Fields of Joy CX (#FOJCX) is a Cyclocross venue developed and raced by Sunbury Cycling Club with very gracious support from Essendon Fields, Melbourne Aust.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Michael Blyth's mother Kathryn ask that I pass on her thanks..

Life can throw us all challenges but it is the support we receive that guides us through the tough times.

Mike was a passionate bike rider. I can't count the number of times he went out riding and was late for tea or walked in the back door covered in sweat and then sat straight down at the kitchen table. Honestly it would often annoy me that riding was more important than almost anything. Yet now I would give anything to have him do that again. It is cruel how one split moment can change everything. 

Those who know Mike closely will know he doesn't dwell on the past. He just accepts life sometimes deals out some crap and it is just the way it is. 

Although Mike cannot embrace Fields of Joy CX as a competitor I know he has loved being involved. The team behind this magical series asked Mike to be involved in the process from the beginning. Money raised is important and very helpful but it is the gift of supporting Mike that is truly priceless.

To Colin you stretched out the hand of friendship to Mike and introduced us to a team of people who like you are passionate riders. Thank you so much. 

To Scott from Essendon fields, all those who helped from Sunbury Cycling  Club and Craig from Giant  South Yarra thank you so much. We are grateful for the support from the other sponsors too. To each and every person who had been involved with Fields of Joy CX please know that Pete and I are truly grateful for all that has been done to support Mike. Just as important I would like to thank every competitor that took the time to say hi to Mike along the way or purchased a raffle ticket. We are so grateful to ALL of you. 

As a mum I have found the races confronting. I think it is because the reality of Mike's injury for me is more evident as I watch so many doing what Mike loved doing. However when I focus on how much Mike has gained from being supported by the Fields  of Joy CX community it brings a sense a warmth and comfort. So on behalf of my husband Pete and myself thank you everyone for making Mike's life a little brighter. 

Kathryn Blyth 

We would also like to thank the Blyth's for being the people they are and being so supportive of our efforts.

#fojcx #ridesthyarra

Sunday, 19 October 2014



I used to joke that he was the richest man in Brunswick because he is the only one that could afford 200 kids. Reality is that he probably has 1000 kids, maybe more once you include grown-up kids who also come to 'play bikes' occassionally.

Some know him as a nutter. Some as that guy who always dresses funny, some as that official who is always there. Clearly who I am really talking about is Mr Pink. 

I know him as possibly the most generous person I know. Nothing is too much effort. There is no such thing as 'too early', only "what time do I need to be there". There is no "I am already doing more than my fair share", only "what time do I need to be there". "Dave we are thinking about doing XYZ.." "Cool, how can I help?" or "I'll be there".

What I have come to realise is that Mr Pink doesn't measure his volunteering in units of work or effort. And whilst I can only guess what his underlying motivation is, I am entirely comfortable guessing that it comes from a place of giving and selflessness;-  giving the gift of cycling to the masses - and of being of service to community - with no expectation of anything in return. Mr Pink, it would seem, accesses the most fulfilling life through being of service. He taps into a fulfilment that money can't buy. He experiences generosity every day - generosity he creates himself through giving.

And it is at this point I want some pithy saying to finish this post. Something along the lines that we are born empty handed and die empty handed.. and the true measure of our success in life is not how much we accumulate but how much we were able to give. (Google fails me so just pretend that saying is correct). On that measure, Mr Pink is truly the richest man in Brunswick ...with hopefully many years to come building his own special version of wealth.

And as our season draws to an end.. Mr Pink, FOJCX salutes you.  Thank you for helping us, and more importantly, thank you for simply being the person you are.

#fojcx #ridesthyarra
p.s. If I disappear unexpectedly it is because he has killed me for writing this.

Monday, 13 October 2014


After a number of people suggested running Series Points, we - somewhat belatedly - started assigning points after each race.

The points system is similar to motoGP, with the first 15 place-getters awarded points... 1st getting 25 points, 2nd 20 points etc (see the bottom of the picture to the left).

Whilst there aren't huge prizes up for grabs (noting that everyone who races in the running for bikes from GIANT SOUTH YARRA courtesy of our Participation Prize Draw), we do have some trophies for the the Top 3 in each grade.

Here's a mock up...

And Series Points aren't all about overall winners. It allows mates to race mates and have battles that we will probably never know about. We like the idea of a few laughs being had retelling the stories.

Please note that this coming race - the final race in our 2014 Series Oct 26 - will be worth double-points.

Also note that, on the surface, Series Points seem simple enough. But what happens when people change grades .. that is the curly question. At this stage, the rule we are running with is that anyone changing grades takes half-points with them. We'll see how that pans out and have a think about it ahead of next year's series. We are also happy to take suggestions if you have any ideas.

