Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guide to 'Cross Worlds

The best way to experience the Cyclocross World Championships is to catch a plane to Europe and watch the races in person. If you can't swing the trip then here is a guide to enjoying the races at home.

First, you need to figure out how to actually watch the race. As far as I know the only way is to subscribe to the UCI Live channel on and tune in at 8:00am eastern. Barring the usual technical difficulties they will be broadcasting live with English commentary. I assume they'll show the elite Men's race, but I hope they'll show the others as well.

You might want to print out a map of the track so that you can follow along.

To get the full experience you need to be bundled up, standing in the cold, & drinking to stay warm. So, set up your laptop outside. You might need an umbrella to protect it from the elements and the beer. One bonus to watching outside means that you can go to the bathroom out in the open like the euros.

How cool would it be to get the live feed from Sporza and watch it on big-ass plasma?
Or, maybe you can hook up your computer to a real TV? If anyone knows about that let me know.

Now that you're set up to watch the race you need to gather Essential Supplies. Don't skimp here. Your enjoyment of the race will be predicated on your level of preparation.

You need Beer and plenty of it. Preferably Belgian. Here is one area where you have it better than the slobs actualy at the event. They'll be stuck drinking Jupiler or some other swill. You can stock up on the good stuff. Just make sure you have the correct glass for each type of beer!

To really have an authentic experience you need to get a bottle of Apple Krones (some kind of schnaaps) and heat that crap up. Time to bust out some shot glasses and hide car keys.

For any 'cross race you need a lot of calories. For Worlds you need extra. It would suck to bonk during a race of this magnitude.

Make a batch of Belgian waffles.

And then cook up a bunch of Frites
Frites in Bruges

Eat plenty. You can diet later.

In the motherland everyone shows their support for their favorites whether it's with the ubiquitous supportersclub jacket or in other creative ways.
Even though you'll be watching at home you need to find a way to show your support. The positive energy will find it's way over to Belgium and give your rider another gear.

To fully experience the mayhem you need to get a little crazy and let your freak flag fly. With the beer, shots, and food you should be primed and ready.

If you did it right you might not remember exactly what happened so check the results and then get the first-hand scoop from racer blogs & websites.
Jonathan Page
Ryan Trebon
Erik Tonkin
Barry Wicks
Tristan Schouten
Christine Vardaros
TIAA-Cref youngun's
Simon Zahner posts here

I hope this guide helps you enjoy the experience to the fullest. If you have any other ideas or know of some Belgian dive bar that is broadcasting the races live please let me know asap.



PEANUT said... normally has live typed coverage as well. Whole Foods carries belgian beer.
If you are at the race: for pocket food, be sure to carry Speculaas, peperkoek, and Cote d'Or's Advocaat dark chocolate. And for drinking, bring a flask of Jeniver - apple flavor is my favorite. They will also have jeniver at the race.
As you can tell, food is KEY - or at least in MY world!

Mike said...

Don't forget the cowbells! My neighbors already think I'm odd.....ringing cowbells on my back deck in front of my laptop while drinking beer and screaming Flemish profanities will really make them wonder.
As for me, I'll have it downloaded and up on my plasma by late afternoon. It won't be live but it will feel like I'm there. Looks like a good reason to make my Belgian pot roast and some bread pudding with fruit soaked in belgian beer.