In just a short time, thanks to many of you, we’ve grown our Cowbell online community site to over 1,000 members. Every day, ‘crossers are meeting, messaging, sharing photos and videos, buying and selling, and helping each other out (here’s a small sample of recent activity).
While we often do interviews and profiles on the top pros and national champions, we figured our recent 1,000th member milestone is a great time to showcase a “normal” member of our ‘cross community (luck can be just as good a reason as winning for some fame). Meet David Smith of Bremen, Georgia, lucky member #1,000 of Cyclocross Magazine’s Online Community (cowbell.cx.magazine.com).
David is a husband, father of two, a public defender for the circuit court and the coach of his daughter’s softball team. But like many of us, he’s an addicted ‘cross racer with a passion and evangelism for the sport, owns more than a few bikes, and has his share of funny and memorable cyclocross stories.
How did David Smith get into ‘cross? He’s been racing ‘cross off and on for a handful of years. After starting mountain bike racing 10 years ago, he eventually tried some ‘cross races just for fun and loved it. But as we so often hear, life caught up with him and led to a sabbatical from racing. First, it was due to some non-cycling injuries that kept him off the bike for two years. Then, a new baby kept him busy and extended his days without cycling. But the time away from the bike was costly…with a price of 50 extra pounds.
“I finally decided that I had to start back riding about two years ago,” David recalls. “So I tried ‘cross again and remembered how great it is. This past year I finally got a little serious about my training. I lost 35 pounds and raced Cat IV. Now, I’m just riding to be ready for cross season.”
And now he’s hooked. “If I’m fat and out of shape? Nobody cares about all that when I show up to race ‘cross…all that matters is that I’m out there riding hard and suffering like everyone else,” he explains. “That’s the main reason I love it. Cross doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love the shorter time, the technical aspect, the dirt, the running, the people. It’s more like a party with a race thrown in. It’s competitive, but relaxing at the same time. I can get a little exercise, get my competitive fix, and still just have some plain old fun.”
The atmosphere at the races keeps him coming back, and David believes one group in particular deserves a shout out: the Sunshine Loose Nuts team out of Athens, GA. “They are always partying, having fun, crazy costumes, cheering like crazy no matter if you are in first or last,” he says. “At the Georgia State Championship this year one of them was on a single speed with an aero front wheel made out of cardboard and still kicked butt! It is always great to see what they will do next.”
But it’s not only about partying for David. The addiction has now fueled his motivation for results as well. He hopes to build on some decent results as a IV from the 2008 season, including a 6th place in the Georgia series. The Rome Velo rider also border-hopped to take a 2nd place in the Alabama state championships and a 5th in the Georgia stage championships. And when the weather got colder? David was still ready to go and realized one the keys to success: showing up when others chicken out. His dedication awarded him a victory in a unique cyclocross omnium (2 races plus a time trial). David revealed, “It was a small field, but I still had to suffer through the cold and the mud and an encounter with a tree that was much bigger than me.”
In addition to improving his racing, David also hopes to keep it all together this season, and that includes his skinsuit. He recalls a recent racing highlight:
“I was trying to use the bathroom right before the start of a race. I was in a hurry and the zipper just ripped right out. I was in the bathroom trying to put the zipper back together and couldn’t get anywhere, and I didn’t have time to change, so I threw on my vest over my skin suit and hoped that it would stay together. It managed to stay together and I finished 4th, but when I took my vest off at the end of the race everyone got a good laugh. I tried to tell them I was fat and out of shape and I finally had proof.”
He’s even started the inevitable evangelism, talking several of his roadie teammates from Rome Velo into ‘crossing over. But we’re not surprised. He’s just one of over a thousand ‘cross fanatics on cowbell.cxmagazine.com helping to grow the sport.
David Smith Profile:
Hometown: Bremen, GA
Category: Cat IV / C
Team: Rome Velo presented by the Harbin Clinic
- K2 hardtail MTB (my first cross bike),
- Cannondale scalpel, (looking to sell it)
- Litespeed road back from six years ago
- No-name titanium ‘cross frame (great comfort, but a little flexy and heavy)
- Just added: BLUE CX6.5, 17.2 pounds with SRAM and a single chainring set up
How did he find Cyclocross Magazine?
David managed to snag a print copy of Cyclocross Magazine at one of his local ‘cross races that we helped sponsor. After devouring the print mag, David said he quickly “hit the website while looking for all things ‘cross.”
What led him to join the Cowbell community?
David joined to learn from others and fuel the addiction. “I joined to have some ‘cross people to talk with and get more information – I am always looking for more info about ‘cross!”