Below are the current standings.

Good luck to everyone racing on the 26th.
Good luck to anyone who has raced this season as there are some great bikes being drawn at our last race.




Course Designer says "SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT"

Enter here: http://goo.gl/lde4yY
(Seniors are requested to pre-reg. Kids can rock up on the day)

Further announcements to come re Volunteers, Women's Development Day, Men's Devt Day, T-Shirts, Series Points, how awesome GIANT STH YARRA are for supporting us etc.



Thursday, 2 October 2014

RACE 3 - Possible Changes of Dates - from SUN 19th to SUN 26th October

2014 (impromptu) Race Series: Race 3

Sunday 19th clashes with Around The Bay. We didn't think this was an issue but it turns out key personnel and equipment are committed to ATBD.

We are talking to a range of people about shifting our 3rd race back a week to the 26th.

Please update your diary as this is looking like a strong possibility.

I haven't finished contacting key people as yet, so if I should have spoken to you but haven't, expect a call shortly, otherwise feel free to call or email the FOJCX bunker.



Saturday, 27 September 2014

RACE 2 - SCHEDULE & Other Race Info

STARTLIST: Start list is up ..see here

RESULTS: Results will be published progressively throughout the day to the Sunbury CC website ..see here

Props to all our vols and officials.
Special get well message to Sammy


Wednesday, 24 September 2014



It would seem everyone wants to see more Women racing Cyclocross. Women do. Men do. Those that race do. Those that don't race do.

We recently conducted a survey aimed at better understanding the needs of women and what more can be done to encourage women to particpate in CX.

The response was very good and the results encouraging(a summary is provided below and makes intersting reading). What became apparant is that there are a variety of reasons why women do, or do not, race.

Then the penny dropped.

FACT: Blokes like to fix things. 
REALISATION: Maybe this isn't broken. 

Whilst women's fields may be small at times, I wouldn't call them broken. The regular women racers love CX.. nothing broken there. New racers taking on a challenge and discovering the fun of CX.. nothing broken there. Women attending the Women's Development Days to skill-up and then maybe race in the future.. nothing broken there. General support for Women racing.. nothing broken there. Women telling other women how awesome CX is.. nothing broken there. Could more be done? Of course. Are women 'wrong' for not taking up CX in similar numbers to the men? No. Are women and kids an important part of the CX culture? Totally.

What should we do? My own realisation is that we need to continue to foster what people love about CX. The friendly atmosphere, the inclusiveness, the fun. Our response to Women's racing should simply be to give generously without expectation. Be welcoming. Be inclusive. Provide encouragement, and when you have done that, encourage some more. Build it and they will come.. in their own time and when they are ready.. and our commitment is that we will be waiting, ready to welcome them, when they are ready.

Going forward, our commitment is to welcome women. Welcome them. Welcome them and they will come.

Too simple really.

Anyway, here's the results. Thanks to all those who participated.
We will draw some prize packs from Treadlie Magazine from those who 'liked' the Facebook posts promoting the survey (noting that all survey respondents are anonymous)


No. of Respondents: 37

What is your gender?

What types of riding do you currently do?

Do you race bikes?

If you race, what kinds of racing do you, or have you, particpated in?

What are your favourite race formats?

What do you like about your favourite race formats?

Not so serious competition, fun, social.
Competitive nature
Short course for fun
crits are short
The test, to try and do better and have fun.
more women participate in crit racing and it becomes more
Tactics. Pain
Short enough that I can be *competitive* on less than 10 hours a week training.

I love the buzz of triathlons. Fun events and good numbers. Nearly always beachside. Recently taken to cyclocross racing. Love the atmosphere at the events (specifically dirty deads crowds). Multilap, events straight after each other so people hang around to watch, all levels

Relaxed, Fun atmosphere, welcoming and supportive people.

I like cx as it's intense and not too time consuming. It's also fun.

For the road racing, it's the endurance and tactics. Mountain bike & cyclocross are more interesting, it looks hard. Best bits are tight turn sections, riding down/over rocky bits and just hoping they don't fall off!

Relaxed All female

Fun, inviting atmosphere. Less serious vibes (in C grade at least). Challenging but not too hard. The various obstacles and technical sections. 

I love the technical challenge of off road riding, the tougher technically the better


A competitive environment but also an area where you can learn further skill

Short and fun

Mix of skills involved, variety of environments.

