Anyone getting derailed into Cyclocross?

Something for summer

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JeffOYB
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Anyone getting derailed into Cyclocross?

Postby JeffOYB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:51 pm

I posted about this on RSN but coz it didn't get any bites...I thought why not here, too...

I bike in the summer. Not a ton. I get fit when it's finally autumn. So I thought to try this hot new fad of cyclocross. I've known about it for decades but now it's really rockin'. Beer in the park. Sounds like fun. I like going where the fun is.

So I stripped down a tour bike and have been practicing. I hope to do my first CX event next Sunday.

CX...cool, huh? Like XC only backwards!

The rhythm of the sport even reminds me of XC in that it's all-body, with flow, and on a trail.

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Last edited by JeffOYB on Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby enevala » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:43 am

Cross season here in MN is pretty much done, but I'm looking at giving it a shot next season. My primary commuter is a cross bike, so it should simply be a matter of putting the knobbies back on and working on the mount/dismount stuff.

Legs burning and lungs screaming for 45 minutes?? Sounds like fun!

Eric

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Postby JeffOYB » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:55 am

I'm not sure what they mean by the "lungs screaming" part -- I hear that, too.

When I practice it, it seems like XC. Maybe bike racers are wimpy and an all-body effort shocks their delicate system?

We still have a couple events, incl the State Champs, but in general it seems that if you get sucked into CX you might miss out on XC (I can't get over the pun) -- a lot of fall rollerskiing, anyway. OK, maybe you can just mix it up -- it's maybe more intensity legwork than usual. I spose you get some hillbounding bennies in it. It sure can't hurt. Of course, trailrunning with poles is better for XC. But if you're out having fun, it's all good. Throw in more canoeing if you want to overbalance the other way and get some pure upperbody action.

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Postby enevala » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:31 am

I know a couple of people who keep a pretty busy race schedule during cross season, and it doesn't seem to hold them back when the snow flies. I think the dismount/running portion will keep me focused on running a bit more over the summer. With the amount of riding I was doing this year, I found my legs getting a bit two-dimensional.

Eric

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Postby Cloxxki » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:04 pm

I've done a bit of CX on the side when I was into MTB racing. I like/hate the impracticality of it. Riding a legal road bike, over the most rough and technical surface that will work for it. Try too much, and you'll flat a tire, or fold a wheel, and certainly crash on your face.

When I'm decently fit (which I haven't been in years), it's quite fun. I most liked the international races, like Elite championships, Gazet van Antwerpen and Superprestiges. Such rush, with the speeds, level of competition, and crowd turnout. Real old fashioned sports entertainment I didn't grow up with in any way. When I first came in contact with it, via TV, I didn't understand what I was seeing. A bit like XC that way.

Some how, the past decade almost when I get my mind set on doing some CX, the season is over before I get a bike sorted. The regional race season is quite short, Oct-Dec mostly. Recreationally, I barely see the point of CX at all. The bikes are great for logging training (road bike are "too" much for anything but perfect asphalt at race speed IMO), but an off-road outing for me means going far from home.
Also, the mud usually involved makes it an expensive hobby, per km or minute of riding.
I average one rear derailer per 5 or 10 races. But you'll be doing a lot more maintenance than that.
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Postby Askel » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:47 am

Ah. Cyclocross....

How I love thee....

When it's finally fuckin' over. :D

The entire bicycling season is just training for CX has far as I'm concerned.

I love the races (technical riding! pack dynamics! crazy fast speed!), I love the bikes (It's not a CX bike, it's a touring/commuter/race/mountain bike!), I love the parties (beer!).

Awesome, awesome fun. And I don't really find it that hard on equipment. I just finished my third season on the same bike. The same bike that probably logs a couple thousand miles of touring and commuting each summer. Only thing I've had to replace are tubes and tires. Heck, I'm still on the original chain. 8 speed rules. :D

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Postby Biffbradford » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:19 pm

Head down to Chicago and drool over the carbonfibertastic bikes seen in the Cat. 4's race. Whoa! :shock:
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Postby JeffOYB » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:42 pm

Naw, everyone knows you never get props by being so gauche as to buy your speed.

