You all know where this is going, right? Drugs! Everyone else is doing... OK, I'm kidding. But it almost sounds like drugs the way people talk about it. Of course, as you've likely guessed, I am talking about cross! That's right, cyclocross has swept the nation. People everywhere, it seems, are getting these road bikes on steroids, and getting out in the ungodly weather to abuse themselves. This should serve as an explanation of cross to those who are new to the cycling world.
What cross is, is an opportunity to abuse yourself far beyond anything you could possibly imagine. The bikes look like a road bike, but the tires look like a hybrid tire. They are 700c but wider, like a mtb tire. The goal is simple; be the first to cross the line without getting killed. Simple enough, right? Have I mentioned that the courses can combine any number of the following; paved course, grass, dirt, sand, water, mud-pits, switch-backs, hills, stairs, and foot to foot and a half tall barriers? I'm probably missing something there too, that you are allowed to call me out on. Further, the only time to race cross is about September to about December or January. Yup! That means cold, rain, snow, sleet, and generally disastrous weather.
So why do people do it? Call 'em crazy, call 'em hardcore, you'd be right! These are the die hards. To do a cross race you have to be in shape. Likewise, if you do a few of these you have to maintain fitness. It just comes from pushing yourself so hard. The spectators aren't far from this either. That's half the fun. People ringing cowbells, drinking beers, handing beers off to riders as they fly by, passing off dollars to the riders, and generally going rasp yelling. The only thing I can say is if you've never been to a cross race, you need to get to one this fall. You race> Try your hands on a cross race. Use a cross bike or a light weight HT mtb and try it out this year. They're amazing!
3 months ago