What is Cyclocross?
Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing. Riders race laps around a short course (1.5-2 miles) that usually features pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races last 30-60 minutes depending on the classification of the rider.
How do I get started?
Find and join a local CX practice. If there isn’t one around, set up some makeshift barriers in your backyard or local park, find a hill to practice run ups, and get practicing techniques and skills.
Speaking of techniques and skills, learn the basics: barriers, dismounts and remounts, shouldering the bike, riding through mud or sand, and soon. Youtube can be a great teacher.
The best way to get good at cyclocross and have fun at the same time is simply by racing. You’ll learn technique, skills and race strategy as you go, all you need to do is get started! And don’t just race and head home- stick around for the camaraderie and the crowds. Staying for the Pro race is also always a good idea for picking up tricks and techniques: see how they take barriers and then go home and practice.
Cyclocross is a sport that is meant to be fun. Train, race hard, but above all, remember that it’s supposed to be fun. (Yes, even when you’re shouldering your bike crawling up a steep incline praying for the race to be over. Just repeat to yourself over and over: “this is fun!”)