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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Trying out Cross

Old 10-19-15, 10:34 PM
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Trying out Cross

Hey guys I have read a bunch of articles on tips and what to do to prep for a Cyclocross race but wanted to hear a little from you guys. I am a fit individual and after completing a marathon I am looking for a new challenge. My job really only allows time to get on a bike once to twice a week. I try to supplement that with some rides on a spin bike. I have been mixing road and mtb miles. I have thrown a rigid fork and cross tires on my mtb for the race. Does anyone have any training suggestions? How much will I be hurting with the limited training? Also I was just stationed in Oklahoma, any recommendations on places to ride or races to do would be great.
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Old 10-20-15, 05:51 AM
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Can't help you on where to ride but for training: HIIT.

Interval training will give you a really good example of the physical demands of racing a real cross course, especially if you are honest with yourself while doing them. Races offer typically 0 time for rest and you'll stay at threshold the entire time, so train there.

What you'll most likely find though is a lot of speed is lost in the turns. It's hard to get the lines right at first, so I'd take some time in a grass field practicing switch back turns, full effort out of them and over again.
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Old 10-20-15, 06:33 AM
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Cross is actually one of the best types of races to do if you dont have that much time to dedicate to training. The races are usually only 30 minutes for the beginner classes. If you are looking for a good training plan for people with little time to put towards training, I would recommend the time crunched cyclist. the second edition has a cyclocross specific plan and it has worked really well for me. I have seen some huge improvements in my performance compared to others. the plan requires as little as 6 hours a week. Even if you cant train i would still recommend cross because it is just really fun and once the race starts it usually spreads out and you find one or two people that you can start battling with. It is not like road racing where if you get dropped off out of the pack its all over with.
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Old 10-20-15, 08:34 AM
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Don't worry about training. Find a race and do it. Have fun. Repeat. When the race season is over you can start training for next year. Seriously.

If you really feel like you have to do something go ahead and train, but whatever you do don't put off racing until you've done your training.
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Old 10-20-15, 09:36 AM
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Find a race and race it. How much will it hurt depends on how hard you push yourself. If you are a runner you should have basic fitness. Go and have fun (racing a muddy course in the rain is fun, it may not feel like while you do it but it is fun)

I googled and below is a link that has some CX events in Oklahoma. Don't know if any will be near you. Ask local shops/clubs about it too, there may be smaller unsanctioned events where you are.
Event Info
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Old 10-20-15, 12:34 PM
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FWIW, Book: https://www.velopress.com/books/cyclocross-3rd-ed/

Author interviewed in a magazine for Cross Fans https://www.cxmagazine.com/simon-burn...-coach-manager

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-20-15 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 10-22-15, 07:33 PM
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Thanks guys! You have been a big help. I am planning on doing a race in November and December. What is the kind of dress code at these races? I don't really have any "cycling" apparel. Are there any must haves?
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Old 10-22-15, 09:07 PM
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Where are you stationed? I know that Sheridan at Celestial Cycles in OKC is big into Cyclocross and I think he even sponsors a youth team for races. I also believe there is some kind of race going on at Draper (weather permitting) this weekend but it would probably be more MTB than Cross. Charley's Bicycle Lab also seems really into racing so they could probably point you in the right direction.
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Old 10-22-15, 09:09 PM
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It used to be traditional to wear a tutu for your first race, but I haven't seen that as much recently.

Most people will probably be in team kit, some even in skin suits. Don't let that worry you. That's just part of the fun.

You may find that loose fitting shorts snag on your seat during remounts. Platform pedals and sneakers can make it challenging to keep your feet on the pedals. But really, for your first race you can wear pretty much whatever you like. There is a guy around here who used to always race in a Hawaiian shirt. Cross races have a very welcoming vibe. You might get heckled for your clothes, but if it weren't that they'd have to find something else to heckle you about. With me it's usually my hair and beard.
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Old 10-25-15, 09:42 AM
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Im stationed at Fort Sill. OKC is a little bit of a hike on the regular. Ill probably try out Charley's your the second person to recommend them.

So go with something a little crazy and have fun with it. I can get behind that!

Thanks for all the input guys. Looking for the first race to be in two weeks. I am really excited for it.
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Old 10-28-15, 01:05 PM
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I'm thinking of trying cyclocross next week at the Sly Fox Cross.
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Old 11-09-15, 09:55 AM
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That SlyFox one looks fun. I just looked it up. Too bad PA is a little far for me! How did it go?
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Old 11-10-15, 12:19 PM
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My first race I wore work boots, wool sweater, and sweats, I was on an old mountain bike in January and it was snowing. 3 years later I'm still having fun but have better gear.
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