Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Steve V.

Dunno nothin about his bike handling skills but it appears as though he can handle a triple axe.


  1. Steve V. provides the background music for your nightmares.

  2. "Who is Steve V.?"


  3. Let me see if I've got this right. Tilford is cool because he is to remind me of Roger Daltrey. "Steve V." is cool because he is to remind me of Slim Goodbody?

  4. Brilliant. Steve Vai and Cipo. Both Gods in there respective fields.

  5. You got it, Liquid Feline Feces. It's Doppleganger week on FaceBook so everyone has facsimile on their mind. Much like ones that pretend to be of the category below them.

  6. Ha! Steve V. is the business guy on npr!

  7. I'm confused. r5 calls out sandbaggers, or who we THINK are sandbaggers, but what does this mean?

    I know I've read somewhere that if you race an entire CX season in one class, you can/should move up to the next category the next season. (Ignore then 3-2 situation were have around here.) Is this true? How does this compare to USA Cycling guidelines, for example? If there's a difference, what should KC race promoters follow as the rule? And should they force riders to race in the appropriate class, and can they?

    Just WHO is in charge of this decision-making, and if there are people known as "upgrade coordinators," why don't we hold their feet to the fire?

    (Oh, and stop giving out much more than hats or inner tubes to the lower classes, and give little to nothing for series titles in those lower classes. The power washer was cool and all, but hey, if I was Cat 4 and just missed out on that, NO WAY am I catting up next year. It's my turn!)

  8. Our 'upgrade coordinators' don't do jack around here it seems. I would agree that if you've raced a season in the 4's and didn't get completely blown off the back, then you should upgrade. 4 is supposed to be for "beginners." Beginner racers? Or beginner cx racers?

    Winkler's site did a good job of attempting to quantify the situation for the 3's.

    And yes, that power washer was an insane prize for the 4s!!!

  9. Have I Offended Someone?February 3, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Steve Vai with Frank Zappa is where it's at baby!

    Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar

  10. Wizards and Unicorns are Sandbaggers!!!

  11. I missed the power washer by 4 points this year but don't plan on hanging in the 4's for my turn. BTW the guy that sandbagged the championship raced two fewer races than I did this year. I got second in the series with mid pack finishes.

  12. I've bought bags of sand before. Does that make me a sandbagger, or does the fact that I paid for the sand, instead of getting it for free, allow me to aviod the "SandBagger" Stig-Maaaaa!?

  13. CurbDestoyer,

    I believe you would qualify as a sandbagger IF you were actually BAGGING the sand. While I have bagged sand before (flood of 93 in Parkville) I don't think I'll EVER have to worry about making this blog as a target.

  14. This site, and all it's comments, have helped me learn how not to be a sandbagger.

    looking forward to cat 3/4 cross this year.

    thanks r5!

  15. I have been reading this blog since the beginning and have received alot of entertainment out of it. This is what I have got out of this post.....I "sandbagged" my way to the Cat 4 championship and won a sweet powerwasher!!! Nice. Heres the deal....Im not running around superduper excited about winning a Cat 4 race....nobody cares what the Cat 4's are doing except the guys that are racing Cat 4. The goal is to get better and "learn" how to win, then make a move up.
    My history: 1st time on a bike in 30 yrs was Apr'09. I raced my 1st mountain bike race in June'09 and got my ass thoroughly kicked in the BEGINNER 30-39 class, by the end of the year I started winning. I have already cat up for this year. I bought a cross bike in Oct'09 and raced it that same weekend in the Cat 4 class and got my ass thoroughly kicked by placing 27th.....27th!!!!! I continued to get better as the season went on and started to see some top 10 finishes. In the 1st race at Topeka I finished 12th, Bouelvard cup 9th, missed 2 of the series races then finished out the season with much smaller fields and bad weather conditions with a 2nd, 2nd, and a 1st to win the series. As I explained to Mark K. that day I had absolutely no idea that I was in the running to win....the powerwasher and winning the series really means squat to me, I just wanted to get better. If I was someone on here complaining about sandbagging and I had been riding bikes forever then was getting beat by someone who is damn near 40 and been on a bike for less than 8 months total....I believe I would have to step back and check into reality that maybe you will always be just a Cat 4 racer......Just sayin!!!!

