Cyclocross

We're so into Cyclocross that we made this special page for it. Also publish a Tumblr about Suffer Faces.

Cyclocross Nationals is Emotional

Many things are said about Cyclocross, it’s like mountain biking in the early days–a carnival of bike culture replete with epic races and wildly enthusiastic fans. Back when Missy Giove and Shaun Palmer engendered a carnival-like attitude of establishment-rocking and epic hucking.

Cross is like that now–it’s the only sanctioned racing where you can see both passionate fans and spectators dressed like gorillas, side by side. Or industry playahs like Chris Matthews starting his race in a faux-fur coat.

What I learned at the National Level, during the championships though is that it’s really all about emotions like this.

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Teary

Your friends, teammates, and those you love are there watching. Your hard work is all on the line. There are winners, losers, and also-rans. Some are happy to finish, some are merely happy to start.

Taking that photo was especially emotional for me because earlier in the day, I placed 141st out of a 182-strong field. That’s last out of those that finished. The rest DNF’d or DNS’d and I got pulled at the finish line when the hard-charging leaders lapped me.

Being out for 6 weeks with a busted up knee before this race, I could’ve skipped racing or even stayed home. But I decided to race it and experience Nationals. The win for me was not crashing, not injuring myself, and just finishing.

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In the Pits at USGP of Cyclocross

Lots of action happens in the pits and we caught a few moments of it with our camera, turned it into a slideshow, added some music too.


See more photos from the USGP like

After a month off to heal my busted-up knee, I raced and placed 69th in the Masters race. Ok with that going into Bend and Nationals next week. More on that in another post and we’re also having a Tweetup Cocktail Party Saturday night, where we’ll tell race stories and compare notes on tire widths.

Cross-Train THIS, Bitch

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The other day while reviewing the LeMond Revolution trainer the topic of cross-training vs. actually riding came up. Generally I don’t stop riding my bike in the winter (I’ve several times clocked more miles from November through February than February through May) but I don’t ride as hard core in the winter either.

My normal cross training routine involves lots of racquetball (and racquetball related injuries) and a good amount of lifting.

But I’ve got a new regimen thanks to Microsoft’s new Kinect system. The motion-capture-based game controller works with a number of great games and I’m using them to get the winter-time workout that I never got from the much-vaunted Wii.

In particular I’ve been playing Fighters Uncaged , a first-person street fighting game that uses actual punches and kicks as the interface for, well, punching and kicking.

After my first bout of fights I was panting, sweating and breathing harder than I have in months. Elbow punches, roundhouse kicks, ducking and jabbing–this is great. And it’s getting all of my muscles in shape.

I’m not sure how many people out in Hugger Land have Kinect and Xbox Live accounts, but I’m thinking of doing a gaming night for BikeHugger fans. If you’re interested in some online gaming, let us know in the comments.

Snow Cross

The esssence of Cross, what this sport is about, is not riding inside on rollers or trainers. It’s facing the elements and what the wind threw down from the trees the night before. While its popularity grows with athletes chasing UCI points on sponsored rides, a strong desire to stay fit when the ground is frozen and covered with snow is where it came from.

Bustle in your Hedgerow Old-timey cross racers

I enjoy racing as much as the next Bro, but also find riding dirt on a road bike relaxing and liberating. Get away from the computer with no number on your back, course tape, or fans handing up beer. Just riding in the trees.

snow_cross1.jpg New, natural barrier

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Cyclocross Priss

Noticed Heidi Swift’s nails really pop in this photo. She’s covered in mud, but the nails are polished.

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She said:

… I’m still trying to keep the nails clean/intact. Such a priss.

Priss or not, that’s another example of women racing hard and looking good. Like Pam did in her bee outfit.

Photo: Courtesy of Dave Roth.

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