Miki Vuckovich

Click here for a gallery of Miki Vuckovich’s stunning images from Lakewood.

On the Thursday evening before the Elite racers took to the battered course in Lakewood, Washington, I stood in the Trek Store in Tacoma with about 50 cross fans, also in town for the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. And, like them, I was listening intently as Katie Compton, the fifteen-time (consecutive) National Champion and the most decorated American cyclocrosser ever, addressed my spontaneous question (“Should cyclocross be in the Winter Olympics?”) with all the sincerity and thoroughness of a PhD candidate defending her thesis.

I honestly didn’t mean to provoke such a detailed response—her live interview with Cyclocross Radio podcaster Bill Schieken had concluded (you can hear the whole thing right here) and the rest of the crowd awkwardly hesitated when he invited questions from the audience. So, I opened my big fat mouth.

Part of their discussion covered the lack of sponsorship for cyclocross racers and races. So, a little Olympic coverage, it seemed to me, could change that. And, gee, wouldn’t it be cool to have just one bike race in the Winter Games?

Cyclocross doesn’t need the Olympics, she said. It thrives on a participant fan base, and that distinguishes American cyclocross from the European sort. And we Yanks deserve to make cyclocross our own. That seemed to be the theme of the evening.

The Olympics would bring in a less committed fan base, she continued, and that would change the nature of cross events and culture. We can grow it, organically, and continue to build it from a solid base. We’ve been doing great, so far. And she should know, she’s been National F’n Champ fifteen times! On Sunday she’d be defending her title and going for number sixteen. Unbelievable.

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Cross Eyed: Newbie Jumps in at San Diego

by Miki Vuckovich on December 19, 2012

12 10 Socalcross San Diego A Velodrome-1

I’m a terrible spectator.

I just can’t do it. I can’t be interested in something if I’m not actually doing it. Just can’t. This often puts me in awkward situations, because lots of things are probably fine to watch and not participate in, particularly for middle agers like me. But maybe I’m not your typical middle ager. Rather, I’m the one 44-year-old on a field of 20-somethings at the Sunday pick-up soccer game, or at the skatepark with a swarm of tweens zipping all around me. And when I say awkward, I mean for them. Because—after all—I’m used to the looks, the shrugs, the questions. It’s everyone else who’s crazy.

I think I’m just comfortable around weirdos (that would sure explain a lot). In fact, I gravitate toward them. You’d think that as I settle into middle age I’d be content with all the work, family, hobbies, and clutter I’ve accumulated in almost a half century of accumulating, but such is not my nature. Every so often, my mind latches onto something new, and I investigate, and sometimes exhaust my interest in it; I’m pretty picky these days, I don’t just hop onto every cool thing I come across (that Stratos jump was pretty neat, but I don’t plan to become a human rocket anytime soon). [click to continue…]

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