Adam Craig, calm in the lead, at SSCXWC 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

Adam Craig, calm in the lead, at SSCXWC 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

When the dust had cleared and the snow had settled, racers gathered at Moshulu, a docked boat turned swanky restaurant in Philadelphia, to relive the magic of the weekend, and to watch the poker game that would determine where next year’s race would be held. During the evening, SSCXWC men’s winner Adam Craig and I caught up in a “fireside chat” that involved a whole lot of his fast-paced banter, and a request to not let him, at any point during the night, jump off the side of the boat. In his defense, he was wearing appropriate swimming gear for a portion of the night, after he donned the tradition winner’s garb: the gold Speedo.

On his second SSCXWC win… This is a sorry state of affairs!

On expecting to win… I’m wary of expecting anything at these sorts of junk shows. I expect nothing but I’ll take what I can get.

On his race strategy… Me and Brian blew it by going around the hay bale at the start so that put us in kind of a tough spot. But then, it worked out after that. I tried to be the sage singlespeed guy, using actual singlespeed riding techniques, like momentum and not braking. That’s how I made my move. I told them what I was doing and that they should replicate it! Except for big skids. There were a couple of big skids. We rode bikes.

On the weather… I have a pretty tender place in my heart for first tracks on snowy single track on a ’cross bike.

On his disc brakes… They were hydro. Which I thought were rubbing on the huge climb. But it turns out it was just a huge climb. But I stopped and checked for rubbing twice, and have a beverage…

On local Philly talent… Cole Oberman [second place at SSCXWC]. He was giving a good run! People had been trying to get him in my head all weekend. It’s always good to have a local ringer. But I don’t know if he rides singlespeed all the time. He should!

On doing an extra lap… I’ve been trying to do a screening of Rad. I was trying to remember the exchange in there at Helltrack between the guys where they do the lap mano-y-mano. So we did a mano-y-mano lap. But the emcee didn’t know what we were doing, he didn’t have the sequence on lockdown. So we did the mano-y-mano, I wanted to give Cole a chance to let me screw up, which almost happened.

On the goofy versus serious factor… I was trying to sandbag myself as hard as I could, and I hope that any other actual racers who come, which hopefully starts happening so I stop getting tattoos for free—which is awesome—yeah, I was trying really hard… I think I’ve had one night’s sleep in the past three nights. It’s a tough row to hoe. I’m really glad that we get to come do this though.

On where it should be next year… Boston, for the whole NECX thing. So then Tim Johnson has to come, and he’ll make an excuse not to win, and I’ll make him win, and he’ll have to get the tattoo, and he’ll be all pissed off and it’ll be perfect.

What pro he’d love to see win… I’d love to see Chris Jones do it again [one of two male SSCXWC winners not to get a tattoo] because he would get beat down! I almost raced in one of his skinsuits… but I figured that wouldn’t have been sponsor correct, but it would have been pretty sweet. Then we could have just cut a hole in it to get the tattoo. Miss you, Chris.

On his season overall… It’s been all prep for this. Rocky-type stuff. Chopping wood, tons of steps… No, I didn’t do any preparation for this. Life is preparation for this. This is a test of skills… It’s kind of weird though.

I was hoping to not get fired this year. And I haven’t. By not sucking this summer and enduring the cyclocross season. I was nervous in the first lap today though.

On skipping out on Nationals… That was my last pedal stroke of the year [season], across that finish line. It’s been a busy year, I raced a lot of bikes this summer, knew I’d get tired eventually. Gonna not do that for a bit. Not going to Nationals. I’m an actual racer guy, doesn’t seem like I should do a lot of singlespeed races. Let some local folks do them, you have to respect that. It’s a burgeoning thing. And I don’t want to race my bike through January. Respect to everyone who has the minerals to do that, but I don’t. So I’m not going to.

Watch the full interview here for lots more banter: