Monday, October 3, 2011

Cross Rage!

Sorry ahead of time, but this post is going to be a bit opposite of my norm.

I've heard a lot of people say they like racing cross because it is more laid back and there is less Roadie Rage commonly found in road racing. However lately, I have been seeing as this sport grow, that Roadie Rage is starting to creep into cyclocross. I am starting to see more hostility toward "Sandbaggers."

I do take some responsibility for stirring up the pot and calling out sandbaggers. But my intention for this blog is to be satirical in nature and not to be a witch hunt website. I witnessed this weekend people outright disrespecting others in their face about sandbagging. I do not condone such actions. If you are going to heckle people, heckle them while they are racing. Don't pull them aside after the race and spit in their face. What is that going to accomplish?

You will always have people who are passing through categories and appear to be sandbaggers. Unfortunately we will all heckle them on the race course for being in the incorrect category, but those racers don't have a whole lot of choice. They have to play by the rules, get their race experience and points, then upgrade.

Another problem is the strict enforcement of categories. While the OVCX categories have made it so it is less sandbaggy this year, there are still no mixed 3/4 category. 4's who have grown out of their category cannot race up in the 3's unless they get an upgrade. The officials will not do on site upgrades and won't let people race up. Blame the system.

Also I rarely see the local upgrade coordinators at cross races. In fact, I have never seen Ohio's upgrade guy, Doug Green, at a cross race, let alone many road events. I see more of Curtis Tolson (especially with his Roadhouse team kicking my ass on the road), but only occasionally at cross races. How are these upgrade guys able to handout automatic 2-win upgrades if they are not present at these races? Sure they can look at results posted days later (though props to OVCX getting out results very quickly), but on paper, first place is first, second place is second, etc. It doesn't show dominant sandbagging performances definitely evident when you are out there watching the race.

I also heard from lots of people, that they were getting denied upgrades. They were short a point or two and just shut down. Like I said in the previous paragraph, on paper, 1st is 1st, 2nd is 2nd. It does not show that the top three put 2 minutes on the 4th place person, etc. Again, showing the need for some of these upgrade people to make it out to the race and check things out.

Ok there is my rant, a little off character but it needed to be said. But to get back on track, with these new revised "waves", I see less dominating sandbagging. I would say the top 5 of the Cat 4 race is sandbag worthy but most likely those individuals are just passing through. We'll see next week and if they are still racing 4's, they'll definitely get called out by name.


  1. Well buddy, its your created culture hate machine, own it now...its yours. Awesome job you've done. And don't blame it on anyone else but yourself. You encourage, elicit, and straight out tell people to call people out...and you're surprised at the response?
    I told you a year ago, be careful of the culture you were fostering. Now, like I said, own it buddy, its all yours...congratulations.

  2. Scot,
    I'm surprised you still frequent this blog. In fact, I'm even more surprised you are now following me on Twitter.

    Ok lets take your scenario where we never called people out, we never tell people they are doing wrong or speak out against injustice (this obviously goes beyond just cross.) Then what's going to happen? People will think it is ok to sandbag, or steal a little more from the cookie jar, keep doing things which are not necessarily wrong but a little unfair.

    In fact, USA Cycling does not have an automatic upgrade policy for Cat 4s. So Cat 4s can indefinitely stay a Cat 4!

  3. everyone i talk to want to know how to get called out on your blog, hahaha! i still love it. the women's cats now have an "elite 35+) and 4's can race that if they want. kinna cool. the new cats do make it hard to sandbag tho....

  4. Yeah Mitch did a good job this year to make the categories harder to Sandbag. Also made it hard to Anti-Sandbag by making the Men's Elite race 1/2 instead of 1/2/3 like years past.

  5. Fair is one thing, tactful is another. Would it be fair for Georgia Gould to go to her 'local' races to win 1st place prize money cause she is so much faster than the recreational racers there and she needed the money? Yes, it's totally fair. But if she went year after year and was first place every time and she took the prize money when she is completely far above the talent of all the local racers--it would seem pitifully greedy and tactless. Pros have their own pond to swim in. Oh, but wait, if she out rode everybody and called herself a Cat 2, I guess she could get away with it? Still pretty pitiful. Girl, you are no Cat 2. (you know who you are). Time to go to bigger pond to swim, Cat up, and suck up the fact you've ridden yourself out of the local race circuits. Or simply race the men's race if you wanna stay local. Just sayin.

  6. I love calling out Doug Green and pretending you have ever been in the same race as Curtis Tolsen. Also defending these people who are getting “denied” for and upgrade. There is so much good material here, I don’t know were to start. Let just translate this into what I like to call reality; Some people are getting called out to their faces= Some of my friends and relatives are getting heckled and that’s not cool, Some people are getting denied an upgrade= some people never bothered to put one in because the rules in this series have never really been strictly enforced before and although my friends and relative have been planning/training for the cross season all year they could be bothered to check and make sure the cat the want to race is the same cat they have on their license (get your request in early, Doug Green and the over upgrade officials have real jobs and do this as volunteers. Don’t like what they are doing? Then ask to help out!). If you showed up to this weekends race with 4 on you license and have been racing for more than one year and then tired to get into the 3 race; YOU ARE A MORON. It is not Doug Green’s job to hold your hand; you made a mistake! Didn’t you call our Glen, who was in the same position last year? I hate to sound like Scott, mostly because Scott seems like and angry lunatic, but he is right take responsibility. Last of all and my favorite; Roadie Rage….. The idea that that bad attitudes are only on the road and when people do cx they are all about a good time is insane. I have done both for a few years now, and let me tell you, I have been punched , cursed at and seen more bike spikes in a cross race than any road race! So sorry if you not good at road does not mean they are a bunch of jerks, it might just mean you are slow. You have two problems here! One; you don’t hold everyone to the same standards, everyone can be called a sandbagger but when its someone you know personally it is hateful. Two; not holding everyone accountable and blaming the system when your friends do not have their crap in line. Now get back to what you do best; GIVING JUDY A REASON TO LIVE!