Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hierarchy of cycling in Columbia - where do you fit in?

A couple of weeks ago the Daily Tribune's cycling correspondant, Robert "The Spokesman" Johnson wrote an article regarding the legality of riding a bicycle on the Interstate in our great state of Missouri:
In the article, the Spokesman does a bit of mythbusting and informs us that in actuality, it is entirely legal to ride a bicycle on Missouri highways.  This was a great relief to me since I do like to frequent the Interstate on my velocipede, as I just don't tend to get as much excitement riding on the trail and crave that "Frogger" experience.  But, in truth, there are times and places when one must briefly ride along the shoulder and it is helpful to know that the Po-Po aren't going to taze me while doing so.  Surprising to none, this article, like every single article ever written by Mr. Johnson, was pounced upon by the bicycle-hating throng of COMO citizens in the comment section. 
"My kids grew up in an era where they were taught good, sensible manners on how and where to use their bicycles.  They most certainly didn't ride them in traffic or on downtown sidewalks....  There were plenty of places to ride bikes - like to school and back and probably stopping at wherever they had an after school job which they also learned what the phrase "work ethic" meant."

Hey - I think I remember that era when bicycles weren't ridden in traffic.....I believe it was the late 19th century, as long as you don't consider the long lines of oxen-pulled wagons backed up on Stadium as 'traffic'.  That said, I too am infuriated by those cyclists that both ride on sidewalks and have no work ethic.  I think they are called "undergrads".  Anyway, one individual decided to fire back at "1crossfire's" comments with some of their own thoughts.

In contradiction to "1crossfire's" cycling generalities, reader "bethatasitmay" breaks down COMO cyclists into 7 basic categories:

1. Children who may or may not know proper cycling technique depending on what they've been taught....we may consider them the tabula rasa of the COMO cycling world.

2. Homeless people or people with suspended driver's licences....ie people who have to suffer the cruel indignity of getting somewhere by bicycle because they have no choice.

3. "College students who just started riding a bike at college for the first time since they were 10" (and still are wearing the same jeans they were wearing when they were 10....I think they call them "hipsters.")

4. Serious bike commuters concerned about fitness and the environment (Liberals)

5. Trail only riders (Conservatives)

6. Serious competitive bicyclsts who are training for the Apple Cup race.....(even through it was last held in the year 2000 or something.  You can never be sure when it might return - and serious competitive cyclists will be ready....)

7. Touring bicyclists from out of town who have "ridden with their baggage from all parts of the country."  which kind of makes COMO sound like the Field of Dreams of cycling.

Really - what "bethatasitmay" has done in her response is to inadvertently fashion a hierarchichal tiering system of COMO cyclists which is pretty perceptive.  I've taken the liberty of restating this in graphical form (click to enlargen).
Whereas the lowest form of COMO cycling is practiced by children, drunks and hipsters, one may climb the evolutionary cycling tree toward the ultimate goal of cyclist enlightenment through baggage toting tourism requiring rides through town ONLY to find lodging.  I'm sure this will make the burgeoning randonneuring population incredibly proud.

However, this begs the question of where in the hell this guy fits in?
He's got baggage, but could definitely teach a hipster how to grow some facial hair...and his co-pilot is most certainly smarter than the average dumb kid.  I'm stumped.

Oh yeah - and I almost forgot.  I have to go away on business - so that's all for this week.  See you next week, kids!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cavendish, earning his stripes, and his new nickname.

Well, I have to give credit where credit is due, no matter how long the forthcoming year is going to be watching (and listening to) Mark Cavendish, the boy racer from the Isle of Man, who will now wear the rainbow stripes after winning the world championships yesterday.

And certainly an equal amount of credit must go to the entire Team Britian squad who made it their mission to win this World Championship years ago when they saw the layout would favor the sprinters.  And the sprinters, they did come: Hushovd, Boasson Hagen, Farrar, Cancellara, Greipel, Goss.....none could best Cavs, even when it looked like he was boxed in.  Defending champion Thor could do nothing as he got tangled up behind a crash and never even got to fight for the sprint finish, but rather was left to cry a single solitary rainbow tear over his Oakley Jawbones.

And speaking of Team Britian, the boys really turned themselves inside out for Cavs.  However today, the day after a very long night of celebration to be sure....it seems that Team Britain is seeing their insides turned out once again, according to Twitter..

