I started the day with a hangover so I went and raced cross in a field with my friends and gave myself another one. It was worth it though because Incredibly Cross.
Incredibly Cross is an unsanctioned cyclocross race where the secret location is revealed 2 days prior to the event. There is a ‘course’ (some spray paint and sporadic taping mark the 1.5km circuit), a lot of booze. Entry is £2 on turning up or a 4pack of your favourite beer, most opted for the beer. I bought along a bottle of Fireball Whisky and regretted it later on in the race.
Cross is really accessible in England, its got that anyone can do it attitude. The Incredibly Cross crew take that to a whole new level actively encouraging anyone on any bike to the carnage. 62 racers in total showed up with a mix of bikes ranging from top end tub laden carbon crossers round to fixed gear street bikes on slicks to a boris bike.
Everyone races together, even the littlest of riders get 2 laps of the course before the beer comes out and it all gets a bit messy. Beer Handups, shots, megaphones and boomboxes are all just a part of it.
Of course there are ‘winners’, male and female podiums all with prizes but also on the honours list are best costume and most inappropriate bike (the boris bike won a bottle of Lambrini). Which is going to keep it fresh and interesting for racers, organisers and spectators. I lapped Boris!
Hand made trophies (Thomas Slater) show the kind of imagination, effort and care is being taken but the event doesn’t feel forced, its a community thing made up by the riders and their friends who all got up early race day morning to dig berms and clear brambles.
It was only Incredibly Cross’s 2nd official unofficial race and something this good is going to draw a lot of attention. So much so that i’m not sure how long it can go on as an ‘unsanctioned’ bike race before logistics and the legal side of things take over. However it grows its definitely got a bright future and I’m excited to be a part of it now, to see how it progresses and what they think of next.
1. Matt Nobel
2. Jonathan Dennis
3. Alex Blomeley
1. Adeline O’Moreau
2. Aoife Doherty
3. Mon Zamojska
Most Inappropriate Bike – Andy Matthews
Best Costume – Ben Hawkins