The deadline to pre-register for Jingle Cross is Monday, September 11, and at first glance it may seem that everything has already been said about this amazing race. A huge accomplishment to attract a World Cup event to Iowa City? Check. The thrill of seeing the world's best race in our back yard? Check. Kudos for kicking enough euro-cyclocross-butt that all the pros were in awe of the course? Check.
Maybe it has all been said, but one thing bears repeating, and more important acting on: Jingle Cross has been unique in its commitment to offering a full weekend of amateur racing in addition to an amazing World Cup event. Until the Trek CXC World Cup race this year (the week after Jingle Cross) no one else has even tried to make that happen.
In parts of Europe cyclocross is hugely popular -- and profitable -- as a spectator sport. You can watch men's and women's races at the highest levels on television every weekend throughout the season. But those events aren't generally open to amateurs, or may include an "under 23" or junior field at best.
In the United States cyclocross barely registers as a money-making spectator sport. Its popularity has grown as a participatory sport, a party on wheels, a big mess with beer hand-ups. Jingle Cross has remained loyal to those grass roots by continuing to offer races to every amateur category of 'crosser out there, and even helping to invent a few new ones (fat bikes, relays, speedos...).
Whether you race with a passion or you're thinking about trying cyclocross for the first time, honor that participatory tradition by signing up now. Overweight and undertrained? Do it anyway -- this is too big to pass up. Exhausted from all the volunteer hours you've put in on Jingle Cross already? First, thank you. Second, sign up to race.
We'll see how this goes over at Trek Headquarters near Madison in a few weeks. We'll see if Trek CXC and Jingle Cross and whatever World Cup race happens in the United States next can make amateur racing an integral part of cyclocross events at even the highest level. In the meantime we can help make that happen, and have a blast doing it, by signing up today.
Originally published by Goosetown Racing Club