How to start cyclocross ?

Discussion in 'Cyclocross (CX), Duathlon and Triathlon' started by jamin100, 24 Aug 2016.

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  1. jamin100

    jamin100 Über Member

    Location:
    Birmingham
    As the title suggests really, I'm interested in trying cyclocross before I get any slower!
    Already got a road bike so would just need the bike, shoes and cleats

    But where to start after that...
    Is it just a case of finding a club and staring or can I just go out and practice somewhere
     
    Spartak and Ken Breeze like this.
  2. S-Express

    S-Express Guest

    You don't even need to find a club, although joining a club is always a good move if you plan on competing. Once you have the bike, just find out where/when your local CX league dates are and just rock up. Depending where in Birmingham you are, your local region would probably be West Mids or East Mids - take a look on the BC events pages
     
  3. outlash

    outlash also available in orange

    Location:
    ice station zebra
    Indeed, not being a member of a club doesn't stop you from racing. You may need to be a member of BC though, it depends on the league(s) you're planning on racing in.

    Just go out and practice. For me, it's about being confident on the different surfaces you'll encounter and getting proficient at the dismount/mount bits. Fitness is down to you. It'll be the hardest 45+ mins you'll ever do on the bike, but great fun.
    One race day tip, always do a course recce. Normally I'll walk it first then warm up by riding it a couple of times before going to the start grid.
     
    Spartak likes this.
  4. dan_bo

    dan_bo How much does it cost to Oldham?

    Location:
    Failsworth
    1/.grab yer MTB/crosser/big clearance bike with meaty tyres
    2/.head over to the Bc/cyclocross webbo and choose a race
    3/.get nervous on the start line;be prepared to get really out of breath for 50 minutes or so.

    Repeat. Probably spending a fair wedge.
     
    outlash and Spartak like this.
  5. Ken Breeze

    Ken Breeze Regular

    I'm glad you posted that question ( it saves me having to do it ) I'm just wondering if they run 'geriatric races' ? I'm 52 soon and don't want to get lapped a few times by the super fit teens or twenty something's
     
  6. outlash

    outlash also available in orange

    Location:
    ice station zebra
    All races are grouped by ages so you don't line up with people 30 years your junior. Doesn't stop you possibly being thrown in with ex-pros and world champs though :smile:.Being 52 puts you in the 'veteran 50+' catagory.
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2016
    Ken Breeze likes this.
  7. S-Express

    S-Express Guest

    You will be lapped regardless, so don't worry about it. Plenty of superfit, superfast +50 vets out there too. The great thing about cross is that after the first lap or so, most people don't know where they are anyway, as everyone is riding their own 'mini' race according to their level.
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2016
    Spartak and outlash like this.
  8. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    Yes. Once the first lap is done you are racing with two or three other riders for 34th* place or whatever.


    *this example is based on my own typical experience, you might be riding for something better.
     
    Spartak likes this.
  9. outlash

    outlash also available in orange

    Location:
    ice station zebra
    I dream of 34th.....
     
    spinningflame likes this.
  10. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    It does depend on how many riders there tend to be in a given league. Sometimes vets, women and seniors might be all lumped together in one race but when the fields get larger races tend to be split (probably most races now). Vets races are a bit shorter (about 45 mins instead of about 1 hr)

    There was a world champ in the vets race at my local 'cross event last season.
     
  11. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    I came 9th once.

    It was February and the weather was so shoot only 18 riders turned up.

    I generally finished about in the middle so 90 riders meant about 45th.

    I was a tactical rider though, I'd be sure to enter races which were shared between two leagues and which few riders from my league would show up at (generally London league events- some were shared with central). That way I could finish 40th, say, and be perhaps 7th in my region, and perhaps 2nd vet in my region which meant oodles of league points.
     
  12. e-rider

    e-rider crappy member

    Location:
    South West
    I was thinking about CX too. I have an old fully rigid MTB with narrow mud tyres - it seems to be acceptable to use the MTB instead of a CX bike?
    I see that most events say £15 on the line, is it possible to enter in advance for less money?
     
  13. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    Will be cheaper if you are a BC member- otherwise the organizers add some extra for insurance. Sometimes will be a reduction for entry before race day- depends on organizer.

    Bike should be fine assuming local league type event . Narrow tyres are a good idea!
     
  14. e-rider

    e-rider crappy member

    Location:
    South West
    I was looking at the 'western' league events - are these too serious for me?
     
  15. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    No- will be fine.

    Riders whose form is known to the organizers will be gridded at the front at the start. Just line up and ride your own race to start with to see how you get on and start working your way up the field if you can. The field stretches out very early on in a 'cross race.
     
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