Throughout this summer there has been lots of talk of upgrades for cross. I was approached by a few people and asked what to do about "sandbaggers" and all I could think of was to add more payout/places in the open class and less in the 3/4 class.
I am hoping more people have ideas.
Last year was my first full season of cross. The year before I raced two days, partly because I was working 90 hour weeks and didn't have a car.
The fall of 2008 was a memorable one. I lined up to race my first 3/4 race and was smoked. I felt like crap and did the 4 race in topeka the next race and won it, then doubled up and took 6th in the 3/4. I felt really good and about the same thing happened at blvd. cup.
From then on I only raced 3/4 races, I was at my limit every race, eyes popping out of my head, blood in my mouth and hoping for top 10 results. My best was a 2nd place at Boss Cross #1.
It felt really good getting a little cash to pay for gas/entry fees and it also kept me coming back for more.
Thanks to my good friend Marcus, I was able to race 13 times last season, without his transportation I probably only would have gotten to less than a handful.
Now it is 2009 and our CX community seems to be stuck as it was last year.
Thanks to Tilford and co. showing up to the open races, they are more of a spectacle with 20+ racers instead of 10 or so that we saw last year. It truly shows that the scene here in KC is progressing.
But I still here the words tossed around like "Sandbagger" in the 3 field. My good friend and Teammate Dan has already been given crap for racing 3's. Look at his results!
He hasn't raced barely a handful of times and he is already asked to upgrade to a 2! Wow!
I know, I know, must of us can probably name at least 10 dudes who have been getting podium finished in 3 races for a few years, they are comfortable there and not ready to commit to the big leagues. But after 5 or 6 races? There is still so much to learn and experience!
I wish we were big like portland. 100 beginner women toeing the line!
We have 3 categories. 4, 3, and open. The differences between 4 and 3 is not much, but 3 to open is a ton, please believe me.
I'm not saying I'm comfortable or confident, but sooner or later I will want to be there, so why not now, why not try and get faster now. Yes, I have to pay someone to be at the store, pay for gas, pay entry fees and leave empty handed with a smile on my face each weekend, but it is worth it! For me it is.
Just showing up, paying my entry fee, supporting local race organizers, being a part of the culture, that is good!
Please leave any thoughts you have after reading this.