    Denny Albertson

  16. Disclaimer---My comments above were not targeted at Mark Kern.....he is the same age as me and had the opportunity to race against guys that were half our age. In theory we shouldnt have been able to keep up with them....I know if I was 20-25 and getting beat by old men, Id probably quit.
    This is an honest question.....when do you cat up? By the comments earlier they say if you have raced a full year and finish in the top half of the class its time to move up. I DISAGREE!!!!! If you cannot win in the class you are are not ready to move up...PERIOD!!! Your goals when competing should be to win....if they are not, you should just go ride your bike leisurely for fun. So with that in mind....I dont care how long you have been riding a certain class you shouldnt be moving up until you can consistently place top 3. End of Story.....

    Denny Albertson
    Im not sure why my last post listed me as Anonymous.

  17. Why was top prize a power washer? Most everyone knows that high-pressure sprayers cavitate little beads of moisture into your greased goods and render them seized - likely discovered the first week of Sept when you get out the crosser and ready her for that first practice, only to take 2 snappity cranks and discover your pawls have sheared. That was a gag gift to the Cat 4 winner - race organizers knew the winner would potentially be a 'bagger so they punked them with a gift like this. You got hosed, figuratively and literally.

  18. That is a funny statement.....although its true about taking a high pressure washer to a bike is not a good idea. However any race organizer that feels likes "punking" me with a sweet prize like a power washer....feel free too, it will be put to good use!!!
    You seem to be a genius in sandbagging so please answer the question in my last post.

    Denny Albertson

  19. Denny, Et al. If what you say is true then you owe much to your parents for having some hella good genes. I would suspect, at your age, you would be in the top 10 percentile to be ABLE to do that. I'm 42 almost 43 years old and while I don't ride CX, I do ride road and I have worked my ass off the last two years to get to where I believe I'll be an okay cat4 that will most likely spend my career trying to help others move on. From my perspective, if you're (not you specifically) constantly placing in the top 5-10 with perhaps a podium finish or two, then it's time to move on. If we want to grow the "scene", no matter the discipline, then newbies need to be encouraged by seeing the better riders move on and the newbies themselves working their ass off to get better so THEY in turn can move on. I personally don't see where a sandbagger actually gets ANY gratification by NOT looking for the next challenge even though it's gonna be a beatdown until they themselves improve. I'm not "bagging" on you either Denny...just my humble opinion.



  20. I was being a little sardonic with my power washer punking remark, Denny. You clearly worked tail off to earn that, and I applaud you. To answer your question to the best of my opinion, I would expand your top 3 to top 5 - maybe a little more. The cx fours are quite a wide range of fitness and fast fours become fast threes. I'm speaking out of assumption but it's likely that the 3>2 CTFU is a bigger wake up call.

  21. Gettin Spanked but I like itFebruary 3, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    I strongly disagree there Denny. Staying in a "beginner class" until you dominate is just wrong. In my opinion, Cat4 CX is all about learning the basics of racing- specifically CX skills, and racing in general. Your primary goal should not be to win at this point. There will only be one winner at a time, and to not finish first is not a failure. That is why the USAC requirement for CTFU from 4 to 3 is only 5 STARTS. After that, you have to have RESULTS to go from 3 to 2 and that is a BIG difference.

    Staying in a beginners class till you dominate is like staying in elementary school until you are top of the class while others who have learned the ABC's and basic math have moved on.

    Its like when Kramer kicked all the kids butts in his karate dojo...

    In road racing, I did not win in the 5's, but I moved on when I felt my pack skills were good and I had the USAC required experience. When I moved to 4's, I started getting results.

    As a teenager I competed in many sports and I ALWAYS looked forward to playing against those older and better than me- all the way until I became a division I collegiate athlete. That was the best way to get better. That is about confidence and trust in your ability to improve.

  22. It also depends on the field size. Maybe top 20% should move on.

  23. So it was foretold:

  24. Kudos to Denny. Here's a guy that came into the sport after a lengthy time off hte bike and steadily improved in Cat 4 during the season. He won the series because he did most of the races. He never dominated anything. most riders skipped the last 3 races of the year all-together. some guys have been racing bikes for years and have been stuck in the 'cross cat 4 class with no signs of improvement. So just because you are one of those guys, why criticize this guy for not being like you.

  25. My hat is off to Denny, because he is fast, way faster than me. In the last race of the year he dominated the field on a sloppy course and deserved the win. I think once you can finish the race with a gap on the rest of the pack of 4's it's time to move on. From what I hear the majority of the folks that had that gap during the 2009 season have already moved to cat 3. That being said, I hope through off season training and some MTB racing I will be there early in the 2010 season. FWIW I only had three top ten finishes last year, all on muddy/icy courses when most of the front of the pack guys stayed home.

  26. From Jeremy Haines of Boss Cross:

    "If you won your category series in 2009, you can guarantee that you will not be starting a race in 2010 in that same category (unless you are one of those old masters). 4s will become 3s and 3s will become 2s. That's how bike racing works. Consider yourself called out now!"

