In Europe, people love cyclocross racing and you may have been watching tons of amazing racing over on live television.
I really love how the cyclocross races just get stuck in even in the most extreme weather conditions on this exciting discipline is offering you the chance to accelerate your progression.
As a mountain bike rider, cyclocross is packed full of awesome moves and attitudes that you can develop into your riding, making you quicker, faster, and more confident, and really good at getting off and off your bike.
What is Cyclocross
So, there is a question coming out of people’s minds what is cyclocross? At first glance, cyclocross seems like a mixture of mountain biking, running road, riding, and criterium racing and that mix suggest it’s like a new young hybrid of those popular disciplines, but actually, this sport has been around for well over a century.
In the countries where it’s most popular, like Belgium, France, and Holland, cyclocross is hugely popular, garnering massive crowds, but why would this roadie-looking form of cycling be of any help to us mountain bikers?
Basics of Cyclocross
Let me take you through what’s going on in a typical cyclocross race. The courses are generally between two and a half and three and a half kilometers in length.
They’re jam-packed with a wide selection of really challenging terrain and when I say challenging, I feel like I’m understanding the facts. I mean, look at some of the actions I mean, it’s amazing deep rutted sand.
It’s sand really deep and hard to ride gruesome, sloppy mud sections. Cobbles I mean that stuff’s intense running sections and even steps.
These races eat it all up at a frantic pace and take this far a consideration most top-flight races around an hour in length at that pace, the intensity, he is a trademark of the cyclocross racing scene.
The ability of its top riders to master the courses and we’ve incredible bike handling skills, as well as operating physically at such a pace match that alongside the power needed to peddle through some of this terrain.
It’s quite remarkable and a classic course will also include really big bunny hop boards as a feature and I think they’re a really great way to illustrate the scale and power of these races.
I mean, being able to hop like that lap after lap is pretty impressive. In fact, those huge crowds of spectators will often gather at these points to see the sports superstars like Matthew Vanderpool or Thomas Mayer.
The Course of Cyclocross
Blitz their way through these obstacles. Now this action may already have you twitching to sign up for your first cyclocross race.
If that’s the case, then you’re in for a treat and go for it. However, you also be concern about bicycle safety.
You can take from this sport and how you can apply it to your riding. Obviously, you can choose to include some of the following in a literal sense to your weekly riding and it will pay dividends for sure.
You could use the following aspects of cyclocross across racing markers to inspire or to motivate your riding in the coming new year 2020.
Here we come and so let’s start with intensity and nothing is more apparent in cyclocross. Then that level of charged effort, the racing requires it and if you want to win in cyclocross or MTB for that matter, then that is always the case.
What really stands out for me though, is a lot of that intensity and cyclocross is actually essential to negotiate the terrain.
The super-soft stand quickly turns into a run. Unless you can maintain that intensity to power through it. Vanderpool is incredible and just look at that next time you’re out looking well ahead on the trail.
You need to keep an eye out for the obstacles that could need momentum going in like that sandwich rather than panic peddling once you’re upon it when it’s just too late.
Sand routes and steep climbs are perfect examples where cyclocross intensity and that forward-thinking will make a massive difference.
Predominantly an all-on winter season sport here in the Northern hemisphere, cyclocross events often involve some pretty extreme weather conditions and weirdly the competitors.
Seemed to absolutely love it. Nothing makes them happier than being absolutely soaking wet through or completely plastered in mud.
It’s this resilience to the weather conditions that are of interest to me. If you can build that mentality into your riding in those bad weather. Then you’ll go on a ride a lot more.
Crucially those tough weather conditions and not only make you a hardier mountain biker, but it will show you’re pitted against the toughest riding conditions, which in turn will accelerate you up the skill.
Nothing makes you more confident of riding a tough route section on a trail than having mastered the same route you section in the pouring rain.
Now be on it and does your local loop have the variety that you deserve? It’s so easy to slip in riding the same old week-in week-out.
However, one secret way to progress is riding as many different terrains and obstacles as you can. A wider selection will bear fruit in terms of experience.
It goes without saying that the more trails, bike parks, skate parks, and dirt jumps that you hit on your bike, the more sophisticated.
You’ll ride palette and we’ll be mixing your riding destinations and riding terrain will challenge you in the same way as a cipher Cross trek challenge, its competitors.
It seems to work for that. I’m tricking you here because I’m giving a very obvious point an alternative name in my mind. On suggesting repetition in truth.
We’re discussing practice lap and after lap on the site, cross-track is giving these races many opportunities to learn their riding lines, the skills, and pace needed to negotiate these tracks cyclically.
Might have to bunny hop obstacles 30 times within a racist duration. How many obstacles do you really have to bunny up in an average man?
If I ride probably not that many, one really fun thing to try are to build your own mini lap for soccer cross with some added obstacles like those bunnies hop boards, running sections, why ever the track you’ve built has in terms of the train, as long as it’s short, then you’re building those all-important motivators.
Into your riding session, prescribe yourself some sessions on that mini lap and get that repetition in on your skills practice.
Just like a cycle racer. Lastly, let’s take a moment to absorb and admire the aggression required to really attack a cyclocross race. The overriding impression I take from watching these races is the attitude to how all plays.
If you want to negotiate the obstacles, if you want to ride fast laps, and ultimately if you want to win races, then you need to be aggressive.
It’s very exciting to watch and when it’s working, it looks like it feels amazing on the MTB. You will have beautiful moments that are about nature and relaxation.
However, maybe save some real aggression for those many laps I mentioned, or select a section of your regular trail that you will attack with aggression intensity, and that risk.
Bringing your inner cyclocross out and letting that vibrant new energy inform your mountain biking for the better.
I hope I’ve convinced you to take a closer look at cyclocross, and I hope that it will make you a better mountain rider. Let me know in the comment section down below what you thought of it.
If you’d like to dive deeper and see more cyclocross action, then click here OutdoorXsports for getting more biking tips and tricks.