Cyclocross Magazine is sad to say this is the final installment of this column. Molly Hurford has been the face and much of the voice of Cyclocross Magazine for so long, but as with any awesome cyclocross race, the bell lap has arrived and it’s time for that final round. We’re all so grateful for all that she’s done and wish her the best of luck in her new adventure, and hope anyone reading this will take a second to drop her a note of thanks in the comments below

(As for CXM, we’ve thankfully had the chance to prepare well in advance of this day, and as you can see from his posts over the last few months, we’re in the good hands of the multi-faceted and talented Andrew Reimann.)

The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo

The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo, created by Tim Shay.

by Molly Hurford

Three years ago, I emailed Cyclocross Magazine in response to its ad for a web editor. In addition to listing all of my various credentials and related employment, I ended the letter by saying, “I love cyclocross so much that my teammates and I all have matching cowbell tattoos.”

I got the job, and I still think that passion for ’cross is what sealed the deal.

Three years, countless published or written articles, interviews, late nights and photo edits later, I still love ’cross as much as I did when I wrote that letter. In fact, I think I love it more now.

In the past three years, I learned that cyclocross fans and racers are wonderful, caring, and extremely weird people. I love this about them. I learned that through cyclocross, I could go anywhere in the US and immediately be among friends.

I moved to New England to live in the ’cross motherland in the US. If I rode down the block, I would run into pro racers that I remembered cheering for at Nationals the year I discovered cyclocross, before I knew who they even were.

It’s impossible for me to tally up the way that cyclocross has changed my life. From adventuring to races with Gabby Day (and being there the day she met her now-husband Jeremy Durrin) to riding on Washington with Tim Johnson to road tripping (and singing badly) with Justin Lindine to seeing ’cross Worlds come to the US for the first time, I’ve been the luckiest girl in the world. I ran across muddy fields in bare feet, jumped fences for stories, and stammered through interviews with Marianne Vos and Sven Nys. I got Katie Compton to share her cookie recipe with me.

Through ’cross and Cyclocross Magazine, I was able to travel to China, and watch a historic race unfold. I got to chat with racers from all over the world, and meet one who has changed my life.

It’s been a wild ride these past three years, and it’s just getting started.

I love this magazine, I love my co-workers, and I love all of you, our community. I’m going to be leaving Cyclocross Magazine to begin writing as a contributor over at Bicycling Magazine, but because we’re a family, a community, I wanted to take this chance that so few people get: the opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for everything, for all of the support, emails, jokes, photos, and occasional shared tears.

This magazine has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years, and I’m happy that I’ll be leaving it in incredibly capable hands and will forever be part of the Cyclocross Magazine family.

This isn’t a goodbye letter, not by a long shot. I’ll still be at races, trying my hardest in the women’s race and clanging cowbells during the men’s. My dad will still be around to hold jackets at the start of the women’s race, and I’ll still be chatting post-race.

But it is sad to say goodbye to this position that defined me for the past few years, and I’ll miss it dearly.

I’ll see you all at the races this fall, and don’t forget to say hello!

A few of our Molly Hurford memories in photos:

Follow me on Twitter, or if you want to read more about my training, racing, and editing exploits, check out mollyhurford.com.