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frequently asked questions

HOW DO I FIND FIFTH STREET CROSS?

IN THE PAST IT WAS INVITATION ONLY—IS THAT STILL THE POLICY?

IT USED TO BE FREE, TOO—IS THAT STILL THE POLICY?

DO I REALLY NEED A CYCLOCROSS BIKE?

DO I NEED A LIGHT?

CAN I STILL BE A FSX SPONSOR?

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PBR SHORTCUT?

IS THIS A SPECTATOR EVENT? ARE KIDS AND PETS WELCOME?

IS THIS A RACE OR NOT?

WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH YOUR SCORING SYSTEM?

HOW DO I FIND FIFTH STREET CROSS?
The race is at the Emmaus, PA, Compost and Recycling Center on Kline’s Lane. In Emmaus, turn south off Main Street onto Kline’s Lane. Continue across one set of railroad tracks. You will see the Compost Center on the left. On the right is Minor St. Turn there and you will see a parking lot. Street parking is also available. If you can’t find it based on these directions, it's probably best that you don’t show up and ride bar-to-bar with us anyway.

IN THE PAST IT WAS INVITATION ONLY — IS THAT STILL THE POLICY?
Fifth Street Cross is open to any licensed USA Cycling rider, or anyone who purchases a one-day license at the site. All you have to do to participate is show up with a cross bike and a helmet and light and a license and not much sense. You’ll find people more friendly if you’re not a jackass but, unfortunately, we can no longer keep jackasses out by policy.

IT USED TO BE FREE, TOO — IS THAT STILL THE POLICY?
If we could swing it, we would. We’re still the cheapest non-race around. Here’s the breakdown if you are:

A FOF (Friend of FSX): $50, which covers all events in our 2010 schedule and includes the number. You have to be licensed to be one of our friends. Life’s cruel that way.

A Licensed First-Timer: $10 ($5 for the event, plus $5 for a number)

An Unlicensed First-Timer: $15 ($5 for the event, $5 for a number, $5 for a one-day license)

A Licensed Single: $5 (assuming you have your number with you)

An Unlicensed Single: $10 ($5 for the event plus $5 for a one-day license)

A Numbskull: $5 every time you need a new number. This year there’s no, “I forgot mine, can I borrow one?” and no scribbling your number on a paper plate. If you don’t have the official FSX number, you have to pay another $5.

We don’t accept credit cards. We got in a real bad fix once in Vegas on account of plastic.

DO I REALLY NEED A CYCLOCROSS BIKE?
Oh, yeah. You can probably find a bylaw somewhere that says we should let you race with a mountain bike, but we ain’t going to. You can go ahead and take us to court or something. I guess we’re purists. Who’dve thunkit?

Roughly, to us “cross bike” means drop bars and 700c wheels. Fixed, singlespeed, geared, whatever. A better way to think of it is that if we have to try to figure out if you're riding a cross bike, you aren't.

If you’re eager, just show up. There’s usually a loaner or two available, and you’re welcome to try out a cross bike for a week or two as long as you pony up and buy one for real after that. We recommend South Mountain Cycles, down on Main Street in Emmaus.

DO I NEED A LIGHT?
You’re going to hurt your body or your pride if you ride sans beams - though people have accomplished it to great acclaim. Bring one of them fancy head-mounted lights; it works better than a handlebar mount or smearing glowing plankton on your frame. In the past, we had loaner lights, but they've all been broken.

CAN I STILL BE A FSX SPONSOR?
Sure. That and a VO2 max of 97 will get you a national championship. We need sponsors to provide materials, goods or cash for each week’s shortcut, for various and sundry items such as course tape, for the ceremonial and arbitrary awards we give out, and for the themed events, such as Belgian Night. (That one’s taken. So is Mexican Night.)

