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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.

cyclo-cross wannabes

Old 03-01-05, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by arctic hawk
You guys are just going to love it! If you have never raced before in your life, you are going to have a blast no matter how you finish. The comeraderie before & after the race is just great!

I met Velocipedio at a race in Oct 2003 & he is quite the nice fellow actually!
I can't wait. I wish there was off season racing too.
My biggest concern is not the cycling endurance and strength, but the other CX specific skills (mount, dismount, etc.) I just don't have those as down as I should - especially if exhausted as I would be on final lap. It would seem a shame to put all that physical effort in but to stumble on obsticals.
I know, practice, practice...

Al
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Old 03-01-05, 12:19 PM
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Which came first, cyclocross or cyclocross bikes?
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Old 03-01-05, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by arctic hawk
You guys are just going to love it! If you have never raced before in your life, you are going to have a blast no matter how you finish. The comeraderie before & after the race is just great!
Many thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 03-01-05, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by crowbike
Which came first, cyclocross or cyclocross bikes?
cyclocross
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Old 03-01-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
I can't wait. I wish there was off season racing too.
My biggest concern is not the cycling endurance and strength, but the other CX specific skills (mount, dismount, etc.) I just don't have those as down as I should - especially if exhausted as I would be on final lap. It would seem a shame to put all that physical effort in but to stumble on obsticals.
I know, practice, practice...

Al
You don't have much to worry about in comparison to me. My first race consisted of just showing up & going for it. No training, no skills, & definitely, no cycling endurance or strength. I just don't have the time to devote to any one given sport but I love to participate.
I would suspect that the courses out in AZ would not be the same as those found here in Quebec, mountain cross-like which favours the mtb guys. In my first year, I raced 3x & fell in every race. In the first race, I had a run in with the same tree on just about every lap, actually, it's roots. Tumble off the bike & into the mud/dirt & then there was riding through the sand.....
Last season, I did not fall once! Came close on a few occaisions but did not fall! Progress, I suppose! Next season, I am looking for improved cycling endurance, some kind of "skill" would be nice, & hope to be in Gloucester for the big USGP CX race. My chance to make a fool out of oneself on the international stage, platform pedals & all!

BTW I don't take myself to seriously
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Old 03-01-05, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jnbacon
Many thanks for the encouragement!
Try to practice the mounts & dismounts. Keep an open mind on race day.
Just remember, crummy weather adds to the fun. I use to think otherwise. Oh No! I am going to get dirty.... now, if it rains, I get splashed by a car, snow, crap on the road, crap roads, ... no big deal anymore!

Most important thing, have fun!
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Old 03-01-05, 04:10 PM
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I would have to say I agree with Velocipedio. I think you cannot really compare CX racing with CX riding as being equal. My fixed gear training rides avg HRM is about 145 BPM. My CX races average about 160 - 165 BPM. Charging off a line with 100 people into barriers and run up's is awesome. I train in cross groups and it does not compare to racing situations.

Let the quotes calling me an elitist(sp) fly, but nothing can be done (IMO) riding alone or training that compares to going into a barrier at full speed completely surrounded on all sides by other racers. You get elbows all the time. If things slow down in front, it is not fun to get a brake level into your thigh at full speed when the people behind are not paying attention.

CX races are very open and very fun. I encourage everyone to try them. I do not care about the terms cyclocross vs cyclocross racing. I just believe there is a significant difference between riding for training on Cross Courses and Racing a Cross Race. I am not trying to belittle anyone's opinion - I am just trying to give my opinion of a perspective of both types of riding.

To me it seems to mirror the shave versus no shave heated arguments. People who vehemently agrue shaving is not nessessary (sp) or its just for vanity do not make any sense to me. Entering corners in Crits with 50 people around you means to are not in control of everything. I have had road rash almost every year. If your seriously racing and training, shaving definatly helps with recovery - i.e. scab and wounds. I can conitnue to train a race with a shaved legs with road rash with alot of vasoline.
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Old 03-01-05, 05:16 PM
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NO one is comparing racing cyclo-cross to riding a cyclo-cross bike on the streets. Jeeez can we let this thread go yet??
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Old 03-01-05, 07:35 PM
  #59  
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noisebeam, as arctic hawk has said, it's really not something you should worry about. the dismount is much easier than it looks [isn;t it, andre!], and the re-mount actually starts to make sense once you learn how to do it.