And speaking of Twitter, back on July 4th, after Tyler Farrar took the sprint stage victory in the Tour de France, Bob Roll made the statement that "Sprinters are the honey badgers of the peloton" on his own Twitter feed.....an obvious nod to the fierceness and tenacity of the animal, but also perhaps to the original "Badger", Bernard Hinault:
As there can only be one "Badger" and Hinault will forever embody this moniker, I think Roll may have unintentionally stumbled upon something else regarding the interlacing of personas, more specifically of the fearless sub-species of Honey Badger and sprinters - and even more specifically our new World Champion sprinter, Mark Cavendish.  Other nicknames just haven't stuck for Cavendish....'Cavs', "Boy Racer', 'The Manx Missile,'....even our own attempt with 'Cavendouche.'   Such names have fallen from him like water droplets rolling off freshly shaven legs slathered with embrocation on a cold misty morning.  But "Honey Badger"?  Yeah - I'm feeling it....
"Honey Badger is pretty bad ass...." and so are you Cavs....congrats.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Mail: Be careful what you wish for!

Man, what a week.  I love this time of year.  Not for the cooler weather and pleasurable cycling, or the start of cyclocross season, or the longer gravel rides that meander through the colorful mid-Missouri backwoods.....but for new seasons of TV shows!  And this year reality TV has taken massive leaps forward.  Is anyone else watching Hillbilly Hand Fishin'?

How about Whisker Wars?

With entertainment options like this, it's going to be hard for me to peel myself away from the tube to actually spend any time on the bike this fall....Dammit I hate having to make tough choices.

Anyway - I won't belabor you with the struggles I deal with on a daily basis....instead - let's jump into the mailbag.

Dear PooBah,
I'm the CleanBottle mascot that you may have seen gracing the side of the road at the recent Amgen Tour of California.  I'm writing to you because I'm having some self-confidence issues.  As far as mascots go, I don't think people perceive a bottle as that happy or fun.  I mean - who wants to dance or get crazy with a stupid bottle - right?
Thanks for listening -
The CleanBottle

Don't get down on yourself, man!  It's not all that bad being you!  After all - you do get to take off both your top and bottom occasionally - right?  That must be fun.  And remember, sometimes mascots can be a little TOO happy...Take the Amarillo GoldSox for example...

And look at the bright side....as WADA continues its war on doping in the peloton - you could have ended up being this.

Dear PooBah,
I was cruising around the internet the other day and found this awesome collection of cycling-related Lego-block sets over at copenhagnize.com!  This only makes sense since Denmark is the home to both Lego and one of richest cycling cultures in the world.  I want to purchase one of these for my kid but don't know which one to get first.  Any suggestions?
Dieter F.

Well, if it were me - I'd probably go for the Lego Team Telekom-era Jan Ulrich set....

Or the "sustainable warfare" set featuring a hot Lego babe riding a bicycle while toting a Kalishnikov.

Dear PooBah,
Are you familiar with the term "photobombing?"  Essentially it means to jump into a photograph that is being taken of something or someone else at the last minute to inentionally sabotage it.  Well, check out this photo I found of Floyd Landis photobombing a Livestrong billboard in Times Square.  This is priceless!
Kyle B.

Yeah - that's pretty good....but still not as impressive as this picture of Kate Beckinsale getting GingerBombed....
Nobody saw that one coming.....

Or how about this Verne Troyer MiniBomb....


Dear PooBah,
I'm on my way to my 50th Star Trek convention in Orlando and am so excited.  This is a huge milestone for me and the organizers are actually going to reward me for my dedication with a special certificate presented by the guy who did sound engineering for 3 episodes of the show.  I'm so excited!  As an avid cyclist - I'm going to be riding my special Enterprise bicycle all the way there!  What do you think?
Philip T.

That is exciting indeed!  Just make sure you don't forget your special Star Trek issued cycling shorts...

Dear PooBah,
I've heard rumor that Columbia is going to get its very own cyclocross race soon!  Do you know anything about it?  Will it have a theme?  If so - I'd like to suggest one:  BIKINICROSS!
Carl G.
Be careful what you wish for...

