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Number plates...

So my Google Alert picked up this nice story about the growing popularity of 'cross in Utah. It's growing everywhere, huh? The article also published some pictures which is always cool, but why oh why do these guys have number plates on the front of their bikes??? This isn't BMX and having complete visibility in front of your tire/bike (especially coming into barriers hot) as well as for folks who port their bike Belgie-style with the arm around the head tube would go INSANE with this practice. Why can't you guys in Utah tell your race officials to allow numbering on your uniforms?

Reader Comments (10)

The number plates also negate the ability to use a pit bike!

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervaughn

Holy crap! You're spot on Vaughn. I get the 'duh' award today. What kinda crap is that?

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Thats what happens when people who are used to organizing mountain bike races try a cross race. We had to do it once here in Florida and it sucked. You could pin them on your back and accomplish the same thing.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Yeah, that's how they roll in the midwest too... As a born and bred New-Enland 'crosser, I was appaled to attend my first corn country cx race, where front of bike affixed numbers were the rule. Other than the spare bike (which no one else has) question, there is also no way to attach those if you have under the bar cables AND top mounted brake levers. So you pin the thick number plate to your skinsuit- which by the way, no one else wears. To make things extra fun, no lap cards! It's just 1 to go once the leader crosses the line after 60'- of course, with said MTB number pinned to my side, and while terribly out of shape, I found myself leading one of these races and come past the Start/Finish at 59:56....which meant 2 to go and me almost detonating despite a 2 minute lead! But, at least they don't do barriers like they do in Seattle:

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

As someone who has put on low key local races (read do it to help get the sport going and know you're going to be putting in your own money) there are times you'll use what numbers you have left from the summer racing season so you don't have to throw down for new numbers. That being said I'd urge you to touch base with your promoters to pass along this feedback (I forwarded this story to a couple of shops that do local races so they'd be in the know). As cross grows and more shops start hosting local events it will be key to have more experience racers lend a hand on some of the details that have been mentioned here. Ride on. DEA

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterweak and feeble

Greg have to comment due to our Geography. The Chicago Cyclocross racers not only know how to properly wear our numbers we can even count down laps! We've come a long way.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPONY SHOP

I know some in the Utah crew well and will respond to a couple of issues. 1. They have 2 sets of numbers for all riders, thus not a pit bike issue. 2. Ohran and others who put on the cross races have been doing it for years and have all raced both cross and mountain on a very high level so know how to put on races 3. I believe the officials find it easier to score with the numbers up front.

Also check out Bart G and Ali G from SLC both ran top 10 in last years National Championships (great article about a year ago on Bart in VN) the number placement may be silly but these guys are fast. Art O has numerous top 10's in 35+ nationals and I believe had some good rides in Boulder during the Boulder Cup this year.

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRacing Green

Thanks Racing Green. Honestly, from my perspective, this is not anything to do with how fast Utah'ns are...'cause they're fast! For me, this is purely an annoyance factor (if I had to race 'cross with number plates in front of my bars).

In The Netherlands, for example, they had fairly hard plastic numbers they distributed to us (similar to what you would put on the front of your mountain bike...maybe a tad softer) and recycled them race after race. They had 100's of pin holes in them.

I dunno, coming in hot into barriers, I'd hate to have it there...or run ups with my arm around the head tube.

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

They don't get in the way, at all, and can be trimmed down.

The main reason is that it is easier to score by sight head on

I have seen Cat 2's put their numbers on upside down and on the wrong side.

Numbers up front solve both issues.

200-300 racers a weekend, no one complains.

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStupidBike

its actually easier than sticking yourself in a blurred hurry 10 minutes before the start. UCI numbering is a joke with 4 numbers. Plates are nice

November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTeam Rico

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