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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 10-29-07, 09:38 PM   #1
mcafiero
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Some noob questions about CX racing

I'm really intrigued with CX racing. I have a CX bike, but spent all summer long riding really hard on my fixies. I feel like I'm getting stronger and my bike handling skills are OK. Used to race on the Velodrome, but like 10 years ago. I'm 31 now.

I did a search, but I have some specific questions. If you know of a prev. thread that addresses all of this, sock it to me!

1. Do most races have a citizen category, or should I try to start at Cat 4? If Cat 4, do I have to go through USCF to get that?

2. How long do the races typically last?

3. Is there any sort of online resources with the high-speed dismount (is there a term for that?)

4. What's the best way to prepare for a first go at CX racing?

Thanks!
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Old 10-29-07, 10:01 PM   #2
Elliot
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You might have more luck with this question in the CX racing sub-forum...

I know nothing about cross and just entered my first race yesterday, so I'll let people who know what they're talking about answer most of your questions. My favorite technique (dismount/remount/etc.)videos are these:
http://www.velonews.com/vntv/?Art_ID=1503
Click on the "How-to" tab at the top of the page.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:22 AM   #3
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This is my third season of 'cross racing, so let me see if I can answer some of these questions...

1. I have never seen a citizen category. It used to be A, B, and C's with various Master's brackets. Now with USCF categories, it's Cat 4 and up. So you would be a Cat 4. You can get a one day license to try it out. You can get an annual license at most races or at the USA Cycling website. The license will expire at the end of the year.

2. Cat 4 races are 30 or 40 minutes, which usually comes down to 3-5 laps depending on the course.

3. There are tons of web resources with video's and the like. Google is your friend, as is youtube.

4. A CX race is like a combination of a time trial and a crit. If your doing it right, you should have your HR pegged and want to vomit. Figure on a killer sprint at the start as everyone is tries to get the hole shot. Then it's a hard sustained effort for the rest of the race while tackling technical sections. The last lap could be pretty fast. To train for this, practice 0-max sprints, do 20 min intervals, and your transitions. Take your bike off-road and ride some single track to get a feel for traction and the like. Finally, walk into your first race thinking of it as a learning session. I know Cat 3 road racers and Sport MTB racers who got shelled in their first CX races.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:00 PM   #4
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That's great, thanks for the answers. I'm looking forward to giving this a try. Thanks for what looks to be great advice.
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