A Guide To Cyclocross Fandom
Cyclocross is a unique cycling discipline. It tends to be a more open and friendly environment than road racing, and a better spectator experience than mountain biking. This isn’t to say that road and mountain biking are less superior, they just aren’t on the same level of awesome.
That said, if you are new to cyclocross, or if you have experienced the rush and excitement you may find yourself getting yelled at by a complete stranger. This stranger probably is someone that raced in an event earlier and they are there to support you, but also to make you feel like their kid brother. It can be confusing at first, but here is a handy guide to fandom in cyclocross.
The OFFICIAL Rules Of FLCX Fandom:
1. Cyclocross Is Fun, But It Is Also A Competition
People are racing bikes. It is still a competition. Do not alter the course (read: dumping water on the run-up, moving course tape after the race day starts etc…). If you see someone doing this call them out on it as they are probably unaware since everyone is having a great time and this whole thing may be new!
2. Heckling Is Encouraged. Being Mean Is Not.
Cyclocross at its core is about being fun and having a smile on your face. This means that you do what you can to bring that fun atmosphere to everyone, including the racer that has their heart rate pegged at 194 while hitting an off-camber turn. They may be in the ‘zone’ but it is an appropriate time to tell them that they should, “go wicked hardah” or that they should “work together” with the ride in front of them. Get the riders off their game. Make them stop and do pushups, or maybe stop in the middle of the race and get their autograph (thanks Chris Horner!).
The general rule of thumb for heckling is that it should make the rider laugh. You should never under any circumstances say, “you suck,” or be a complete jerk. If that happens don’t be surprised if someone does their best Bart Wellens to your noggin.
3. Handups Are Not A Crime, Unless It Is Illegal And Against The Rules.
Cyclocross is so much fun that from time to time the racers want to get involved with the party on the other side of the course tape. They request pieces of bacon, coca-cola, or even a piece of Laffy Taffy. The general rule for handups is don’t be an idiot and put the promoter, riders or other fans at risk with your behavior. You know, act like an adult, well at least one that knows how to sneak food into the movie theater.
4. Cyclocross Is One Big Family.
We are all in this together. If you are out walking the course and you see a little course tape on the ground tie it back up, if the race is over see if you can pull down some of the tape and help the folks clean up the party. At the end of the day tell your friends to come race with us and have some more fun.
At no time is it ok to be a complete jerk to the officials, promoters, riders, or fellow spectators. This isn’t road racing where you can get away with throwing your bike to the ground and yelling at your friend standing in the feedzone that missed your bottle feed. This is the place where you work as hard as possible to win your race and do as well as you can, but go have a high-five with your competitor immediately after the race.