as for tripping and falling, it happens all the time [see picture of me below]. the good thing is that you usually hit dirt or mud, so it doesn't hurt. i tripped over a barrier at the provincials this year -- the barriers were 3 cm higher than regulation -- and sprained my hand, but that's about the worst injury i've had in four seasons of racing.

for me, the hardest part of racing was learning to endure the anaerobic pain of an hour-long race. the only way i can describe it is it's like sprinting for sixty minutes. having said that, it's an amazingly satisfying kind of agnony.

i like to think of the races in quebec as jungle-cross: lots of singletrack and technical sections. the course of the race where i met arctic hawk last year has a section of about 1000m of very rooted, very rocky and very slimey [see pucture below] singletrack. i usually do very well in the technical sections, but this was brutal. but brutal in that good way.
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Old 03-01-05, 07:58 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by roadbuzz
You're a celebrity! And then there's the guy that races on a single speed (it's not a fixie, is it?).
I don't remember an SS at that race but the guy who won the mens B Reston Capitol Cross Classic was a DC messenger on an SS from what I've herd. I don't know how he did it cause there was lots of climbs and pavement. I really can't imagine a fixie on a cross course though it's been done.

Hey the best thing about this thread is that it is only one of a few in the cyclocross forum with so far 3 pages after the title in the thread listing and cross season is over
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Old 03-01-05, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio

for me, the hardest part of racing was learning to endure the anaerobic pain of an hour-long race. the only way i can describe it is it's like sprinting for sixty minutes. having said that, it's an amazingly satisfying kind of agnony.

Another way to look at it, if you feel like you're going to puke after every run-up, then you know you're performing at the right intensity. Plus, there's nothing quite like performing a perfectly-executed flying dismount at 15 mph, and passing five other racers while going over a six-pack of hurdles. Then again, there's nothing quite like performing a poorly-executed flying dismount at 15 mph and hitting said six-pack head-on......
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Old 03-01-05, 09:34 PM
  #62  
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i did a race this winter (my first and only) and it was the hardest 45 minutes i've ever spent on a bike. i came in second to last and honest to god the thought of a heart attack crossed my mind at one point. i have no idea what my HR was but i was red as a tomato at the end, trying hard not to hurl.
what really blew me away was the speed of the cat 1-2 guys for a full hour. anyone who can hang at that level is a monster.
i actually fell over at one point in a super deep off camber soft sand section cause i just slowed to a stop trying to power through, totally hilarious.
i can't wait to do more next season.
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Old 03-01-05, 10:00 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce
i can't wait to do more next season.
you have no idea how often you hear that: "man, that was the most brutal hour of my life; i thought i was going to puke; i didn't seel like i was going to die so much as i wished i could... i can't wait to do it again."

i guess the sport appeals to the masochist in all of us.

what lunacycle says is true, though. you can drill the dismounts and mounts and hurdles all you want, but you never really hit stride until race day. there's an amazing thing that happens on lap three or four or wherever, where you come into tghe barriers at speed, make a perfect dismount, hurdle with incredible grace and re-mount in a single leap. through the red haze and pounding pulse you can barely hear yourself say "hell, i nailed that one perfectly."

races bring out your best, i find.
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Old 03-02-05, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
noisebeam, as arctic hawk has said, it's really not something you should worry about. the dismount is much easier than it looks [isn;t it, andre!], and the re-mount actually starts to make sense once you learn how to do it.
Right you are! If you & Timo did not show me the dismount/remount during a practice up on Mt Royal, I would have stumbled on my merry way. Not that I still don't stumble on my merry way...

Can't wait till next season!
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Old 03-02-05, 06:40 AM
  #65  
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yeah... andre the hawk usually starts talking about the cyclo-cross season on the club message board in may...
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Old 03-02-05, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
you have no idea how often you hear that: "man, that was the most brutal hour of my life; i thought i was going to puke; i didn't seel like i was going to die so much as i wished i could... i can't wait to do it again."

i guess the sport appeals to the masochist in all of us.

what lunacycle says is true, though. you can drill the dismounts and mounts and hurdles all you want, but you never really hit stride until race day. there's an amazing thing that happens on lap three or four or wherever, where you come into tghe barriers at speed, make a perfect dismount, hurdle with incredible grace and re-mount in a single leap. through the red haze and pounding pulse you can barely hear yourself say "hell, i nailed that one perfectly."

