Smoke and Suds Cyclocross

2012 11 03 Cyclocross Race Poster

Mandy wanted to go to Fayetteville this past weekend to ride in a couple of cyclocross races. Bryan already had something planned for the weekend, but our friends Joe and Lisa from Arkansas Outside offered to take her – their family was planning to camp, and they promised to put her to work helping with cooking and dog-minding duties. She was eager to go, and we couldn’t think of a good reason not to send her. Continue reading “Smoke and Suds Cyclocross”

‘Cross Dresser

Cyclocross is a kind of bicycle racing popular in Europe and in the more interesting parts of the US. Arkansas cyclocross is just getting started – last year’s fall/winter series was sort of ragtag, I’ve heard, but there’s more momentum and organization behind this year’s races. Racers do several laps around a closed course, on a mix of surfaces – usually some pavement, some gravel, and some grass or dirt or mud. There are obstacles to ride or jump over, like tree limbs and boards, ditches, and sometimes even stairs to run down while carrying a bike. The course is taped off in such a way that there are often sharp turns to navigate as well. Racers ride as hard as they can to do as many laps as possible in a certain period of time – 40 or 50 minutes seems to be the usual length of a cyclocross race.

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Mandy was a little bit interested in cyclocross last year, but we never actually got around to watching a race. This summer, when her bike was wrecked, the replacement we bought was a cyclocross bike. We thought it was a good choice because it was set up more or less as a road bike, but the frame and fork were broad enough to accommodate wider tires when we wanted to ride on gravel roads or smooth trails. Having a cyclocross bike, though, made her think that maybe she wanted to race cyclocross this season. Continue reading “‘Cross Dresser”