Tactic, fun, seeing fit people enjoy themselves

Feeling welcomed and valued as an entrant even though not going for a podium finish. Being well supported and encouraged.

great vibe, racing with others

Community spirit and companionship. I race road crits with great girlfriends and we have a tonne of fun. Mountain bike is always about how much fun everyone is having. There is no snobbery and everyone is friendly and talkative.

Cx - family friendly fun, MTB-challenge in the bush

CX is hard. It rewards both bike handling skills and fitness. It's also fun to crash which seems to happen to me occasionally. CX has a more relaxed atmosphere than other formats, maybe there could be more emphasis on further developing this so it's more of a spectacle/ entertainment rather than people racing then disapearing.

The spectators in CX racing is the best! The obstacles, technical skills and fitness required in both these racing make them a fun challenge and the welcoming nature of fellow competitors makes it an easy sport to get into.

I enjoy watching road & cyclocross races. I've only competed in cx so far and I love the personal challenge of improving my skills and fitness. I'm hoping to try racing a couple of road races in the next year.

Road racing is tactical but not technical - you don't really need any special skills to jump on a bike and race, whereas cyclocross is very technical and there are many different skills required - not saying I like one over the other as cyclocross is a real challenge which I enjoy

The social friendly aspects of the events.  

In general, what of the following do you think impacts Womens participation in Cyclocoss?

Do you have any suggestions that might encourage more women to ride/race cyclocross?

 Skills sessions & publicity as to when they are on.

More womens 'come and try' days

opportunity to hire bikes on race days: to try before you buy!

The image of bike racing is a bit about the powerful men, some girls feel like they will be run over, but it can be different than that, and it can be about having fun and competing against like sized and like minded.

come and try specific for beginners, easier course?

Have female riders promote the event. Eg via editorial or race reports on fojcx social media

Promote what's already happening in women's cross. Baby-sitting/child minding/formalise time share child minding?

Great to see so many come and try days.

Not sure as i think Cx is very accessible and i am often impressed how many women turn up compared to mtb events. I have wondered about a beginner women's race and the usual race? Or a women's race day?

It's difficult to juggle young children, children racing and partners racing - something has to give.....and it's often the mother! Personally, by the time my kids are old enough to be unsupervised, I'll feel too old and unfit to compete. It's also a very long day for families with young children.

The biggest thing stopping me is that I don't have the right kind of bike. It's hard to find small sizes of good ones... for a good price. I did just max out on my commuter. Also it looks hard, I would need to train a lot for fitness and skills.

Have cyclocross bikes to rent/hire at a race or event day to try it out. Put posters up at universities.

All female come and try Different all female races for different levels of ability/skills

More promotion of the event so that people know its happening. More information regarding cyclocross eg. That people can compete on mountain bikes and dont need a specific cx bike. Possibly give marshalls, especially those closest to the public (such as the bottom gate), flyers with information that can be given to intrigued members of the public who pull up in their cars and ask about the racing. Many people stopped and watched from their cars and came over and asked about what was going on and could possibly be enticed to race.

Maybe promotion at the junior level to encourage young riders to try CX


Make the courses less technical - log stairs might seem 'challenging' for a bloke, for chicks they are darn near impossible

Continued support and encouragement from event organisers (such as FOJCX and DDCX) has definitely encouraged myself, and in turn I have attempted to bring friends/family in as well. Perhaps a facebook group or some kind of online interaction might foster some networking and might help take away the intimidation some women feel?

Maybe an option of a 30 -40 minute race for B-grade women. However, if numbers arent there it is not a problem to be on the field at same time as elite women as the field is so spread out. Maybe some mentoring from the elite women

Can you make a FOJCX race part of the National CX series next year? Make that happen and you will get more ladies attending for sure. Right now given the FOJCX series is not connected to anything right now, the "incentive" to race is not always there (no national points/ranking at stake, etc), especially if there are other competing races (road, mtb) on the same day.

Um, not really. Come and Try seems to have allowed the chicks to learn more about the sport and gain enough confidence to enter each month. I want to come to a C&T day, but I'm scared of that, too. ;) I dig the idea Dave had about the male cheer leaders during the chicks races...! That would be hilarious.

Race promoters do a great job with skills sessions/race setup and general vibe is very encouraging/supportive but old habits re exercise/ family obligations die hard. Work on getting them early as well before the habits are set .... Go for the girls. It may take time but in years to come it could pay dividends.

I think skill development days are really important, as is strong mentorship ideally from an experienced woman. I think the biggest barrier to entry is equipment, whilst you don't "need" a dedicated cx bike - it certainly helps. Track riding at DISC does this well with bikes available for hire to try the discipline. This would be hard to implement for a club, but maybe there's a possible discussion with a certain large bike brand that sponsors the series about making some bikes available for women to ride and get a taste for the sport. On a seperate note cross promotion with CV targeting female road riders wouldn't hurt either, as would reaching out to clubs that have a developed culture of women's racing such as Hawthorn and St. Kilda.

