Spice Up Your Cycling Life with Cyclocross Racing

As a cyclist, do you want to get fitter? Faster? Stronger? And do you want to have a ton of fun while doing that? Well, if you haven’t already, you might want to introduce cyclocross into your cycling regime. Cyclocross racing is super fun and it can dramatically improve your bike handling skills, while also maintaining fitness intensity over transitional months and through the winter period. Sounds good, right? It is! 

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bike athletes to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  As the season is just now getting underway, what do you need to know? 

How To Get Started 
If you are new to the sport, a formal clinic can be a great way to get acclimated to the sport while making some racing friends. Attending a clinic can help improve your technical skills and help you confidently navigate your first cross race.  You can get a better idea during the clinic as to whether you want to try racing on your mountain bike.  Chances are that after doing a race or two, you will want to purchase a cyclocross bike. It is THAT addicting!  And, lucky for you, we have cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.

How to Train
Another thing to consider when starting out is how to train for a cyclocross race.  A good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week.   For specific training targets, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan. Yet overall, a structured cyclocross training plan includes these elements: transitioning from the previous race season; running; race intensity workouts including some drills to gain confidence in your bike handling skills and cornering. A bonus is to include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor in racing efficiently.  

What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race
As for race day, your needs for a cyclocross race will be different from what you would pack for a road race or mountain bike event. We have a compressive packing list to make it super easy for you to remember because there is a LOT to bring to a race, as in a variety of cycling apparel, cycling accessories, extra bike parts, and wheel sets  You will want the checklist so get it here: What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race? One item that is not on that list that is a treasured piece of equipment is the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer. It’s the perfect bicycle tool to have for warming up before a race and cooling down after the race. The trainer is lightweight, portable, and quiet so it functions well at home as an everyday trainer during the winter months too.  Fortunately, it’s on sale now! 

So, now that you are motivated, skilled, and have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  Here’s a recap: If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial-in the best bike parts and tire choice for the type of racing you plan to do.  Finally, don’t forget to register for an upcoming cross race! Bring on the cowbell! 

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