Letter from the Editor
Words by Jeff Lockwood, editor, grit.cx
Photo by Bill Lockwood
We started this magazine not as a quick money grab to capitalize on the growing cyclocross and emerging off-road racing/riding scenes, but rather to give a voice to the vibrant, exciting and inspiring communities around these unique cycling disciplines. Instead of making millions…or even hundreds…we’ve taken much joy and pride in finding, learning about and presenting the inspiring and interesting sides of this beautiful sport.
In this issue, you’ll read about people who design cyclocross courses, a group of friends who put together a singlespeed ’cross team in Belgium and a fancy cycling apparel company that wanted to create a really cool and unique cyclocross series.
Aside from the athletes and fans, our sport is full of people who are ‘do-ers’—men and women who wake up before sunrise to set course tape, volunteer at the aid stations on a rainy and cold 200-kilometer gravel event, or pick up the empty beer bottles in the parking lot after everyone has left. These are just a few examples of the people who help build and maintain the amazing two-wheeled community in your village, city or country.
But what about you? What do YOU do for your cycling community?
There are many ways to get involved. You don’t necessarily need to go out and put on your own cyclocross race or off-road endurance event—you’d be better off investing your money by flushing piles of it directly down the toilet. The men and women putting on your local event mostly likely do so purely out of passion, and they surely have plenty of volunteer opportunities for you—set up the courses, hand out numbers at registration, welcome riders at food stations along the route, marshal the courses or even help park cars.
Your involvement can also be more personal and direct. You can support your riding community by helping it grow one rider at a time. Take the neighbor’s kid out for his or her first off-road ride, and watch the smile they throw your way. Offer to help pit for an up-and-coming racer who has no other support at your local muddy race. Perhaps you can bake some cakes to offer dazed riders at rest stations for endurance events.
Cycling can be a very individual sport with countless personal reasons for turning the pedals. Yet our particular dirty little niche is full of people coming together to worship at the altar of the bike. We have teams, clubs, group rides and events. Whether you play nice with others or you prefer to win at all costs, if you’re reading this magazine, chances are that you’re likely part of a group of men, women and children who come together in a vibrant celebration of riding.
Nothing survives in a vacuum, and your cycling community is only as good as you help make it. Sure it’s fun to throwdown in a battle inside the course tape, and it’s a blast to be on the other side cheering on your mates. But it’s just as important to help put up that tape early in the morning. And then take it down when everyone else is having a beer. But don’t worry, you’ll be done soon and there will be plenty of beer waiting for you.