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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 :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-06-03, 08:09 AM   #1
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is cyclocross for me?

ok, i am just tring to get more information abt cyclocross racing and things like that, i have been to and found nothing but nice bikes and pic

i am 24yr graduate school at The University of Alabama, i have mt. biked for six year and in the past six month bought a road bike (riding 130miles or so a week, if the weather premits) and i need a goal for my biking now, i thought maybe just some road racing, but something about riding in a paceline for 39.5km and then spriniting the last 500m to see who wins just doesnt sound like fun to me, i am not interested in TT or crit. either, so i was thinking abt cyclocross, but i know nothing abt it other then it is a beefer road bike frame with 30c tires and canilever brakes and you race on road and trails with 2x10 laying upright that you have to get over, i have gather that the race season is winter, and that is about all that i know

here are my questions...
where can i find out where there is a race near me?
how much should i expect to spend on a decent first time cyclocross bike?
how lond (dist.) is a race, is it usuallly a loop set-up? (for a beginner) how long or fast is the race? (i would not want to came in in last place, b/c that would suck)
is the race more like a mt bike race where everyone leaves the starting line at one time and it just naturally spreads out, or is it like TT where you are spaced apart?
is there a website that answer all these questions that i just do not know abt
am i annoying the hell out of you yet?
sorry for all the questions, but i dont know any cyclocross riders, and i am thinking that it could be a very interesting hobby, that and with the season being winter it should be quite muddy down here and i miss riding my bike in the mud
is there anything else that i should know abt cyclocross?
do you enjoy it?
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Old 08-06-03, 12:05 PM   #2
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Good questions. I'd say cyclo-cross is for you. My answers:

1. Check with the local road clubs and teams. Many of 6them will have racers in the local cyclo-cross scene. You can also contact your state governing body. If they sanction races, they'll know where they are. For know, look at this site..

2. You can get an excellent quality cyclo-cross bike, like the Kona Jake the Snake or the Fuji Cross for about $1,000. These are raceable, equipped with Shimano 105, and probably the best value in bikes.

3. Races are measured by time rather than distance because of the changeable course conditions during cyclo-cross season. A pro-elite-senior race lasts one houe plus a lap, while juniors and vets typically race for 45 minutes plus a lap. The races are done over a short circuit of 2-3 miles, and dpending on course conditions and circuit length, that can mean seven to ten laps. On a hard, dry circuit, races can average 20-5 mph, on a damp, soft circuit, you will see averages aound 15 mph.

4. Races are mass starts. There's usually a savage battle to get to the front and stay with the front group. The rest of the race is basically a sprint. My HR profile usually has me going to 98% at the start, and staying around 94% for the rest of the race.

5. There is no single Web site. Check the site I gave you above. Collectively, they can give you a lot of information. And you aren't annoying at all. Welcome to the best sport in the world.

Cyclo-cross is the most intense form of bike racing you will ever do. It will test your fitness and your ability to suffer to the extreme. You will be on oxygen debt from the second lap on and you will want to die. But it's amazing fun. I love the sport.
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