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Final Night of Racing - 12/14/09, from the Director

This Thursday, Dec. 17, is the final night of the 2009 edition of Fifth Street Cross. By that time Robi, Yarnall and Mark might be sufficiently detoxed from the 24 Hours of FSX epic. Whether proud 5th-place jersey winner and tough guy of the weekend Matt Allyn is yet able to pedal his bike is yet to be determined.

As in previous years, the last night of racing will be followed by a celebration to 11 glorious weeks where we'll hand out awards for overall and other racers. This year's after-party will be at the VFW just across from the bike shop in Emmaus, where we held the Belgium Night extravaganza.

Just after the last bell is rung, tents are pulled down and the course is cleared, we'll shut FSX down for the year. Anyone that can stick around for 15 minutes or so and help disassemble our start/finish, would be much appreciated. I plan to head home immediately and start working through the final results. As soon as the calculations are complete, I'll be down with all of the fabulous prizes--hopefully within the hour.

Couple notes:

1. We have to rent the top floor of the VFW, so please bring along $10 to cover our fee for the room and for the bartenders.

2. We can't take in our own alcohol. And don't expect cases of Belgian beer compliments of the Pryor household this week either. (Of course, anyone is free to work with the VFW and splurge for specialty beer for all of us if they so wish!) So although the beer is cheap, you'll still need cash to drink.

3. Several Emmaus residents have offered up floor, couch, yard space for anyone who doesn't want/can't drive home after the happenings. If Belgian Night is any indication, this should be many of you. (This does not include our sunporch, which still has quite a bit of airing out to do after the weekend's shenanigans.) You might want to throw a sleeping bag in your car just in case the night goes as well as previous editions.

4. We plan on ordering pizza for alcohol-absorption. If someone could volunteer to coordinate collecting donations and taking care of pizza ordering, that would be great. Any other snacks/food donations are welcome also. The VFW also has a kitchen that's open until 9 p.m.

5. Don't forget that Keith will also have his special edition Fifth Street Cross T-shirts there for sale. Bring along $20 if you want one.

6. Questions? Give me a shout at info@fifthstreetcross.com or bikebeth@gmail.com.

See you all on Thursday.

FSX Belgium Night Reminder - 12/8/09, from the Director

Remember four years ago--in the second year of Fifth Street Cross--when Belgium Night debuted? And it didn't snow. Or rain. Or flood. And Amy Katz told that cute story about how she thought we'd invented cross because she'd seen people ride "across" our yard? And everyone stood around all dry and snug in the garage, drinking Chimay, Leffe, Orval and Hoergaarden and munching on waffles, frites and chocolates complements of Jeremy and Amy Katz? Yeah, that year pretty much sucked.

FSXers would not be deterred however, and installed a special cobble section. This attempt to honor the Belgian gods proved fruitful as we were thus rewarded the following two years with beautifully Belgian weather, culminating in mass flooding and 35-degree temps last year, which left Mark Weir sniveling like a baby over the garage heater. Ah yes, those waffles, frites and La Chouffe never tasted so good. And all was right with Belgium Night.

By the looks of things, all is more than right for Belgium Night 2009. Heavy rains on Wednesday and a high just above freezing on Thursday call for a record turnout to pay homage to the flahutes. First race, as always, 6:30. Second race a few minutes after the final racer pukes the shortcut. Bring your numbers and bring your appetites--Jeremy and Amy will once again cook up the best waffles and frites outside of Gent (with special edition frites dipping sauces!). After-party and awards at the VFW (316 Main Street) in Emmaus.

And Belgium Night isn't the only thing we'll be celebrating this Thursday. If FSX were a movie, we couldn't have written a more-fitting script for Belgium Night.

Thanksgiving Leftover Afternoon FSX Reminder - 11/25/09, from the Director

By long tradition, which in Emmaus terms means since 2005, there will be no Fifth Street Cross on Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 26. If you show up at the race venue you will be feathered and pelted with mashed potatoes.

Instead, spoon yourself a big old helping of:

THANKSGIVING LEFTOVER AFTERNOON FIFTH STREET CROSS
Sunday, November 29

Also, because we're sticklers for tradition--and because some of our grass has actually grown back now, the afternoon edition of FSX will be held in its former location at the Strickland household on Fifth Street. Most of you spent the better part of three months here the past four seasons, others got a glimpse of the grounds at the Halloween after-party. The rest of you...googlemap it:
4226 S. 5th Street. Everyone still needs to park at the church or on Fairview and ride up (although food and beverage drop-offs are permitted if it's before racing gets under way).