Perhaps if there were bicycles to hire/loan on the day so that female spectators can just "give it a go".

I think the skills days that are happening are great because it gives women a chance to have a go in a low pressure environment

It's hard enough to get women racing on the road let alone on a cyclocross circuit for many of the reasons listed in the question above. For women it's about gaining skills and confidence and I think you're doing the right thing with your women's development days and having open races where you can race any type of bike.

I think if it were more of a social event that they could bring their friends too.

Do you have any comments specifically about Fields of Joy Cyclocross? 

Awesome work!

Looking forward to visiting a race day.

Great location/proximity

What I saw was too technical; blokes' power course

Great course, great location for spectators, need better location map on fojcx website, seems quite long and technical a course!

Only thanks, you guys are awesome !! and fun.

Love it so far...

It's a lot of fun and I look forward to each next event!

What a fantastic initiative. I am proud to be a member of Sunbury CC

You guys continue to be awesome.

condense the day down. To much break between events. As soon as one finshes, start the next. Kids firts then C B womens and A.

I really want to come along and do it... I just worry about not having skills and then hurting myself

i think it has been made very accessible to women. You are leading the way in this area. Well done!!

I went to a very early race, which was great. Good spectator sport. I'm sure they are coming, but permanent toilets would be nice.

I would opt out of the roller coaster if I raced!!!!! It's awesome but not for me!

Have a advert banner on the Mascoma Road fence for all the people that walked and drove by that were interested in the event.

Looks bloody hard! Both times ladies days have been on I have had other stuff on - competing demands

I feel that their promotion of womens development days is good enough but the concept of cyclocross still needs to be promoted to the wider community.

I have been to FOJCX ladies skills day and loved it but I am happy to attend mixed gender days not just ladies days as I love skills training

Awesome.. I haven't ridden there but live 50mts away.. will ride mtb soon on track to have a look see..

It's a seriously hard course that suits the pro's not people trying to get into CX

Thanks to everyone involved in putting the events (race and clinics) on. This is the first form of competitive cycling I have done, and have only been doing so since April, and I love it. Its a really great atmosphere on race days, I think one of the best aspects of the sport is the all round encouragement-especially from the side lines!

Keep up the good work - glad to see you are asking the questions

Love what Dirty Deeds and Sunbury club have done to provide training days and such great support.

its a great event, just want more ladies attending!

FOJ has a great atmosphere, but I'm terrified of entering and looking like an effing goof, falling off my bike on the obstacles and huffing and puffing up the steep pinches more than anybody else on course. I think I'm just a big fat scaredycat. ;) I think it's brilliant that you run all of the women's categories just before the A grade men - it lets us be a part of the action when there is more of a crowd and the crowd really gets behind the girls. It's great! Please don't change this... I've raced in women's grades that were on at 7:00am Sunday morning, and nobody ever showed up to watch until the mens B & C that started at 11am... It's no fun at all.

Can't wait to race it, illness and family obligations have got in the way so far but promotion/women's skill session have spiked my interest.

Thanks for organising the series! I've enjoyed racing in it so far and think that it's a really great initiative. I hope my feedback helps.

The initial skills session prior to the race season really helped me feel more comfortable with the course so that I could enjoy the race days. There is great encouragement and support of women - I really cant think of anything else you might be able to do. It's a growing sport and I'm sure female participation will grow in time. It feels good to not have to be a great cycling but still be welcome to participate.

This course is a bit frightening for me because I'm pretty new to the sport and haven never done any other bike handling/skills work before, but having opportunities to train there really helps

Having a range of licencing options is good - is there a one-race option women can come along and give one race a try? Dev days are good, although it may be worthwhile publishing all the dates well in advance so people can plan ahead. Keep your website up to date as not everyone's on facebook. Perhaps get some women to provide some testimonials/endorsements to use on your social media.

Well run event.


Monday, 15 September 2014

2014 Series - Race 2 - ENTRIES NOW OPEN

Course Designer says "NEW COURSE"

Enter here: http://goo.gl/woiwcg
(Seniors are requested to pre-reg. Kids can rock up on the day)

Further announcements to come re Volunteers, Women's Development Day, T-Shirts, Women's Survey, Series Points. Thanks.

Special thanks to all sponsors, particularly Giant South Yarra who are providing amazing race day support and series participation prizes. #ridesthyarra


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

2014 Series - Race 1 - Race Schedule & Course Changes

Here's the rough plan for Sunday. Please note .. it's draft, may change etc.