  27. If you're a first-year beginner, race the whole season in Cat 4, grab all the prizes you can. You deserve it. Until they change the Cat 4 prize structure, I don't see why anyone would CTFU mid-year.

    That said, if you race the whole season Cat 4, and don't win a thing, you ALSO should move up to 3-4 the next year. Glance at early Boss Cross series results, or Boulevard, and tell me dang near half that Cat 4 field shouldn't be 3-4 next year? Same rule applies for 3-4 moving to Open.

    Problem is, I thought the same thing after the 2008-09 season. Yet the fields looked real similar last year. It happens EVERY year. Not enough guys move on.

    A few guys defy this logic, but there are always exceptions. Screaming fast dudes know they don't belong. It's the perennial top-ten guys I think we're talking about. THOSE are the sandbaggers. Short of an Upgrade Coordinator doing their damn job, all r5 can do is call THOSE dudes (and women, I guess) out.

  28. Very well said Jeremy. If you and the other local promoters simply got together, shared your respective series overall results, and submitted them to the KCA upgrade guy with your upgrade suggestions, this website would have no purpose for existing(if it actually did to begin with). Winkler spent a huge amount of time (hint, hint) doing his KCcrossrankings thing a while back, which pointed out exactly (hint,hint) was "r5" is trying to do here.

  29. The 3-2 CTFU "is" the bigger issue here, because if the dudes who need to be racing in Open, but pretend they're legit in 3-4 because there IS not Cat 2 around here would just CTFU, 3-4 wouldn't be so scary to a lot of Cat 4 guys, and the logjam might finally break.

    And we might have decent fields in Open. We're just collectively a bunch of pussies.

  30. It is getting far too civil in here. Must...find...more....roids......

  31. I had decided not to comment on this anymore but after reading all the responses they are actually intelligent and not "punk" remarks.
    Some people have different goals and abilities......but I would think, and this is just my opinion, that when you enter a competition event that the goal would be to win. That is my goal anyway, when I dont win I dont see it as a failure but as a fuel to work harder. Winning is something that comes naturally for some people, but people like me have to learn how to win. I still have a hard time believing that its a normal proceedure to ask someone that cant win in a lower class to move up. My opinion is if they cant beat Cat 4's they are a Cat 4...or any class for that matter. I would think that catting up to a higher level means having better endurance and bike handling skills....and as stated before if you dont have the bike skills or endurance to win or place podium in the lower class you're not going be ready for the next level. What im reading with this standard of Catting up a person really wouldnt ever have a chance to win. When you get to the point that you can actually compete you are expected to make the move up.
    Why not let a person that has worked hard and taken the beatings in his class have some success and enjoy the efforts put into it before being asked to move opinion. Im done preaching, and to end I really do like the fact that the last 20 post on this subject are actually positive debate instead of crude remarks.

    Denny Albertson

  32. Dear Denny "the dawg" Albertson:

    I am happy to approve your submission of upgrade from CX4 to CX3.

    Since you only compete to win and you "won" the 4's series we (the KCA) expect big things out of you in the 3's.

    We wish all Kansas and Missouri riders subscribed to your approach of racing and took the fun out of it and just stay the hell at home and get fat like our friend r5, instead of the enjoying the competition.

    Be like Denny!

  33. I strongly suggest any cat 3 guy that is considering moving to the open race and you are old enough to race a masters class, try that first. If you can't go a lot faster for 40min, then you definately can't go a lot faster for 60.

  34. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can't for the life of me figure out how they manage to put on road races around here (the running kind, 5K or 10K or whatever). Everyone starts at the same time, fast people in front.

    DUH. And welcome to the rest of the world (google Seattle-area CX.)

  35. " If you can't go a lot faster for 40min, then you definately can't go a lot faster for 60."

    Thats what your wife said.

