• Wed October 28 2009
  • Posted Oct 28, 2009
From Abbie at Terry Bicycles. Her take on Cyclocross. She is their resident Inside Sales and Cyclocross extraordinaire as she explains her fondness of the sport from both racing and general aspect points of view. Read on.
  1. It is an excuse to get muddy and not feel guilty about it. I think there is some sort of time travel that happens for me when I speed my bike through a mud puddle causing a great splash -all of a sudden I am a kid again. Of course at that time I didn't know or think about all the mechanical issues with getting a metal bike with many working parts wet and muddy. It was just fun, and 'cross brings that back for me, unfortunately now I have to clean my own bike.
  2. Making new friends. You are hardly ever riding alone as there are so many laps in a race and the mass group starts ensures that you will always have a friend or friendly competitor nearby. The group nature takes away much of the competitive pressure, as one woman I was riding with last week said, "It was awesome, no one could tell if I was way off the back and I was never alone!" As 'cross is still an up and coming sport in many areas people are generally eager and excited to share their knowledge and passion to newcomers so the possibilities of meeting new friends is endless.
  3. Spectators. Cyclocross spectators are simply the best. How can you not smile when there are people lining the whole course with cowbells cheering you on? Who doesn't love a little encouragement, especially if it comes from a man dressed as Santa or a lady in a Superwoman costume? Then, when you are done riding it is your turn to rally people over the barriers and through the taped course. This role swapping creates a real community feel to the sport.
  4. A change of pace. After a summer of counting miles, heart rate, wattage and calories it is nice to take a break and remember that we ride bikes for fun. The less serious nature of 'cross racing aids in the laid-back attitude and fun atmosphere. It also forces me to ride in different areas, the switch from riding in traffic to riding through grassy fields is a refreshing mental break.
  5. Re-newed motivation. With that change of pace I become excited to ride my bike all over again. The diversification of your cycling life will help you stay mentally and physically fresh and interested in riding. Even the shortest attention span will be captivated by the ever changing nature of cross. With sand pits, mud, run ups, fly overs, barriers and more it is hard to get bored.
  6. Total body workout. The short explosive nature of riding a cross bike coupled with running and carrying your bike you will make you feel better about the extra slice of pie on Thanksgiving and may give you some new muscles to show off as well!
  7. It's short and sweet. With fading daylight, exhaustion from Summer and a busy daily life it is nice to have an activity that you can fit in within and hour to an hour and a half. The high intensity of cross allows for shorter workouts that you can do virtually anywhere; any local park, field, playground that is friendly to bikes is perfect.
  8. New challenges. Cyclocross forces me to sharpen my technical skills without making it feel like I am doing boring drills. Riding on uneven grass, dirt, gravel, roots, through sand and mud, over barriers, off camber, all helps and will easily transfer to your other riding pursuits.
  9. Anyone can do it. Whether you are hoping on a dirt bike path or competing on a national level, 'cross is accessible to you. It is up to you how hard or technical you want to make it.
  10. Did I mention it was fun?!?!

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