The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo

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

by Molly Hurford

One of my first columns I ever wrote for Cyclocross Magazine was about fear. About being a nervous mountain biker, tentative on the descents. I talked about how I wanted to ride fearlessly, take risks, or at least, develop some level of confidence. Of course, as I wrote that, I had no idea that I was also talking about my life as a whole: what I was doing, where I was living, how I was keeping everything together.

The past year has been all about transitions for me: I went from New Jersey to New England in search of the perfect cyclocross mecca, and found it. I spent hours upon hours posting race coverage, often at two in the morning post-race, then worked a “normal” full time job during the week. I wrote a book about the sport that I love more than anything, while working in textbook sales. I raced great, I raced terribly, and I raced constantly. And still, I was scared to make a leap, to make a real commitment.

As of three days ago, I got over that fear. For the past year and a half, I’ve been leading a double life: full time work for a textbook company by day, Cyclocross Magazine editor by night. It meant long hours, sleepless nights, and constant worry about how I was going to get everything done. And I admit, that was based on fear. I was scared to make the full leap to working strictly in the cycling journalism field. With student loans piled up behind me and an admitted love of being able to pay rent on time, a job in the cycling industry is a hard commitment.

But the longer it went on, the more I found myself wondering what I could do if I made that step and just decided to go for it and give it everything.

We’ll see, since now I’m the Managing Editor here at Cyclocross Magazine: a big leap that meant leaving behind the safety net that I had developed. Instead, I’m throwing caution to the wind and going headfirst into this venture. And it’s largely due to you guys — the people sitting reading this right now. The ones who messaged me to say thanks for writing about one of their favorite racers, or made me a song and video about my bike getting run over, or came over and shook my hand at a race. I realized that I want to make our website and print magazine bigger, brighter, better and more, because you have all given me so much to work with and work for.

And that’s why I need your help. Let me know what you want to see on the site, in print and on our social media. We’ll be at Worlds, we’ll be at Nationals, and we’ll be in Bend this weekend. Say hi and let me know how we can make our coverage and content better for you. And if you like what you see, make sure you’re subscribed to the print or digital edition so we can keep this magazine growing.

In the meantime, I have a suitcase to pack and a flight to catch. Time to switch coasts yet again! If you look at the calendar, it seems like the season is winding down. But when Issue 19 is heading to the printer’s this week and Issue 20 is already in the process of being written, and Nats and Worlds are looming, it seems like it’s barely even begun.

I’ll leave you with an excellent example of why I freaking love this sport so much. A couple of weeks ago, my bike got in an unfortunate accident with a car (I wasn’t on it at the time) and it was a bit on the depressing side. But that quickly turned around when a cyclocross friend in Ohio wrote and recorded this:

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