Monday, December 21, 2009

KCCX . Totally Legit!

Disclaimer: I'm going to forget to mention things.  Sorry if I leave you, or your contribution out.  As all of us in the house know, everyone was responsible in making this happen.

What does it mean to be treated like a PRO, on a legitimate outfit that is set up for the sole purpose to promote the sport an teach riders the ways of cyclocross?

The 2009-2010 CX season began just prior to Interbike 2008 for director Bill Marshall.  He started cementing deals then and procuring sponsorship to enable all this to happen.  The result: a setup and infrastructure based on sponsors, donors, and personal relationships that rivals any of the professional outfits in the US.

The van and trailer courtesy of Trek Stores KC

If you were to find our "camp" either in Portland (USGP) or Bend it would like a full working bike shop.  3 racks stuffed full of bikes, 3 pop up tents, Sprinter van, and a trailer.  The trailer has and rear quarters act as a changing/ warming room and there's plenty of space to relax.  Just stay out of the way because there's always someone warming up or doing last minute race prep.  Accompanying this is over a dozen riders and excess of 30 bikes, and about 70 sets of wheels.

The tents are full of KCCX sponsor product.  Wheels wrapped in rubber, chic black Scott bikes, Outlaw Earth bags crammed full of Verge clothing.  You name it, it was there.

Sure the "stuff" is cool, but what makes the whole thing run?  An outfit of this size has to be kept organized and spot on.  Enter the true champions of the last 2 weeks.... of the KCCX equipment is maintained by Superman Tom Price.  Tom has played an instrumental role by keeping each and every bike up and running with very little help.  And he takes everything in such great stride.  No matter what "emergency" a rider would have, it would be handled very smoothly and efficiently by Tom.  Oh, yeah.... Tom ALSO went from DFL in his 50-54 race to 4th place.  Watch the videos on his blog, I counted 1:16 from the final podium spot to him on the first lap!

Shadd Smith dominates the Killer B's! The first of many KCCX podium performances.

So that's Tom, what about our fearless leader? Bill Marshall everyone.  He is the reason this whole outfit got rolling and he wore the mantra well.  Bill had everything spot on.  From the airport pick up to the final packing of the bikes in the trailer and sprinter van.  Bill had it DIALED!  For example, Saturday, KCCX had a rider in EVERY race all day.  So what do we do?  Obviously, we relocate the entire "bike shop" operation to the pit for the day.  Obviously.  It just made sense.

Half of the garage.....

The other half of the garage....

As much as everyone would like to say, "it was totally PRO and looked great" the reason for all this was to allow the riders to be stress free and race their bikes.  And race KCCX did.  4 podium spots, 2 guys racing overseas at EuroCrossCamp, and lots of attention.  KCCX has a good mix of veterans and Young Guns.  The Veterans have done it and can keep the Young Guns from getting too nervous.  Also, whenever there's a attitude needing adjustment, it gets taken care of.  However, Veterans realize that the focus of the team is the Young Guns and they realize that to succeed, they need to learn from the wealth of knowledge from the former.  It's a good mix and one that I'm proud to be part of. 

So what's a normal day look like in the KCCX camp?

Night before: Dinner
Bill sits down and lays out the next day's events including who is racing and when (each rider is given a laminated schedule with this information on it).  Tom asks everyone what each bike needs done to made "good" again.  After getting this long list each night, Tom disappears into the HUGE garage packed with bikes to work his magic and doesn't emerge until every bike is working again. 

Next Morning, REALLY early:
Most days, Bill, Tom and Dean were on site at 630am.  Yes, that's early.  Everyone else sleeps in, but they are there all day, everyday for the first person racing to be fully supported.  Imagine that.... The 830am racer gets the SAME support as the 230pm racer.  Oh, it gets better, these guys don't take a "lunch break" like the Shimano neutral support did (what? we have 30 guys needing help?  eh, let's eat).  Oh no, they were at all day like the SRAM guys are when they work races.  Tireless. 

330pm, usually when the last race starts, anyone in the area helps to pack up the van and trailer.  The trailer was secured and locked up while ALL the bikes made the trek back to the house to have Tom work his magic again. 

5pm.  Bill would call everyone at the house with a 5 minute warning.  Be outside to help unload or face the wrath....

7pm.  Dinner.  Bill actually cooked most nights.  Either because he was famished or everyone else was too tired.  Not sure but the food was very good and there was lots of it.  Repeat the meeting and hit replay and that's a day in the KCCX Camp.

 LB and Adam's room.  It was a solid yard sale, but we kept it organized.