European riders who traveled to the U.S. for the World Cup circuit in 2016 were probably a little surprised when they rolled into Iowa City.

Jingle Cross? In September? Do Americans celebrate Christmas that early?

While U.S. cyclocross fans got their presents early with the Jingle Cross World Cup, as John Meehan, aka The Grinch pointed out, the race started as a December gathering of friends and there was no way the name was changing just because it got elevated to World Cup status.

The three-day Jingle Cross Festival was traditionally held in late November or early December—mostly depending on the Iowa Football schedule. The late-season slot meant part of the fun of Jingle Cross was the wintry weather and muddy conditions riders often had to battle in addition to the treacherous slopes of the Grinch’s lair atop Mt. Krumpit.

Adam Craig wheelies at Jingle Cross 2015

Muddy conditions have historically been the norm at the Jingle Cross Festival. Here, fan favorite Adam Craig wheelies in 2015.

2014 Jingle Wrecks Video

Jingle Cross has been notorious for producing quality cyclocross YouTube fare. In 2014, a Friday freeze thawed and created slick conditions on the switch back descent atop Mt. Krumpit on Saturday. The folks from Jingle Cross put together a “Jingle Wrecks” compilation from the mountain-top switch back that probably looks foreign to riders who attended the Iowa City festival for the first time in 2016.

Leg warmers? Balaclavas? Cantilever brakes?

Vintage 2011 Jingle Wrecks

The conditions in 2014 were about a “1-size” on the Grinch’s Heart Shrink-o-Meter; previous years have been much more gnarly. The following video from 2011 provides a much deeper cut of Jingle Wrecks, as riders slip, slide and skate down a slick, basically unrideable Mt. Krumpit.

The power slide at about 4:50 is especially worth watching.

Throwback Thursday is a regular Cyclocross Magazine feature. Please contact us at news [at] if you have a suggestion of something from the past worth highlighting.