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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 07-14-08, 07:58 PM   #1
mrtornadohead
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Thinking of racing, what sort of prep?

OK, outside of the physical conditioning (HA!) and having a decent bike, I guess what I am thinking of is: Very first race, should I worry about extra wheels or a whole 'nother bike? A whole bike is probably out of the picture. Scrub bucket? Pit crew?

Basically, what should a "citizen" racer bring along and be prepared for?

Thanks in advance for the time and consideration.
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Old 07-14-08, 08:49 PM   #2
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Extra wheels are good if you got them. I bring a pit bike, some friends (cute friends) to pass out bottles, and a trainer for warming up.
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Old 07-17-08, 04:09 AM   #3
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What about scrub bucket, small pressure washer... what would be considered neccessary?
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Old 07-17-08, 07:52 AM   #4
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scrub bucket and pressure washer are about as far from necessary as it gets.

if you have another set of wheels it couldn't hurt, but a lot of people don't even bring that.

i bring another bike (cause i have one, but also not neccessary), lots of water (!), something to eat, sunscreen, arm/leg warmers or tights, gloves/sunglasses/helmet, safety pins for my number, some basic first aid stuff, and a beer for the finish. belgian, if you wanna do it right.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:07 AM   #5
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What about scrub bucket, small pressure washer... what would be considered neccessary?
None of that is absolutely necessary, but can sometimes come in handy. For example, between the pre-ride and the race, if the course is especially muddy. Some races provide a neutral wash area, but waiting in line for it can be a drag.

Most important is just getting your bike in tip-top shape before the race, double-check the cables, drive-train running smoothly, etc. If the course is especially sticky, I sometimes use silicone spray lubricant on parts of the bike that would get build-up. Pedals and cleats too. That stuff gets everywhere, though, so use a rag to prevent overflow.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:37 AM   #6
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I would definitely bring a brush and bucket but not for the pit, just so you can clean your bike up after the race. I used a pit bike for years but am down sizing to a spare wheel set. I just got tired of lugging two bikes around when I've used it once in the last two years. It can't hurt to throw a multi tool in the pit with your wheels
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Old 07-17-08, 12:03 PM   #7
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Something to emphasize:

Unless you have two bikes and someone working for you in the pits, then bringing a spare bike and/or wheels is little more than anti-DNF insurance. It's not like a crit, where if you flat you can grab a spare wheel, take your free lap, and hop right back into the race. If you flat or have a mechanical during a cross race, you've pretty much conceded any reasonable placing, but it still is worth finishing out the race to cobble together as many series points as possible.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:31 PM   #8
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but it still is worth finishing out the race to cobble together as many series points as possible.
and because running 4/5 of a lap and finishing a lap behind the top 10 guys is more gratifying than dnfing. this happened to me last year and i definitely became a crowd favorite from that point on.

but agreed, once you've got a mechanical your final placing is usually pretty much shot.
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Old 07-19-08, 07:14 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the help. I'm looking at probably a second set of wheels - if it were a pit bike it'd be my wonderfully heavy (but wonderful riding) Concours road bike. Clearance for mud and tires, certainly as it's an older frame but still it's a tank.

So wheels, and hopefully I can draft one of my kids to hand up a water bottle & a toolkit. Cool. I can handle that much. And a bucket and brushes for afterwards. Now, about that physical conditioning bit....
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