There's no place for heckling in Cyclocross

I’ve never been a fan of heckling. I find it distasteful, hurtful, mean, and just plain dumb. You’re not funny.

If you’re reading my blog, you most likely know I’ve had 2 hip surgeries the past 21 months. 2. If you didn’t know this, go back and read my posts, read how hard recovery is. Read about my restrictions, read about my come back, read about my tenacity, read about my failures. After both of my hip surgeries I started racing UCI races 7 months PO. 7 months, and not just UCI races, but World Cups. 7 months PO. The only other person I know to come back that soon (sooner) from hip surgery is Lea Davison. Her story motivated my first recovery, it showed that it’s possible with a lot work and dedication. But the work and dedication isn’t on the bike, and maybe people don’t know that. The work is the passive range of motion your support system has to do for you, the work is the hours of physical therapy to gain strength back in your surgical hip/leg. The work is learning to walk again, properly, while your watch yourself in a mirror. The work is listening to your body so your body will heal. The work is not allowing yourself to go thrash your body in your training, because you physically can’t. The work is not getting frustrated when at 5 months post op your hip hurts after a 2 hour Zone 2 ride. The work is the mental side of the sport, when you know you’re competitors have been training for 3x as long as you, but you have to figure out how to beat them with less training and less fitness.

To the man who yelled (multiple times throughout the race) “McFadden is going to McFade”, you have no right to make such a comment to me, or to anyone. I don’t care if it’s “just who you are”. It’s crude, it’s distasteful, its demeaning, it’s harassment. You aren’t funny. I would have liked to exchange a few words with you post race, but I didn’t see your face. I would have liked to tell you that on Saturday I suffered from a breathing attack and ended up in the back of an ambulance, but I still finished the race, in 4th might I add. I would have liked to tell you I’ve had 2 hip surgeries where I was told it’s possible my racing wouldn’t be the same. I would have liked to tell you that I’m defying the odds of racing at the top of the sport again after those 2 surgeries. But you know what, I don’t need to have an excuse for your poor behavior. There was a time where your comment would have made me cry. I’m a 33 year old grown adult, and your childish comments lit my fire to beat your friend, to fight aggressively and dig deeper than I thought I could on this given day. While, I disagree with your childish behavior that doesn’t belong in our sport, I thank you for those disgusting comments, it flicked my switch from wanting to just settle because that’s the easier option, to continue to fight to the very end.

To the man who think’s he is funny, to all the “hecklers” who think they are funny. There is no room for you in cyclocross. The reason I flocked to CX is because of the community and how they lifted everyone up at the races, the cheering, the way it felt like a family. The grassroots level of racing should make you feel good, it should feel like you’re spending your Sunday with all of your best friends. You should be lifting everyone up who is out there, you shouldn’t be mocking, cat calling, or other useless terms for your own enjoyment.

To the man who mocked my last name and my racing, bike racing is my profession. This is my job. I don’t go to your work place and yell obscene mean things about how you do your job, don’t do that to me, don’t do that to any other professional, and don’t do that to any grassroots racer.

Picture: Ethan Glading

Picture: Ethan Glading