The hardest, funnest 1.5 miles: Cyclocross practice

For many years I have been a Cyclocross fan–attending races in the rain, snow and cold.  I love watching the sport and snapping action photos of the athletes performing in some ridiculous conditions.  It’s great fun.  And in the back of my mind, I confess I’ve always sort of wondered about doing a ‘cross event.

Then last year I bought a cyclocross bike.  I told everybody, including myself, that it would be used for the winter–lousy conditions.  For gravel roads which can be found here in western Massachusetts.  And to round out my bike collection.  Am I going to race?  No, don’t be silly.  I’m in my 40’s now.  Those days are over.

Over the last 3 weeks, I started catching the fever.  I found myself watching this video.

So yesterday, after I completely my weekly goal of 100+ miles I decided to give the dismount a try.  It’s a complicated move and I learned how heavy the Tricross is when I tried to incorporate an imaginary barrier (a line in the dirt and a few straight sticks across the road).  I’ll let it be seen to the world so anyone out there in the know can either give me pointers or advise me to stay under the beer tent at races.

At any rate, it seems clear this will take practice to become second nature.  I let go of the bike a couple of times and when remounting I came down hard enough to be grateful yet again for my female gender.  Having some “game tape” is helpful and seeing how I look when trying to execute the move.  As I practice I’ll incorporate more and more “real life” conditions like actual barriers, hills, run-ups, sand, etc.  The dirt road I found in Nonotuck Park in Easthampton was a great start.

I have plans to attend a female ‘cross clinic on Labor Day and hope to drag Heather along.  I need a partner in crime.  I’m not sure I’ll feel ready to actually do one of these cyclocross events but do you ever feel ready?  Might be one of those things you just jump in with both feet and see how it turns out.



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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

One response to “The hardest, funnest 1.5 miles: Cyclocross practice”

  1. bgddyjim says :

    Remember – 40+ year old noobs ALWAYS get a break when we look like noobs… We’re cool for even trying at our age. Know what my dad tried when he turned 42? Nothing. I won’t be that guy.

    Go get ’em sparky!

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