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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-30-13, 08:44 AM   #1
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A roadie's first cyclocross race experience

Signed up and completed my first cyclocross event this weekend. I still don't know what to think but I have never done anything like that on a bicycle before

Been road riding as an adult for about 6 years. Was hit by a motorcycle while on my bicycle on the road in June and bought a cross bike and have been riding the rail trails and staying off the road while I continue to recover.

Signed up for a local cross race and they had a pretty wild course with some open field, toys, singletrack, berms, sand pit, wood chips, name it. I think this course was a bit different than the average course.

I rode part of the course once to warm up and was headed back to the car to ditch my SPD shoes and just use my sneakers. On the road, I can ride for 4 hours and never un-clip. This single track stuff with 3 foot high logs across the path and super tight turns at the bottom and tops of hills was nuts and I was clipping in, out, in, out, trying not to clip in but was, trying to clip out but not, trying to un-clip the correct foot for the switchback, etc...I was a mess but was grinning the entire time. I popped out of the woods and they were about to start the race. I looked at everyone else's shoes and they were all clip-less, so I just went with it and a few seconds later, the race was on. Another issue with the pedals is my still healing left ankle. All the clip-outs on that side were miserable.

For me, it was about an 8 minute lap and I went around 7 times. All in all, pretty awesome to screw on my courage to ride over stuff that steep and sharp. I also had no idea what was around each bend for the first lap or two. I know I was pretty slow in the technical stuff and cannot really run with my ankle/leg injuries, but I was able to dismount and hobble over most of the un-ridable (for me), obstacles pretty well. I did go ass over tea kettle on a log once and then, after a sprinting across the field, I was going too fast to make the first corner and I washed the front wheel and hit a tree head on. My right brifter was knocked in but I could still hang onto it enough to ride.

Overall, it was a nice test to see how I am coming along. I am repairing the bicycle I was hit on into a single speed monster and looking forward to trying this again with a simpler setup.

You cross people are nuts!
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Old 09-30-13, 01:26 PM   #2
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I think the trend is to make the courses faster . . . folks like to ride fast, not hop on and off all the time. typical course around here is 1.5 miles with only one set of barriers so you are on the bike 99% of the time.
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Old 09-30-13, 01:56 PM   #3
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When I first tried it, ok, the ONLY time, I cobbled a SSCX out of an old touring frame. Hilly tough course. At least you finished!
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
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Old 10-04-13, 05:40 AM   #4
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cross is hard. not doing cross is harder.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:31 PM   #5
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I just did my first cross race today. OMG I got crushed! I did about 1500 miles on the road bike this year so thought I would be ready. It was tougher than I thought it was going to be. There's just no let up, no time to rest at all. Didn't wear any glasses because I thought they would just get mud covered. Found out my glasses are the only thing keeping my helmet out of my eyes, so couldn't see most of the time. I didn't do my practice lap because it was freezing, so first lap was super slow learning the course. But I think I'm hooked. I'm going to ride at least one more before winter and try to place a little higher up the leader board next time.
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