Monday, October 31, 2011

A Handout on #Cyclocross Hand-ups

No sorry.  I'm vegetarian.
The one-upmanship is worrisome with two UCI level events on the horizon, (The Cincinnati UCI3 and the USGP in Louisville.)  A disturbing trend is emerging on the cyclocross circuit as evident in this weekend’s OVCX Storm the Greens race in Louisville.  Every week riders are being forced to make harder and harder choices.  A few weekends ago at a muddy race in Indiana it started with the traditional dollar bill hand up, which turned into an internet video sensation (see below).  A week or so later, the unimaginable happened.  With the threat of their skinny jeans being revoked, I actually saw hipsters break their 11th commandment and give away cans of PBR at the John Bryan Classic in Yellow Springs, OH.  Yesterday, fine salted cure meats became the hand-up of choice, ala Dino's Gorilla Grill’s Famous Bacon.  What’s next?  Suddenly a Smart Car hand-up doesn’t sound so ridiculous.

PBR on a Platter
I fear the worst is yet to come.  Friday’s UCI race at Devou Park outside of downtown Cincinnati marks the first of 5 UCI events in the Ohio River Region.  The stakes are higher, and no doubt one crispy piece of bacon, one delicately placed dollar, or an ice cold can of Milwaukee’s favorite will not offer enough reward to risk a pro career.  In a local race, a rider may risk getting tripped up with a one handed bike carry on the barriers to snag a dollar.  I snagged some Mardi Gras beads and a dollar yesterday on Rachel’s drop.  Of course I was far out of the top 20 payout.  However, at a high level event, what will it take?  Let’s go to the crooked chart of Hand-Up Incentive versus Risk:

Incentive                 PBR    Bacon   $1          $5          $10
None                        Yes     Yes       Yes        Oh Yes  F Yeah!
Losing to Rival          No      Maybe  Yes        Uh huh   For Shiz
Last Payout Spot      No      No        Toughie  Yes        Heck Yeah
Age Podium              No     No         Hmm     Oh Boy  Lunch money!
Overall Podium         No     No         No         No        Bar Tape!
UCI Points               No     No         No         No        Sorry, no.

My Best CX Season p/b Pearl Izumi
Hence, my fear.  What kind of hand up will it take to get someone contesting a deep UCI payout to grab the prize?  The taste, novelty and value of hand-ups must increase for top level events.  There is obviously no food tastier than bacon.  Or is there?  A cupcake perhaps.  You may as well leave your dollars in your pocket and instead offer up that Visa or Best Buy gift card.  Even then you’d have to get creative and make that gift card a lovely garnish on a piece of cheese cake, maybe offer a vegan option for Molly Cameron. 

Prerequisites for good hand ups:
Lightweight. Item should not impede the rider past the point of inception.
Grabability.  Items must initially fit into one hand.
Stowability.  Item must be easily stashed under shorts, around the neck, between the boobs, or ingested.
Placement.  Item must be small enough to be placed as not to affect race outcome or impede others.

Beads and a Buck for a Brotha!
Items not recommended:  bowling balls, puppies, hot coffee, oatmeal, spaghetti, a dozen long stem roses, frozen turkeys, coffee table books, toasters or other small appliances, and children over 20lbs.

That leaves us with high value gift cards for I-Tunes and Best Buy, six packs of microbrew, Groupons to the Gap, brand name backpacks (a nice Dakine perhaps), CDs/DVDs, easily pawnable gold rings, I Phone 3’s, Pearl Izumi arm warmers, shots of top shelf liquor, gourmet meats such as prosciutto, delicacies like finger caprese salad, designer jeans, boutique chocolates, Marriot rewards points, and ultimately plane tickets to Belgium.


JMott said...

I made the blog, woot! (i didn't take the bacon, it smelled good and was worth a smile though)

Anonymous said...

Chicken Wing Handups!

Joe Biker said...

Chicken Wang!!