Is cyclocross getting too hip for its own good? More importantly, has the sport we all love finally jumped the shark and begun its downward spiral, even though Bike Snob NYC swore it would never happen (Cyclocross Magazine Issue #2, “Cross to Bear: Cyclocross Will Never Jump the Shark”)
As if straight-up cyclocross – a cold weather, spandex-infested jaunt in the park replete with all-things Belgian and dismounts/remounts done on the fly – weren’t outlandish enough, we had to go and add singlespeeds, unicyclists, weight-based and fixed gear categories. Now it’s Doggie-’Cross. Are you seeing the writing on the wall that spells “Excess”?
Well, in case you’re not, the proof is in the hipsters in this recent, fresh-from-the-digital-film-lab short, “Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross”:
The crowds at the SSCXWC a couple of weekends back were a good indicant that ‘cross has a certain hipster appeal. Singlespeed bikes kinda look like a fixie, tight clothing doesn’t look out of place (although, good luck blending in with that muffin top) and, as “Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross” points out, there are lots of guys with tattoos who do well. Pretty cool, huh?
The one thing hipster fans have right, at least by Euro standards, is their smoking addiction. No European race would be complete without heavily-smoking onlookers lining the course and blowing smoke into the racers’ faces. And, should the hipster go from striking-a-pose-spectator to participant, “A bike without brakes will be as awesome in the mud as it is in the city.”
For my part, I’ve got my water skis on and I’m ready to jump. (Heck, I’ll probably stick with this silly sport through the equivalent of the Joanie Loves Chachi spinoff series). My dog Sasha will be ready to rumble at Doggie ‘Cross this Sunday – in the Clydesdale class, no less – right before I get all suited-up for Kruger’s Crossing. Bring on the hipsters and tight jeans, but no cigarette smoke next to the course, please.