Doing it all the hard way...

Friday, October 8, 2010

SSCXWC 2010 Progress Report

With Cyclocross season in full swing, the chance to bring in some variety to the suffering is always welcome. With Hottie covering the past two editions of the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) for Cyclocross Magazine and my annual race reports for CX Magazine, it has become a highlight on the annual racing calendar for both of us.

This year the race has moved to Seattle and I have been racing part time in the single speed category. At first glance one would think these two factors would help me. Alas, once again the SSCXWC has instituted a qualifying race, so my participation is clearly at risk. I have been finishing in the top 80% at my races. A similar placement in the qualifier would not advance me. I can only hope that bribery and treachery, as in years past, will be rewarded generously.

The single speed mindset is an amazing thing. On days when I have raced both my age division and the single speed events, my perspective shifts almost as soon as I cross the finish line of my age group race. The simplicity of Cyclocross is exacerbated by the single gear. I recall one SS brother who said he preferred to think of his bike as having infinite speeds, all achieved using one gear. Suddenly the complexity of gears and cables seems cumbersome and unnecessary. The choice of what gear to start off the race in disappears. Time spent selecting the right gear is instead spent pedaling. There is no need to ease off while your chain climbs or descends your cogs, you just keep cranking.

I still love my geared bike, but that isn’t the focus of this post.

I am considering my possible costume options. Knowing I will be photographed is a factor in that decision. Knowing that Hottie always slips a shot of me into her CX magazine submissions is also worth noting. The legs are getting in shape, I’ve dropped a few pounds. Although I don’t have any tattoos, piercings, or ratty facial hair, I can pretend to have the single speed mindset. I will be quick to condemn those who show up with white shoes or white kit, shaved legs or carbon frames.

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