Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-07-10, 09:32 AM   #1
sknhgy 
Dirt Bomb
Thread Starter
 
sknhgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Illinois
Bikes:
Posts: 2,626
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 134 Post(s)
Anyone here do cyclocross races?

There is going to be a local series of cyclocross races and I would like to give it a try but I know very little about it. And I don't have a x bike. I have a Raleigh hybrid that I could strip down and fit with ~ 30mm knobbies. Or I could use my Trek 820 mtb, but it is very heavy.

So, any old geezers out there ride these races? I am 55 years old. Most of my riding is done on very hilly, rural roads. A typical hill that I ride is .65 miles long with a 7% grade. A few local hills are noticable steeper and I can clean them, but not very quickly. I average at least 10 miles/day throughout the year.

This Saturday is the first in the series and I thought I would go and watch, then maybe ride the next one. Or maybe I can go early, but be prepared to ride and make up my mind when I see what's going on.
sknhgy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-10, 10:23 AM   #2
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
Posts: 5,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did my first cyclo cross race of the season last Saturday. I really enjoy the cross races and the whole experience that comes with it. The racers are more laid back even though the races are much more intense on the riders than road races or crit races. It is also a safe way to add racing to your riding. Some race venues are much like a tailgate party in many ways. People cook out, have a few brews, make little insults as you ride (when I helplessly laid over in the sand pit on Saturday, I can still hear some spectator shout "Bill is down, Bill is down"), ring cow bells and even wear Halloween costumes.

I have a Trek XO1 cross bike and three different sets of tires to match the terrain and soils we race on. Three years ago I raced my son's full suspension MTB in the 3 races I competed in. The MTB will work OK but will be a hindrance when you need to carry it over barriers, stairs or across a ditch. At last weekend's race the first two place finishers were on 29'ers, in both my race and the expert races, they just rode over the big tree roots and loose dry soils that slowed down the cross bike riders.

Cross racing is a "sprint finish followed by a time trail". A really good warm up is critical. At the beginning levels there is no pack riding or team tactics. My recommendation is for you to race this week. Waiting a week or two for the next race will allow you to do what? Racing this weekend will introduce you to the 30 minutes of pain and suffering and allow you to find what skills you will need to develop to race better next time. Get to the venue early and be one of the first riders on the course. Most races have the beginner races scheduled first which enables the riders more time on the course. The race I just did had only 15 minutes between races for us to ride on the course, which amounted to one full lap and part of the 2nd.

While racing you will question yourself as to why you are doing this. It hurts, you are out of breath, you probably have crashed two or three times and you still have 10 minutes of the race left. About 15 minutes after the race you will be looking forward to doing it next week. Thatís OK, itís normal for a cyclo cross racer, just ask the guy next you on the start line. Also, there may be cyclo cross practices in your area during the weekdays, ask around.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-10, 10:56 AM   #3
sknhgy 
Dirt Bomb
Thread Starter
 
sknhgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Illinois
Bikes:
Posts: 2,626
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 134 Post(s)
So, maybe I should strip down my MTB and make it as light as possible and enter the race? i.e. no frame pump, seat bag, rear rack, computer, etc.? I don't imagine people stop to fix flats during these races.
sknhgy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-10, 11:17 AM   #4
bobthib
Legs; OK! Lungs; not!
 
bobthib's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Bikes: ''09 Motobecane Immortal Pro (Yellow), '02 Diamondback Hybrid, '09 Lamborghini Viaggio, ''11 Cervelo P2
Posts: 2,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
So, maybe I should strip down my MTB and make it as light as possible and enter the race? i.e. no frame pump, seat bag, rear rack, computer, etc.? I don't imagine people stop to fix flats during these races.
Yeah, you don't want to carry ANY extra weight. A MTB is handicap enough. BUT the main objective is to HAVE FUN!!!!

I envy you. I've watched many a CX race on Youtube and such and it looks like enormous fun. And torture. I think A.Jet does a great job of describing the experience, at least as I would imagine it.

We don't have very many opportunities for CX down here in SO FLA, and I suspect most of the CX riders that show up are pretty serious riders. I'm not so sure that the crowds and riders would be quite so tolerant of a 60+ old man cluttering up the tracks down here.
bobthib is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-10, 11:27 AM   #5
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
Posts: 5,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
So, maybe I should strip down my MTB and make it as light as possible and enter the race? i.e. no frame pump, seat bag, rear rack, computer, etc.? I don't imagine people stop to fix flats during these races.
Most races are in local parks or public spaces with the course winding all around and moslty visible from one vantage point. The laps take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. The lighter the better for the bike since you might also have to carry it and are constantly accelerating after truns and hazzards. Computers are OK, but you might knock it off during a crash. If anything could shake off the bike then leave it in the car. In the upper levels of racing the riders will have "pit wheels or even pit bikes" which they can switch over during the race. I have seen races so muddy that riders would race a couple laps then go to the pits and switch bikes then a pit crew member cleans up the derailers and brakes. Some guys will ride with the lowest tire pressure possible to smooth out the bumps but will then get pinch flats and have to carry or ride the bike to the wheel pit.


Try googling cyclo cross racing videos to get a feel for the courses and conditions.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-10, 03:08 PM   #6
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
So, maybe I should strip down my MTB and make it as light as possible and enter the race? i.e. no frame pump, seat bag, rear rack, computer, etc.? I don't imagine people stop to fix flats during these races.
We have a local CX club that put on MTB races within their programme. This is how I got into MTB racing but that is a different story.

Within the CX races- there was one rider on an MTB. He did pretty well for such an outcassed bike but a couple of changes he made obviously helped. Rigid forks and he used Project ll's. A knowm fork that works and is lightweight. And Tyres. He used Conti Tyres in 1.5 size. The same as I use as a MUD tyre on the MTB. These narrow tyres bit through the mud to get grip on the hard ground underneath the gloop and they gave enough clearance so the did not clog the frame or the forks. And just face it- although a specific bike would have an advantage- Any lightweight bike that carries 10lbs of mud on the frame is going to be heavy.

You may not win- in fact you could possible come last but at least you would get the insight as to whether you want to take up the sport. So after seeing what it is like next week- prepare the bike and get your entry in for the next race.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-10, 03:50 PM   #7
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Bikes: My beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my 2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod
Posts: 16,282
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
I am 55 years old.

This Saturday is the first in the series and I thought I would go and watch, then maybe ride the next one.
First, do you know the age categories in your area? In Georgia (where I live) the older categories are Masters 35+ and Masters 45+. I'm 65 and there's no way I'd attempt racing against riders ~20 years younger than me. I've watched these guy race and the 45+ group would smoke me. But I really enjoy watching the races and cheering on all the riders.

Second, is your local CX group offering clinics or beginner's training courses? They'll answer all your questions. Sometimes a mini-intro course is offered before the races but you've got to be there really early to participate.

Read through some of the threads in the Cyclocross forum (http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...?23-Cyclocross) and the Cyclocross Racing forum (http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...locross-Racing). Lots of great info there.

Good luck and have fun if you decide to go for it.
__________________


The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8
RonH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:26 PM.