Our plan all along was to change the course race-to-race to keep the racing fresh and we are happy to announce that we have made a number of enhancements that should be great fun to ride.

The big news is that we have installed a beach.. well two 4x15 metre sandpits in close succession. These are gas fun to ride.

We have also cut some extra course around the off-camber out-&-back and changed this up a bit, including putting in a run-up (massive props to anyone who can ride this bit - unlikely, but some freak will probably prove us wrong).

The other major change, in case you haven't heard, is that we won't be including the Rollercoaster this round as we are currently working through a resident complaint. No doubt, some people will be disappointed, others relieved. Please bear with us as we work through this as it is obviously in everyone's interests that we arrive a workable long-term solution for our premier feature.

Race village will be bigger and more vibrant this round, and spectators should be able to see the whole race from the hilltop viewing area, including a great view of the new beach features.

Finally,there will be a separate kids course in the event village area which will be open all day for play laps. Should be pretty rad watching the kids all cutting laps together just for fun.

* Kids don't need to pre-reg (as they aren't transponder timed)
* Kids do however need to be licensed and must rego on the day and receive a race number before racing (this way we know everyone is insured)
* Kids licensing can be sorted on the day for new racers.

* All seniors need to pre-reg. (you are transponder timed and there is some computer black-magic that needs to be worked so your name, transponder numberm, race number and rego pack all align.

* We may take some entries on the day but you need to be very lucky. Please pre-reg so we don't have to run around and get all surly at you on race day.

* If you are waiting to know what the weather is doing, I can tell you now it will be sunny and georgous all day.


Thursday, 21 August 2014


A virtuous circle is a cycle whereby positive results are reinforced and expand through a feedback loop. An upward spiral of postive outcomes - the opposite of a vicious cycle.

An example? how about building a permanent CX course 12km from the CBD in Melbourne?

It starts as an idea and exists only in conversation - a possibility, an opportunity for something in the future. Those conversations, if compelling enough, lead to actions. Things start to move and more converstations leverage the original idea. People see action, understand the opportunity and, assuming they share the vision, want to help or know other people who may help. Converstations, leverage other conversations, create a network effect spanning  more people and more conversations. Those who started the project may not have known how it would play out or who would help, just knew that the opportunity was too good to pass up and that help would come - from somewhere, that somehow it would work out. It had to, as it was too good to pass up.
And importantly, if the conversations stop the project dies - unless of course someone else takes up the conversation and gets the snowball rolling again.

Thankfully, this snowball is rolling. We talk, we do, we get help, we talk some more. People want this to happen. They put their hand up to help. Cycling, and in particular CX, is a community. This is a community looking forward to an opportunity and wanting to contribute for the common good .. and contribution takes many forms. Driving an excavator, laying out stakes and tape, telling a friend they should race, liking something on Facebook,  supporting an event, a word of encouragement. You may not even realise how many times you have contributed yourself. Simply being open to being engaged around FOJCX is a contribution and we sincerely thank you for that.

And with that as background, I would especially like to thank the following supporting sponsors. They have involved themselves. They want something to happen. They put their hand up to help.  They have been part of an ongoing converstation and help create the virtuous circle. 
We thank them - as we are sure the broader CX community does - because they are helping to make this happen.

Major Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors



Entries are now open: 

Also, some lucky person will go home with a new bike Race Day.

Here's a whole lot of reference material you may not need right now:

Note: Race Schedule is draft and subject to change. We will publish a final version separately closer to Race Day.

FORMAT: Cyclocross + Open category racing catering for Men, Women & Kids.
CIRCUIT:  Fields of Joy Cyclocross Course, Essendon Fields

MEN'S CX: A, B & C Grades
MEN'S OPEN (any bike, any tyres - inc CX bikes)

WOMEN'S CX: A & B Grades
WOMEN'S OPEN (any bike, any tyres - inc CX bikes)

JUNIORS: Balance Bikes + Any bike categories

Note: CX Grades are for Cyclocross bikes with CX tyres (max 35mm)

ALL riders must be licensed for insurance purposes. Cycling Australia Race Licenses (Gold Licenses), MTBA Competition Licenses and FOJCX Season Licenses are accepted (4 Race Coverage). Kids Licensing is required and options vary depending on age. All riders do need license/insurance coverage.

Kids can enter on the day - pre-entry through this form is entirely optional. All licensed kids will get a start.

The schedule has kids starting together. They will be split into Balance Bikes and Non-Balance bikes on separate courses. Non-Balance bikes will then be 'graded' by wheel size (i.e. 16",20",24" etc) , which is a rough proxy for ability, and released in waves. Older Juniors may be offered a larger loop on the main course depandant on numbers. All juniors grading is determined on the day by Commissaires prior to race start.