SCHEDULE, WHICH WILL NOT BE EVEN CLOSE TO THIS:
2:00 -- Kids' Race
2:30 -- Race 1 (undetermined length)
3:10 -- Backward Race (15 min. + lap)
3:40 -- The Race For People Who Never Race
4:10 -- Team Race (20 min + lap; pairings will be announced day of race)
5:30 -- Goat Field Miss & Out (laps determined by number of entrants)
6:00 -- Individual Time Trial

Although the majority of the racing will be in the daytime, later races will find riders in the dark (in a literal sense, not in their day-to-day oblivious state of being), so please remember your headlight. And yes, you still need to pay your weekly fees, fill out your forms to submit to USA Cycling, and wear your number. You are also encouraged to bring food to share, snacks and an overabundance of drinks. Don't forget--this is a daylong event. Bottles are permitted at this race site.

Lastly, if you know of an FSXer that's not on this e-mail list, please pass this info along to them. Thanks.

Emergency FSX Bulletin - 11/11/09, from the Director

Please be advised that due to the recent H1N1 "Swine flu" outbreak, FSX now recommends that spectators stop drinking "half" the beer can before performing a handup at the run-up before the barriers. Also, on Dr. Kuklis's advice, we are immediately implenting an emergency procedure that requests spectators to provide racers with Miller High Life instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

In other exciting spectating news, Mary Cushionbury broke new ground by actually placing several dollar bills on the barriers so racers could pick up dollar-bill premes. In addition, upon witnessing this behavior and the subsequent pick-ups, Freddy Vasta expressed enjoyment and outwardly appeared to be contemplating performing such an act himself the next week. You can feel the inevitable momentum here, sort of like watching Chuck hurtle toward a barrier with no chance in hell of unclipping in time.

This Thursday's edition of FSX is Schneckxican night, a phrase formed from the combination of "Mexico," (the geographic inspiration for the theme), "Schnecksville," (the home of the sponsors, Ryan and Amanda), and the uplifting motivational phrase "I Can!" which is how FSXers live every moment of every day of their lives.* The After-Party and Awards Ceremony will be immediately after the race at the fine dining establishment of Fiesta Okay, on Main St. in Emmaus, down by the Wendy's, McDonald's, 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut. It's great to live in small-town atmosphere. Ryan and Amanda have rented out the party room, and are providing a buffet of assorted Mexican food. You will be on your own for beverages, but we hear the bar might provide FSX drink specials.

Finally, a few logistical notes because we just can't get enough of telling you how wrong you are and how bad you've been:

* The 24 Hours of FSX is slated for December 12-13 (noon to noon) at the former site of FSX. If you're in, please e-mail Beth (bikebeth@gmail.com) so we can start figuring out volume.

* Someone inadvertently walked off with Beth's white-and-black Rapha armwarmers, at the post-party last Thursday. We know, obviously, that this was an honest mistake, committed in the pure innocence of a thoughtless moment by a drunken, thieving, dishonest, backstabbing bastard, so there are no hard feelings. If you find them in your kit bag, just return with them next week and casually drop them on the ground near the tent during the chaos of the shortcut start.

* We, ourselves, are not above drunken thieving, so this year we're making a real effort to get the lost-and-found items in front of your eyes before the season ends and we are once again tempted to keep for ourselves the bounty of half-pairs of gloves, bacteria-laced chamoises, snot-soaked doo rags and other treasures left behind by the FSX field each week. If you have lost something, take a peek in the box that will be at the start tent.

* Please use the parking lot to the right. Do not drive up to the locked gate and park, which is causing us some trouble with the city.

* Just another reminder that cans and kegs are allowed at the site. No bottles, but you are permitted to bring and drink (and share!) beer. Drink responsibly, pick up your empties, and hold Fenton's head up so he doesn't choke on his vomit. See you Thursday.

