First it was the organizers of the Chicago Cross Cup (CCC), our friendly neighbors to the south, who announced they would be cancelling their 2020 cyclocross season due to COVID-19. Then Ohio Valley Cyclo-Cross (OVCX), which represents Ohio and Indiana, made a similar announcement. As time rolled on, Trek postponed its world cup appointment, and race series around the Midwest and the country continued to topple. So it wasn't a surprise when the Wisconsin Cycling Association (WCA) ultimately made a similar call.
"We have been in discussion for the last month about the best approach to safely hold a cyclocross (CX) series this fall amidst the global pandemic. We've considered multiple options, discussed what proper protocol would look like and have waited to see how things trended over the last few weeks," read an email sent out to race promoters this afternoon. "As we've seen neighboring series like Chicago Cross Cup, OVCX and MNCX, as well as big events like Trek CX Cup and DCCX, all cancel, we realize the compounding issue of racers from out of state potentially coming up to race.
Given where we currently are in the phases of the Badger Bounce Back program, and since we can't predict the future on whether we will make it to the appropriate case levels to fully re-open, we are cancelling the 2020 WI CX Series."
While most information suggest that cycling outdoors is a relatively safe activity to do throughout the pandemic (especially if you wear a mask) there are a lot of additional factors to consider when it comes to organized events: collective gatherings, mass starts, extreme efforts, heavy breathing, snot rockets, shared spaces like tents and restrooms, and wet ground and weather conditions, which all compound the possibility of potentially transmitting this highly infectious and still vaccine-less virus.
The WCA hopes to continue encouraging the spirit that brought everyone together in the first place, and hopes to return for a regular season in September 2021.
"As a committee, we will continue to meet and would ask for your input in finding creative ways to continue to keep our cyclocross community engaged. We hope to spotlight different teams and riders throughout the season via social media and keep the feeling of community we've grown to love.
"We recognize that with all of your help, we have created a really great culture around Wisconsin Cyclocross and know this decision will put a bit of a dent in the good thing we have going. However, we hope that with your help we can continue to find ways to nurture the culture we have created, keep people's attention, keep them engaged and encouraged to improve their CX skills, try new approaches to CX racing, and be passionate about racing and participating in cyclocross."
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.