What is cyclocross?
With the introduction of our 2017/18 team and new sponsor announcements, it is important that we take a step back and explain what this crazy sport is all about and why we love it so much.
Cyclocross is a discipline of bicycle racing. The amateur season typically runs from September into January with races nationwide every weekend. Races last from 30-60 minutes depending upon your racing age and license level. Most races take place in parks or private property on a circuit of 1.75-2.5 miles. The course is comprised of grass, dirt and gravel with sections of unridable sand, stairs and obstacles requiring the racer to dismount and carry the bicycle for short spurts. After the first 2 laps around the course, race officials will judge the speed of the fastest riders and determine how many laps remain in order to finish the race around the predetermined race time mentioned above.
What's do we love about cyclocross?
- The atmosphere - because races are relatively short and courses are contained within parks/private property it allows for a wonderful spectator and family experience. Most races even utilize a shorter kids course encouraging everyone to participate. There is ample room for course side cheering and even good natured heckling. Post ride BBQ and beers are commonplace, our team area could easily be mistaken for a party instead of a bike race most weekends!
- The bikes - of course we love the bikes. If you had to own ONLY one bicycle I would recommend a cyclocross bike. Why? It can function as the swiss army knife of bikes, capable of tackling all types of terrain. The bikes can fit wide knobby tires but are able to pass as a road bike with it's drop bars and styling. Cyclocross bikes are so versatile they make a great travel companion when not racing. Road, gravel, trail, rain; the cyclocross bike can handle it.
- The effort and concentration- there is no hiding in cyclocross. It is an all out effort for the entire race. Courses are designed in a manner that does not allow drafting or team tactics to effect the outcome of the race. Having to handle the bicycle over challenging terrain and dismount a few times a lap requires the utmost attention and concentration while riding.
- The community - while many racers will tell you cyclocross is the toughest thing they do, it's also the most welcoming of new racers and riders. Everyone shares in the suffering on race day pitting riders more against the course and themselves than each other.
How do you find a race? Select your state on this map on the USA Cycling website to find your local race calendar.