If you’d like to sponsor a theme night or a shortcut, or provide prizes that we will distribute on a basis worse than random, please contact us at info@fifthstreetcross.com. If you are selected as a sponsor, you will receive valuable marketing exposure and cachet in our weekly newsletter and online promotions, as well as word-of-mouth marketing and probably several other very important sorts of things like blogs or lists of “people we think are hot” and stuff like that.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PBR SHORTCUT?
No doubt it was great fun watching competitors pass out on dog beds, fall comatose into firepits, get dragged down the driveway by spouses, conduct affairs, swill their way through painful divorces and crash for no reason. But now that we’re licensed, liable and on public land, we’re lame. The PBR Shortcut has become the PBR Memorial Shortcut, which will be a fun and family-friendly way to cut the course.

Still, for the general edification of the uninitiated, we are obliged to rank our preferences:

1. Pabst Blue Ribbon.

2. Maes, the PBR of Belgium.

3. Chimay Blue, the PBR of Trappist Ales.

4. Miller High Life, the PBR of domestic brews that aren’t PBR.

5. Any of those domestic twink microbrews favored by people with enough disposable income to buy cross bikes and $300 lights.

6. Any other foreign beer.

7. All other domestic beers.

IS THIS A SPECTATOR EVENT? ARE KIDS AND PETS WELCOME?
Without question, especially if, like most-stalwart-fan-ever Jaime, you are trolling for dates, this is an event for those who come to watch. Come to think of it, for all the control they have over the race, Fifth Street Cross is more or less a spectator sport for most of the riders, too. We have a strict rule prohibiting stuffed iguanas, but that’s about it.

IS THIS A RACE OR NOT?
It's a non-competitive training event, according to all the forms we had to fill out. Once the pedals are turning, in our experience, any bike ride in the world can become a race. We keep track of who finishes when, but from that meager starting point of reality we diverge quickly and cleanly from the limits of competitive ordinals. You might find yourself thirty-seventh in our General Classification and suddenly launched up to third overall by a whim of the judges. We award and appreciate the slow who speed up, those who impress the fans and, by dint of valor and intangible traits known only to those who know the unknowable, an overall champion each night. Let us say this: We have the best prizes for the worst performances ever.

WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH YOUR SCORING SYSTEM?
It’s one way we take the piss out of the seriousness of competing for something so silly as a cyclocross victory at night at a compost center. Don't even try to comprehend how we rate your performance. If Albert Einstein made love to and was impregnated by Manolo Saiz, then their insane baby ate Malcolm Gladwell's brain and threw it up on Bill Gates, the resulting drug-resistant super-organism that sprouted in Gates's mucous membrane might have a chance of understanding the heart of the Fifth Street Cross scoring system, the G.C. Multiplier.

GC = General Classification.
General Classification = overall standings.
Overall standings are ranked by number of GC Points.

The number of available points in a race is set by the number of participants, with the winner getting a +1 bonus. So if ten people race, the winner gets 11 points, second place gets 9 points, third gets 8, etc.

Your GC points are determined by multiplying all the points you earned in a night of racing by your spot in the GC. So if you were third in the GC and you scored twenty points in the night's two races, your GC points for the night would be 60 (20 x 3). Other things to know about scoring:

* Each week's General Classification leader will be wear the coveted Fifth Street Cross bumper sticker. Basically, it sucks, but that’s kind of the point.
* The women's cup will run concurrently separate from the main G.C. until the final week - in other words, because we believe that all humans equally share a capacity to be lousy, and because the GC Multiplier makes it possible for anyone to assume the overall race lead, there is no separate women's GC tally from week to week. However, the top woman finisher for each race does receive a fabulous prize and, at the end of the season, the women's-only GC is calculated and an overall estrogen champ is crowned.
* The GC leader has to endure whatever test is mandatory for the shortcut at the start line (or forfeit the banner).

* Weekly, we award a prize for Overall Champion, Fastest Slow Person and Fan Favorite. Plus some other stuff, we think, probably.

 

Oh. My. God. It's Here!
10/03/07, from the Director

FIFTH STREET CROSS,THURSDAY, OCT. 11. Early Race… more>


The Cross Report? Already?!
09/01/07, from the Director

As we look forward to another stirring season of Fifth Street Cross — please don't look backward at the previous season lest you can't stop yourself from staring at its goiter — there's already many, many thrilling developments and breaking news items… more>