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis tonight

Today, some rather "big fish" of cyclocross racing are coming to our "little pond" of a state in the form of the Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis - more specifically Herman Park in University City.   This race follows last weeks' professional opener, CrossVegas, as part of the "Cross after Dark" series of UCI races here in the states.  The elite men’s race begins at 9:00 PM and will be featuring current US national Champ Todd Wells, former national champs, Tim Johnson, Jonathan Page and Ryan Trebon in addition to last year’s North American Cyclocross Trophy series champ Jeremy Powers. 
Making the pond even more impressive are the Europeans who will also be mixing it up including Swiss national champ Christian Heule, Belgian U23 champ Ben Berden and Zoltan Tisza.   But making it more interesting for us here in COMO is that a couple of hometown boys: Missouri State Champion Josh Johnson and Hermann Cross winner Jon Schottler will also be throwing down in the UCI men's elite field.
The women’s elite race will see an equal display of international and national talent through the entries of US national champion Meredith Miller and her teammate, college national cyclocross champion Teal Stestson-Lee and Belgian champion Joyce Vanderbeken. 

The women's race begins at 7:30 PM.  All details can be found here: www.gatewaycrosscup.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Herman Cross wrap-up: From the bottom up.

Last Saturday afternoon, I popped my proverbial cherry in the wonderful world of cyclocross in the town of Hermann, MO.  Before I launch in on that epic tale of Cat 4 wonderment, I need to describe the fact-finding mission I went on the week before the race as I consulted with a number of friends on different strategies.  I considered this background research - data collection if you will, from those more experienced; each of whom gave me pearls of wisdom.

Friend #1:
"What are your expectations for Saturday?" he asked.
I answered, "1) To not severely injure myself.  2) To not severely injure anyone else. 3) To not severely injure my bike 4) To not finish last.
"You really know how to shoot for the stars, don't you?" he replied.  "If you don't really care about winning - then here's what you do.  Start at the back and let all the insanity unfold ahead of you and then start picking people off.  It's more fun to pass people than get passed which is what's going to happen if you start at the front.  Oh yeah - and have fun."

Friend #2:
"How do I ride through sand?" I asked.
"Pedal hard through it, and if you eat shit, keep your shifters out of it or else they're fucked," he answered.

Friend #3:
"Any advice?" I asked.
"Start at the front and if you need to puke during the race - go right aheadRemember - you are getting old and you kind of suck, so you've got that going for you," he replied.

So, as I lined up for my race, I positioned myself about midfield.  The reason?  I have no clue.  Friend #3 told me I should be on the front - but it didn't feel like I deserved to be on the front, and yet I really thought I was better than sitting on the very back like Friend #1 told me to do - so I compromised with them, like they were a little angel and little devil sitting on each of my shoulders. 
Just about that time, a race offical approached us, the assembled horde of Cat 4s .  In the front row were 2 or maybe 3 young kids who were clearly juniors.  The official smiled at each of them and told them how good it was to see them there and then proceeded to go over the rules, making special notation of where the first-aid station was located.  He repeated its location three times, which I took as indication that he has seen his fair share of Cat 4 cyclocross races.  I glanced apprehensively over to the guy on my left who was wearing a crash helmet with a sticker on it that said "Lick me", and then over to the guy on my right whose bike had porteur handlebars on it as I wondered what in the hell I was doing there.  After the official finished, another guy standing close to me dressed in full team kit and whom shall henceforth be referred to as the 'douche-packer,' yells to him.

"Are you going to do a call-up?"
"No," the official responds.
"Why not?!!" theDP answered, clearly irritated.
"We are only doing that for the 1/2/3 races," the offical replied, very politely.
"Well, why are the juniors in the front?" asks the DP.
"I guess because they got here sooner than you did," answered the official.
"You think that's a good idea?" the DP asks.
The official takes a deep breath and then releases it in exasperated fashion.  He looks right at the DP and then says in a very tired voice. "Listen everyone, there are juniors in the front.  Keep an eye out."
"This is bullshit," the DP mutters under his breath.

I was suddenly distracted away from the silent conversation that had been continuing to run in my head between me, and Friends #1 and #3 over my starting position long enough to turn to the DP and say, "Would you chill the fuck out, please?  We are a bunch of Cat 4 sacks of shit - and still will be even if your ass somehow manages to set the course record for the night!"  In a perfect world, I would have actually formed these words with my mouth and said them.  Instead they remained just a thought inside my brain.  But I still dreamt of saying them.  In the midst of this day dream, in which I'd become a chiseled, trash-talking, cyclocross-racing bad-ass, relaxed and sitting on my top tube at the pre-race start line, with legs so sculpted they looked like they had been carved from marble, telling tales of cyclocross racing adventures to the juniors huddled around me, I was suddently awakened by the voice of the official who was counting down from 5.  And then just as quickly, he had released us and we were off on what would prove to become the longest 40 minutes I had experienced since I tried to sit through the movie Blue Velvet.  Oddly enough, my experiences were not so dissimilar from those of Dennis Hopper's character in the film in that, I too, found myself craving an oxgen mask and screaming "Mommy" within about 3 minutes. 
But that's where all similarities ended, thankfully.   At some point after feeling my digested turkey sandwich start to creep back up my esophagus, I looked down at my watch to see how long I had been out on the torturous course, feeling certainly it had to be close to 35 minutes, only to find the number 15 staring back at me from the stopwatch function.  And it occured to me that somehow, someway, cyclocross actually proves Einstein to be correct.....that time is relative and when you are on that damned bike, it can slow to a virtual standstill.