  36. JB, please rephrase lines 4 and 5. They made no sense.

  37. Thanks for the approval KCA.

    I have been competing in some kind of sporting event since I was 6 yrs old (33 yrs) and somewhere along the way our society has changed and accepts losing to the point that we now give our children participation ribbons or medals.....this just irritates the hell out of me. I remember the days where you actually tried to get better so you could win....yes....the goal was to win!!!! Not to be satisified with just being there and having fun. So now instead of someones feelings getting hurt because they lost our youth programs have decided to give out these "partipation" garbage achievements instead of saying....."hey, maybe we should spend alittle more time practicing instead of sitting in front of the XBox!!!" I guess this way of thinking is in the past. Maybe we can have a series where everyone that particicpates can get a ribbon then no ones feeling will get hurt. Lets face it no one is going to get rich around here by riding there bikes.....I like to compete, thats just me. Hell a race official could walk up to the finish line and throw down a Snickers bar and say whoever gets to the finish line 1st gets the candybar....I would race my ass off just as hard for that candybar as I would if he threw down a $1000. Am I wired a bit different...hell ya..but thats what motivates me.
    I have had a ton of fun racing my bikes this past year, I've met a lot of great guys and gals, and I will continue to do so. Thanks for all of the input and generally open minded responses.
    My next question would my age of 40 next year what would be the best for me. Cat 3 races of Masters 40+? Whats the deciding factor?

  38. ieatm&m'sforbreakfastFebruary 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    I'll bet that'd be the best snickers you'd ever taisted too my friend.

  39. thedawg28, the way I see it, taking last in the 3's is still beating the first in the 4's. So what are you really winning? The idea is to improve and move up.

    Maybe the goal should be to beat as many opponents as possible, and when you're racing in a faster class, you've already beaten everyone in the classes behind you.

    Not CTFU asap is like turning down a spot on varsity because you'd rather be a starter on JV. Face it, nobody cares about the JV squad so you aren't doing yourself any favors.

  40. Denny said: "My next question would my age of 40 next year what would be the best for me. Cat 3 races of Masters 40+? Whats the deciding factor?"

    Try both if they aren't scheduled back to back. I found I did a little better on my second race when I raced two classes on the same event. Most organizers have a price break ($10 entry) for that extra race.

    Good luck!

  41. This year, all the 3 races were the last of the day, so the beer was tapped out by then. Do the masters, if you still feel strong and want some more, do 3's later on.

  42. amazing how many people that don't even race care about those that do and what place they got and who almost lapped who. I guess if you really don't have your own life, you must fabricate one from the experiences of others. My cross season ended after the last race, but you guys keep reliving your season or someone elses. you guys are spending your day thinking about what others already did. Not a productive use of spare time.

  43. heyzeus! ppl got too much time on their hands! time to ride! out

  44. Anon you bothered to come on here and say this?

    Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

    ".......Not a productive use of spare time."

  45. The thing is not everybody agrees one way or the other...if everybody agreed life would be boring.
    The way I see it is with this Cat up proceedure that is expected of a person no race is important unless you win the CAT 1 elite race. The way you guys are presenting this is you race a class until you finish mid pack then you need to cat up, this says to me that unless you are racing in the open race and you win you are a sandbagger. Am I correct here?? If this is the case this whole deal can be solved very easily. You have 2 races a day!!! Open(cat 1,2,3,4) and Masters open race divided in age groups as it is now. This eliminates all the sandbagging. Since you are expected to race and not actually have 2 choices. This helps promoters....they can give all the cash to the open class and give the usual tire or tube to the winners of the masters classes. This will help the guy that doesnt have the ability or need to be classified as an open elite racer...he can race the Masters and not have to worry about winning and being a so-called bagger. Just do completely away with the 3's and 4's race. I think it could work!!!!

  46. I'm getting paid $30/hr while reading this. I think it's an absolute fantastically unproductive use of spare time. Perspective is everything.

  47. So after reading a comment suggesting I am r5, I decided to dispel it before it gets any more traction. I have updated the rankings site with some upgrade points info. Not as fun as r5 dropping a bomb and then watching the fallout, but then its not really an either-or kinda thing either.

  48. Jeff,

    While I do think this site is funny, that's a good call on going black & white with it. Thanks for the effort.

  49. dawg: Bingo, just like every 10K road race out there (and most races in Seattle). One big-ass field, break down as needed (RFID tag).

    Jeff: YES! I'd like to see how this differs from KCA and MCA rules, if there are any.

    Everyone who raced more than 5 or 6 times last year and is not or planning to CTFU next season: Please CTFU to 3-4, Open, or the relevant Masters race. (I'm sorry, but if you're in your 20s or early 30s, always consistent in 3-4, and don't want to race Open, you need to HTFU.)

  50. Why not simply make it so if you have over X amount of points in a catagory, you're still eligable to gain more points (and experience) by racing it but no longer eligable for prizes/placing?

    So even if you come in first, you don't get first... it's an incentive to upgrade, with the additional benefit of the newer guys still being able to place against guys with a similar experience level.

