With Cx season now in full swing, here are a few words on heckling.

Heckling is one of my favorite parts of the sport.  In fact, I have carried it over into crit racing (though those guys are going so fast that they can barely hear anything over the whooshing).  I think that the guys over at Bike Jerks said it best in their article on heckling:

“…a good heckle is a sharp biting barb delivered with equal parts humor and mischief and yet still firmly grounded in respect for the racer.”

The best heckles are

  1. Short
  2. Hilarious
  3. Motivating

Bad Heckling

Yelling a long sentence at someone as they go by doesn’t work at all.  They can’t hear you.  You’re just talking to yourself.

Making fun of a racer’s weight, age, or lack of fitness is just mean. You’re a dick.

Advice heckles… I think these are kind of dumb.  When I’m riding as hard as I can in a race, and someone yells “Get on her wheel!  Catch her!” I think, “Yeah DUH!  I see her!  I’m trying!”  That’s not a heckle.  That’s being a parent at a baseball game.  Especially if you’re watching elites, you can rest assured that they know what to do.

And of course, throwing anything at racers is TOTALLY unacceptable.

OK… moving along to…

Good Heckling

From Adam Myerson:

Christine‘s twitter account is protected but I’m sure she won’t mind if I mention the Robert Hass-themed heckles she got at Gloucester.

My best heckles of the weekend tended to center around the universal topics of ice cream and burritos.  My suspicion was confirmed, even elite women cyclocross racers will crack a smile if you yell stuff about how much ice cream they’re going to eat after the race.  During the last lap, I stood at the barriers before the final turn yelling “You are THIS CLOSE TO A BURRITO!” and I know I saw a few racers crack a smile and give an extra kick!

The other one I was proud of this weekend was in the Men’s 4/5 race, “Your wheels sound so expensive!”

In Conclusion

And a few words of wisdom from Paul Boudreau, race director of Gloucester.

Have a blast, be nice to each other, and be funny!