails behind Clarkson University. Mike and Josh from the shop and some dude who I dont know were busy for a solid 3-4 hours with rake in hand getting the trails ready for use in the crisp air. While we were champions of the rake, Alex McAndrews of Clarkson University was busy winning the Collegiate DH national championship for D2 by over 30 secons. Alex simply crushed the run and still beat the D1 winner by over 10 seconds. This man is a true champion and deserves to wear those stars and stripes as he is one of the hardest working athletes I know. Lord knows how many times Alex and the rest of the Clarkson team has ridden those trails, must be nice to have a trail network like that on your own campus.
So you might be asking where the heck this rambling post is going and to be honest I am not really sure where the end will be. Today the St. Lawrence University Cycling Team gained club status and will field its first spring campaign on the road competing within the ECCC in almost 10 years. Tomorrow I will have the chance to ride once again with Zach Stockman, student at SLU and an alumn from one of those New England High Schools with a cycling team (KMS), who has really been the ring leader in getting the team up and running. Hashing out plans for the coming years, jersey designs, and logestics in-between tempo intervals will be the highlight of my afternoon tomorrow.
See in the last week I have seen how we can help grow the sport of cycling by starting off with the kids race at Spa:CX , to junior national champions and high school cycling leagues, onto the collegiate programs and national champions, and then hopefully onto the next step.
So once again you might ask where this post is going? Simple, bring your kid to a bike race.