What is cyclocross? Cyclocross is cycling through mud, sand, grass, short steep climbs, manmade obstacles, occasional running, lactic acid, and max heart rate induced pain faces. Would you believe that cyclocross is addictive and extremely fun. It is!
For over three years, I have watched my friends participate in cyclocross from the driver’s seat of my vehicle as I drove past them in the parks. I always said to myself I would try it “someday.” I had excuses, such as I don’t have the right bike, those people are so much faster than me, I don’t know how to do a running dismount/mount. This year, however, I jumped right in.
The Regina Cycle Club hosts the cyclocross season in Regina and features a weekly race every Wednesday. This year they offered “Learn to Cross” nights every Monday in September. This is what I needed to get me in the game. Each Monday night saw us learning new skills from basic bike handling, what to expect in a cyclocross course, how to carry your bike while running, and learning the daunting (for a beginner) task of dismounting then remounting your bike on the run. The latter was achieved with only one small tip over and no injuries while practicing the mount.
Coach Brad Kerr showing us how to handle our bikes when jumping over an obstacle.
Each week saw the number of cyclists grow, and by the end of September we were seeing over seventy people coming out to race on Wednesday nights. I was having a blast and so was everyone around me. There were women and men of all shapes and sized, cyclists from 12 through 70 years old. They rode cyclocross bikes, gravel bikes, fat bikes and mountain bikes out on the course. It just didn’t matter. I should have tried this sooner!
The races were a blast and, with so many people out on the course, it made for a very exciting ride.
Footage from my on bike camera during a race.
Jumping over a barrier running uphill is quite a challenge.
Cyclocross is a great sport with all kinds of very unique traditions born out of it being neither road cycling nor mountain biking, but an intense combination of both. The races are short and intense but the rush and reward for taking part is unbeatable.
Get your friends and family involved and when the race is over share the glory of victory and recovery with them. I highly recommend giving it a shot, just don’t wait as long as I did.
Celebrating post Regina Cup Race #2 with my daughter.
Celebrating with my friend Terry Lazarou after a very tough Regina Cyclocross Cup Race #3 (I beat him)