Cyclocross is my favorite bike racing discipline. I like it for a lot of reasons but now that I’m 45 I like it most because the races are short. You don’t have to train 20 hours a week to feel like you can go race and do OK. You don’t have to worry about getting dropped and languishing on the road in solitude and you don’t have to worry about the tent being folded up and gone when you finally make it back to the start/finish. Cross is also very tough.
Your typical cross race is a one hour pain contest. You get dressed in freezing weather (at least in MT you do) or you may race in rain, mud or snow. When you race cross you have to execute run-ups and hurdles which require a dismount and remount onto the bike. These are skills that can really give a person and advantage if they practice their technique. I was never very fast so when I was racing a lot I always tried to make up for my lack of speed and talent with any advantages I could. In road racing it was strategy and decision making, in cross it was technique and in MTB…well, in MTB I always just sucked.
In Bozeman when I was heavily involved in racing, the cross community was lucky enough to have Geoff Proctor. I’ve known Geoff for nearly 20 years now. He has represented the US at the Cross Worlds, coached the US Jr. Cross team, and been at the center of the US cross community in one form or another ever since I’ve known him. He used to, and maybe still does put on cross clinics. I went to one before I did my fist cross race and man did I learn a lot.
So I don’t really know what the point of this post is other than I love cross. If you’ve considered trying it, I’d highly encourage you to do so. Just don’t overlook the benefit of good technique, it really goes a long way.