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.

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.