Cyclocross (CX) has to be the most inclusive and fun form of cycling, sure Grand Fondo by its nature is highly participated BUT CX really pulls families, friends, passer-by’s and all sorts of hanger-oner’s.
If you haven’t heard of CX: a typical course uses whatever land is available, pretties it up with some banners and tape to make out a course complete with lots of twists and turns – and a few obstacles. In the amateur ranks you can turn up with just about anything you can ride, though a little extra tread on your tires will help to keep you on-your-bike!
The courses are set up on a circuit which you’ll typically cover 4+ times, making it brilliant for spectators – plus the terrain often lends itself to a few slips and slides, all the more fun for spectators.
When I heard there was going to be a CX event in the area Kristina and I currently are I jumped at the opportunity. The event kicked off at 8:30am and was set to cover 5 laps of the course – expecting the leaders to finish in around 40 minutes. Mostly on grass and a little damp, there were a lot of tight turns – making staying upright tricky. For added fun there was a section of jumps (if you had enough speed to launch) and the seemingly obligatory obstacles that force you to shoulder your bike and jump!
A big thanks to Eric for arriving early to secure my place on the starting line (and changing my tires and taking photos!) – they capped the numbers at 125 and I got the last one!! So this meant I was start at the back of the pack, making it extra fun (and challenging) trying to pass everyone – I think I made my way about half way up the field, wait and see..
CX is a sizeable sport in North America and Europe and is sure seeing a growing interest in Australia – I encourage you to head along if you can find an event in your area, you’ll be sure to have a blast!