The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo

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

by Molly Hurford

For the past month and a half, I have lived and breathed cyclocross, ever since I took over as online editor for Cyclocross Magazine. And let me tell you, it is an extremely glamorous lifestyle.

Working in your pajamas is glamorous, right?

OK, so it may not be The Devil Wears Prada, but I think we make up for the lack of glitz and glamor with grit and dedication. I have to say: the writers and editors at Cyclocross Magazine are tireless. Seriously. They should be studied for medical science, judging by how many emails I’ve woken up to – and answered – at three in the morning. The people who bring the magazine and website to you exemplify the cycling motto, “do it for the love,” because let’s be honest, none of us are getting rich doing this.

Rich has a great Here Come The Belgians mascot tattoo as his tribute to cyclocross.

Rich has a great Here Come The Belgians mascot tattoo as his tribute to cyclocross.

What gets me up in the middle of the night – sitting upright in bed thinking “I need to ask Jeremy Powers for his thoughts on podium shoes” or “How do the laws of physics factor into bunny-hopping barriers?” – is the fact that I love my job. Plus, if I’m up in the middle of the night, I can email those other editors before they get to me first. If I can’t be racing cyclocross just yet, I can at least be racing cyclocross articles.

If you had asked me to define my perfect job, it would be one that I could do from home that would allow me to talk to good friends and make friends with my idols, and one that would allow me to ride my bike mid-afternoon, and then come home to write about it. I also check and respond to work emails mid-ride and carry a digital recorder in case I get an article idea, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

This skull chainring tattoo on Karl C makes his devotion to cyclocross quite clear.

This skull chainring tattoo on Karl C makes his devotion to cyclocross quite clear.

I’ve been writing a lot about my own training and racing life, but when I started this column, I also wanted to give readers an inside look at life as a new editor for Cyclocross Magazine. And I’ve got to say, it’s been a wild ride so far. I wanted to take this week to thank you all for the amazing responses that I’ve gotten from many of you since I started writing and running the online content. Not only have people been incredible about commenting on and retweeting articles like the great interview we did with Tim Johnson, the awesome feature on heat training or the female-centric columns on Women’s Wednesdays, you’ve also been amazing with your responses to this column.

I’ve gotten some great pictures, ranging from some incredible cyclocross-inspired tattoos to some serious race faces (I’ve posted a few in this column). I’ve gotten emails from old and young racers alike, sharing their personal race experiences. I’ve gotten advice, recommendations and some great feedback. In short, you’ve all been a fantastic audience, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that you take the time out of your day to read this column.

Max Leonov calls his race face his I-want-to-die face.

Max Leonov calls his race face his I-want-to-die face.

When I first started this job, it seemed surreal, because everything came at me incredibly fast. Within a week of starting, I was responsible for the online content and coming up with the ideas for a lot of it. Two weeks into my time here, I got a phone call. I picked it up and heard, “Hi. This is Tim Johnson. May I please speak to Molly?” (I had emailed him to try to set up an interview.) I admit, I was a little bit star-struck. Tim is one of the racers that I’ve admired for a long time, so to be getting paid to interview him is pretty great.

We have a lot of excellent material coming in and lined up for the next couple of months, including a lot more interviews with some of our favorite cyclocrossers and some lesser-known up-and-comers. Additionally, we have a whole host of mechanics chomping at the bit to write some new Mechanical Monday columns. And because of the amazing feedback we’ve gotten, we’ll be writing and posting more articles based on the science surrounding our sport and training. I’m also planning on venturing into more video content, so keep an eye out for that. It’s going to be an exciting time for us!

Joe Bellante shows his great race face.

Joe Bellante shows his great race face.

The only downside of this job? The fact that ’cross is on my brain about 95% of any given day means that I spent that 95% pining away for the start of the season. I think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, because anytime I’m torn away from the computer or bike long enough to grab a drink with friends, we inevitably deteriorate into, “is it September yet?”

But before the season starts, I’ll ask all of you: what do you want to see on our website leading up to the season? And during the season, what do you want from us?

Next week, I’ll be sharing some exciting training news of my own, so stay tuned!

If you want to read more about my training, racing and editing exploits, you can find the painfully full version of events here: Molly’s CX Adventures.