Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet Your Promoter

Who are bigger CX Dorks than Promoters? I mean they love CX so much they actually put on races for the rest of us to go to. Its a thankless job. As part of a two part series I'm interviewing promoters from either side of the state. Call it East meets West of Missouri/Kansas CX.

First up is Chris Locke mostly since he replied first. Chris promotes my favorite series the Destad Series in & around Kansas City. Why is it my favorite? I'm biased since I won the Master's Category last year. My opinions aside Chris puts on a great series of races. I've seen him out there beating the heck out of stakes & then turning around & racing SSCX. He's a CRAZY man! Chris' love of CX rivals mine for sure.

On with the Questions:
What was your first CX race & what did you race it on?
A true CX rig or MTB?

A: My first CX race was back in 1999 at the Lawrence River Trails. I had just moved here from Florida and only owned a mountain bike. Course used some single track back then so I actually did really well – podium finish.

What was the first race you promoted?

A: CrossLogic Cyclocross Challenge. E.H. Young Riverfront Park in Parkville, Missouri was the venue. I can still remember the famous boat ramp section that we put in. Good times for sure.

What made you decide to promote? I mean it is the most inglorious/thankless part of racing?

A: The Kansas City area did not have much of a cross presence and I wanted to give something back to cycling/racing. I thought I could do a good job and was willing to put in the work to create an event.

Why promote an entire series? is it your love of pounding stakes?

A: I think it comes from all those years racing motocross. There were really no stand alone events just a season long series. I enjoyed being apart of a series and working toward earning a championship. It was like one big family and I enjoyed traveling around and competing against the best riders in a region. I have tried to get a series going here in the Midwest for nearly 8 years. No one wanted to really join in (I don’t think anyone really likes me J). Several years ago John Lefler (Nebraska), liked the idea of a regional series also. We formed the Mid-America Cross Cup series. It was success with events in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Buy me a beer one day and I will tell you what happened with that…. I carried on with the De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Series and hope one day to bring back a regional series on a larger scale.

Tubular or Clincher? Favorite Tire?

A: Clincher (only because I promote races and don’t make they cash needed for tubularJ). I love the Ritchey ExcaVader – hooks up well in a variety of conditions. You can also run a low psi which we all know is very important in cross.

Current CX Rig? Pit Bike?

A: I can not begin to count the number of different bikes I have owned. I currently have a Colnago and a older Kona. Pit bike this year will be a Haro Mary SS. You might see me on a custom Ti frame before the season ends.

Geared or SS? SS Favorite Gear set up? Do you even have a geared cx bike anymore?

A: Both, but I enjoy SS mostly. The Colnago basically collects dust. I usually run around a 40 x 18. The old knees are not like they used to be and I spin a lot now.

Why do you like racing SSCX?

A: I guess it carried over from riding single speed off-road. I just enjoy simple things. Nothing simpler that just one gear. All you have to worry about is pedaling and having fun. I especially like SS in the mud.

Current Team?

A: Cow Town Cycling Team.

What do you think about sandbagger's?

A: They suck! And you all know who you are……everyone wants to do well and have a chance at winning. It is human nature. Some just take it too far at the expense of good sportsman ship.

East Coast racing in Missouri is mostly still using the A/B/C cats versus the West coast using the USCF Cat's. What your feeling on this?

A: Heck, I think we should all just line up and have a mass start. Like old school triathlons and larger mountain bike races. Forget the ability levels and just have age-groups. You would not have any sandbaggers then J…..Actually I am all for the USCF categories. I never liked the idea of self ability levels like A,B,C.

Should there be a State wide CX Series?

A: I have always wanted a regional series myself, but a state series is also a good idea. To really grow cross and attract sponsors we need larger events that can bring in more participants.

What do you think about 35+ Master's Categories?

A: I have mixed feeling about Master’s. For the most part the top master’s are Cat 1 / 2 ‘s (or should be if they ever upgraded) and should be racing with the Elites. Some do, some don’t. I wish some would race in the Elite/Open division and give some of the newer masters a chance at doing well. This is why I added the Master’s Cat 4 division last year….As Jeff Foxworthy might say “if you are a master racer and always find yourself on top of the podium, you might be a sandbagger”
Edit: I resemble this remark.ScottyD

Favorite CX Brake Set up?

A: I use just normal brake levers w/ cantilevers. I will most likely retire if I ever use those top mounted levers.

Carbon Wheels?

A: Hell no.

Are you a mudder? ie prefer racing in the mud?

A: I can not believe you asked me that. Did you see the results for this year’s Bone Bender or Black Locust? Mud for sure. Nothing like a good old fashion muddy event.

Dream CX Dinner companions?

A: I personally just enjoy a nice dinner with my wife Carolynn.

What was the best piece of cx training advice you ever got?

A: Intervals until you puke.

What would you tell someone interested in promoting a CX race?

A: I would start by thanking them. As a promoter you very seldom get even a simple Thank you! Be prepared to put in a lot of hours if you want to do a good job. Just designing a good course take a lot of time.

If I put a CX race on in Springfield would you come? Not going to happen but an interesting hypothetical.

A: Yes I would. Hey, we can work on building that regional series up.

Favorite race you don't promote?

A: Any one with mud.

Thanks to Chris for answering my questions & I owe you several beers for sure! Stay tuned for part two from the East Side Promoter Jeff Yielding.

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