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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 03-30-11, 07:07 PM   #1
Flying Merkel
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Getting started in cyclocross racing

I'm a 50 year old decently fit rider. Did road bikes & mountain bikes. Cyclocross looks interesting. Saw a small race at Fairview park in Costa Mesa a while back and it caught my interest.

What's the best way for a novice to start? What bike can I use? Currently have a full rigid MTB
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Old 03-31-11, 06:26 AM   #2
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Flying Merkel,

A full-rigid MTB is a great way to start without spending any money.

I suggest showing up and watching a race or two before you do it to get a feel for how it works, then just sign up! Be sure to verify that riding a MTB is OK (larger/more organized races will have stricter rules on this) and ask the organizers if there are any other 'gotchas.' Most of all, have fun!

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Old 03-31-11, 08:45 AM   #3
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I agree that a rigid MTB is fine for racing. I don't see any reason that you should watch a race or two first. Reading race announcements might tell you what you need to know about bike requirements. Talking to someone at the LBS would probably work too. Definitely get out there and have fun.

Is it fall yet?
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Old 04-02-11, 06:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by darrencope View Post
... other 'gotchas.' ...
No bar ends... on mtb's, in my area .
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Old 04-03-11, 11:44 PM   #5
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Use your rigid MTB as is (w/o bar ends). You can use that locally all the way until you actually become Cat 1 and do a UCI race - only two of those here a year. Guys finish on the podium on MTB's here, so the type of bike won't hold you back. If you decide you really like it, you can get a CX bike later.
Watch for clinics starting in August and the races in Sept.
This past year was my first at 45 and I had a lot of fun finishing DFL every week.
When you do your first race, race as a Cat 4, not your age group - those guys are really fast.
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