I guess I’m going up to Iowa City and race the Jingle Cross this weekend. I’ve been going there since 2005, and have only missed the race once, a couple years ago, when I was roofing the building. It’s a Friday night race, then two afternoon cross races. All UCI races.
The courses at Jingle Cross are great. Recently it has been pretty wet, thus pretty difficult cyclo-x conditions. The forecast is for precipitation this weekend too. There is a pretty good climb, Mt. Krumpet, on the course and the course goes to the top of it each day, changing directions, but still hard. The descent can be treacherous. The crowds at Jingle Cross are super knowledgeable. Probably because many of the spectators of the Elite event have already raced during the day.
I wrote, I guess above, because I’m having a hard time working up any type of motivation for the weekend. Since the UCI has made the bullshit rule that competitors of the Master’s Worlds can’t have any UCI points, the best I can finish in the C2 races is 11th and 16th in the C1. As of last night, there were 17 guys entered in the Elite race. So, on Sunday, I’m going to have to finish nearly last to “keep my eligiblity” to race a Master’s race. Seems like the eligibility would be age, but I must be missing some vital information.
I’d had a lot of fun over the years at Jingle Cross. The first year I went, it was held at the University of Iowa cross country running course. Super wide open, flat, with a couple deviations into the woods. Jason McCartney, Radio Shack, but from Discovery back then, was the local superstar. Jason is from Coralville, virtually connected to Iowa City. I’ve known Jason since he started racing. I asked Jason if he needed/wanted to win the race and he said no, we should just race. He was riding red Tufos with 80 psi pressure. I got him to let some air out of his tires, but I’d guess he still had 50 psi at the start. Jason wasn’t too good at cross, so I won pretty handily. It was $1000 back then to win. Pretty incredible for a cross race. John Meehan has always been a riders promoter, probably because he races bikes at a high level himself.
Since Jason, Chris Horner came the next few years. Along with Todd Wells, Bjorn Selander, Doug Swanson and lots of the other midwest superstars. It is so good having the midwest guys hold their own with the national level riders.
I was looking for photos of the Jingle Cross’ of past and realized that lots of my favorite photos of the sport occur at cross races. Cyclo-X is a super photogenic sport. The riders come by often and the conditions sometime make for some really interesting shots.
As I write this, I’m starting to get a little more excited about going. There are lots of things that are going to be fun to do at this race. We usually stay right in downtown Iowa City, connected to the University. The downtown has a ton of energy, like most college towns. Plus, there is a race party on Saturday night that is great.
I’ve had this tooth problem for the past week and it has gotten a lot worse. I tried to get to the dentist today, but I haven’t had any luck getting past the receptionist. If I could just talk to my dentist, I’d be in instantly, the problem is getting past the front desk. I have an appointment for Wednesday morning, but am probably going to camp out there for the rest of the day today. It is cold and raining, plus I really haven’t slept much the last 3 nights.
Anyway, if you don’t have any plans for the weekend and you’re anywhere near the midwest, you should try to make your way over/up to Iowa City. Even if you just want to watch some good bike racing. The Elite field isn’t deep, but it is stacked.
This video of Jingle Cross from a couple years ago has almost 1,500,000 views, I have no idea why. I’d separated my shoulder the day before, so I had to push my bike and not carry it. Not a good day for that predicament.