November 8, 2010

Cyclocross is a fall/winter sport, so they can absolutely do it with snow on the ground

Cyclocross National Championships here in Dane County, Wisconsin, in January.
In cyclocross, riders compete along a rugged course with obstacles that force frequent dismounts and require riders to carry their bikes while running up stairs and steep hills and jumping hurdles. The rider who completes the most laps in the time allowed wins.
Surely, you're at least tough enough to be a spectator:
“You can often see the majority of the course from one single spot, which is something we just don’t get in road racing or mountain biking,” Smith said. “It’s very welcoming and casual.”

19 comments:

rhhardin said...

Nobody watches my winter bike commutes because there's no good place to watch from.

markbres said...

You are lucky. 'Cross is an amazing sport to watch -- plenty of craziness among both participants and spectators.

traditionalguy said...

But do they blood test these guys for blood doping and HGH? Maybe that's not needed. But when Lance Armstrong wins 6 in a row, then we will see.

edutcher said...

Sounds like the Capital One commercial where the Barbarians are at the Grand Canyon location to get burro rides and one says to another, "No, we don't carry them. They carry us".

MadisonMan said...

I don't bike in winter. It's too dark too early, and biking in the darkness on snow that might be covering up ice just isn't fun.

And my bones are getting increasingly brittle.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lincolntf said...

Repeatedly getting on and off a bike, carrying it up hills and over obstacles, being exposed to the elements, and having other people jostling and bumping you the whole time?
Why don't they just call the sport "Huge Pain In the Ass"?

Daniel Fielding said...

Ann- they have a big cyclo-cross race every november at Vets park in A2.

MamaM said...

Maybe they have a category for Intrepid Bikers from Ohio. It's promoted as open to all age and ability levels.

k*thy said...

There's an art to surviving Wisconsin winters and standing around watching others race anything, is not one of them. Thanks, but I'll pass.

William said...

Not so hard. The off road race down the north face of K9 is what really seperates the men from the boys. The Tibetan sky funerals give this race a dignity and beauty that is missing from most such events.

Coketown said...

After you get over your prejudice against idiots in spandex, cyclocross is actually a lot of fun to watch. I didn't know it was called "cyclocross" though. When I read that, I thought it was a new Christian workout routine, kind of like Pontius Pilates for the devout on the go.

Alison said...

'Cross is the next cycling movement.

There really are few places in the central part of the continent where mountain bikes are necessary. Unless you're training rock gardens or prepping for a trip to Moab, you don't need a SID shock and a Fox RP to ride well on flat terrain. Buy a TSX or Jake and go exploring!

The feminist downside:

'cross bike geometry is better suited for men with stereotypically longer torsos and shorter legs rather than women who tend to be all leg and little reach, so I don't think too many women will like the sport (though they may not know it's because the bikes don't fit them so they're more uncomfortable).

TML said...

Wow! Worlds collide! I race cyclocross AND I'm a long-time Althouse reader. This is so exciting for me. Everyone in the area should come watch the race. It's quite excellent for spectating as bike races go, and it's exciting as hell.

rhhardin said...

and biking in the darkness on snow that might be covering up ice just isn't fun.

Studded tires.

The rare mixture that defies biking is snow driven over thousands of times so it's separate snow crystals lying loose on the road, which slides over the road whether you have studs or deep treads or not. This comes from townships deciding not to use salt and a long duration freeze.

Alison said...

Until a few months ago, I worked for several years at a cycling shop in Winterpeg, Manisnowba, where many of my friends rode 365 days a year. Most people don't need studded tires, they just need to stop riding mountain bikes where their PSI ratios are weak.

Road tires have significantly higher PSI and give you all the grip you need for all but the ice storms and 4 foot blizzards. (Though if you're in a very wet winter area I'd probably have studded tires.)

Daniel Fielding said...

for all those calling Cyclo-Cross a euro-weene sport, you folks need to give it a try. It will change your mind. I was a college athlete at Michigan, and doing a cyclo-cross on a dry day, in a city park was lot harder than i had anticipated, almost killed me and all the other participants who managed to finish the race.

jimh said...

You've also got a weekend of pro and amateur cyclocross races early every fall in Sun Prairie.

I've raced often this season--not well--and as miserable as it can be at moments, it's fun.

Paul said...

Any real race is hard. Because in a race you go as hard as you can if you're serious about it, and it's very painful!

I was a Cat 1 road racer back in the day and did some track racing too. I trained hard riding up to 400 miles a week in the hills around the SF Bay Area. I remember racing the Nevada City Criterium which had 30 laps with 300 feet of climbing per lap and watching Greg LeMond lap the field.

I just ride a mountain bike now. After learning how to ride technical terrain on a big suspension bike road riding lost it's appeal as it's rather "two dimensional" compared to the challenge of riding down steep rocky chutes, or climbing ledgy slickrock and tight switchbacks.