  51. Jeff and Anon, I agree. Just present the facts and data in black and white without all the distracting banter. If the data isn't getting into the right hands, nothing will get done. Promoters just print out the series overalls, highlight the guys that should move up and send it to KCA. Done. If that means I go from a 2 to a 1 then so beit. KCA can notify those getting the boot upward and they can protest it if they feel it's not justified.

  52. Jeff,
    Are there any 2's w/ enough points to cat up? I can think of a couple guys that did well in some big races.

    Someone asked why the 3's aren't moving up when they are "supposed" to. I'd think racing against former pros, a former world champion, national champs, future pros that are going to kick ass - are just a few reasons why some weekend warriors are like, "ah...I'm going to enjoy mixing it up in the top 10 for a while before I cat up and get lapped every single race."
    Just a thought.

  53. Here is something way more important than all this when you put it into perspective......we ride our bikes to be fit and some of us want to be competitive. To me this is more important than any upgrading: April of '09 I started riding bikes, below is what my lifestyle was at that time.
    Weight: 205
    BP: 142/92
    RHR: 80+
    Basically I was 2 slices of bacon from a heart attack....then a man that I have knowned since I was 6yrs old, after many yrs trying, convinced me to come on a bike ride with me and loaned me a Sweet Gary Fisher Sugar mountain bike.....Less than 1 yr later:
    As of this morning.....
    Weight: 149
    RHR: 44
    So do what this man did for me.....go find your fat friend and get them into cycling.....we need new riders so when im up in the Cat 3's getting my ass kicked their will be some fast 4's that I can pick on for winning!!!!! LOL.

  54. All is not quite right with the Upgrade Points. I left Masters Cat 4 out of the mix. I'll get that done tomorrow.

    As for Cat2s: I could calculate who has gotten upgrade points, but I don't actually know who is a 2 and who is already a 1.

    From a practical standpoint I'm not sure what the benefit would be. We don't have enough guys to split the 1s and 2s.

    Yeah, I hear you on the guys that might upgrade and be at the back of the Open race. I don't know what to tell you other than I guess that's what is supposed to happen. As long as the promoters/officials keep the laps long enough and don't pull riders, everyone should get a full race out of it.

  55. for the cat3 "weekend warriors", maybe there should be a cat2 amateur and cat2 pro categories.

  56. How about 2 different open races: one for the 30 year old and older home-owners with kids, lives, full-time jobs, and a 10hr/week or less training schedule. the other open race will be the one for the 29 and under's with no jobs, a few classes, and there parents credit card paying for everything.

  57. I am not going to CTFU until they start saving an extra keg for the 3's who race last. Why should the Fat4's and grandpa class get to drink it all?

  58. Let me throw this twist in now......a pretty reliable source posted on FB wall that their is a good chance that 60series and Boss Cross will be separating the Masters classes by Cat next year instead of age. Now this absolutely makes no sense to me.....The masters class is not messed up, dont try to fix it.
    The reasoning behind this is that is the way the "bigger" scenes do it. I might be not reading things right but it appears that the Masters classes at the NAts were divided in age and not cat....I cant think of any bigger scene that the nats in the US.

  59. Jeff- you're probably right about not having large enough fields to split up the pro/1 and 2's. And here's the deal - someone's got to be at the back (that'll be be next year), otherwise there wouldn't be a front.

    Instead of adding more categories, maybe promoters should go at least 10 deep in the Open - even if it means less money for the guys that podium. Even if it's an old melted candy bar. Give the guys racing behind the elite some kind of incentive to make it (more) fun. Promoters...?

  60. The first 2 Boss Cross races paid 10 deep, and those fields were huge days. Everybody showed up for those.

  61. You give a $1000 payout each day and you get everyone to show up. Still got blasted off the back after 1 lap.

    Maybe if promoters gave the guys fighting it out for 13th place can battle for that snickers bar or special blvd. brew.

    Honestly, I had just as much fun getting beat each weekend in the open this year as I did last year getting "prizes" in cat3 races. Everyone should try it! Like it says, Open, that means everyone!

    It makes sense to pay 10 deep in the open, then offer prizes for everyone else. That's just me.

  62. Snickers have really became a hot topic since I mentioned it earlier!!! I actually made I mistake when I said that.....cuz I would really put the hammer down for a Milky Way!!!!! Just sayin....Im a Milky way kinda guy. I can taste it now while washing it down with a Boulevard Pale Ale!!!!

  63. or even better....Boulevard Bully Porter!!!!

  64. ... How about 2 different open races: one for the 30 year old and older home-owners with kids, lives, full-time jobs, and a 10hr/week or less training schedule. the other open race will be the one for the 29 and under's with no jobs, a few classes, and there parents credit card paying for everything.


