Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why I love Cyclocross

First and foremost. It is by far the most difficult racing I have done. Sure, I've probably put more effort into a mountain bike racers, and suffered more during a road race. But there's just so much more involved in cyclocross. It's the pure fact that everyone is packed into a smaller course, during a much shorter course. It all comes at you so fast, and you have no time to recover.

Second, it's a whole hell of a lot of fun. If you step back and look at the sport, you can see the absurdity of the whole thing. Let's take road bikes with slightly knobby tires, make a arbitrary course in a park somewhere and make them ride around in the mud, jump over plywood and watch as they trundle up hills. All during a time when most our hanging up their bikes. Unlike road racing or mountain bike racing where you go from point a to point b, there's no destination. It just looks like a bunch of road cyclist got lost in a field and can't find their way out. I love that, and it takes some of the pressure of me as a racer. I can just enjoy myself, and truthfully, that's when I do best.

The fellowship, we are a close knit group of masochists who enjoy the suffering.

The gear! There's not sport where it's normal to show up with two bikes, and panoply of wheels. Along with a ton of different clothes to match the weather. I'm a gear nerd and love perfecting my bike, and my tire selection. Playing around with tire pressure.

It gives me something to do after a long season. I'm surrounded by roadies and mountain bikers who are all sad because their seasons have ended or are close to ending. I on the other hand have something to look forward to and I can get excited about. Something that's similar but different enough to keep me interested, after doing the same routine since January.

Lastly, and for me this year most importanly, it gives me a second chance. If you've not met the goals for your road or mountain bike season, you get a second chance at redemption. There were 2-3 weeks between the last road race and the first cyclocross race which gives you a couple days of recovery and then you can start from scratch and reinvent yourself.

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