Ali Goulet on his way to Saturday’s win
I watched my first cyclocross race on Saturday.
It was awesome. The racing was fast and furious. And of course, as I watched everyone pound around the course and hop over the barriers I was thinking that “I ought to really try this”. Several years ago I thought about giving it a go, but then nothing ever came of it, and I have hardly given it a thought since.
So, now I have questions. Lots of question.
I’d have to convert a bike. I have two mountain bikes: a singlespeed and a full suspension. The FS would be silly. The SS would work, but I’ve have to figure out how to run a taller gear. 32×16 (29er) is as tall as I can run with my current equipment. From what I have read, converting a road bike would be more work than the mountain bike. Am I wrong in that?
I’d love to own a cross bike, especially if I ever became serious about racing. But other than racing/practice, when does one ever ride a cross bike? It seems that road and mountain bikes are more useful from an everyday perspective. But then, maybe I am also wrong about that?
How do I ensure that I do not show up and look like an idiot? (I mean, besides how I normally look.) Are there secret CX rules or customs that I should know about?
I’ve heard about cross clinics and practice sessions. How do I find out about those?
I don’t have a skin suit. Apparently I need one. That won’t be pretty.
I enjoyed watching the races. They reminded me of my XC running days in high school. The course and the pace and the atmosphere was all very similar. The style of the racing is something I think I could excel at – that is, if I manage to learn how to not trip over barriers. It also looks like a great way to improve bike handling skills, top end fitness, and to keep those competitive fires burning into December.
Which is actually one of the reasons I’ve never tried it before. Usually by this time of year I have no desire to compete, but this year has been different. And it would seem that Cross is the perfect outlet for that, even if only for a race or two…
Exit Question: Anyone have an old beater (56cm-ish) to lend out?