    1. Everyone shouldn't win, or get a ribbon. That's just how it SHOULD be.

    2. How about we all realize that's there are more of US than THEM, and the fact that Open is becoming a playground for the pompous elite is no excuse for most of 3-4 to NOT move up there, and make it what it's supposed to be. CTFU!!!

  65. Re: splitting the Open

    Guys, just about everyone in the Open class is over 30 w/ work, family, etc. and doesn't train 20+ hrs/wk. We've only got a few exceptions: the real young talented guys like Chris, Joe & Alex.

    Clearly, there is some different clusters of fitness/skill within the Open class, but I don't think they're so disparate that it makes for a "bad" race.

    It is unfortunate that people view the Open race as a "playground for the pompous elite." We should certain try to change that. I guess if 10-15 guys upgraded, wouldn't it get an injection of non-pomposity?

    In 2008-09, I was usually at the back of the Open race. The only thing that was lame was that I was by myself doing a CX time trial. If we started with 25-30 instead of 10-15, there would have been someone to race head-to-head against.

    Going 10 deep w/cash in the Open seems like a good idea to me. It also seems that if you can get top 10 in the Open you should at least get your entry fee back. I for one would be willing to spread the wealth, if it encouraged guys to upgrade and race hard.

    That said, promoters are hamstrung on the prize list though because if its over something paltry (like $500) then they have to pay USAC a lot more in fees. Seems like we could figure something out though.

    I hope we don't have even more categories next year. Are we going to split things up so much that everyone gets to place top 10 in their race? Seems like a bad idea. While we should all have a good time, this is still bike "racing."

    Perhaps another consequence of numerous categories is that you've got the racing spread out over 6-8 hours. People don't want to hang out all day, so they race and leave. If we consolidated into fewer races (couldn't we score categories separately but race them together), maybe people would hang out and spectate/heckle the other races. It sure would be cool if we had the festive atmosphere of the Boulevard race every weekend.

  66. r5 is gonna come out of character for a moment and back what Winkler just said. No more categories necessary. Maybe even get rid of the Cat4 40/35+. At least if you are from 35 to 40, you can race with the rest of the 4's no problem-you arent that old!! Instead, maybe a few early season races should have a regular Cat4, and then a "true beginner" Cat4 for people who are doing any type of racing for the first time. There are some strong road 3/4's that can put down the rubber in the CX4's and are well beyond "beginner" speed. I know this is racing, but it can be discouraging if you line up for the very first time and get completely obliterated and think to yourself "WTF- I thought this was a beginners class??!!"
    They do this out in Portland I believe (but they have gigantic fields as well).

    10 deep in the Open field would be good. That way the ultra fast kids can fight out for 1st to 5th and everyone else would have something left to race for. That way if you are a 3 thinking about moving up, it will give you a chance to see where you stand, and also a chance to make some dough back.

    Boulevard was an awesome party. Lots of non-racers out there having a good time. Someday maybe a few of those folks will pin on a number.

  67. The problem with saying a 3/4 can try out the Open any time is that you'd have to commit to the Open race fully that day or you won't know where you truly stand. If you've done your 40 minutes in the 3/4, you might not do so hot when you jump into another 50 minutes of hell. r5 is completely blown after a 10 minute warmup and can barely get off the line.
    If you are a 3/4 in the running for a series standing in your respective class, then you might not want to sacrifice your own race for an all-in effort in the Open that same day.
    So perhaps there could be some kind of points reward for a 3/4 for dipping their toes into the Open and skipping their own lower category race.

  68. the amount of races that our local promoters provide is great. that is not the problem. there are plenty of categories for everyone to find a home or a comfort level of racing. why would u get rid of the cat 4 masters race when it has been on of the most consistent when it comes to turn out, since chris locke introduced that category 2 years ago. it is for the 'older guys' who have just started racing or the 'not so in shape' guys. u dont get rid of race classes that get solid participation numbers week in and week out.
    and who is the guy that keeps comparing running road races to cycling?? hey dude, this isnt running, this is a sport where guys want to go toe-to-toe with other like aged or like ability here. if you want to go run a 5k and line up next to 50 pros, go right ahead. this is cycling. they have masters' sports competitions in swimming and track events as well. dont know why anyone would compare apples and oranges. go to gribbles running store and sign up for thier next run if you want to. or better yet, everybody just go race and drink a pale ale afterwards.

  69. I spoke with everyones favorite promoter about this last night. My idea was that there should be a 3/4 masters category and then Open race with masters(40+)scored separately. This would increase the open field by 5-10 at least.

