Events: Sly Fox Cross – PACX
(2018) Imagine a tranquil late fall scene at a brewery in a quaint Pennsylvania town. Pottstown sounds like a nice place to enjoy some craft brews this Sunday, November 11, while remarking how the fall foliage, written off for the year as drab brown, suddenly exploded with color and dropped that color onto the floor. Imagine enjoying this scene with your significant other and taking in the tranquility. Until a cyclocross race dashes through the saturated ground from the heavy recent rainfall and ruins your entire outing.
Now you’re ready to join the raucous spectators and mostly unfocused racers for the 2018 Sly Fox Cross located conveniently at the Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown, PA. Should your tranquil date have truly been disturbed by the Cat4/5 race at 9:00am, that’s your own fault for going to a brewery so early. Races labeled ‘Less Early’ include the Masters men events followed by the ‘Flawless’ identification of the women’s races. By now you probably understand Sly Fox Cross is not your average cyclocross race.
If you follow social media and the various sponsors of the race, it is evident the crews take pride in hosting the event. Topher Valenti and Eric Ness of Sly Fox/ Bike Sport team have been working on course preparation for the past couple of days. Ness stated the course is challenging again but that feedback from last year’s event was taken seriously. He is confident the changes will benefit not just the racers. He stated, “…we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the day. There will be music, food, and beer.”
Normally racers navigate through the BikeReg page and huff it to the venue. Sly Fox offers spectator registration options on the BikeReg site. Sly Fox offers beer can sales, tshirts, SFCX koozies, and pulled pork sandwich tickets at a slightly discounted price. Being that the race is at Sly Fox’s brewery, they will be slinging draft beers that are also eligible for ticket registration. Considering it’s a free event and that no outside food or beer is allowed, plan accordingly.
Under the category of ‘Brunch’ racing resumes with the Cat3/4 men’s race. It is followed by the kid’s race, an event Eric Ness stated, “Everyone always seems to get a kick out of that.” Since the kid’s race is only ten minutes it will hardly take up too much cyclocross spectating time. The event categories following are the remainder of the competitors: The Future (U15 men and women), Who Run the World…Girls (Women’s 1/2/3 and Women’s Cat3), Elite Men Such and Such, and finally Fast Men, Women and Men Dressed Up Silly, Adult Men (In there somewhere is the single speed race). Amidst all those categories Kerry Werner, a ranked pro will be present to provide a rabbit for the foxes.
Final details are for the competitors. There will be a neutral support in the pits for every competitor provided by Philadelphia Service Course. Gone is the excuse the bike not carrying you to the finish. We will all know what you’re getting at when the bike is being blamed. This Sunday either bring the racing attitude or bring the competitor kit. Slip on the ol’ Speedvagen Pit Boots for another year of pulling silly faces when someone goes over the bike backwards and the thought of “That didn’t go as planned” is considered to be shouted or reserved out of respect. The remarkable aspect about cyclocross is its welcoming environment for beginners, elite racers, kids, and especially spectators. Without spectators cyclocross becomes a weird steeplechase but everyone has bikes.