Friday, September 28, 2012

Looking forward to the future of NEOCX

So as I get more into the cyclocross scene and become more a part of it, I've started thinking about what I want from a cross series. We all of course want a competitive series, with great courses. That's a given, what becomes harder is all the little amenities that make it feel more professional. Obviously, lines of cheering fans would be amazing, but we are pretty damn close. Riding through the pavilion at Brooklyn as people cheered you on and rang cowbells was an amazing feeling. We have a great series and a great group of riders who come out the the racers. I started racing 4 years ago and in those four years I've seen our series grow. We are going through a transition from a fringe sport that a few diehards participated in to a full fledge series. It's been great to watch, and I'm excited to see where it goes. Below is just my thoughts on where I'd like to see this series head.

The first is a standard for courses. We've had some great courses but there is not a standard for courses. This can be as simple as having a shared start finish complex. I've been to many courses where racers have asked where the start is. This seems simple, but having a true start finish complex sets the tone for the race. This can be as simple as a banner over the start finish line and snow fencing along the start/finish line. Along those same lines all courses should follow a set standard, the easiest would be to follow USAC rules. I understand some rules will be hard to follow, like the 3 meter rule for the full course but promoters should try their hardest to follow a set of standards so racers can go to a course knowing that the course will fit standards. With this also means that the courses should be kept on the schedule because they are great venues. I'd rather have great courses than more course and half being no fun. To tell you the truth, if I have to skip a course I'll always choose a lesser course than a great course.

Next, the names of the races should switch from the A,B,C, standard and follow the Cat system. It would be in line with all other series and make it line up when racers our racers travel to or when an out of town racer travels to our races. We already do this by placing the Cat's next to the A,B,C on most fliers. Group rides and training races are broke into A,B,C but not for races. Also, it would be great to get call ups at least in the 3-4 race and 1-2-3 races by series. This benefits those racers who show up each week and fight hard. Why can't we reward them and recognize them for their racing. Plus, it keeps those who are fighting for series points fighting each other, instead of getting stuck in the back.

One last thing, results need to be turned in in a timely manner. Every promoter should turn in the results to USAC in a timely manner. We shouldn't have to wait 2 weeks for our points to show up. Clearly, it is possible as Brooklyn was on USAC the day after.

This is not to say I'm unhappy in the series. I love the series and part of the charm is it's grassroots nature. We are a cross series put on by cross racers. It's amazing what each promoter does each week and we have arguably the best racers in the most competitive series in the state. I just see us at a turning point and I'm excited to see how we build our scene. We should be proud of what we do, and we should strive to be the best. We should never think we are the best, but always strive to be the best. I'm really looking forward to the our series being a truly first class series!

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