Cross Nats Were Cancelled So We Threw Our Own Event

Sunday morning came faster than I had anticipated this week. With all of the Cross Nats madness engulfing my town of Austin, I found myself chasing my friends around bars, drinking until 2am, or at least staying up until then, catching up and watching movies at our now AirBnB home for wayward cyclists.

Anyway, I awoke Sunday, to Jeremy Dunn – who wrote a recount at the Athletic – rapping on my door, saying, “dude, you’re missing the biggest news of the year!” “nats is cancelled!”, with emphasis on that word, ‘cancelled’…

Walking into a room to find four of your friends staring at their glowing iPhone isn’t too out of the ordinary these days with all the ‘Grammin, Snapchattin’ and Tindering, but seeing the look on their faces, in unison, looking hella depressed was uncharacteristic. “What’s up? What the hell is going on?!” – we all know what happened next. All I fixated on was the word ‘cancelled’ – which at the time, it had been axed, with no promises of a reschedule.

Text messages began to fly and various Tweets were directed at me to throw an event. So we began to plan a ride out in some trails.

As with the internet, people get confused. Suddenly everyone thought I was trying to race on THE Cross Nats course, or they envisioned me tearing up another park. So and so from Ohio got mad, calling me a disgrace, another guy from Portland said I shouldn’t piss off the Parks Dept. Even a local bike shop here in town said what I was doing was wrong. Tim Johnson even called me to clarify, which I replied with assurance that we’ve been racing at this park for years and that it’s all on existing trails, that were dry. If I could convince Tim it would be ok, then surely the rest of the internet would be reasonable? Ha! Yeah right.

I spent the next two hours putting out fires, re-assuring people what we were doing was kosher, before putting up a quick “flier” – basically a screenshot of my Tweet with a time and a place. Ok, fuck it, people were into the idea. I had confirmation of a group ride heading to the park.

It was on and the result was a tale for the history books…

  • Mr_Bridge

    Rad thing to do, John. Chapeau to all concerned!

  • Steve Clay

    This looked like an outrageously good time.

  • Kyle Kelley

    That’s a pretty good #pizzastrava photo!

  • Ian L Richards

    This was the highlight of my trip. Thanks again, John!

  • Kyle Kelley

    So bummed I missed this!

  • Simplicityofjoy

    John, what you do for the cycling world is pretty much out of control and I do need to use the L word now. You are a living LEGEND!

  • Sean Talkington

    God Bless you John Prolly & God Bless Texas & God Bless Cyclocrossing!

    • John Watson

      God bless cats!

  • Allen K

    Definitely one of my top 2 highlights of the weekend! The other being taking a selfie with KFC moments after she stepped out of the portapotty.

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    Using a Leica to shoot action sports, definitely PRO.

    • John Watson

      Check out @adavidhazy

    • Brian McGloin

      A few of us had our film Leicas out, except Crihs from NYC, who had a 120 rangefinder.

  • geoff.tewierik

    So good seeing the juniors in there mixing it up.

  • Adam Sklar

    Looks so fun!

  • Kay Cheon

    Good move on equal prize money for men and women, wouldn’t expect anything less!

  • Ermagerhd

    You fucking clowns tore up our disc golf course.

    • John Watson

      They were bunnies, not clowns.

      • Ermagerhd

        “The existing trails were dry”…yeah, except for the goddamn fairways that you chucklefucks tore up.
        Had a great time cutting your fucking surveyor tape that you assholes put in the middle of hole #7.. the resulting confusion of the first wave of chucklefucks was AWESOME.
        We had a blast turning signs around and pointing them in the wrong direction too.
        Stay off our course, assholes.

        • Alex Bourassa-Young

          vigilante disc golfers…can guarantee that’s the first time in history those words have been strung together

          • Ermagerhd

            We decided there was a 10 point bonus for nailing a chucklefuck cyclist with your driver. Lemme tell ya from experience, a 175 gram driver hurts like hell.

        • John Watson

          You done? We’ve been throwing races out for four years and this is the first time anyone’s complained… Those fairways were completely fine, nothing was damaged and you guys can have your park for another 364 days.

  • Andy Moore

    This community response to absurdity turned my sentiments on Sunday from #WTF to #hellYEAH. Big ups to everyone involved in this for saving Texas’ reputation, and bringing yet another helping of what the best cycling events are all about.

  • cezeOne

    chicken on a stick FTW

  • Mom’s Spaghetti