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, 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. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Honey Badger Don't Care

image courtesy of http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/140317-honey-badger

Known affectionately within the FOJCX Bunker as the 'Honeybadger Round', our Shakedown Race is only 2.5 weeks away (Sunday July 27). This race is a full-blown dress rehearsal ahead of our race series. This will be an opportunity to iron out any creases with the course &/or our race organisation. We are veterans at putting on races, just not transponder-timed, 300+ people blockbusters on a custom built course. This is next level stuff and we are excited. Pumped actually. Totes pumped for those born after the advent of the mobile phone and carbon wheels.

News is that we will be opening entries this Sunday evening - sometime after dinner and before Masterchef. We will post a link and further info about Grades and licensing and schedules and women and kids and open categories and fundraising and other stuff later this week.

>> POTENTIAL SPONSORS:  Insert your logo here. Call the FOJCX Bunker today <<


Sunday, 6 July 2014

We Heart Women & Kids

 Photo courtesy of Andy Rogers of Fame & Spear Photography fame.

Ask people what they love about CX and it's generally the culture that people talk about first, racing second. The party-like atmosphere, the inclusiveness of the racing, people from all walks of life having a crack..  people enjoying the simple pleasure of riding a bike, amongst a welcoming community of other people who enjoy bikes. They say there is no 'I' in Team, but there is 'U' & 'I' in Community, and as far as we are concerned, the CX Community is hard to beat.

In keeping with CX's fine traditions of community and inclusiveness, and with a tip of the ol' cycling cap to our good friends at DIRTY DEEDS, we will be hosting WOMEN'S DEVELOPMENT DAYS in the lead up to our races.

The aim of these sessions is simple - make racing more enjoyable through safety and confidence. These sessions will be part CX Skills, part Course Familiarisation. 

The first of our Women's Dev Days will be SATURDAY 19th JULY between 10:00am - 12:00pm, Larkin Court, Essendon Fields.

So that we get an idea of numbers,  we ask that you register your interest in attending HERE AT OUR REGO FORM. We will then confirm your place by email closer to the day. (Please note our current numbers cap is about 45 due to accredited coach:participant ratios)

If you have kids wanting to ride with other kids, please bring them down.

Any questions, please email the FOJCX Bunker (FieldsofJoyCX at gmial)


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Mama Said

Mama Said get your diary out...

Race Dates:

  1. Shakedown Race - Sunday July 27 (full dress rehearsal)
  2. Race 1 - Sunday August 31
  3. Race 2 - Sunday September 28
  4. Race 3 - Sunday October 19

We will also be offering Women's Devt & Course Familiarisation Days in the lead up to selected races. Stay tuned for further announcements. 


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

University of Svenness

If you haven't come across CXHAIR'S SVENNESS videos already,  do yourself a favour and put aside a few hours to get yourself educated.

Then come and unleash your inner svenness on July 27 at FOJCX.