Juniors looking to make it on the big stage and get some much deserved support?
Rich dentists that can afford travel, lodging, Di2 equipped pit bikes, and massages who are hoping for one last shot at the title?
Pros scrambling for a late season result that will help them to keep riding the eternal cosmic wave?
Single speeders. Fucking single speeders.
USA Cycling loves their categories. Almost fifty different races over six days of competition. They even had time for a donut race. Yes, a donut race. Nothing against donut racing. I have mucho respecto for sport eating. I'm just pointing out there was time on the schedule for some tomfoolery.
What am I getting at?
With a single speed class lining up... I dunno, more than fifteen rows deep, maybe there was some wiggle room for a couple classes.
photo cred: FeedbacksportsWhy?
Interlopers. Those professional racer types that single speed their pit bikes in the days before the race, be it with a magic gear, a derailleur as a tensioner, a tensioner as a tensioner, running a stack of 19 tooth cogs, zip-tying their STI levers, or unplugging their Di2 batteries (I predicted this thing would happen but didn't think it ever would*).
photo cred CX MagazineWhat am I suggesting? Give the Pros and Cat 1s that decide they are going to be "single speeders" for the day their own class. Everyone else can duke it out in a non-pro race, so maybe they won't get pulled and perhaps lessen the cluster for all.
We could make allowances. If a pro/Cat 1 license holding rider could meet four of the following criteria, they could race with the others.
1. A blood alcohol content of .2% or higher
2. A BMI higher than 25.0
3. Shotgunning two 16oz Sierra Nevada Torpedos when the race starts, before they are allowed to even straddle their bikes.
4. Proof that they have kept and maintained their mustache for a minimum period of three years.
5. A tramp stamp.
6. Eye-watering body odor.
7. A costume that is 90% exposed skin.
Assuming this new system never be put in place (it won't), how about lining up the died in the wool cyclorossing single speeders at the front. Currently, the race predictor system just puts the strongest crossers up front based on the current season's results. What I'm suggesting is that the more times you race in the single speed class (and the better you do) in a given season, the further to the front your start at Nationals. I think 4th place at the US CX Nats SS class, Wes Richards (my life coach) who has been doubling up all year in single speed and the Cat 1s mighta had a shot at the title had he the top three racers started back in 139th position or so. Make them earn it if they want a shot at the Stars and Stripes.
In all honestly, I don't really give a shit about 99% of this. I'm a single speeder at heart, and I just want to complain to hear my own voice. Our sport, if you can call it that, is all about a lack of rules or at least a lack of respect for whatever rules might be in place. Follow them or not. Who cares?
But I can dream of a world where the lazy, worthless, semi-fit, less than sober, nonathletic single speeders have a chance...
* BTW: I lightly trolled CX Nats single speed winner Tristan Uhl on the social medias about his "single speed" bike, and unfortunately he turned out to be really nice about it.
Three day weekends in the winter time. That.