Digital Magazine Preview #2

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Here’s another teaser from the issue. Ben Popper takes a look at the ‘Handup’ scene that seems to be creating quite a stir in the United States these days.

Ultimately, the handup can be easily ignored if the spectator is doing it correctly. Even the dollar bills hanging precariously from unzipped pants will not be seen if you are not looking, racing with your eyes rolled into the back of your head. Problems arise when the course tape loses its meaning, and when heckles go from light-hearted jabbing to personal attacks on your character. A good heckle can be the perfect motivator when the light is about to go out and the final surrender is given to the legs. Trying to snatch a dollar from a bikini waist standing on the sidelines can get your focus back into the game, even though the task is as far from it as possible. A bubble machine set up on the tight switchback makes for a highlight of the lap.

Handup

Photo: Pat Engleman

Therein lies the root of the problem. As cyclocross exploded, the spirit of being a quality supporter and spectator was left in the dust. Heckling became less about thinking up witty things to shout at your buddies, and turned into putting people down about their performance. As Pryor puts it, “There’s no place for hecklers who are crude, sexist, profane or just lame. If you can’t do better than ‘You suck!,’ then stick to handups and laughing at the people who have turned heckling to an art form.”

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