Boulder vs. Portland's single speed category

For awhile I thought single speed racing in Colorado was gaining popularity but last week's results and comparing it to Portland's number makes me wonder what is going on. When comparing participation numbers of the single speed category between Portland's Cross Crusade Series and the Boulder Series the numbers are dramatically different.

Oct 5, 2008, Cross Crusade #1 = 103 finishers!
Sep 26, 2009, Boulder Series #1 = 5 finishers

What are your thoughts?

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I would guess that if it

I would guess that if it rained in CO at all, we would see the practicality of the SS at the races. If I raced in Portland and the mud ripped off my der every weekend, you would bet I be racing one f-ing gear.

And, I may be one of those responsible for the lowering numbers. You see... I race 3's I have not been able to attend cause of the 3:45 time slot. It has been too late in the day, and I've had other things scheduled later in the afternoons. I know... I can't complain about that time change, since I didn't go to the meeting, but I might as well let my thoughts be heard. That late time slot also prevents me from having a post race 'recover drink' with friends and bbqing while watching and cheering on the big boys and girls.

Stevil at ( is right, regardless of how much you would like to laugh at it, Boulder does take racing pretty dang serious.

there's my 2 cents, let me know if you want some change back.

I'll keep pluggin' away

That is sad. True, Portland is lots bigger than Boulder, but add in Denver, FoCo, etc and we should be able to turn out 20+ SS on a regular basis. To all those "why have a SS category" comments; reasonable question but running us after the 3's doesn't lengthen the day, and if you raced once in SS group you'd understand. It's just cool to go race with a bunch of guys who know that there out there for fun. Yeah it's a race, and the whole point is to try to rip each other's legs off, but way too often I've seen Front Range races -- of all types, road, mountain, short track, etc, -- get way too serious. The very act of building up a SS and dragging it to a race is a way to put money where your mouth is showing that yeah, you know that you're not the next Lance, you're there just to blow off some steam and have a fun race.

Whole different Animal

I lived in Portland for a couple of years and would go to the cross crusade races, even before I raced. It's what got me into cross racing.

The Cross Crusade, and all CX races in Portland for that matter, are more of a festival or a party than a race. Although at these festivals you end up racing while all your friends ring bells, yell at you, give you beer handups and enjoy watching you suffer. Families and kids running all over the place. If you haven't been to one of these, you need to go!

For example, if you show up to the Halloween race in Portland in your kit... people will ask what's wrong with you.

The Boulder races have no festival, no surrounding atmosphere. It's just a race then you go home. It's a lot more serious, without the extra fun of a cross crusade race and in the end... that keeps the numbers down.

Make a show of it and the numbers will go up. Keep it the same and it'll remain the same.

Leave me out of it.

I have been doing cyclocross races on and off since the late 80's. Guys would come out get full of mud, get a good workout in, and in the process, have a lot of fun and a good laugh. I loved it! Today, however, is a different story. The racing is much more serious. You can't expect to show up, jump in a race and have fun anymore. If you aren't "race fit" and ready to puke, you will:
1) quickly be lapped by the field
2) probably piss off the riders lapping you ("get out of my way!")
3) go home feeling empty and like you don't belong ("what did I do this for?")
You just can't do it to experience it. You have to be ready to "seriously race".

I have also done a lot of running races where the leaders just take off and they can be as serious as they want, without your I'm-doing-this-for-fun attitude getting in the way... but such is the nature of a point to point race. Nobody cares what happens behind them.

Now I know what your thinking, "this is a race man! Go hard or go home!" OK, or maybe I should just go to Portland - just for fun.

if you don't like RACING. . .

If going hard (as opposed to a little bit hard sometimes) isn't fun for you, it's not that the race culture has a problem, it just means you don't like races. Everybody wants to be able to just show up and be a top 10 guy, but not everyone will.

It doesn't bother me that I struggle to break the top 50% in races, because I love the challenge and respect the fact that people train so they get better. Training and improving is called being an athlete.

If it's not your thing, that's fine. Do hard (or maybe easy) group rides, charity ride, etc. But seriously, where did we get this idea that a good race experience is when you can get away with no training, show up on a whim, kinda go hard but not really, and still do well? And where did this idea come from that racing hard is not fun? I think a little more realistic attitude would be to train, have fun doing it, and race for the joy of racing. And yes, racing means it's really uncomfortable while you do it, but you'll smile soon after it's over.

We're not in 2nd grade anymore. We don't all get blue ribbons everytime we enter a race. But we can still have fun.