races bring out your best, i find.
Velocopedio sounds much like Velocio ,cool screen name.
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Old 03-02-05, 10:03 AM
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after about 30 minutes of bathing in lactic acid, mounting and dismounting gets much more interesting.
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Old 03-02-05, 10:06 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
...the dismount is much easier than it looks [isn;t it, andre!], and the re-mount actually starts to make sense once you learn how to do it.
as for tripping and falling, it happens all the time ... the good thing is that you usually hit dirt or mud, so it doesn't hurt.
for me, the hardest part of racing was learning to endure the anaerobic pain of an hour-long race. the only way i can describe it is it's like sprinting for sixty minutes.
i lots of singletrack and technical sections.
Thanks for the encouragement. I have executed many successful mounts and dismounts in the grassy park and some while riding single track to get over a large obstical. But I guess for me its the pressure of a race that fumbles me up (as an example, when I commute and am calm and collected I can start at a green light and smoothly clip in the first time I place foot on pedal, every time. If I am pushing to go fast I fumble and miss place my foot) Same thing has happened while riding single track and practicing CX skills - if I try too hard I screw up.

I ride alot of desert single track, some parts are relatively smooth sand (which requires care so as not to slip at speed) and some very rough rocky stuff, short steep hills, things that I've seen inexperineced mountain bikers carry over. I recently have started to push VERY hard on these single tracks and have learned my limits and to fall more - landing in cactus is not fun though, dirt and recently some mud has been fun. My last single track ride was >1hr and I pushed myself like I was racing. Of course I have not idea what a CX race feels like, but I am trying to approximate. Why all these words about my wannabe CX, because I can' wait to try a real race!

Al
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Old 03-02-05, 02:54 PM
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You may want to practice your starts, too. Getting clipped in cleanly then go hard for 30 seconds...do it a couple of times to get winded then go practice dismounts and remounts.
Also, practice dismount on a small hill to simulate a runup.
I know AZ doesn't have many races but I did read about the series in Tucson that the barriers were so high that some racers were joking that the blood on the top of them were from guys scraping their shins on 'em...ugh!
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Old 03-04-05, 01:07 PM
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Speaking of dis/mounting - I assume CX'ers run MTB style pedals? I can't imagine running on a Look cleat. I'm a recent convert to Eggbeaters, and I now have them on all my bikes. I get some funny looks from the roadies, so I'm not afraid to commit pedal faux pas on the CX bike, too.

Oh yeah, and Velocipedio is right, you can ride a mountain bike and call yourself a mountain biker, ride a road bike and call yourself a road biker, but riding a cross bike to work just makes you a commuter (like me!) not a cyclocrosser. But, as a former MTB racer, I've become sensitive to people calling charity events "races"...
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Old 03-04-05, 01:17 PM
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I never said that daily commuting made you a cyclocrosser. But if you ride at top speed across thick snow and ice (no pavement in sight), dismount, carry your bike up a steep snowy/muddy hill, then continue at full speed, that's close enough. The only difference is that racers feel the need to strip down their bikes before trying it. We commuters do it with fully loaded panniers, lights, seatbags, repair equipment, etc.

But, whatever. If racers want to think that "cyclo-cross race" and "cyclo-cross" are synonymous, go ahead. But instead of trying to convince us, you might want to start with the group that supervises top cyclo-cross races. The UCI doesn't even use the term like you do.

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Old 03-04-05, 06:14 PM
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I guess all those bike manufacrturers and bike dealers should be taken to court and sued for selling cyclocross bikes to people who don't race. God knows you just can't buy a Nascar car for the Interstate.
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Old 03-04-05, 09:42 PM
  #73  
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hey, daily commuter, i'm damned proud that i've got my race rig down to 18.5 lbs! makes that last lap a little easier...

dvpwia... you wear mtb shoes and use mtb pedals in cyclo-cross. i use time atacs, but after a few years, these have gotten pretty beat-up. i'm seriously thinking of going with eggbeaters or candies next year. i like the candies because, every now and then you get on a course where you find yourself on a steep descent unable to clip in. not good.

eworm... today at the shop, i had a guy come in looking for a "do-it-all road bike." he'd never heard of cyclo-cross before, but wanted something that he could train on the road with, load up with panniers for light touring, ride in the winter and take on dirt roads. he left with a jake the snake, you would have been proud.
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Old 03-05-05, 04:42 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
i like the candies because, every now and then you get on a course where you find yourself on a steep descent unable to clip in. not good.
It sounds like you've tried the candies?

Reason I mention it is 'cause, candies are what I got, and in my vast experience (2 races), both times they got clogged with mud and I was unable to clip in toward the end. It may have been as much the shoes as the pedals, but it was like the platform surrounding the "eggbeater" made it harder to clear the muck/sand/etc.
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