Photo: Tim Homola

– Thanks again to Chris Henning and the entire Northbrook Bicycle Club for hosting stop 11 of the CCC at the new venue at Melas Park. Reports coming in so far are that everyone loved the new course and we would have to agree. The absolutely fantastic weather helped too!

– Here’s a link to photog Josh Dreyfus’ portraits. 100% of all purchases go to World Bicycle Relief and the Arlington Heights Fire Fighters Charitable Campaign.

– The CCC series takes a break this coming weekend to eat turkey, but one guy who never passes up the stuffing and cranberry is Rob Curtis who with his crew from PSIMET host the 2nd annual installment of the NORGE Ski Jump CX race. Online pre-reg on BikeReg closes Wednesday (tomorrow) night at midnight. Look for the course preview tomorrow morning.

– After we all wake up from our tryptophan induced turkey and mashed potato comas the CCC finishes up with the 12th and final stop at Montrose Harbor which just also happens to be the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships, hosted again by Ten27 Cycles. Since many of you have been asking, yes the shop is closing but the club is separate and is full steam ahead for hosting the race. More details to come next week but in the meantime please reviewing the staging procedure.

– In case you didn’t hear Verdigris-Village CX‘s youngster David Lombardo (pictured above leading the Melas CX Cat 1/2/3 race) was recently selected to be one of six <18 year old juniors to represent the US at Euro Cross Camp over the Christmas holiday. David will go head to head with Europe’s top rising talent on some of the toughest courses of the season. Many of the United States’ top riders are alumni including names like Trebon, Wicks, Summerhill, Matter, Selander, Townsend, Anthony, Wells, Driscoll, Eckmann, Lindine, etc as well as current U23 and Elite national champions Zach MacDonald and Jeremy Powers. This is great not only for David and VVCX but the entire CCC series which has encouraged and helped our juniors develop their talents. We can’t wait to see the next wave of CCC juniors head to Europe.

– Speaking of juniors racing CX, Tim Johnson has started a Mud Fund to help fund juniors racing CX.

CCC Merchandise is still on sale.

– Tickets (registration) for this season’s End of Season Awards Party at EJ’s Place are now on sale.

– Online pre-registration is open for the CCC’s UCI New Year’s Resolution race. All details are on the NYR page here.

– And finally… Let’s have a quick chat about spectating shall we? We’ve had more than a few comments here on the site (and direct emails from concerned adults) recently that spectators during the Cat 4 races have been getting a little too… shall we say… aggressive. Everyone loves a good heckle or Twinkie handup, but we all need to know where to draw the line. Our USAC officials have been very lenient in the past to allow for this fun, but they can just as easily take it away and then the CCC would be boring with just a bunch of fast guys riding around in circles like they do in New England. So if you don’t want to lose it, here are five simple rules that no spectators should never, ever, ever, evar do

  1. Never change the course after the promoter has set it up unless you’re helping to fix broken stakes or course tape, etc. Do NOT take it upon yourself to decide where the course should be routed so people will crash. This also includes adding elements like water, tacks, snakes, dog hair, or dirty baby diapers,
  2. Never enter the course during a race. Sure we all lean in a little bit to get closer to see the snot running out of the oxygen deprived racers’ faces, but the course if for the racers… not the spectators. If a racer isn’t looking for a hand up, there’s a pretty good chance they don’t want one in the first place. Racers should never be impeded because you are on the wrong side of the tape and blocking the course,
  3. Never throw things… like sand, boiling oil, flames, lawn darts (you laugh but it happened one year in Madison at the Planet Bike USGP at UCI3 in Cincy) at riders or anyone else for that matter, racing or otherwise. You are spectating, if you want to be a part of the race that bad, pay an entry fee and pin on a number,
  4. Never introduce glass to the race. Sure an aluminum beer can might mess up a rear derailleur, but it won’t cut a 3″ gash into someone’s face that will last a lifetime. No one wants that on their conscience. Dog poo probably falls into this category as well,
  5. Never yell out a truly mean spirited heckle you wouldn’t want to receive yourself or would be embarrassed having your grandmother hear coming out of your mouth. As professional heckler Rob Curtis said… “Heckling cross….any d bag can yell ” You SUCK”. Intelligent people heckle gently. It’s an art. If you don’t get it drop the mic.” Follow @TheRealPSIMET and search for #HeckleClinic on Twitter for more info. Can’t think of anything better to say? See our Heckle Hall of Fame for inspiration. Or here’s an idea… just use enthusiastic words of encouragement (but please leave the F-bombs at home).

These general principles go for riders in the race as well. Sure we all want to grab that dollar bill, piece of bacon, or the European Twizzlers, but if you’re stopping in the middle of the course to do a Malort shot you are Handups are fun, but part of that fun is trying to grab them while still racing. We all want to have fun, but the Cat 4 races are still USAC sanctioned races where rules apply and hopefully common sense prevails. So let’s all keep it under control and have fun without endangering our fellow racers and making a the CCC look like a frat party gone horribly wrong. K? Thanks, now let’s ride!