Best Cross Experience of My Career
by Geoff Kabush
What is so special about cyclo-cross? I like that it keeps me from getting too round in the fall and winter. I like that it is all a little crazy riding around in the rain and mud on skinny little tires. I like the feeling of pushing the limits and going past them on a bike. Most of all though I like the culture and community cyclo-cross season brings. I’ve always had friends who race mountain bikes or road bikes and the fall cyclocross season is when we everyone has the chance to come together at one event. The racing can still be intense but almost everyone is friendly and having a good time.
I certainly have very fond memories of coming out on top at big events like the USGP, winning a classic like Gloucester, and taking several Canadian National Titles. Almost more special than winning were those feelings I had during muddy races, on the limit but in control, drifting, hooking into ruts, and flying across off-camber sections. Similar to the sensation of clearing a big jump on a mountain bike, maintaining speed and traction on a cyclo-cross bike is a bit of a rush. The sound of pressure washers, ringing of cowbells, the smell of leg balm, and the memories of flying down a pavement start straight before turning into the mud gets my heart pumping.
My love of Belgian beer is well known and getting together with friends after cyclo-cross races will remain some of my favourite experiences. Some don’t even wait until after the race is finished to contribute to the fun pastime of heckling friends at races. I enjoyed heckling my friends so much I once made a special trip once down to Portland for US Nationals; I may or may not have made a memorable appearance dressed up in a denim tuxedo in a certain CX documentary. Cyclo-cross is often the end of my season which makes it more relaxed and easier to enjoy an extra drink and a few tasty frites.
I’ve only had the opportunity to compete at one World Championships, so far, and what I remember from the experience is mostly after the race. It was great to even see all the Europeans out at the party; even though I couldn’t convince the champ Sven Nys to try crowd surfing off the balcony. Because of flooding the Louisville World Champs race got moved up a day so on Sunday we rented a hockey rink as everyone had a free day before travelling. I don’t remember exactly but I think I finished twenty-something at Worlds; I do remember the result of the hockey match exactly though. Canada Won!