Please also note that results will be old school so we would appreciate some spotters on the day to identify boys winners and girls winners for each wave.

Adults $25 (includes $5 raffle for bike to be won on the day)
Kids - by donation
Volunteers - free race entry per vol duty.

FOJCX is designed to be somewhat reconfigurable. We intend to change things up race-to-race, but also recognise that we do have some core components making up what we call the 'classic' course. So please be mindful that the course config may be different each time you race. We are also potentially working on building new stuff. Bottom Line: - it won't always be the same but we may go back to some old 'faves as well.

REGISTRATION: Look for Rego Marquee in Race Village.
To access the course, all riders must have a Race Number visible and be wearing a helmet.

* Address:  Larkin Court, Essendon Fields, Melbourne Australia

* Directions:
Essendon Fields is 12km from the Melb CBD in the grounds of Essendon Airport. Follow the signs to Essendon Airport.

From the City, take the Tullamarine Freeway and exit left at Matthews Ave Essendon. Turn Right at lights onto English Street Essendon Fields. Continue straight (English St turns into Wirraway Rd) to first major roundabout on Wirraway Rd. Turn right into Larkin Court. Continue to signs for parking.

* Parking: Trackside off Larkin Court. Follow signs.
* Toilets: Onsite. Alternate locations at Shopping Centre and Essendon Airport.
* Water: PLEASE BRING WATER as there is no running water onsite.
* Power: Generator only
* Spectating: Please dress warm. The site is often windy.
* Food: Food vendors will be available.


Riders can withdraw without penalty up to 12 Noon THURSDAY before the race.(please note THURS deadline due to Transponder timing requirements)

Kids can enter on the day. Licensing is our only requirement.
Seniors entering on the day - possible but risky. No guarantee of a start. We need to have spots available, know who you are for handicapping and have time to slot you into the timing system. We definitely want to see people race and will do what we can but the simple fact is that you take a risk of not getting a spot.

GRADING GUIDANCE: http://goo.gl/W0fb5R

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


We are delighted to announce that Giant South Yarra have committed to supporting FOJCX as a major sponsor.

We are particularly pleased to announce that we will be offering CX bikes as participation and fundraising prizes across our upcoming Race Series.

In short, if you race, you are in the running to go home with a ripping CX bike come Race 3 - simply by participating. If you want to improve your odds, you can top-up by buying raffle tickets - our aim here is raising money for Michael Blyth so please help out by buying additional tickets if you can.

We will be offering the following;
1) A Men's prize drawn from amongst the male participants
2) A Womens's prize drawn from amongst the female participants
3) A kid's prize .... you get the idea.

Here's what the prizes look like..

The Women's and Men's prize packs are of equivalent value, with the Women's winner able to select product to bring the value up to the equivalent value of the Men's prize. 

The kids bike prize value is such that the majority of the Giant kids bike range is available and is suitable for boys and girls across a wide range of ages.

We are particularly pleased that these prize offerings help support a family-friendly and inclusive race series.

Special thanks to Craig and the Team at Giant South Yarra.
They are a Giant Concept Store and experts in all things Giant.  Please do what you can to support them if you or your friends are in the market for new bikes.


The fine print..
* All bikes are current model and will be ordered-in based on your correct size. 
* The kids bike will be to the value of $500 and appropriate to your child's age. 
* Prizes can only be taken as product, not cash.


Monday, 18 August 2014


We are running Women's Devt Days in the lead-up to each of our Winter Race Series Races. Please pre-reg here: http://goo.gl/64myHE


Saturday, 2 August 2014


I have a theory. We call ourselves cyclists, when what we really are is collectors. We collect all manner of things cycling-related, but our primary collectable is experiences. Favourite climbs, favourite routes, road trips, epic rides, epic races,  the odd failure, time with friends. Experiences, carried forward through time, as stories. Like stamps in a stamp collection, we get our stories out when the time is right and show them to our cycling mates - and they get it because they too have their own collection. We compare collections, we trade stories. Stories, the currency of cycling, traded back and forth, forever expanding.

