Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Mucky, Yucky, Sucky Cyclocross Nationals Are in Bend Again

Some of the fast-paced action in last year's Cyclocross Nationals

All the jock-sniffers in Bend (which has a higher concentration of jock-sniffers, per capita, than any other town in America) are in a continuous near-orgasmic state of arousal this week because the Cyclocross National Championships are being held here.

The five-day event begins today, and this is the second consecutive year that Bend has played host to the Cyclocross Nationals. For those not familiar with this "sport," cyclocross involves people riding bicycles (rather slowly) and often carrying bicycles (even more slowly) over a muddy, slushy, snowy, mucky course. (Here's some video from last year's event to give you an idea.)

I believe the powers that decide such things would do well to make this burg the permanent location for the nationals. That's because cyclocross has all four ingredients that make a "sport" perfect for Bend:

1. It's boring, dumb and pointless.

2. It involves no skill or grace -- just brute endurance.

3. It requires the use of expensive equipment and the wearing of brightly colored, tight-fighting Spandex.

4. It's physically unpleasant for both the participants and the spectators.

No wonder the local jock worshipers are all a-twitter. As for me, I'm saving my excitement for the Oregon Ducks vs. the Auburn Tigers in the BCS championship on Jan. 10.


Anonymous said...

"1. It's boring, dumb and pointless"

Well.., well, yeah?! I'm getting front row seats ( so I can heckle )

You know you've run completely aground when the only things you're able to conjure up involve combining sports or just mixing and matching like kids do w/ mom and dad's liquor cabinet.

Saw one called "Bungee-Diving". Like all deviants ( yes, David Carradine was "set up" by Ninja masters so as to not reveal their secrets ) they just can't get off on plain vanilla, straight s@x any more.

In this particular instance, the simple act of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane no longer suffices. Two bungee-divers ( I'm sure they have an association ) lashed themselves together and... within meters of leaving operational aircraft were bonking noggins unabated like a rubberball attached to a ping-pong paddle.

A few concussions ( broken limbs and missing teeth later ) the idiot/auto-chutes open and they land safely, in the back of an ambulance. Thankfully now ins. co's ask if you're an a-hole before they issue you a LI policy. Have fun out there guys!

blackdog said...

Cyclocross doesn't appear to be very dangerous because of the slow speeds involved -- unlike bicycle road racing. It just seems rather dull and poky to me. I mean, there's just not much to it. Guys and girls riding and carrying bikes around and around a muddy course -- big deal.

Folks in Bend adore what I call the "huff-and-puff sports" -- things like mountain biking, marathons and triathlons, cross-country skiing. Activities that require no particular skill or highly refined technique, just a lot of cardio conditioning and the ability to take physical punishment.

I prefer (both to watch and to play) sports that are relatively fast-moving and involve some skill and grace -- football, baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, etc. If I'm going to wear out my joints I want to at least have some fun doing it.

Spockgirl said...

Have you ever ridden a mountain bike in the snow? on ice? in mud? It CAN be fun, and yes, it is labourious and slow. Of course, I ususally rode to get from point A to point B... These guys are just nuts... but they do it for a living... I think.
Upside... does it bring extra business to Bend?

blackdog said...

"Have you ever ridden a mountain bike in the snow? on ice? in mud?"

No. I went on a mountain bike ride with friends, once, in the dust of August. Horrible experience. I'll never do it again. (I prefer a road bike; I like to go fast.)

"It CAN be fun."

Could be, I suppose. I'm just saying it's not a good spectator sport. IMO.

"Upside... does it bring extra business to Bend?"


Anonymous said...

Let me be clear... I don't believe any of us are "anti-fun" here. Most people like fun, we're no different.

There are any number of time honored Winter sporting events that well take advantage of snow, ice, glaciers etc. We have the Iditarod.. for instance? That's fun. Polar Bear Clubs that jump into freezing cold water, the list goes on.

I'm just at a loss as to why it has to be an ever-expanding list? Kind of like when your little brother kept... challenging you until he finally devised a 'game' he -could- beat you at!

Great, you spent half a day perfecting the 'art' of blindfolded-card tossing over your left shoulder into an empty laundry basket. You've got me there!

blackdog said...

"Polar Bear Clubs that jump into freezing cold water"

That's not fun, that's insanity.

Anonymous said...


Given it took me almost a month and half to get over the 'first' cold of the season, anyone openly inviting pnuemonia should be excluded from their health plan on the grounds they're unnecessarily driving up HC costs! Lol.

Still, it IS a 'tradition'. An insane trad., but one nonetheless. Most of my objection to newly-dubbed sports ( which are trying desperately to 'become' traditions ) is the same objection I have to say "musical genre" that literally dwarf it!

Indie-Pop/Metal. Steam Punk. Death Metal.., it goes on. So many of these self-appointed 'titles' can virtually bestow upon one's self to be a Genre Of ONE! At the same time, how many spin-offs can we have from (1) sitcom? By this same 'standard' poor old Mr. Dewey would have had over 10,000 Categories and over a million SUB-categories.

My question is, how 'empowering' can a pursuit 'be' if the only path it knows ( is the one of least resistance? ) How can we tell if they're doing it 'wrong' when we've nothing to judge it 'against'? Well, the answer is, you CAN'T! and that's kind of the whole idea.

blackdog said...

"Indie-Pop/Metal. Steam Punk. Death Metal.., it goes on."

Gosh, you really sound like a geezer now! (Insert audio clip of "Gimme That Old-Time Rock-'n'-Roll" here.)

Anonymous said...

LOL, yeah probably 'am'? I think what illustrates the point though is that from the time Scott Joplin first wrote "The Maple Leaf Rag" ( in I believe the 1890's? ) considered by many an afficianado as "the first Jazz song" up until Present, there were only about 4 or 5 major offshoots?

Trad. ( first and foremost! ) Dixieland, Big Band-era, Swing and Fusion. It sufficed perfectly well for over a hundred years?

'Now' if you Wiki genres ( they have to break it down A-F, G-M etc. ) The vast majority of which are part of a recent explosion! My question in that regard is; are there ALL that many more 'gifted' musicians/'atheletes' than ever before or is this just a mkt'ing gimmick?

Would the world be a better place if we -all- had our 'own' Area Code? Just thinking out loud.

blackdog said...

Music evolves, just like anything else, and that's not a bad thing. If it didn't we'd still be listening to Gregorian chants.

Personally I'm glad jazz didn't stop evolving with the swing era because I like bebop.

Anonymous said...


Right and ( as much as we'd sometimes like ) we can't stop the wheels of progress simply b/c 'we' have found our own personal goldilocks scenario.

A lot of what has driven the "rate of change" ( which is 'really' what Wall Street-types try to gauge ) is that we have so many "eyes" looking at a problem/challenge these days via the internet.

Of the 10,000... mandolin pickers in Nashville, (1) of them is bound to stumble on a hit tune, new genre etc. This is actually the internet's highest calling. Given seldom does one person have all the answers, bloggers cobble one together from the bits & pieces.

Again ( purist that I am ) my primary concern has always been dilution.