I have no idea where or even how I finished, but eventually I accomplished all 4 of my goals.  My friends cheered me on as I dragged my fat ass up those wretched steps and over ridiculously positioned barriers.  I kept my shifters out of the sand - but did manage to go blasting right through the barrier adjacent to the pit.  I picked off my fair share of riders, and stayed out of the first-aid tent..... however I'm also pretty sure this guy may have kicked my ass.....and deservedly so.
photo courtesy.

All in all, a flipping fantastic time and I can't wait for the next one.  And once again, I need to thank all of my friends who coerced me into doing this and then tolerated (and continue to tolerate) my steady barrage of questions and worrying.   
Anyway, no one cares what a cyclocross race looks like from the bottom up, as this account describes, so let's see something far more entertaing: the great video made of the Men's 1/2/3 race by Brent Davidson.

Big congrats to COMO racer Jon Schottler of Team Michelob Ultra/Big Shark Racing who took first on Saturday and second on Sunday to win the overall competition.  An amazing performance.  And also a huge THANKS! and congrats to race organizer Jeff Yielding who not only won the 40+ master's division, but also put on an incredibly well-organized event, even if there was no call-up in the Cat 4 race.  Jeff - if you can just sort that one thing out, you might truly have yourself a quality event!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Mail: Putting yourself out there!

If you are unaware, this past week was Interbike - a massive cycling industry trade show held annually out in Las Vegas.  It has grown over the years and become a very important event for the bicycle industry.  But Vegas being Vegas, craziness is bound to ensue, as well as moments of odd serendipity, I suppose.  I give you this photo posted on twitter by the folks at NYVelocity.
Featuring Levi Leipheimer and Barry Bonds, this photo was captioned by the NYVelocity folks as "This conversation only needed a lemur in it to be crazier. Vegas makes no sense."

Or does it? (Cue dramatic chipmunk).

Whatever.  On with Friday mail.

Dear PooBah-
We're so excited about Herman Cross 2011.  It's going to be EPIC!  First question - are you racing?  And second question - are you going to dress up?  We heard that some cyclists will come to cross races in costume.

See you there!
Kelly and Jacob M.

K and M-
Answers:  Firstly, Yes I'm going....yes I'm paying a fee to line up.....yes I will be wearing a number....and yes I will be attempting to pedal my ass around the course.  Does that constitute racing?  I don't think so - but I will let you be the judge.  Secondly - yes I will be dressing up.  I'm going to go with something subtle though - so make sure to keep your eyes peeled - or else you may not even notice me.

Dear PooBah,
I consider myself a pretty crafty person and love tinkering with bicycles in my home shop.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got to putting some parts together from some various objects I had laying around and ended up coming up with a sweet bicycle.  My son has been after me for a new bike - so I really considered this a win-win.....The problem is, he started riding his new home-built bike to school every day - and every day is getting beat up by some bullies there.  What gives?  Do you think they are just jealous of his new wheels?

I really need some advice -
Simon H.

First things first.  Get a helmet on that kid!  Secondly - you better slap a rubber ball on that unicorn's horn or else little Ricky is going to end up impaling someone and landing your ass in a lawsuit.  Thirdly - I know you're proud of your creation, MacGyver, but if you keep making your kid ride that thing to school, he's going to end up getting a tattoo like this when he grows up.

Dear PooBah,
I am majoring in mathematics here at Mizzou and was recently given the task of completing a special group project.  We had to come up with an example of a situation demonstrating velocity, calculate the theoretical equations surrounding it and then validate our calculations by measuring the real-life re-creation of the situation.  I assumed leadership of the group and designed the experiment myself. I'm writing to you to have you check my math.  Here's the situation:  A 23-year-old, 180 pound male cyclist travelling 17mph for 25 meters rides off a ramp with a 12 degree slope in an easterly direction.  There is a  7mph wind blowing out of the northwest and the relative humidity is 75%.  Assuming the cyclist's tire pressure is 40 PSI, and he neither accelerates or decelerates as he rides up the ramp, how far will he travel in air before his tires make contact?

