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Is cross for you?

So, you've been hearing all this buzz about Cyclocross racing, about how its the up and coming sport in bike racing even though its been around forever . You might be asking yourself if cyclocross is your sport. Here is a simple test:

Do you race bicycles?

On the road?

On the dirt?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, then cross is definitely for you.

Seriously, cross has elements that appeal to the roadie and the dirt bag in all of us. Its often fast and requires explosive power like criterium racing. Power riders often do well since there are rarely sustained climbs. Good dirt skills are an advantage on most cross courses, but the die hard roadies still have a chance since there usually isn't much single track.

Besides, how painful can a 60 minute race really be?

If you can bunny hop barriers, that's a plus, but the true crossers can dismount and remount as fast as the hoppers. Probably the top 'crosser right now, Sven Niis, is an ex BMX racer. Adri van der Poel is a 40 year-old Euro road racer who got second to Sven in the first European cross race of '99. Its the ultimate cross-over event in cycle racing.

Used to be a real good runner, but only a Cat 4 on the bike. Cross is your chance to show the Cat 2's who is daddy.

Cat 1 on the bike, but run like a bike racer. Make it up on the paved sections.

Cyclocross combines a combination of skills that you just won't find anywhere else in bike racing. That means to be really good at it, you have be more than a one-dimensional rider, but if you are prettty strong in one area then you can also compensate for your weaknesses. Its a real challenge for must of us since it combines so many skills in one event, but the challenge is what makes it interesting. You can also make dramatic improvements in your 'cross performance by working on skills. Its a relatively easy way to compensate for not being physically gifted.

-Dr. Cross

A.K.A. Darrell R. Davis