If you want to be cool, go old school!

If you want to be left alone, ride carbone.

: )

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Postby JeffOYB » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:40 pm

PS...

Cloxxki said "Recreationally, I barely see the point of CX at all."

I pondered that myself before buying tires, meaning, before taking the plunge.

It does seem like a thing that one does only to race it.

However, it also seemed like it had just enough fun, nature-loving rhythm to it that I thought I might do it each fall for a half dozen times, say, even if I didn't race it. But probably I'll do a race each fall and a dozen training sessions for it. It's because the races are such parties. I like an excuse for fun.

That level of action seems about right, to me.

Usually I stop biking then start rollerskiing. We'll see if 'cross manages to wedge its way in between the two.

PPS... I just took my commuter bike and took the rack'n'fenders off and popped cross tires on it. It worked! It's nothing fancy, though. I might try borrowing my pal's "real" light ti 'cross bike -- if I jump up a dozen places I might have to snag it off him somehow... I've found that shedding 5 lbs makes a difference in my sports! But he's said I can just borrow it. Nice guy.

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Postby enevala » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:56 am

JeffOYB wrote:
I pondered that myself before buying tires, meaning, before taking the plunge.

It does seem like a thing that one does only to race it.



There do seem to be some alternatives to CX racing cropping up (at least here in MN) that rely heavily on CX type bikes.....I give you the gravel road epic!

Ragnarok 105:
http://ragnarok105.blogspot.com/

Almonzo 100, and the "Gentlemen's Ride":
http://almanzo100.blogspot.com/

Rawland fall tour:
http://www.rawlandcycles.com/about/inde ... cleID=1332

e.

oops...forgot a couple....

The Dirty Benjamin:
http://dirtybenjamin.blogspot.com/

Heck of the North:
http://heckofthenorth.blogspot.com/
Last edited by enevala on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JeffOYB » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:11 am

Yeah, dirt road rides and such are the boss.

Now, they aren't CX per se -- as we're not working on our dismounts and running.

And any non-23mm bike is fine. Probably even roadbikes with 25mm are fine. touring bikes are dandy.

I did notice that maybe half the bikes in the CX event I did were mtbikes.

Nontypical events are booming, aren't they?

I wish the scene was like this when I wuz a kid...

(Of course, Adventure Racing woulda driven me nuts. Coz my pals'n'I coulda mopped up on every angle except the entry fee. That kinda racing is for well-employed professionals, seems to me.)

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Postby Askel » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:34 am

JeffOYB wrote:Yeah, dirt road rides and such are the boss.

Now, they aren't CX per se -- as we're not working on our dismounts and running.


Plenty of dismounting (including one good one of the unintentional variety for me) and running on the Heck Of The North last weekend.

Enevela- did you race any of those events? I managed to run the whole Almanzo Gravel Road Series this year except for the Dirty Benjamin.

Between gravel road racing and CX, I might never race mountain bikes again...

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Postby enevala » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:55 am

Askel wrote:Enevela- did you race any of those events? I managed to run the whole Almanzo Gravel Road Series this year except for the Dirty Benjamin.


Sadly no, my schedule was work related travel-hell from May through September....it added up to a "bad bike year" overall. I think my longest ride this season was only 55 miles. :-(

Almanzo or DB is on the list for next year.....plus a road century or two....

Eric

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Postby Askel » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:52 am

enevala wrote:Almanzo or DB is on the list for next year.....plus a road century or two....

Eric


The Almanzo will completely redefine your expectations of the quality of an event vs. its entry fee.

As I sit here looking at entry fees for something like the Noque (damn, missed the early entry!), I can't help but wonder what kind of cool, free skiing events I could do.

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Postby kuan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:04 am

Askel wrote:
enevala wrote:Almanzo or DB is on the list for next year.....plus a road century or two....

Eric


The Almanzo will completely redefine your expectations of the quality of an event vs. its entry fee.

As I sit here looking at entry fees for something like the Noque (damn, missed the early entry!), I can't help but wonder what kind of cool, free skiing events I could do.


No kidding huh. Pretty much $100 per race. That's $300 for the three big ones. Time to do some alleycats.
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