I have a lot of goals in life. Live to 100, encounter a bear and survive, set foot on every continent except Antarctica (I’ve seen snow before, it’s not that special). You can’t really achieve long-term goals until you achieve them, so I like to set short-term ones I can easily accomplish. I’ve seen the wisdom in my father’s recipe for happiness, which basically boils down to “lower your expectations.”
In that spirit, I have one goal this fall: become a cyclocross fan.
My plan is simple. Like I did with pro road racing, I’m basically just going to start watching races. I’d like to see some in person too, if the race is within riding distance. Unlike road racing, it doesn’t seem like there’s much team strategy or weird European terms to learn. From my understanding, dudes and gals just ride around in the mud for an hour at full gas and see who finishes first. There are obstacles, beer, and costumes. I see the appeal. I also see how it would be far less interesting than road racing, in the way that Hungry Hippos is less interesting than chess.
But it looks fun enough to keep my interest, especially since baseball season will be wrapping up in a month and I don’t like concussion sport, frozen water sport, or running back and forth sport. Also, Jeremy Powers has revamped the Behind the Barriers Youtube series, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at his team, Aspire Racing.
My first attempt at ‘cross fandom was this Sunday, when I attempted to watch the races in Waterloo. But Trek’s livestream crapped out and left me stranded, and delayed my fandom until the next time I can tune in.
I’ve even thought of coming out of retirement to race, an idea I tossed around last season. ‘Cross doesn’t have the risk of crashing and douchey, way-too-serious culture of amateur road racing. But it still has the requirement that you do interval training (if you want to be fast, I guess) and spend money and wake up early and drive to races. So I don’t know if I’ll be racing. I won’t rule it out though.