    Open(40+scored seperate)
    3/4 Masters
    Cat 3(and single speeds)
    Cat 4(beginners.)
    Women(all cats)(4's scored seperate)

    If you wanted to get real crazy you could do this.

    Open (40+scored seperate)
    cat 3((40+scored seperate)
    cat 4(40+scored seperate)
    Women(4's scored seperate)

    There you have it, 4 hours of racing. If you feel that the 3 and 4 fields would be too big, then have a masters 3/4 race seperate.

    masters 3/4

    I really don't think our scene is big enough for both categories and age groups.

  70. @12:54 anon:
    Ok, I'll stand corrected. But draw the line at 40+ for the Cat4. 35 is too young to have their own coddled 4 class. At least make it consistent across all the race series as some of them were 35+ cat4 and others were 40+ cat4.

  71. These last two comments, again, are getting to it.

    But Jeff, really, saying this:

    < It is unfortunate that people view the Open race as a "playground for the pompous elite." >

    Just means that you didn't notice the ass-pounding we all got the other day when Bill M. weighed in on how foolish any of us pathetic folks would be when CTFU up, and thereby entering "hell." He, in fact, said we didn't train nearly enough, and should stay away from "Cat 2" and above locally, until traveling the country to do as many UCI and USGP events as possible, in order to get enough seasoning and experience to be able to hang in local KC races.

    WTF? What part of that did I not understand?

    Oh, and I'll remember that I'm not special enough for Open, and will remain in the Cat 2 races, where I belong. Problem solved!

    r5: Yes, get rid of the masters B races, but get people OUT of Cat 4 before they turn it into what it was early this season. Just look at results from the first four or five races, and ask yourself the following two questions:

    1. Why were many of those top-ten dudes still in Cat 4 at the end of the season?

    2. What happened to those people who finished last, who we never saw again? (They were getting lapped less than a lap in, and DID wonder if this was really a "beginner" class, like they were told.)

    And yes, I agree with the larger class idea, and how cool Boulevard was. But if we're thinking larger classes are good, let's CTFU to Open. Yeah, there it is again. If it's not a playground for the special folks, why not? I didn't see any separation of fields at the Groundhog Run the other day; that sport seems to survive without ten different race starting times.

    (But really, unless you saw Cat 4 whatever run into the back of Cat 4 whatever about a quarter-lap in at Boulevard, you don't realize that fields like that don't match up very well with our 1998 course layout philosophy. (Hey, it was kind of like the Oreo and Smokes crowd trying to get out of the way in Open.)

    Bottom line here: CX has grown up in KC. Let's act like it!

  72. A think a lot of people dont realize the difference between racing for an hour versus racing for 40-45 minutes. There is also a big difference in how a person needs to train to be competitive for those to different races as well. It seems to me a lot of people are chiming in to this blog without knowing even some of the facts let alone all of them. Some people here who are criticizing other racers dont know what kind of job or family that certain racer has that allows that person to ride and train for a certain level either.
    If we speak about what we do know and what the facts are then I think there could be some good dialogue that comes out of this blog. Better yet, promote a race and maybe you will appreciate what our local promoters go thru when dealing with a bunch of overgrown, overworked adults acting like children not getting their way cause 'johnny or jane' didnt have the perfect race.

  73. Lump the women fields together, so the number sometimes tops 10, and the race counts at crossresults!

  74. Hey JT it looks like you've cleaned up your language a bit. Must've gotten a talkin to.

  75. The fields in masters categories are plenty big enough to have a Master's 'A' and Master's 'B' race. That is basically what Chris Locke has done for 2 years and Mark Thomas and others hopped on board this year. The other promoters saw there was a need to seperate masters into an A and B. Why?? Because the numbers were there. Also, young people listen up, most of the promoters paying customers are 35+. Just look at the numbers and ages. It only makes since that the promoters are going to go above and beyond for those racers. You 20 somethings will get that benefit of having multiple choices of racing when you hit my age as well. Until then, deal with category racing, whatever category that may be.

  76. hey everyone......ask joe houston who r5 is..........?????



  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. It sounds like we are trying to fix something that isnt broke.....the classes seem just fine. They are right in line with the state champ races and the Nat races. I would think you would want to keep them the same. I raced CX races in MO, KS, IA, NE this year and all the classe were generally the same. From reading all this It seems that the problem is getting people to move up when its time....thats why you dont change the masters class, if you dont feel like moving up you have the opportunity to go race in the MAsters class against guys your age and most generally the same family and life situations. Of course thats my opinion.
    I think the most important thing would be "promoting" and letting beginners know what is expected of a Cat 4 racer. To be perfectly honest as a newbie I had no idea that it was expected to move up in the middle of a season. Never once during any of my race registrations did anyone say "hey, might want to check into moving up since you have a few races under your belt in the cat 4's." I guess not coming from a cyclist background i didnt understand this someone stated above using the JV/Var thinking was if you cant win JV why the hell would you move up to Varsity??? Just inform people what the standard is.

