Like many of you, I woke up Sunday morning eager to watch a few spirited USAC National Championship cyclocross races only to find social media peppered with speculation and outrage that USAC and the city of Austin had canceled the race ultimately due to large amounts of rain late Saturday night. USAC's tweet convincingly stated "the race was canceled and Austin police were asking everyone to clear the park".
When the announcement was made that racing would resume at 12:00 on Monday I felt relief for the hundreds of racers, coaches, and mechanics who worked hard to get to Austin only to have their chances at the stars and stripes jersey dashed by something that is regarded to only make cyclocross racing better, the foul weather.
I can't imagine the relief felt by the racers who had trained hard, taken time of work and school, and travelled great distances to race for the ultimate national prize. This is where the magic began.
As the press conference was still wrapping up, social media was exploding with many established, professional racers calling for people to help juniors and their families scrambling to stay in Austin another night. People were stepping in immediately to host and feed racers, some stranded without pit crews and warmup tents.
What could have been a much larger disaster for an already tarnished USAC reputation, was shaping up to be yet another example of the cycling community banding together to help each other out in times of need.
The negative response on social media seemed to be far outweighed by the positive outpouring of support for the stranded riders. This certainly isn't the first instance I've encountered of riders stepping to help fellow cyclists, but it's possibly the most high profile.
Austin should be proud of their local cycling community. Last I noticed, Tim Johnson and a local restaurant were hosting a free family style dinner for racers and their families having to stay another unplanned night in TX. It's examples like this that make me proud to be part of the cycling community.
The community has shaped my life. From junior racing, turning wrenches in service departments, to helping people find just the right parts for their bikes, I can't imagine a better group of folks to spend time with, be it work or play.
Wheels Manufacturing wants to be part of your cycling events and groups too. We have a rich history of supporting local and national events and organizations. If you have something you'd like us to help with, follow the link below to begin the process, we'd love to help your event be a glowing success.