One racer's result, 20 minutes in. He was ahead of most.

One racer's result, 20 minutes in. He was ahead of most.

Nearly a hundred tweets, dozens of email threads and racing heart rates showed cyclocrossers were active and racing Friday night. One reader sent in this race report of the furious action, while two other readers sent in photos. Enjoy.

A Friday night race? No, I wasn’t lucky enough to be in Kentucky at the Cyclo-Stampede but it was still an important race for me and countless others.

Every race starts with prep and warm-up well before the race. Midday Friday I logged into to test my login, password and make sure all parts were in working order as the anticipation grew for the 9:01 PDT registration opening for cyclocross nationals. After hearing the last-minute news of registration taking place tonight, I didn’t want to screw up the first stage of the National Championships…getting a good starting position.

The preliminary test went well and I was able to login in and see (on the site) that Masters registration would begin at 12:01am EDT on Sat Oct 10. For us West coasters that is 9:01 PDT on Friday night, a perfect time to be hanging in front of the iMac with beer in hand and ready to get registered. Unfortunately folks out east, especially those racing Providence or Ohio probably would rather sleep.

It’s now 8:52pm PDT, time to put in a last few efforts before the furious start. I’ve plopped down at the desk and pulled up Sportsbaseonline….whoa nellie, WTF? The page is taking two minutes to try and load. After four minutes I get an error. Holy Batcrap Robin! What is going on here? I quickly hit reload and the page spins into reload mode, another two minutes gone by and its awfully close to the witching hour of 9:01 PDT. The gun is about to fire, and I still have my warm-ups on and the zipper is stuck.

I then shut it down completely and bring up a new page…I hit login and this time I nearly crap my drawers as the page shows the classic Safari error of a site crashing. What about my chances for glory? Are folks already past the first turn?

Another racer's result. image: courtesy

Another racer's result. image: courtesy

I wonder if anyone else has registered? I check my email and my buddy Dave has emailed me saying he can’t get in to the site as well. Another email comes in saying the same thing. My God, this can’t be happening. Didn’t Sportsbaseonline or the USAC think this might be possible as the cyclocross savages unleashed their fury on the site? Last year Norba licenses were rejected, and now this year everyone is rejected? Were they so out of touch that they didn’t realize it would be like the sprint to the first corner? Or did they not care to provide quality customer service and just wait to jack us up for $50 per person to suffer for 45 minutes. Sure, they handle road and mountain and track, and the associated USOC funds probably make those sports more interesting. But I’d argue that anyone familiar with all disciplines would agree that in cyclocross starting position matters more than in those better-funded racing forms and that’s why we’re all up banging on our PCs.

So here it is at 9:38 pm PDT and I still can’t get into the competition, when normally after almost 40 minutes I should be finishing my last lap. Another round of unsuccessful trying and the frustration level is calling for shots of Jaeger, not more beer, and I’m close to cursing out everyone in the house and banishing my dog to the garage (PETA, I’m just kidding). But it is beyond me how they could be so ill prepared. Furthermore, the message that I got the one time the site did actually come up stated that “registration was not open yet”.

I guess I have it better than the East Coast crew though…if they’ve been going thru this cluster (and I’m sure many have) are up til near 1a.m. and are racing on Saturday, it’s gonna be a long day.

So my friends, fire off the emails, make the phone calls and let both the USA Cycling crew and the folks at Sportsbaseonline know what you think, positive or negative. For the money we spend and the time we put into getting to these events the service should be a whole lot better. As I finish writing this at 10:45pm PDT the site is still dead in the water and I’m getting closer to losing my shit. I guess I’ll take it all out on the bike when I hit the course tomorrow.

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