I’ll preface this by saying, I had decided earlier this morning not to write anything about getting crashed out. There are plenty of other cx races to do. And plenty of other opportunities to bump elbows and have Reeb put me into the course tape.
An hour ago, I got an email from a spectator that watched it all go down yesterday. So, I’ll just reprint his email un-edited and post a link to the Cyclocross Magazine article that has all the post-race reactions.
John’s email below describes what happened from an unbiased (not a friend of mine and not my words here) point of view:
“Here’s what I saw yesterday. You can quote me as a 20 year ‘cross racing
I watched the Aaron/Molly crash from about 40 feet away.
Molly was 100% right in filing a protest. Aaron was completely at fault and
not only put Molly in danger but also the lapped woman he passed 2 seconds
before. It was obvious to me he was trying to get the woman between himself
and Shannon/Donald/Sean before the right hand corner before pit 2 so that he
could start the long straight without them on his wheel. Molly was clearly
in the lead and it was like a motocross pass where the inside guy uses the
outside one for traction. About 5 seconds after the spot of the crash,
there was the beginning of a long straight where they would have got back
together. With a little bit of patience, everyone would have remained
upright and continued to have fun racing.
Before the crash, there were 5 guys together. After the crash, Aaron was
solo to the finish because the others got gapped with Molly on the ground.
Aaron should have sat up, told the others to ride easy until Molly caught
back up. There were a couple laps to go and 6th was a long ways back.
Again, not my words. I definitely do not think that anyone should have sat up and waited for me post-crash. It just would have been pretty easy not to create a dangerous situation in the first place. Bike races should not be decided by who can run into you the hardest. (though they often are)
I am into full-on aggressive racing but, particularly at these local races with lots of lapped riders, safe and conscious racing. There are hundreds of other racers on the course at the same time as the elite riders. And not all of them are going to feel safe or comfortable getting passed at speed. I pride myself on being as courteous as possible to the lapped traffic while passing and then getting back on with my own race without being a danger or menace to the other riders.
That said, I don’t see much of a difference between something being unintentional and riding with complete disregard for another rider’s safety.
I’ve never protested any race result before, even with punches thrown at me and riders trying to push me off my bike during a race. While I still disagree with it, I absolutely respect the decision (a warning for dangerous riding) that Chief Referee Terri Camp and the OBRA officials came to after hearing my protest.
I’m not angry anymore… I took it all out on the single speeders.