* Except all the ones from down around Philly, whose ambition pretty much stops at some tasty waves and a cool buzz.**

** Which is maybe one reason they're so effing fast. ***

*** and happy all the time, too.****

**** What the hell? Where did all of us motivated, conscientious good workers with important jobs go wrong?

The 24 Hours of FSX: Confirmed - 10/28/09, from the Director

It's official. There will once again be the ultimate act of cyclocross stupidity on Fifth Street. Based on the unanimous decision of Yarnall, the 24 Hours of Fifth Street Cross will be December 12-13. (Yes, we realize that this date wasn't listed as a possibility on the previous e-mail, but we quickly realized that democracy has no part in FSX. Besides everyone said they had "real" races those other dates.) So, finally, announcing:

24 HOURS* OF FIFTH STREET CROSS
(* plus one lap, of course)

24-Hour Race starts at noon, December 12 (Saturday) 
24-Hour Race ends one lap after noon, December 13 (Sunday)

Much of the same format as last year, except this year the race will be run on a weekend and be separate from the weekly FSX. And the race will also be back at the original site of FSX. Other answers:

* $20 to enter

* $5 payouts to leader every six hours

* Last-place gets entry fee back

* Winner takes rest of purse

* Fifth-place gets Fifth Street Cross jersey

* Plus the usual fabulous and fabulously overbaked prize list

* PBR Shortcut in effect for the full race

* PBR Champion gets a special award

* Finish order is determined by number of laps, then time

We'll score the laps most of the time; some of the time may be on the honor system. There will be a board to mark your laps.

You can sleep:

* on our somewhat heated sunporch, which is enclosed

* in the bike shop, which can be heated to excess if you want the baseboard heater that high and are willing to keep the bay door closed

* in the garage, which can either be unheated with the door closed (to avoid wind) or heated by propane with the door open (to avoid asphyxiation)

* in the playhouse

* in your own tent on our lawn, patio or swimming pool area

You can't use our kitchen; you can use our outside grill.

There are electric outlets in the garage, bike shop, sunporch and outside to plug in coffee makers, recharge lights, whatever.

We'll provide special 24 Hours of FSX numbers, so you keep your regular numbers neat and tidy.

Non-24 hour racers are welcome to come heckle, cheer, drink and help keep Beth awake all night again.

We're going to try to dial down the noise level between, say, 10 and 3 a.m. so the cops don't come.

If you're racing, email Beth at bikebeth@gmail.com so we can get a handle on the volume.

Important Breaking Fifth Street Cross News - 10/27/09, from the Director

As previously announced, due to an abundance on the streets Thursday night of scary tiny people who aren't drunk cyclists, this week Fifth Street Cross occurs on Friday, Oct 30. Registration opens at 5:03 p.m., Early Race at 6:30 p.m. Late Race about 47 minutes later.

Please remember that those dressed in costume get a 30-second head start. Also note that boys dressed as girls are eligible to win the women's division. Likewise, girls dressed as boys are eligible to win the men's. Boys who are really girls inside but have yet to make the change are already winners in their own way.

The arbiter of what is an official costume or not is strict and final, so don't try to skirt the skirt. The arbiter of who's a boy or a girl is Ray's dog, Duke.

Due to Plunkett almost getting in a fight--the other guy was dragged out on his back and arrested, seriously--the last time he went into Volpe's in a costume, this week's after-party and awards ceremony will be at the Strickland household, meaning the yard, garage and sunporch. (Maps will be available; you still have to park at the church.) Many of you know this as the original site of Fifth Street Cross. Many more of you were always too drunk to remember a single moment of your time there, so it'll be like new. We will provide pizza or something. You must provide beverages (yes you can drop them by earlier in the day, especially if it's a case of Kriek). You can also bring any other food and snack items you'd like to share. Kids and pets are welcome, but the same sunporch and yard rules apply.

It's good to see all the new people this year, and many of you already feel like friends we can't stand to be around. Here's a quick guide to some FSX particulars that might have you puzzled:


* The GC Leader is awarded an FSX bumper sticker that must be displayed across the chest during racing that week. You must be in attendance to receive it. If you're not there, no one gets the sticker.

* The fifth-place GC rider is awarded the black Fifth Street Cross jersey. It can be worn only that week. And you must be in attendance to receive it. You might see blue and red Fifth Street Cross jerseys at the race; these belong to fifth-place riders from previous years, and can be worn at any time. Respect these people, for they have done nothing to deserve their honor and need something to feel good about.

* The lowest-placed GC rider in attendance gets a Lanterne Rouge bonus for the first race: a head start equal to the rider's placing. So a rider in 57th gets a 57-second head start. This can be used to start riding or to take the shortcut.

