In October 2007 I had just turned 22. For the better part of 4 years I attended group rides and watched the Tour de France every July. I had also recently been hit by a car and totalled my beloved Trek 1000. The driver's insurance company offered to reimburse me for my totalled bicycle and when I took that news to my bike shop (B1 Bicycles) the first thing the mechanic said was, "GET A CYCLOCROSS BIKE!"
Before I left he ordered me an IRO Rob Roy single speed and had it built up in less than two days. Three days that I lined up for my first race at John Bryan State Park. The day's event was a series mashup between Cap City Cyclocross (in it's first year) and the regional series Ohio Valley Cyclocross (OVCX) and I lined up in the last row of the 55 rider Category 4 field.
Cap City Cyclocross was well represented. The creators - Mason Morgan, Andy Johnson, Nate O Ziccardi - were all there. I didn't know any of them. On the line that below freezing and cloudy day in west Ohio I could hear the Cap City Cyclocross crowd cheering for me as they called my name for staging. After about 4 nervous minutes in the start chute the race was on.
I had no clue what I was doing.
First time through the "barriers" and during my first (and less than impressive remount) my right leg knocked the rear cantilever brake. It forced itself under the brake surface of the rim. I came to a complete stop. I couldn't figure out why my rear wheel wasn't spinning. A spectator reached over the course tape and knocked my brake out from under the brake surface and said, "Get moving!" I jumped back on my bike and pedaled the course for the better part of 35 minutes.
The Cap City Cyclocross crew cheered me on, waved flags and hollered themselves voiceless through the entirety of the race. None of them knew me, or my name, but they still yelled for me at every chance they could.
In 2008 I attended every Cap City Cyclocross event. In 2009 I assisted the crew with set up, race day stuff and tear down and in 2010 I ran my first event. It was a shit show. In October of 2010 on a wet, humid and warm October day, while setting up Andy Johnson used the last of the marking spray paint to write "PMA" and "NO JERKS" on the side of the derby hill. It's been the series motto since that day.
The sense of community and inclusiveness drew me to Cap City Cyclocross and I have every intention of keeping it that way.