Matty Gray doesn't know this but he entered my stamp book a couple of years ago. Mitch Allen introduced us at the start of the Melbourne to Ballarat, minutes before the start in the BP Servo carpark at Rockbank.  Somehow we were all in the same group - 24minutes. It was a reasonably large bunch, and in a handicap, the idea is to look after your group, to work efficiently, a large group sharing the load. But what also happens is guys sit-on, hiding from the wind, with no intention of working for the common good. When more than a few start sitting-on, a contagion spreads throughout the bunch. More and more sit-on. Then the rules change. Those that are up for 'making a race of it' attack the bunch. Mat, Mitch and handful of other guys weren't putting up with towing everyone to Ballarat and set about forcing a split.  The Pentland Hills, smack into a headwind, was like a battle ground. Look up 'Monster Turn' in the dictionary and there'll be a picture of Matty and Mitch absolutely smashing it on the front. Mitch says to me "Come-on Col, we can split this". I was busy eating bartape and had to confess.. "I got nothing". Look up 'clinging on' and there will be a picture of me trying to make the split. To finish this story...fast forward... Mitch and I were together when we turned off the highway into Ballarat, a handful of k's from the finish.  Our group had merged with another and was now quite sizeable. I had survived turning 53x11 at 70km/h for longer than I care to remember on the last of the undulating Highway stretches. We rode position as we turned and snuck up the outside, making up 60 places with zero effort. We were now on the front, echeloned across the road, comfortably out of the wind. The road had narrowed and congestion meant that anyone wanting to move up were having to ride up the inside on the dirt. Classic. We were slowly bringing in the remnants of Limit. Mitch and I rode side-by-side and I distinctly remember thinking that someone from our group could win the Melbourne to Ballarat, and that that feeling alone was worth the race entry fee. I had no illusions that that someone was to be me but a thought Mitch and Mat were real chances. 2kms of absolute bliss. Less than a kilometre to go and that dream was over - Scratch caught us in a flash. It was like they were teleported in. One minute nothing, then in the blink of an eye the whole of Team Genesis carving everyone up, taking no prisoners in the last couple of corners before the finish. 

Epic is an over-used term in cycling but that day is listed under Epic in my stamp book.

Anyway, that was the day I met Mat Gray.

Yesterday Mat became National Masters CX Champion. Reason enough to get my stamp book out, time to trade a story. Time to congratulate one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Congratulations Mat.


Saturday, 26 July 2014


There is no water (or electricity) on site. We will have some emergency drinking water available but it would be handy if you can bring your own.

There will be portable toilets onsite but there are toilets available at the Airport Terminal and next to Coles in the shopping centre if that is your preference.

We will be running double-sided pits on the course. Riders requiring mechanical assistance during a race need to return to the pits. Conversely, mechanical assistance cannot be accessed anywhere outside the pit area.

There will be a coffee truck, CURRY and a Sausage BBQ for the kids

Random Notes
* Rego open all day.
* New Racers - If possible, consider your licensing options before you get there tomorrow.
* Roller Coaster will have an optional detour.
* No course entry without a helmet and race number. Go to Rego as first stop.
* Cash only on the day
* We will take kids entries on the day.
* Racing for trophies not envelopes this round. One word.. INAUGURAL
* We will be awarding FASTEST MASTER 40+ (unplaced). All 40+ should keep racing even after the elastic has snapped.
* The course will be fast. ie run a Ralph instead of a Ron.
* LATE ENTRIES - it is potentially possible to slot you in on the day. No guarantees. You would need some luck on your side.


Thursday, 24 July 2014


If you are new to racing and need temporary licensing, please consider what suits you best by referencing the matrix below.

This is not the definitive guide, and doesn't cover every combination, but will get you started.

Bottom line is that everyone needs to be insured come race day.
No license means no race.

There are further options for kids, which I will cover in part 2.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

PRELIM STARTLIST - Shakedown Race SUN 27 JUL 14


Who's racing and what grade, but more importantly, who's not racing. 

Friends don't let friends miss out on a race.
If your mates aren't there, chase them up.

Entries close TOMORROW ..late.


Any grading anomalies - email fieldsofjoycx at geemail dot com

What time do I need to be there? Revised Race Schedule

Free Practice:
A big slab of free practice before racing, a smaller slab after the kids race.

Please note: a helmet and race number is mandatory for any rider on course.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Sorry We Are Closed - Thurs PM

We'll be closing entries Thursday night.. Late.

This will give us time to remove duplicates, handicap riders, allocate race numbers, upload data to the timing system, create rego packs, publish a start list, process scratchings, re-handicap for reported sandbaggers, slip in some late entries, re-load data to timing system, re-publish a final final start list, knock back late entries, get some more scratchings,  organise 4 Race licenses, send communique to riders .... you get the idea.

ENTER HERE:   http://goo.gl/TvywAt

Not sure what Grade to enter? 
Please read this before entering http://goo.gl/7HKdYQ

SCRATCH HERE: http://goo.gl/vCnPT4



VOLUNTEER HERE: http://goo.gl/8y2Nvk 


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Shakedown Race - Sunday July 27 ENTRIES OPEN


Sunday July 27 is our Shakedown Race. This is a full dress rehearsal for our upcoming Winter Race Series.

