Dueling Races

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I hate it when I have to decide about which race to go to. Especially when both the races are good events that I’ve raced previously. That is the case this weekend. I hate it even more when I have to make that tough decision when I’m riding and feeling like shit. But, in cyclocross, there is no hiding, so there isn’t an easy race to do. I saw it happen in MTB racing and now in cross, the promoters don’t get together and figure out a good race schedule for the season. I’d like fewer races that are bigger. People seem to think that races such as these, Oklahoma and Nebraska, aren’t competing for the same riders. That isn’t true.

Nationally, there seems to be an open weekend before Thanksgiving. Not in the Midwest. There is the Nebraska Race Weekend in Lincoln. Both the days are in Pioneers Park and the courses are great. And then there is the Ruts and Guts races in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa. It has such a prizelist that it is impossible not to support.

The Nebraska races are the State Championships. Plus, my buddies, the Sheclismo’s (click the link to get all the info) have their own ranking/scoring/entertainment system to add to the excitement for the women. If you are lucky, you can get the secret handshake for the Sunday morning/post race party/hangover breakfast. Those guys support women’s bike racing as well as I’ve witnessed anywhere. They make it fun and easy to participate.

The Ruts and Guts has a crazy prize list for cross. $1000 to win for the Elite men and $750 for the women. Plus all the other categories are good too. The races are Friday night and Saturday. Cross racing in dryer climates, California, Texas, and even Oklahoma is sometimes more like MTB racing. That is something that I failed to consider last year. Last year they had a goathead issue there. I flatted just about every tire I owed. Tufos with latext was the tire of choice last year. I don’t have any of those, but I have clinchers sealed up tubeless. I flatted two slime tubes that weighed 500 grams each last year. I have been assured that won’t be the case this year. (see comment below)

The guys in Oklahoma know how to enjoy themselves and put on great races too, just like the Nebraskans. It’s a pity that the races are overlapping. I guess I could always drive up to Lincoln for Sunday. Now that’s a thought.

3 thoughts on “Dueling Races

  1. Tanner Culbreath

    Our goal was to be between USGP Races. Def did not know about the Nebraska Race until it was too late. This will be a scheduling priority next year.

    I agree, big races are fun, and it is good for the cycling community to see these elite racers come in from out of town.

    Goatheads- We have been riding the course for a few days now, and have not gotten a single sticker…and if you do flat, SRAM Neutral will be here!

    All the best to those racing in Nebraska, and here in Tulsa this weekend! Should be some great competition!Good luck to everyone.

  2. channel_zero


    Local racer attendance is how the race promoter makes the business work.

    USAC is excellent at driving down the attendance numbers all on their own. The empty prize list USAC ‘National Series’ they have on the road and XC will be coming soon enough.

    I suggest a lottery for creating a national series. Promoter has to have a minimum prize list and minimum lower category attendance. If the event meets the criteria, into a hat it goes. Maybe a maximum of 12 events for a national championship series???

  3. Jeremy Haynes

    Channel Zero makes a good point. Local racer attendance is the point. We had this issue in KC in the early to mid-2000s where people (a couple promoters) wanted fewer races so people would travel to races. I was (and likely always will be) against this. The reason why is that for every person who will travel to race, there are 20 who won’t. As a promoter of a race, as well as bike racing, I don’t want to allow what a handful of racers want to do dictate what a local cycling community can or can’t do. There are too many people who still want to race near home… Bike racing is for the guy with kids, or the poor student, or whoever, who wants to race, but doesn’t have the resources (whether it’s time, money, care, etc) to travel to race. This is a community. I know we are part of a larger community, but there’s still a local one that we have to sustain and support…


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