Signed up and completed my first cyclocross event this weekend. I still don't know what to think but I have never done anything like that on a bicycle before
Been road riding as an adult for about 6 years. Was hit by a motorcycle while on my bicycle on the road in June and bought a cross bike and have been riding the rail trails and staying off the road while I continue to recover.
Signed up for a local cross race and they had a pretty wild course with some open field, toys, singletrack, berms, sand pit, wood chips, etc..you name it. I think this course was a bit different than the average course.
I rode part of the course once to warm up and was headed back to the car to ditch my SPD shoes and just use my sneakers. On the road, I can ride for 4 hours and never un-clip. This single track stuff with 3 foot high logs across the path and super tight turns at the bottom and tops of hills was nuts and I was clipping in, out, in, out, trying not to clip in but was, trying to clip out but not, trying to un-clip the correct foot for the switchback, etc...I was a mess but was grinning the entire time. I popped out of the woods and they were about to start the race. I looked at everyone else's shoes and they were all clip-less, so I just went with it and a few seconds later, the race was on. Another issue with the pedals is my still healing left ankle. All the clip-outs on that side were miserable.
For me, it was about an 8 minute lap and I went around 7 times. All in all, pretty awesome to screw on my courage to ride over stuff that steep and sharp. I also had no idea what was around each bend for the first lap or two. I know I was pretty slow in the technical stuff and cannot really run with my ankle/leg injuries, but I was able to dismount and hobble over most of the un-ridable (for me), obstacles pretty well. I did go ass over tea kettle on a log once and then, after a sprinting across the field, I was going too fast to make the first corner and I washed the front wheel and hit a tree head on. My right brifter was knocked in but I could still hang onto it enough to ride.
Overall, it was a nice test to see how I am coming along. I am repairing the bicycle I was hit on into a single speed monster and looking forward to trying this again with a simpler setup.
You cross people are nuts!