This course is brand new. We need to see how it races. Come race and help make this venue a success.

Entries are now open:  Please enter here http://goo.gl/TvywAt

Not sure what Grade to enter? 
Please read this before entering http://goo.gl/7HKdYQ

Here's our Draft Race Schedule for the day. Please note that we reserve the right to change this if necessary. We will republish the Race Schedule with any Startlists. Please be sure to confirm your start time closer to Race Day.


(Revisions: adjust some grade race durations down, add time to clear course before races - as at Wed 23 July)

If you encounter any problems please email fieldsofjoycx@gmail.com


Friday, 11 July 2014

What Grade? ....please be guided by your motor

"What grade should I ride in CX?" 

A lot of people struggle with finding the right grade in CX, generally for one of two reasons;

1) They race, but are new to 'cross, or
2) They have never raced.

We will be opening entries soon so please be guided by the following advice when requesting a grade...

'Be guided by your motor'

What does that mean? It means that you should ride against riders of similar strength, not drop down because of some perceived disadvantage around tech skills.

Some examples:
If you race A grade on the Road or at your local crit, we request that you enter A grade for CX. 

If you don't race but you are a similar level to some of your training buddies who race B grade on the Road, enter B grade.

If you have never raced and aren't able to gauge a grade off any of your training partners, you should enter C Grade and see how you go. 

You will be asked for Grading Information at entry. Please provide information that helps the Handicappers either confirm your requested grade or determine the correct grade for you. *Information* helps get you into the correct grade.  Also note that you request a grade, and that may be changed by the Handicappers. The published Final Start List is confirmation of your grade for race day.

Q: If you make me ride my normal grade I will definitely go out the back. Can't I drop down?
A: In any race there is only one winner and most of the field in any CX race will be eating bartape, even CX veterans. Dropping you down to improve your odds of being that one winner, particularly if you are still working out 'Cross, isn't fair to the regulars who legitimately race that grade.

Q: I am new to CX so can't I enter the lowest grade and win that before moving up?
A: Please enter the grade that places you amongst riders of similar strength. Being promoted on the back of wins isn't how grades are decided.

Q: CX is different, so what's wrong with dropping down a few grades and moving up once I podium?
A: With some CX fields being 70+ riders deep, only a small percentage podium. It becomes a mathematical impossibility that 70 riders look for the promotion option across a handful of races before moving up. We ask that you ride with the grade that is most representative of your strength.

Q: Yes I am a powerhouse on the road but I have rubbish dirt skills. Can I drop down 2 grades so that I am still competitive? 
A: Please enter the grade and race riders of similar strength. If you need to work on your technical skills then racing is a good place to start, plus you'll be able to gauge exactly where you are at and what to work on.

Q: Isn't grading about allowing me to race in a grade where I'm a chance at the podium?
A: Grading is about creating a race where riders are of similar ability, not about making everyone a chance at the podium.

Q: I understand what you are saying but I currently race 'Cross in a lower grade than I do Road and still come nowhere. How can that be the wrong grade?

A: Please be guided by your motor.

Q: I race D grade on the road but have awesome dirt skills. Can I put myself up some grades for 'Cross?

A: You can, but you might find that you get smoked. You'd be better racing C grade and trying to contest the win. Then get promoted.

Q: I currently race A grade on the road and spend most of the race swinging off the back (A3), and I am new to dirt. I was thinking of riding B grade. Is that OK?

A: There are generally less CX grades than Road grades so there is some overlap in CX. A1 and A2 Road definitely map into CX-A. On the road, there often isn't a lot of difference between A3 and B1 riders. A genuine A3 Roadie could ride CX-A or CX-B, just as a genuine B1 Roadie could ride CX-A or CX-B. 

Q: I am relatively new to Cross and find Cross races to be amongst the hardest I've ever raced? I think I'm in the wrong grade?

A: Welcome to Cross. It is hard for everyone.

Q: What's the big deal?

A: There is no big deal. It's just a race. This is the point. Ride and have fun.
As organisers, we don't really want to deal with loads of complaints about sandbaggers. If we don't provide guidance, people genuinely enter grades that they think are OK, and unknowingly get accused of sandbagging.
All we ask is that you be considerate of your fellow riders in your requested grade. If you'd ordinarily smoke them on the road, that says you are in the wrong grade. Power is everything in 'Cross, tech skills are a nice little bonus if you have them. 

Q: I've read and understood all this but still want to drop down a grade. What now? 

A: Race your CX in Opens and build your confidence there.