What happened to killer hole in the wall coffee joints? You’d walk in and almost feel a bit scared of the avant-garde looking clientele who clearly owned the place. You’d sheepishly approach the counter, order your drip…embarrassed to ask for a to-go cup…and immediately feel intimidated as you look around at the patrons seemingly eye-balling you as if you’re “not cool enough to hang, so git on out.” But alas, the patrons could realistically give a shit about you as they did their own thing…more truthfully immersed in their own espressos.
To solve this problem we, as a society, simply evolved and sterilized that culture and made it all vanilla: we made Starbucks. Every store the same. All the coffee the same bland ‘middle of the road’ blend. All the same crap compact discs at the point of sale to buy along with your 3,000 calorie ‘coffee milkshake.’
Mmmm. Comfort. And you don't have to feel intimidated!
The analog here of course is ‘cross. All the courses I see now are radically fast grass crits. Long straights, a few turns, maybe a steep hill. Very few ‘problems’ for racers to solve…and demonstrate their all-around skill. After reading Ryan’s post about the current state of Swiss cross (and the origin of why we ring cowbells at a ‘cross), I watched and was mesmerized a video he linked to of the 1988 Worlds held in Hägendorf Switzerland.
These are the conditions I dream of. These are the athletes that should dominate. These are the skilled riders that shine. 25c tires. Heavy bikes. Toe clips. Running. Sliding. Turning. Climbing. Sprinting.
A proper ‘cross.
Click on the @08:32 Marker to take you to the ‘real’ meat, or enjoy from the beginning.
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