Tom Waggener brings grassroots cross to Shelbyville © Pen Waggener

Tom Waggener brings grassroots cross to Shelbyville © Pen Waggener

by Josh Liberles

This Sunday, April 18th marks the second race in the CX TT series put on by the Main Street Bikes shop in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Nearby Louisville may be getting all of the cyclocross attention for its plans for a permanent cyclocross park and as host city for the World Championships in 2012 and 2013, but Thomas Waggener sees a grassroots, springtime cyclocross series as the perfect way to introduce the sport to a new audience.

The inaugural race consisted of two laps of a mostly dirt 1.6 mile loop, including some singletrack, in Red Orchard, a new local park. In addition to bringing new ‘crossers into the fold, Waggener hopes the series will help to discover and break in the various course options in the new venue. How’s this for wide-open, welcoming entry rules? “Everyone gets a cookie. Riders must wear helmets. bicycles must have two wheels. Tread is recommended but not required.

Main Street Bikes’ Waggener himself is just coming off of his first year of ‘cross competition, but it sounds like he’s in it for the long haul.  “As a shop owner, I like the idea of cyclocross as a sport for beginners. The roads around here seem daunting to someone who has not been riding, so the offroad aspect seems safer to many,” Waggener told Cyclocross Magazine. “The sport and its participants are less exclusive and more approachable, which also lends well to getting Joe-never-raced into his first event. As a citizen of this community, I realize that our town is far more suitable for ‘cross, with parks within a few miles of every citizen and no real mountain bike trails to speak of.”

Waggener expects exponential growth in the series. Ok, well they started with five for race one, and expect 25 tomorrow. If you’re in the area, stop by for a quick race (and a cookie). See Main Street Bikes’ website for more info.