Thursday, August 28, 2008

XC is the new KFC

Have you heard the "urban legend" about why KFC is no longer "Kentucky Fried Chicken"? It's something about how the USDA has decreed that for Kentucky Fried Chicken to continue to use the word "chicken" in its name it must actually serve real chicken. And since Kentucky Fried... er, KFC uses vat-grown chicken-oid meat-creatures with 4 breasts and 8 legs (and genetically engineered "nuggets") and NOT real chickens it must henceforth use the initials "KFC" in all trade dress.

It seems that cross-country MTB racing is in a similar spot.

I see more and more races billed as "XC" and not "cross-country". Take the Olympic "XC" races at the Laoshan blah blah complex. The erzatz "cross-country" race course was billed as entirely man-made. Indeed, part of it runs through a local shopping mall where racers can pit-in to buy tourist trinkets and frosty-n-refreshing Slushees (and replacement wheels). The course exits onto the BMX start ramp where many of the MTB racers lacking any real downhill skillz plunge to their deaths. The survivors continue on around the man-made course negotiating tricky off-camber mini-golf obstacles and foam-rubber boulders.

Seriously though. I remember when XC races were actually cross-country. They were quite difficult at times. I don't seem to remember the complaining that seems to be so common these days.

"Too muddy."

"Too rocky."

"Too long."

"Too much climbing."

And on and on...

At first the Laoshan course was "too easy" then the UCI folks planted some concrete boulders/rocks, fake water bars, etc and made it "almost too hard."

Mountain biking is riding a bicycle off-road. Across terrain supplied by mother nature. Love it as is -- warts and all -- or stay home and watch the pro-tour races on Versus.

Pass the PBR.

1 comment:

William said...

except for beach volleyball (for obvious reasons) and team handball...the olympics in China is obnoxious. i don't mean to be a jerk but if the country known for making "fakes" of stuff (eg CDs, DVDs, etc), how could we expect them to not "fake" a mountain bike course as well? did you see the triathlon? what a hunk of crap that was!