In the spirit of holiday giving, we wanted to offer our readers a sneak peek at what’s between the pages of our latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 19. This piece focuses on one of the characters that makes cyclocross unique: the man in the gilly suit, hanging out cash at races. Haven’t seen him? See if you can spot him in the picture above!
by Robbie Carver
If you’ve raced ’cross in Utah in the past few years, you’ve no doubt noticed a strange creature lumbering around the course. That mossy green, shredded burlap get-up looks like Cousin It on a bad hair day, you think. Maybe you think he looks like Chewbacca after a long night at the strip club, or perhaps a rejected Marvel super villain who fell into a vat of radioactive pasta. Then, you think, who cares what he looks like? The swamp thing is giving out cash—ones, fives, every now and then a fifty or a hundred, hundreds of dollars each week, a camouflaged arm materializing out of the bushes with a crisp bill just waiting to be plucked by a passing racer.
The costume is, in fact, a ghillie suit—less Marvel and more G.I. Joe—the bushy camouflage used by snipers in the military to look like just another part of the undergrowth, enemies utterly clueless mere feet away. And the man beneath? Cris Fox, a.k.a Slyfox Moonwillow, a.k.a Gilly the cash-happy super-fan. Since 2008, Gilly has been a staple of the local Utah ’cross scene, earning the moniker of Number One ’Cross Fan, as he shows up, rain or shine, blasting techno music and handing out thick wads of cash. “Sly picked up 600 at 21 tables,” Gilly might post. “Cash zone money, what comes around goes around.”
Gilly has begun to pop up at more than just the local ’cross series, too. Like a media-happy Bigfoot, photos of him have begun to creep up in magazines and the Internet—there’s Gilly offering a few bucks to a bemused Jens Voigt on the Snowbird stage in the Tour of Utah. There’s Gilly on the flyover of Cross Vegas. There’s Gilly with his dog, Roxy, hanging out with Tim Johnson. Most often, however, there’s Gilly in the bushes, blending into the backside of the course like a shy Ewok, out where the crowds are non-existent, his 7-11 racing cap flipped up, holding out a bill for the lonely racer to snag.
Slyfox Moonwillow—Where did your nickname come from?
My last name is Fox, so when I was younger I was called Sly Fox. But the Moonwillow part—I found a quiz on Facebook, “what is your Indian name?” So I filled it out, and it was Moonwillow. I just went with it.
Like what you read so far? To see the rest of the article in Issue 19 of our print mag, make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine (subscribe digitally to receive Issue 19, or order it in the archive section of our subscription page). And make sure you’re subscribed in time for Issue 20, which will feature a Gravel Racing section, as well as Nationals and Worlds.
Check our Issue 19 page for the full Table of Contents to see what else is in store, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks!