I admit it. I’m completely jealous of Cyclocross.
Us uptight roadie types don’t hear much laughter at our races. The only heckling we get is from fellow racers if we don’t hold our line. The weirdness of cross speaks to the athlete in me that also wants to have fun. Too much time spent concentrating on power to weight ratios does that to a person.
I asked Amanda Bye, Cx co-captain for Naked Women’s Racing Cyclocross team, her opinion about a cross staple; heckling. I imagine good-natured heckling would be like throwing fuel on the burning metabolic fire, helping take it up a notch.
Here’s the gospel according to Amanda: “Heckling in good fun should never interfere in someone’s race (throwing beer, shots, donuts, crossing course tape, etc) and should not be demeaning or mean. It also helps to know your audience. Some people love being heckled (case in point -me), others get their feelings hurt. So, as in all of life – – know your audience”.
Ok, so there’s at least two of us that think the right kind of heckling has its place at CX races. What’s the right kind?
Beginner sampling of mild, good-natured heckles as heard by Emily Zinn and Amanda Bye:
“C’mon it is early season but not THAT early season, get on your bike.”
“If you are going to walk your bike that much, get a leash for it.”
“Maybe in war nobody gets left behind, but this is cyclocross!”
“The only way you manage to hold off racers is by blowing snot rockets!”
“The only time you’ve ever been called fast was by your prom date!”
“Maybe you could swim through the mud and call it a triathlon. Then you could be dead last and still win.”
Have a good one to add? Let us know. But remember the rules: The art of heckling is to be funny without being mean. And as cyclocross pro Adam Myerson said in an interview with Bicycling magazine, “One, don’t be a d**k. Two, “business at the front, party in the back”. Give the people racing the respect of racing”.
I’m all for respect. And for keeping cross weird.