When Summer’s Over Will We Dream of Spring

Since the day I first heard about Cyclocross I thought this is the craziest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of someone doing on a bike.  Riding what is basically a road bike with knobby tires in the snow (at least here in Utah) through a terrain made for mountain bikes in which you have to be fast and effective not only on the bike but off.  You dismount quickly and remount quickly, jumping over hurdles and trying to keep your grip with tons of other riders around you.  It’s not if you crash, but when.  Never in a million years would I try this…

Well maybe a few years sooner…

Okay so I can’t stop thinking about it.  What is this siren call of Cyclocross?  I keep trying to remind myself that I really do think it’s a bad idea.  It looks absolutely insane.  But at the same time that is what pulls me in, the insanity.  I find myself wondering how I would manage it.  I think of those old westerns when they would dismount their horses fluidly.  I watched the extras for 3:10 to Yuma and they said you can tell the character by the way he gets of the horse.  Some are quick and slightly jerky like he is always on edge and Russell Crowes character is so sinus when he gets off the horse always in control.  I wonder if the same is true of a cyclists dismount?

Also it is during winter, which is horrible because I hate snow.  But at the same time I get out of shape and go insane every winter being cooped up inside.  One can only take the inside of the gym so many times before you need to mix it up.  Plus every winter I some how forget how to cycle.  Okay it’s not that extreme.  I mean I’m not back to training wheels, but in a sense I am.  I’m terrified to get back on the bike.  I find myself having an inner battle on every ride, “you can’t seriously expect me to go off that,” and, “slow down, slow down, you can’t make it down this hill.”  Some how it takes half the season before my body can win out over my mind on these.  I hate the delay, and it’s way less fun because I’m afraid for the first month.  Cyclocross is a chance to stay active a good majority of the winter.

If you haven’t experienced a Cyclocross race look it up on YouTube.  It is the craziest party I have ever seen.  It’s like a carnival, people dressed up in costumes and tons of festivities.  I think this is because unlike any other cycling event Cyclocross, is in fact, a spectator sport.  The course is short and the whole event usually only lasts 60 minutes.  Speaking of which there is a very good video about the sport called Cyclocross: An Hour in Hell.  You can see exactly what I’m talking about.

So now that I’ve made the decision to race I’m wondering how.  I own a road bike but it, obviously, never would hold up to the course so if I need to get a bike, but which one?  Then what is the proper way to train for Cyclcross? It seems to me that weights would be good, because you have to run while carrying your bike, but I don’t think you would want to over do this.  And because you are running, running would be good.  But running is pretty boring, so I think trail running is a good alternative, plus the terrian and uphill are probably closer to the cross course.  And I think it might finally be time for me to start a better eating habbit.  Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but because I’m a biker I eat whatever I want.  Seriously, hear me out.  I figure when you are burning upwards of a couple thousand calories a day you can pretty much eat whatever you want and still look good.  So far it’s been true.  But now it is time to move from looking good to looking down right hot.  I want to reach the super tone, super thin and any other super you can think of.

So here is the deal.  I’m going to start focusing on training for cross.  And I’m going to let you in on it.  First give any good advice, and something to back that good advice up with.  Don’t just tell me snake oil works unless you can prove it.  I am going to keep you up to date on training.  I’ve always wondered what it really took, well now I’m the ginnea pig.  If something doesn’t work, well great we just learned something new and you didn’t even have to go through it.  This way we can figure out what works and why.  Secondly send any training recommendations my way.  I won’t be starting training until next week because Tuesday I leave for Eurobike.  Which I will tell you all about when I return home from Germany. So think about training and Eurobike.  Until then I’m girl cycling ride happy.


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