Mud avoiders, tape rubbers, and more

Picking up on Chris Mahan’s observation that Cross has this, “old school mountain bike vibe,” it’s also more freewheeling, with rules on-the-fly, and lots of opinions on them rules.

I particularly enjoy this because I was into the scene years ago, out, and back in for Bike Hugger’s coverage. It’s cool to see it grow so much with huge crowds, families, BBQs, big personalities, and enthusiastic fans.

Dan Norton – legendary Cross racer, champion, race promoter – and I met midrace at Spokane Roubaix many seasons ago. I’d been dropped hard in another category and later joined by a rotating line of Masters. I asked to roll into their line and pulled until the next big hill. Dan nodded his appreciation for the work and rode off with his competitors. I finished my race by myself, but proud that I’d helped someone. We’ve been friends ever since and saw each other at the Seattle Cyclocross Series Monroe race. Check this quote from Dan

I would not hesitate to relegate him, Redline or not, if I thought it was intentional. And now, please give him some grief ! Yell some nasty things at him ( in good spirit), make a sign with an arrow “Matt this way, all others that way” ” Bike Hugger turn here, all others turn there” You can even make a sign that says ” Dan, this way” just have it pointing to the mountains and a figure 11 over Jim Browns snowboard bound figure lying flat in the snow. Knuckledrager, I’m coming ta git ya’

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It’s funny to me how cycling subcultures have their own set of mores and what’s culturally acceptable – like what happens in BMX? In Cross racing, at least in Seattle, being a mud avoider, tape rubber, tape stretcher, and worse of all a sandbagger will get you called out; at least in the forums.

In the road scene, sandbaggery is equally egregious along with not holding your line, chasing down your teammate (there was a local team and that’s all they ever did, they’re not a team no more), being sketchy, and chopping a wheel. Getting “boxed in” carries the same weight as, “bogged down in the mud.”

Part of the forum discussion with Dan’s quote involves my admission during the Single Speed race to an erroneous mud avoidance and well it goes on from there

If you’re not into the road scene with its arrogance, leg-shaving seriousness, and Type-A personalities, check Cross. The Seattle Cyclocross forums will give you a good indication of the fun they have and that “old-school MTB vibe,” which was about community doing something unique (also getting stoned, but that’s another topic for another day).

I’m thinking we need to create another series of Cross Tips on not pissing off your fellow racers and Knuckledragers.



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