What Exactly is Cyclocross?
Sometimes when we tell folks we’re putting a cyclocross course on site they give us that polite nod, you know the one you give when you have no idea what the other person is talking about.
It’s easy for us bike shop folks to forget that before the sport romanced us, we, too had no idea what cyclocross was.
So let’s talk cross.
You might say Cyclocross is to cycling what a Tough Mudder is to your typical 10k. The foundation of cyclocross is, of course, cycling, just as running is at the heart of every Tough Mudder. but then a whole lotta fun is sprinkled on top – the kind of fun that makes your heart feel like it’s gonna explode out of your chest.
A typical course is usually less than 2 miles in length and twists through grass and dirt with strategically placed obstacles throughout. Nearly every race features barriers, which require riders to dismount their bike and carry it on their shoulder as they jump the barrier. Sand pits and steep rises also often add to the fun, forcing riders to choose between riding and carrying their bikes for increased speed.
The bikes are a bit different than your average road bike, too. While they look similar, cross bikes can be distinguished by their nobbier tires, their more upright geometry, their lower gearing and, often, their disc breaks. More and more bike enthusiasts are turning to cyclocross bikes because they’re great on local rail trails and a quick switch of the tires makes them roll smooth on the road.
This whole ‘cross thing sound fun? We sure think so.
Here’s why we like cyclocross. First, falling doesn’t hurt nearly as bad on grass. No road rash here! Second, the sport has a huge following with folks aged from 18 to 85. Any sport that allows mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, even grandparents to ride together is a winner in our book. Plus, it richly rewards the rider who excels in bike handling. All those tight turns need steady wheels! Finally, the sport has a sense of humor. At every race there’s cheering, there’s heckling, and there’s a real sense of community. Sure, the race is painful, but there’s a really cool vibe of being a part of something so unique and so cool. You’ve just gotta savor every second.
Wanna ride with us?
Please do! The cool thing about our course is it lets you try the sport without asking for a huge commitment. Without this course, many local riders would have to enter a race and buy a cyclocross bike to experience the sport. Not any more. We have a fleet of FOCUS cyclocross bikes available for you to rent and our course is free for all who come. Just stop into the shop, sign a waiver, and get riding.