Southern cross culture on the skids

Is alive in southeastern Virginia.

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A wacky cyclocross culture appears to thrive on the West Coast mixing serious racing with good times, parties, costumes and bonfires. You can see it at Cross Crusade in Portland, Ore., and in the hilarity surrounding Single-speed Cyclocross World Championships.

The East Coast in comparison seems almost too serious. It’s a race: Break out the skinsuit, the embrocation and race face.

Well, the serious season ended two weeks ago with VB CX, then last weekend assuaged my fear that we’re too damn serious. The Barhamsville Billy Cross put on by Creedence Shaw (below on the start/finish jump) and assorted JRVS friends on a farm just west of Williamsburg was as much a costume party as cross race. It was a hillbilly-themed blast.

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The entry fee was a six-pack of beer with the winner taking whatever was left.During a parade lap, Creedence showed off the bourbon shot short-cut – take a shot and skip the twists and turns up the field.

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A pre-race, one-lap time trial started with chugging a beer (hadn’t done that in more than a decade) then shooting the beer can with three rocks fired from a wrist rocket/slingshot (Mugler shooting above). If you scored a hit, you could go or you had to fire all three. The time trial was supposed to give us seeding for the race with the fastest strating from the back, but the organization was already breaking down.

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The race started with Kevin (chasing turkeys above) taking the hole shot around the barn by the turkey coop. I chased but traffic delayed my move up to second. After two laps, Jerry, who may have been in the parking lot when the race started, came steaming by and I lost his wheel removing my leather motorcycle jacket. Meanwhile Kevin was doing shots and getting father ahead. I waited to do a shot, not wanting to puke early in the race. Creedence, riding a sweet bike from Hunter Cycles, was doing shots and slipped ahead of me, catching Jerry. Finally, on the bell lap, I did a shot and tried to bridge up to Jerry and Creedence, but the gap was just a little too much. K-Dawg (or was it Kev-Dizzle?) took the W.

After the race, everybody looted Kevin’s winnings and enjoyed a great spread of chil plus awesome cornbread and brownies. A bonfire was burning, but I had to skedaddle home.

It was a West Coast-style scene with a distinctly Southern twist.

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