  80. Average field sizes [maximum]

    CAT 3 MEN: 18 [24]
    CAT 3/4 MEN: 23 [40]
    CAT 4 MEN: 32 [57]
    CAT 4 WOMEN: 10 [20]
    JUNIORS: 5 [12]
    MASTERS 30+: 27 [27]
    MASTERS 30+ WOMEN: 5 [5]
    MASTERS 35+: 12 [21]
    MASTERS 35+ CAT 4: 20 [34]
    MASTERS 40+: 19 [25]
    MASTERS 40+ CAT 4: 11 [23]
    MASTERS 45+: 15 [24]
    MASTERS 45+ CAT 4: 9 [9]
    MASTERS 50+: 8 [11]
    MASTERS 55+: 6 [10]
    MASTERS 60+: 3 [5]
    OPEN MEN: 14 [28]
    OPEN WOMEN: 6 [10]
    SINGLESPEED: 9 [17]

  81. The standard for 4->3 is in the Rulebook. You are eligible to upgrade by results or experience: 10pts or 10 races.


    Generally, for a true beginner you would not be upgrading during your first season. If you raced all season, you "might" start your second season as a 3.

    For someone with other cycling experience or fitness, they could come right of the blocks and score enough points to upgrade after as few as 2 races.

  82. I think we could all agree on one thing- participation at the beginner level is what will drive our sport. Cat4 is the base of the pyramid. The wider it is down there, the more we'll have up top in the Open class. You don't want to baby them, but you can't be having the same dudes in the top 5 all year long destroying them either. That Cat4 field at Boulevard was awesome. I'd like to know what happened to the bottom half the rest of the season.

    Jeff or anyone- what are the Cat4 numbers from previous years?

  83. Rulebook???? Hell this is what I know about cross: I bought a bike, I signed up for a race with a 1 day license. A gal was kinda rude to us at the starting line, she finally blew the whistle to start, I took off at the speed of smell, I jumped off my bike and carried it across some wooden thingys, about puked, tried to ride my bike across some sand, about puked again, finally finished the race and cried, then drank a whole bunch of beer and partied with some crazy guys and gals, then puked. I better brush up on the rulebook!!!

  84. What happened to the Cat 4 field at Boulevard was this:

    4 went off, and about five seconds later, 4 40+ or whatever went off, including a few of the women that just finished their race. The top half of the 40+ field and women field ran into the slow bottom half of the Cat 4 field right about where the course got tight; many, many, many people crashed and/or were forced off the course, and among them, are lots of people we never saw again.

    Lumping those fields together is a good idea.

    Making a big handful of those Cat 4 and Cat 4 40+ guys race 3/4 is a better idea.

  85. Im guessing the weather might have had something to do with it during the last 3 races. Hell I heard guys whining when the temp was high 30' id say the snow, ice, and below freezing temps had something to do with it. Why did only 1 open racer show up for the last race???

  86. is my rule book.

    Until i began reading these posts i never gave much thought to cat'ing up but turns out i should have.

    i also never thought about the guys finishing behind me in the cat 4 cross race's and how me moving into the 3/4 might encourage them to continue as their placings would get better.

    Plus i'll get faster racing against better competiton.

    thanks to r5 for creating a dialog (intended or not) and to all the levelheaded / reasonable posters who have turned this site into a learning experience. That is until someone else gets called out and then goes postal. :-)

    i beat 'lil pumpkin head' one day at jinglecross. We all have stories.

  87. hey dawg,

    there is no standard other than the usa cycling upgrade rules. that being said, its not followed to the letter. through not fault from anybody in particular. you are not alone in not 'catting' up midyear. that is why they put on a series. you were not dominating so nobody said anything to you. you did nothing wrong. not everyone called out on this blog is deserving of being called out. furthermore, nobody from the kca makes an effort to police the racers and the upgrade rules. that being said, if they did, you wouldnt have been a target. your really good results came at the end of the year. so consider racing the 3's next cx season or try the master's 'A' race. either way, it will help you to continue to improve which will keep you motivated. you may not get the great results we all desire but you will still have just as much fun and will be learning more as a racer as well. just my opinion.

  88. i can attest to the fact that steve v can rock his triple axe... if you know what i mean