"You Have Crazy Ideas, I Agree." - Colin Rooter
There seems to be a surplus of wild-directionless race promoter energy bouncing around in this post-IWCII void. Some of this energy has been directed toward digging up facts about Massachusetts races from the past. Things like EFTA's Wrentham State Forest race (allegedly quite hard, which is what I would have imagined). And The Boston Cup races held in Needham Town Forest. This with the idea that someone (not mentioning any urls) might be attempting to put on a mountain bike race.
You can't just Google these things. These races were held pre-internet, pre-blogging, to find stuff out about these races you have to actually talk to people (and of course by "talk" I mean email them). Right now I have an email thread going with a half dozen people, trying to put together the pieces. In ten or twenty years mountain bike racers will be able to park their hover cars, hover inside their geodesic dome homes with their hover shoes, sit down in their hover office chairs, and look up races from the early part of the millennium with ease. Thanks in large part to jabbering imbeciles like me and my blogging buddies. I have never thought about what a service I am doing for posterity.
Wow, I feel good about myself. I am going to pour myself another cup of coffee.
Something I'm contemplating right now (see me up there contemplating?) is how to make mountain bike races more like Cross races, but in a good way. Not in a "let's ride around a schoolyard in circles way." There has to be a happy medium between that and, as Mr. Myerson puts it, "riding around in the woods by [yourself]." There has to be a way to make it more spectator friendly without making it a Short Track course (which is exponentially lamer than a Cross course).
I mean, I like riding mountain bikes, I ride them all the time, I do it by choice, and I don't suck too too horribly at it, therefore I enjoy most mountain bike races. Even the hard-tarded ones like EFTA's Glocester Grind and Treasure Valley Rally. Mountain bike races can be so hard that beginners wind up walking more than riding...and that's no fun for anyone. I'm not sure what the answer is to that problem. The thing about a cross course is: anyone can ride it. Their ability level just determines how fast they do it. And they probably aren't going to die trying.
I've always thought that it's incredibly funny that Mt. Snow has a beginner race at all. There is no beginner way down that mountain. There isn't really a beginner way up either. It's a massive suckfest even if you kind of know what you're doing.
The problem with most good mountain bike races is, however good they might be for the riders, they have almost zero spectator appeal. Most mountain bike races are like that, even the stupid ski area ones. Is there a way to get spectators out to the more interesting parts of the course? Is there a way to show them what's going on in the less accessible parts of the course? I have no answers today, I'm just asking questions, thinking out loud here.
And trailing off about this subject here...
Below is a video of Adam "Da Spyder" Snyder hopping the barriers at the verge NBX race a couple weekends back. It was a hard approach but he pulled the hops out of his ass and got it done. I'm pretty sure you could slip the kid a Ruffie, blindfold him, spin him around in circles until, he was dizzy and vomiting, point him in the general direction of a barrier — and he'd hop it.
If you listen "carefully" you can hear some mega-douche shouting encouragement at Adam.
Why do I call him "Da Spyder?" Well a few months back, out at SSWC09 Durango, I ran into Adam at a bar. He was with his posse of "Durangutans," I threw up my arm shouting "Adam, my man!" He gave me a hand to neck, cut it out type motion. Then covering his mouth halfway with his hand he said, "Dude, be cool, everyone out here knows me as Da Spyder." I started to laugh, but my laughter ended abruptly and painfully as I found myself in mid-flight, head aimed right at the corner of a wooden table. The next thing I recall is a hand grabbing me by the throat and lifting me off the floor, out of a thick pool of my own blood. Through his gritted teeth he spat "I SAID, out here, people call me Da Spyder! Got that?" "Sir! Yes Mr. Da Spyder sir!" "Do you work at Panera bread ass face?" "Sir! No Mr. Da Spyder sir!" "Then what in the wild wild world of animals are you making sir sandwiches for?!"
And that is why I call him Da Spyder.