The Brooks Fantasy Urban Cyclocross™ Open.Events Curiosities Urban Cycling
Mayhem governs the LeMans style start of a typical Urban Cyclocross™ race.
We have spoken recently of the ingenious invention that is Urban Cyclocross™.
Glibly regarded by many as a discipline developed for brief converts from the Locked Cog to Proper Mucky Cyclocross (who as it turned out didn't really want to spend their entire weekend cold, dirty and/or tired), Urban Cyclocross™ is, like... so hot right now? Lately it is drawing enthusiastic followers, as well as race organizers, at a rate of knots.
Of course, maybe we're being a touch unfair, given that 2012 will see Bilenky run their seventh annual Junkyard Cross, but regular readers will know how we traditionally dislike letting hard facts and dates get in the way of a General Impression.
Anyway, we reckon we've seen enough this year to be able to imagine how one of these races should go. We need a drinks sponsor, a DJ, somewhere warm, a good logo for the race's name, and the mobile telephone number of our local GoPro representative.
Here are a few Urban Cyclocross™ races we may like to sponsor in the near future. Unless, of course, you have a better one for us? So get organizing! Feel free to let loose with a proposal in the Comments Section! Or a synopsis! Or something! We might call!
Racers taking a practice lap of the course at Red Square in Moscow.
Moscow "In Soviet Russia, Cross Cyclo YOU!"
Racers are doused in bootleg vodka at the gates of the Kremlin. Each one is then chased through town to the finish at Red Square by their own individual gang of former Special Forces officers, who are armed with flame throwers, and are all driving Hummers with fake police sirens attached to the roof.
Anyone who doesn't combust before the finish line is disqualified (and punished of course) for clearly having not properly doused themselves with enough bootleg vodka.
Sponsored by Evian, the after party gets broken up following complaints of the noise of gunfire from neighbours. Race organizers sentenced to "Several hours of 'Community Service'". We talked recently about bike lights, you'll need a few thousand lumens here at night.
Birmingham "Industrial Revolutions"
Starting in the yard of the Brooks works in Smethwick, racers must first relocate their saddle (obviously a Brooks), which has been removed from seat post and hidden needle-haystack-style somewhere on our factory floor. Eric Murray is on hand with the Tools of his Trade ensuring nobody succumbs to temptation...
Making their way to the city centre, riders must negotiate Britain's most intimidating crossroads, the original Spaghetti Junction. In the true spirit of Urban Cyclocross™, participants are encouraged to abseil down the layers of motorway which comprise said crossroads.
Sponsored by Brooks Proofide, our saddle unguent gets heated until it becomes liquid and is then consumed from shot glasses by thirsty revellers.
The French capital is, we feel, a perfect location for Urban Cyclocross™. Suggest a course!
Paris "The Combi Lock Code."
Racers' bikes are all locked at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Or rather, to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Riders start barefoot at the bottom, and at a given signal race Le Mans style to a huge pile of their jumbled up cycling shoes.
Once shod, they collect their bikes as they see fit, either scaling La Tour with grappling hooks or taking the lift. The wrong decision here could cost a lot of time.
Sponsored by Veuve Cliquot, the after party takes place in the courtyard of the Louvre. When the police show up at two in the morning, it's not because of the incessant thump of Progressive Speed Garage, but rather on account of the bloodied corpse lying in an odd yoga position and pointing confusedly at a van der Weyden in the Richelieu Wing.
Lederhosen are a remarkably comfortable choice for riding a Brooks in.
Munich "Cog-Tober Fest"
Starting from Munich Hauptbahnhof, competitors ride in full Bavarian festival attire to the "Wies'n". En route, they are required to climb over a minimum of five front gardens with their bikes, and relieve themselves behind a bush. Extra points awarded for racers who capture garden owners swearing at them in German on their HelmetCams.
The after party is sponsored by Guinness, but the musical entertainment is strictly Oompah until the tents close. After which, with everybody way over the limit, there's a second race to the queue of waiting taxis which hopefully have room in the boot for all those pristine Ridleys.
Well, it's not a Christiania but he has room for three passengers, so he can race.
Copenhagen "LikeLøCrøss - Ønly Heavier and with Møre Wheels"
The Christiania three wheelers get rolled out in Denmark's capital for some high octane, helmetless street racing. Each racer is required to carry three passengers for the duration. Two of them are there to help schlepp the bike up several sets of staircases which have been specially constructed for the race in notoriously flat Copenhagen.
The third is on board to take tasteful photographs of female cyclists in summer dresses at traffic lights which are uploaded in real-time to the Cycle Chic website.
Sponsored by Gammal Dansk, the after party takes place in Berlin, which of course is where any self-respecting Danish Arbiter Of Contemporary Tastes spends most of their time. Fortunately, the fantastic bike path which connects both cities is wide enough to accommodate Christianias riding two abreast.
The DJ plays Scandinavian Indypop to the exclusion of all other musical genres until the following Thursday, because nobody wants to give others the impression that they're so uncool as to actually complain.
As we say, get in touch with a location and race title for your Urban Cyclocross™ event of choice, with extremely brief outline. Perhaps we can be helpful in getting it off the drawing board in 2013.