Friday, August 30, 2013

It takes a clinic to build a village.

JGMCX clinic. spotted- 2007 Bianchi Roger, possibly the first production SS cx disc bike in the US?

The beginning of August was kicked off with the Jonathan Gantz Memorial Cyclocross Clinic, located in lower York County, Pennsylvania. 

About 50 local and some far, cyclocross fans, racers, and those curious about the sport assembled at Spring Valley Park to start brushing up on their 'cross skills; hear some wisdom get dropped by Wes and Jake of the Haymarket bike race team and reconnect with cycling friends who only pop their head out of the ground this time of the year. 

Food and refreshments were provided by the York Area Mountain Bike Association so a big thanks goes out to them and Sean Durgin who manned the griddle, serving up pancakes to the attending cyclists.  Sean, or Skip as he's better know as in the area, and I go way back to 1990. He was a classmate back then and took me mountain biking for the first time.  Or at least he was on a mountain bike and I was still riding a bmx bike, but not for long.  That summer I traded my old road bike for a mountain bike and shredded the trails at Rocky Ridge all that summer. 

Clinics are popping up all over the US and what cyclists are understanding is that cultivating a cycling community is important to the health and growth of local cycling. And if you can attract junior cyclocross riders as well, that's the future of the sport right there!  Hosting a clinic with your local bike club will create new friendships, introduce recreational riders to area racers and hopefully breakdown any elitist-preconceived notions the weekend riders might have against those who pin on a number every weekend.  That being said, out of all the bike racers I know, the mountain bike and CX racers are the nicest, most approachable people in my directory.  That's an observation, not a criticism. 

Sean Mealey of Keystone Velo Racing did most of the organizing for this second year event which meant the full cx course would be a blast to ride. The drills we worked on covered the basic dismount, remount, dismount to stair run-up, starts/sprints, and then the team relay. A little bit of chasing each other, over cooking a few turns, and taking random dirt naps keep everyone laughing and enjoying themselves.

Big thanks again to Mealey and KVR, YAMBA, Nuts About Granola, Haymarket Bicycle Shop and Broken Spoke Photography who captured this fine day with the best lens in the county! 

I can't wait for next year!

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