* You really do have to pay to get a new number if you forget yours, Number 107*. I mean, you don't have to, you can cheat us pretty easily because we're busy during registration and we're drinking afterward, and when it's all over you can slap hands with your bros that you saved five bucks and put a race everyone loves out of business by contributing to the collective disregard for chivalry that plagues our society and, in particular, compost sites. But it's easier to not argue and pay the five bucks.
(*Number 107 is a fictitious example of a racer who forgot a number and made his own, which we created to protect Number 25 from being identified and humiliated in a public email.)

* Please check in with Beth each week if you're racing. Even if you paid for the season, we need to put you on the night's start list. Plus, many of you still need to sign various waivers.

* Spectators should feel free to contribute to the chaos after the run-up (which is no longer a run-up since Geronimo rode it) and barrier sections with dollar bill and beer hand-ups.

* A few people have asked if there's a more private place than the trees or your car to do your business or change clothes. There is, in fact, a bathroom with a toilet and sink (electricity even!) just to the left of the gate before entering the site. Please do your best to keep it clean. There's also, apparently, a "deluxe" bathroom with a men's and women's stall somewhere near the site that only Selene knows the whereabouts of, but you'll have to ask her about that one.

Finally, everyone please remember to shout your number as you cross the barriers into the start/finish area. This is an extremely vital way to add to the confusion and noise, and it helps us ensure that the scoring is messed up week after week. Aside from, like, the six good guys there, none of us want to know where we really finish.

Thank you for you attention, and please pass this information to anyone who attends or might be interested and is not on our mailing list.

The 24 HRS of FSX Lives! - 10/19/09, from the Director

Yes, it's back. We think. If you want it back anyway. Because many stupid people have asked if we'll PLEASE hold the 24 Hours of Fifth Street Cross again and sentimental people have asked if there's ANY WAY we'll let riders race around our yard again and wimpy people have BEGGED that we hold the event earlier in the year and a lot of drunks obviously can't stay upright without the PBR Shortcut, we announce again:

24 HOURS* OF FIFTH STREET CROSS
(* plus one lap, of course)

24-Hour Race starts at noon
24-Hour Race ends one lap after noon

Two dates are in the running for the race. If you're in, let us know by Friday, which works for you. October 31 (Saturday)-November 1 (Sunday) OR November 7 (Saturday)- November 8 (Sunday).

Much of the same format as last year, except this year the race will be run on a weekend (date TBD by majority) to accommodate those few people that actually admit to having jobs. And because we have to be out of our new location by 9 p.m., the race will also be back at the original site of FSX. Other answers:


* $20 to enter

* $5 payouts to leader every six hours

* Last-place gets entry fee back

* Winner takes rest of purse

* Fifth-place gets Fifth Street Cross jersey

* Plus the usual fabulous and fabulously overbaked prize list

* PBR Shortcut in effect for the full race

* PBR Champion gets a special award

* Finish order is determined by number of laps, then time

* We'll score the laps most of the time; some of the time may be on the honor system. There will be a board to mark your laps.

You can sleep:

* on our somewhat heated sunporch, which is enclosed

* in the bike shop, which can be heated to excess if you want the baseboard heater that high and are willing to keep the bay door closed

* in the garage, which can either be unheated with the door closed (to avoid wind) or heated by propane with the door open (to avoid asphyxiation)

* in the playhouse

* in your own tent on our lawn, patio or swimming pool area

You can't use our kitchen; you can use our outside grill.

There are electric outlets in the garage, bike shop, sunporch and outside to plug in coffee makers, recharge lights, whatever.

We'll provide special 24 Hours of FSX numbers, so you keep your regular numbers neat and tidy.

Non-24 hour racers are welcome to come heckle, cheer, drink and help keep Beth awake all night again.

We're going to try to dial down the noise level between, say, 10 and 3 a.m. so the cops don't come.

If you're racing, email Beth at bikebeth@gmail.com so we can get a handle on the volume.

 

Cyclocross Bikes
A cyclo-cross bicycle is a bicycle specifically designed for the rigors of a cyclo-cross race. Cyclo-cross bicycles roughly resemble the racing bicycles used in road racing. The major differences between the two are the geometry and the wider clearances that cyclo-cross bikes have for their larger tires and mud and other debris that is picked up by them. -from Wikipedia