By the way - your answer may or may not be used as part of a legal defense. 

Mike T.
Considering you are still enrolled as a student here, have you considered English lit as a major?  I don't see mathematics in your future.

Dear PooBah,
My brother and I are touring Europe by bicycle!  But everywhere we go, I keep getting odd looks from everyone.  I'm not sure why as cycling is so much more commonly used as a means of transportation here than back in the states.  So certainly, that can't be why folks don't seem to be accepting me.  Do you have any ideas?
Thank you!
Timmy L.

Well you could start by taking the helmet off your backpack and putting it on your head.  Secondly - perhaps you are being too shy.  You really should try going up to people and trying to communicate more.  Most everyone in Europe speaks English - so don't be afraid to really put yourself out there - I'm sure they will love it.

Dear PooBah,
I'm new to Columbia and am single.  I hate having to admit this - but I'm having problems with the ladies.  I love to ride, spend a lot of time out on the trail on my bike and am meeting a ton of women there - but can't get any of them to go out with me.  So I've decided to try online dating.  I just took this photo of myself as my profile pic.  Do you think this will help my chances?

Thanks, bro!
Dean B.
No question dude.  You're a whisper away from hooking up - I can just sense it.  Just remember, women like a man who is confident - so don't be too reserved  - really show them what you've got to offer from the outset.

Dear PooBah,
My best friend is trying to learn how to ride a bike.  I cannot believe that she doesn't know how to at this age, but I feel bad that she has never known the pleasure of flying down a street on a bicycle!  So I'm trying to help her out by teaching her how to ride just like my parents taught me.  I stand beside her and grab the rear of her saddle with one hand and then run alongside, gently pushing the bike forward as she pedals, but she still isn't getting it.  Could you provide any other techniques that might work to getting her up and going?

Thank you so much - I hate to bother you with such a silly question.

Daisy D.

No bother at all!  That's why I'm here after all - right?  It sure looks like you are doing everything correctly.  Just remember, practice makes perfect.  Speaking of which - I hope the street you are practicing on is nice and flat and free of traffic - that is important to make her feel more comfortable.  Listen, I'm going to email you the address for COMO CYCO headquarters....the street out front is absolutely IDEAL for this kind of thing and I'm sure it will make all the difference.

Have a great weekend, everyone -


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dr. No

Meet Dr.Tom Coburn, Republican Senator from Oklahoma:

"Why?" you ask.  Because he is attempting to stall the extension of the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill unless Congress eliminates funding for the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program which makes up only 2% of the federal transportation budget.  Why is he so worried about such a miniscule amount of money and what does that mean to you and me if he is successful?  If he kills the TE program, then the money guaranteed to help maintain bicycle and walking projects including bike lanes and byways, paths and trails, all disappears.  Why does he have such a beef with federal funding for bicycling and walking?  Who knows - but his nickname in the Senate has become "Dr. No" for his tendency to vote against bills he views as unconstitutional - and also because both his hands were burned off in a vat of acid and have been since replaced by mechanical prosthetics.  Ok - that last part's not exactly true....
The original Dr. No from the similary titled and infamous 1962 James Bond film.

(In case you're wondering what else Coburn has been up to - he tried to block bills honoring Rachel Carson, author of the book Silent Spring, which is credited by many to have initiated the environmental movement calling it "junk science", he opposed legislation creating a wilderness area around Mount Hood aimed at protecting wildlands in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and he also put a hold on a veteran's benefits bill in 2009.)  So what can you do?  Here's your chance to play James Bond (or his lovely companion du jour Honey Rider, played by the sumptuous Ursula Andress - but I digress) and shut Dr. No's ass down!
Aw yeah....that's my boy.

"How?" you ask?  Spend about 30 seconds and go to this website:

It will prompt you to enter your zip code and then will send automated letters to your congressmen or women on your behalf to encourage them to not let the bill be stalled, thus allowing the TE program to proceed and our walking and cycling infrastructure continue to be paid for by federally mandated funds - since those are our taxes, afterall.

