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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 03-30-02, 02:16 PM   #1
Betta
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No mind for tech stuff

I just want to ride....I hate thinking about any kind of tech. related cycling stuff...I just like doing! So, I want to get a new bike. Currently, have a mountain bike, but don't do much crazy down hill rides, but I do a lot of climbing on dirt roads....I want to get into some distance rides on the road, but don't want to be limited. Want versatility, asphalt to dirt rode. Looking into cyclocross...can someone give me a little info on the sport. I want to get more serious....ready to break out of my isolated meditative rides. I'm ready for a little competition. Can anyone recommend Websites to check out. Bike recommendations. What are things to think about. I'm thinking of spending $800-$1000. maybe I'd go higher depending on what I get back from uncle sam.
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Old 03-30-02, 04:43 PM   #2
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As a newcomer to cyclocross myself [after a lifetime of mtb and road riding], I'm not sure if my opinion carries much weight, but here goes:

Cyclocross is a blast. If I had known about cyclocross when I got into mountain biking much more than a decade ago [a time when Tinker Juarez was a new racer from the BMX scene], I would probably have been a crosser much earlier. It's the kind of off-road riding I REALLY wanted to do...

The sport emerged after the second world war in Belgium. Belgian road racers were faced by a predicament: the ravages of war had made the road in their country impassable to bikes during the winter [barely passable at other times], and to keep fit through the off-season, they devised a sport of short-track circuit races on parkland and farmers' fields rather reminiscent of steeple chase. It was cold, so they figured they'd stay warmer if the races were full-body wokouts, so the races were short, intense and included a fair bit of running with the bike over hurdles and runups. The sport caught on in its own right and spread outside of Belgium [despite the fact that the Belgians still dominate internationally].

Cyclocross races usually run for an hour or less over a three or four km course. It's growing in popularity on this side of the Atlantic.

Of course, inh addition to cross as a competitive sport, there's cross as the participatory sport. I've been finding it to be the ideal form of winter training. I go out for 1.5-2 hour rides on Mount Royal .

For more information about cyclocross, try:

http://www.cyclocrossworld.com/
http://www.cyclocross.be/cyclocross/...ie/E-index.htm
And our own Rich's Thoroughly excellent and awesome site

You can certainly find a cyclocross bike in the $1,000 price range. I'd recommend looking at Kona's Jake the Snake [I have a 2001 Major Jake which is, in effect, the same bike], the Jamis Nova, Fuji Cross and Brodie Romax, but you can find a whole bunch of user reviews of cross bikes here. .

Hope all of this helps.
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Old 04-01-02, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info...very helpful.
I do have my eye on a cannondale xs800...I like the idea of having a little comfort & safetly with the headshok, but will check out the recommendations. I'm wondering where I can check out a few races in North Carolina, my current home. Or in other parts of the southeast. I would like to get a better idea of how the sport works. How often are you off your bike....running/jumping...are there very many women involved? honestly, I'm finding it a little hard to get involved...I'm not taken seriously because I hate talking shop....again I just want to do...not talk components and upgrades. Should I look online for a bike or stick w/ my local retailer?
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Old 04-02-02, 04:41 AM   #4
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Hi Betta,

I think you'll find the Cross scene quite relaxed, and you don't really need a cross specific bike to race in many events.

I started as a Junior on my mountain bike, and it was only recently that I bought a cross specific bike.

As Velocipedio (thanks for he site plug ) stated above, there are some great bike manufacturers that now make cross bikes...and I like the Cannondale you mentioned...nice and light, but with the bonus of front suspension.

It might well be worth your while buying a second hand bike which can be significantly cheaper than new ones, and has been bedded in so to speak.

Velocipedio got a great deal on his Kona Major Jake which was last years model...so it might be worth looking around for 2001 bikes.

Good luck in your search, and let us know how you get on!

Cheers...................Rich
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Old 04-02-02, 07:01 AM   #5
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Like Rich says...

The best thing you can do is get yourself a bike -- cross or mountain, whatever -- and go riding. You'll actually be amazed at how many cyclocrossers there out there in the parks on the weekends. You only really notice them when you become one of them. The racing season doesn't start until fall, so you have plenty of time to get up to it.

There are a lot of women in cross, particularly in the US, when Alison Dunlap is a kind of role model. There's a user on this board called Lonefrontranger who races women's cross and would probably be happy to answer your specific questions.

The great thing about cross is that, in a lot of ways, it's a really anti-techie kind of cycling. It's just a blast.
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Old 04-02-02, 07:36 AM   #6
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I checked out several websites....found a cyclocross circuit in North Carolina. Plus, I saw that you could compete with a mountain bike....encouraging, considering I may not get a new bike till next year. I realized there is plenty of things to learn in the mean time....like getting on & off my bike and how to carry it. I'm just wondering how technical the rides can be. I wish the season started now so I could watch a few. In good time.
I will try to do a few charity rides this summer. to get into the cycling scene. I'd like to do a century for charity, but intimidated to do it on my mountain bike...even if I put rode slicks on it. It would take me the entire day...which would be great, but I'd suffer especially....climbing the mountains...and it would be an ego crusher...because all those rodies would fly by. The sad part is I do know people in the cyclocross scene, but they don't take my interest seriously. I'm a little silly and I'm intimidated to intrude on their thing. I'm thinking they don't want a woman tagging along....so, thanks to bikeforum....I have found the support I need. THANKS!
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Old 04-03-02, 12:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Betta
The sad part is I do know people in the cyclocross scene, but they don't take my interest seriously. I'm a little silly and I'm intimidated to intrude on their thing. I'm thinking they don't want a woman tagging along....so, thanks to bikeforum....I have found the support I need. THANKS!
Hi Betta,

Please don't be intimidated...cyclo-cross is as much a competition against yourself and the course as it is against other riders....I think as you start getting into Cross this fall, you'll find that other riders (male and female) probably feel the same as you do...so buck up your courage and have a blast!

Regards

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Old 04-03-02, 07:30 AM   #8
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Thanks for the encouragement.
I'm just complaining...for the most part people have been kind....I experienced similar attitudes when I began kickboxing, but...I worked my way into the male dominated world of boxing & kickboxing and have plenty of support there...so trust me I wont give up!
Today is beautiful....so I'm heading out for a long ride
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Old 04-03-02, 08:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Betta
Thanks for the encouragement.
I'm just complaining...for the most part people have been kind....I experienced similar attitudes when I began kickboxing, but...I worked my way into the male dominated world of boxing & kickboxing and have plenty of support there...so trust me I wont give up!
Today is beautiful....so I'm heading out for a long ride
Amen to that sister!
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