Fall is for Cyclocross

Cyclocross (CX, ‘cross) is pretty much the pinnacle of bicycle riding and racing. A cross bike is essentially a road-race bike (drop bars, 700c wheels, and all) pimped out with fatter, knobby tires (35c max) and cantilever brakes. In a cyclocross race, competitors ride laps for 30-60 minutes on a short course of varied terrain (grass, pavement, singletrack, off-camber downhills, steep climbs) with obstacles and barriers that force the rider to dismount, carry the bike, and remount – ideally maintaining stride. Thanks to the strategic Fall-Winter CX race schedule, mud, snow, and pain tend to characterize the whole experience.

Well, I finally caved and made a somewhat tardy entry into this year’s CX series. This weekend we had our local race in Verona’s Badger Prairie. It is still a bit early for snow, but we had more than enough mud thanks to a night of rain. The men’s Cat 4 field was about 60 strong, good opportunities to pass were few on the tight course, and wipeouts were frequent. I finished a respectable 13th with a greater-than-average 4 crashes. Time to clear out the schedule for the next couple weeks…

One response to “Fall is for Cyclocross

  1. Tonight I went shopping for cross bikes. 49cm is too big, sadly. (Gosh-darn short wranglers, anyway…) I’m psyched, though!