Then - after you do that, reward yourself by watching this.  It has nothing to do with Dr. No, or Sean Connery, or even Ursula (unfortunately) but it is pretty kick-ass.....and it features two cycling commentators who make Phil and Paul look like they are both in comas.  Make sure to turn your speakers up for full effect.  My favorite part is the commentary at the 1:13 minute mark.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hermann Cross 2011

This weekend is Hermann Cross 2011, and whereas this is not the first cyclocross race of the year, it is arguably one of the most popular cross races of the season - and it's nearly in our very own backyard.  In case you are oblivious to the ways of cyclocross - take a little peek at this video (which I chose from literally thousands of possible cyclocross compilation videos on YouTube for two reasons:  First, it is accompanied by a song from one of my favorite bands, OkGo!, and secondly, because it was uploaded by someone calling him/herself  'facepubes'.  With that combination, the video is sure not to disappoint......that and the flipping amazing dismount/mount at the 1:22 mark.)

With this coming weekend's race in Hermann, I contacted the organizer and proud father of Hermann Cross, Mr. Jeff Yielding, to see if he could answer some questions about the upcoming event.

CCPB: How and when did Hermann Cross first come to be?

JY: In 2008 the idea came from Josh Johnson from Columbia MO, he mentioned to me the idea of a night time race in the Hermann city park. One thing led to another and the race took off from there.

[Josh Johnson - a COMO native, is the current Missouri State Champion in cyclocross and races for BigShark out of St. Louis.]

CCPB:  Can you tell us how the race has grown over the years?

JY: The first year was invitation only due to a scheduling conflict with the St Genevieve road race. So as not to take away riders from that race I invited 100 racers to an awesome time in the mud.  At the time, this was the first night race in MO.

2009 was more a traditional race open to all.  The concept of the night race remained, and live music and food were added. There were about 110 finishers that year. It was truly an awesome experience with everyone having a good time.

In 2010, I expanded the event to a full weekend - so racing both Saturday and Sunday. Things were going along really well to begin with.  We had a huge turnout with really big fields, live music rocking from the stairs, awesome sponsors, and just lots going on. Then a huge storm hit as the last race of the night started. That race only lasted 3 laps before it was called due to the intense lightning. Then rain set in and it just kept raining, and raining and raining until eventually the park had a flash flood! It was definitely a low point for the event after such a high all day long. The park and equipment were ruined and all the races on Sunday were cancelled. 
But everything before the flood was spot on, and we knew that the extended two-day format could be successful.  Despite mother nature having her way, we knew we had something to build on for 2011!

CCPB: Awesome - so what are the big changes for this year's race?

JY: 2011 should be our best year yet as we kick off the MO Cyclocross race season. There is just so much going on:  Firstly, we have a brand new web site (hermanncx.com) As for the race, this year we are offering barrier primes, field primes, added categories for masters divisions, an announcer, live music, a leader's jersey awarded for each category, a professional photographer documenting the whole race, team championship awards, awesome prizes, food, free beer tasting and much more. And the weather looks to be awesome for the weekend. This is definitely an event, not just a race.

CCPB: Who are the outstanding men and women we should be keeping an eye out for in this year's race?

JY: Right now the highest ranked pre-registered women rider is Laura Scherff racing for Momentum Racing. A lot of the women racers tend to register on-site, however, so it's hard to say what that field will end up looking like.
The Men's 1/2/3 race is already stacked with quality riders including State Champions and past Hermann CX winners. It will be a battle under the lights Saturday night into Sunday to be sure. Who knows who will walk away the championship?
CCPB: Any advice or words of encouragement for the total cyclocross newb that wants to race?

JY: Bring what you have with no expectations and prepare to have fun. When your race is over sit back the rest of the night, cheer on the other racers and enjoy the event.

CCPB: For those that have never seen a cyclocross race, can you give them the top 8 reasons why they should come to Hermann to witness this in person?

JY:  Absolutely!

#1.       This could be the strongest field of Cross racers in one race MO has ever seen as we're going to be pulling riders from  MO, KS, IA, IL and OK.

#2.       The Stairs!
#3.       Hermann park is a great place to host a race, you can see almost all the action from one spot.

#4.       Live music

#5.       Food and beer

#6.       Great volunteers

#7.       Course design offers a bit of everything

#8.       Hermann, baby!  There could not be a better host city.

CCPB: Thanks Jeff!

The races start at 4:00 PM on Saturday with the Masters 30+ field and continue until the Men's 1/2/3 race kicks off at 9:00 PM that night.  Sunday, the show starts at 10:00 AM and continues until the final race kicks off at 3:00 PM with the same order.  Come on out and get dirty...