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Where are all the 20-somethings??

A note from Michael G on

I first joined TriRudy in 2004. A submission from 2004 that always stayed with me, was one asking where are the 20 somethings? It caused controversy and generated some replies. The Author was wondering why it was predominantly 30 and 40 year olds who were winning.

Well 14 years later and once again, we need to ask; where are the 20 year olds? But this time, it is from a participation point of view. While the triathlon season is over, cyclocross is ongoing. It caught my attention back in 2006, and so I joined and followed the race series. If you check the results from this year’s races, you may notice that the same guys are still there and still winning!!! The number of sub 30 years who participate is tiny relative the those above 40… This is fascinating! Cyclocross is not chess, it is sport and sport is the domain of the young! So where is the young? Yes, I know about being cooped up inside playing video games, but where are the parents who should insist? where are those that buck the trend and do venture outside?

I believe that in another 12 years, I will still see the same names at the races. The Masters D, E and F (50, 60 and 70 year olds) will be the largest. And we will slowly lose sports like cyclocross, bike racing in general and for this community; triathlons.

Get your kids out folks. Get them on their bikes, into running shoes into swim trunks. Get them to run, cycle, swim, kick a ball, catch a ball, etc. We will all benefit! It is a sad day when people in their 50’s and 60’s are outdoing their grand-kids!!!! 10 men aged between 60-69 raced this weekend, another 3 are above 70…men/boys between 17 and 29 may have been the same 13 in all!!!! the classification system does not subdivide the “senior” category and based upon the names I see, I am positive at least some are above 29. Three 70 plus, Four 17-19 year old…. As I said, this is not chess.


A response from Adam @ velofix Ottawa:

I have to agree! I like to say that I “participate” more than I “race” these days. I do some road running events, the whole cyclocross series, fat biking, snowshoeing, etc etc. and although I push myself to my own limits, I don’t feel like I’m truly competing against anyone but myself. I know that’s what a lot of people say but in most events, I really don’t mind where I finish relative to others in my Age Group.

This is especially true in cyclocross where I’m usually the only one in my age group. There are a handful of teenagers that race cyclocross but I think I’m the only one in their 20s. It’s awfully easy to say you’re not concerned about your AG placement when you’re the only one in it. If you’re interested in trying cyclocross, there are still a few races left. The details are at

This past Sunday would have been another great course for a beginner, or for roadies/triathletes. The course started with a long paved section where you could gain some speed before a grassy section. There was a long paved hill, some small twists and turns and only one set of barriers. As far as ‘cross goes, this course was well suited for someone who’s fit, as opposed to skilled.

There were two sections of the course that started off as “grassy” but after 110 riders did their 6+ laps, the grass turned muddy VERY fast and it quickly became a messy car ride home.

All in all, it was another great venue and well-organized race. This weekend’s race was at Upper Canada Village and the weather couldn’t have been better. Even with 110 riders on the course, there was lots of room and everyone seemed to have a great time. Next weekend’s race is in Cornwall. If you’re going to be there, let me know and I’ll join you for a warm up lap – as long as you don’t mind riding at my modest pace.