Free Fun at Urbocross – Gideon Tsang

Free Fun at Urbocross
Photos and words by Gideon Tsang

Cycling is usually fun, often not free and occasionally funny.

Racing a criterium is not free, usually fun and funny only when an armadillo crosses the road during the race. (True story and a problem isolated to racing in Texas.)

A deep tissue massage is not free or fun but funny as fuck when your Kiwi masseuse tells you farting stories. (Also a true story).

Bike camping is alarmingly fun and almost free. Insert naked cliff jumping and/or mushrooms for funny…

Urbocross is a free and fun four week cyclocross series on the urban trails of Austin, TX thrown by Beat the Clock Cycling Club and CycleEast bike shop. The series ended last week straddling the end of our road racing season and the beginning cross season.

Racers ranged from a former domestic pro to a Cat 1 road racer racing in jeans on his racked up commuter bike to John Watson fresh off of “beer gate” to a dude riding a cargo bike. (It turns out that run ups are difficult with a cargo bike. Who knew?)

Cleverly crafted courses snaked through a public park in east Austin and into the winding network of trails bordering the Southwest suburbs of the city. Each of the races involved a mixture of challenges that the natural terrain provided. Racers hammered through a secret beach, navigated rock gardens and climbed steep ledges as run ups.

Doughnuts were strategically placed for people who really wanted to win because we all know that every doughnut eaten is a win. Spectators partied, cross-stitched while heckling, heckled while cross-stitching, laid in their hammocks and of course, threw beer at John Watson (but that damn skinny bastard wouldn’t drink it!).

Despite being free, awards were handed to the best riders, the most mechanicals, the most gentlemanly and the hand-up king and queen. All in all, Urbocross was most free fun we’ve had in quite sometime, eh?

Where is the funny you ask? The series is called URBOcross. (Insert snickering)

Thanks to everyone in Austin who came out. If you’re coming into town for Nationals in January we’re throwing Crash Nationals. Sneak a doughnut with us and witness cross-stitch heckling in person. Oh, and be free to have fun on your bike. If you run out of funny, flatulence works 37% of the time.


Follow Gideon on Instagram and keep an eye on Beat the Clock Cycling’s Facebook for more information on this year’s Crash Nationals race!.


  • KT

    This looks like a fun, free series. I wish my city through a series like it.

    • John Watson

      You can throw one!

      • KT

        That’s very true :) hmmmm

      • CyclingNerd

        This looks really rad! Like KT, I’d like to throw one. I have an idea of how something like this would
        operate, but would you (or anyone else) care to elaborate a bit more on how to make
        something like this happen? Like the scoring and such to draw in those more competitive folks, so it isn’t just another group ride.

        • John Watson

          Make a course, and invite people to race. It’s not that tough. Try it out!

  • Kyle Scully

    Really great set!!! Looking forward to heading down to Austin for Nationals.

    • John Watson

      We’re looking forward to having you!

  • Chris Valente

    #6 is an amazing shot. Run ups, cross stitching and a big bag of weed. What a party!

  • Nealipo

    #39 Jerod!!

  • hans


  • Jolene

    I wonder what the total expenditure for changing flats at Urbocross comes out to.

  • Jamie McKeon

    There’s that Serotta!

  • BleekBleek

    What a crack-up! This guy should be contributing more articles to The Radavist!!

    • John Watson

      He’s pretty much the best!

  • Sretsok

    Fuck. Yes.