Get Your Cowbell Ready! Golden Kicks Off Cyclocross Season

September 3, 2015
photo credit: ProVeloPassion.com

photo credit: ProVeloPassion.com

While the cross country mountain bike  and road bike race seasons may be winding down, the cyclocross race season is just starting.  In fact, you could officially say that it is now cyclocross season!  If you’re new to cyclocross, you might wonder what the big deal is? Cyclist who have ventured into the discipline are passionate about it and here’s why.

Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sections of cycling – it’s an all-out mad dash through the dirt, pavement, grass, mud, sand, snow and/or ice that will leave you sucking wind, barely able to see straight…and excited to do it again. It’s held on a relatively short track (2 miles or less) making it spectator-friendly as well. Cyclocross is also one of the few sports where heckling is not only carried on by the spectators but encouraged, even by the top-level touring elites. 

Sounds fun, right?  And it is!  

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers 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?  

Transition: If you’ve been racing throughout the summer season, recognize that there is going to be a transition phase.  Moving from one form of racing to another takes a bit of adjustment.  This generally takes 4 – 6 weeks to fully adjust to a new cycling position, frame geometry, gear ratios, and race tactic specific strength.  

Running and Drills: You’ll want to plan time for running and cyclocross specific skills training.  Running prepares your body to handle the stress of runs and dismounts at the beginning of cross season.   Skill training is essential for safe riding and also, efficiency during the race!  The better your skills are, the faster you will go!  Skills to focus on include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.

Training: As for training for cyclocross, the best approach is a comprehensive one.  Meaning, now is the time to begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week. While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes a variety of focused activity. As an example, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan.

It’s easy to get started with cyclocross.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our  cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Equipment choices matter! Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.  Next, sign up for Golden’s very own Back to Basics Cyclocross Series.  Held Wednesday evenings from September through early October, the series offers a fun challenge to build your cyclocross skills and enthusiasm! 

So what’s stopping you?   Plan your cyclocross season now, order your bike parts at bikeparts.com and grab your cow bell!  With a little planning, your 2015 cyclocross season can be very rewarding.  Sure, cyclocross races are very high intensity and extremely demanding; yet, cyclocross as a sport is meant to be fun, otherwise, there wouldn’t be beer handoffs, money pits, crowds heckling the pros, or pros heckling the crowd!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re gearing up for some cowbell cheer.  See you at the races!

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The 2014 – 2015 Ultimate Cyclocross Resource

October 23, 2014

While the cross country mountain bike  and road bike race seasons may be winding down, the cyclocross race season is heating up.  And, it’s not just heating up in Colorado but across the nation.

According to USA Cycling, cyclocross is the fastest growing field in cycling.  Why?  For starters, it’s fast, frantic, spectator friendly and plain good fun.

Cyclo-cross  – or cross, cyclo-x and CX – is a sport that takes modified road bikes off road in races that typically last for 60 minutes and includes obstacles where you need to dismount and run with the bike over your shoulder.   While that may not sound fun to some cyclists, contrary to popular belief, cyclocross racing is actually a ton of fun. It’s also technically challenging and physically demanding. The effort and skill required to compete elevates your overall racing fitness and leads to great improvement when the spring races roll around.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we find many are cyclocross curious; whereas others, are full in to the sport.  Whether you are a newbie or a veteran, cyclocross has something to offer everybody.  Here’s a good place to get started.

News and Calendar of races
– 2014-15 Colorado Cyclocross Race Calendar and Professional CX Calendar
– USA Cycling Pro Cyclo-cross Calendar
–  Cyclocross News and Race updates

CycloCross 101: Q&A
– How do I learn more about cyclocross? Cyclocross 101 
An Introduction to Cyclocross + 3 Workouts

Learn Basic Cyclocross Skills
– Overcoming obstacles on a cyclocross course
– Cyclocross Training: Mastering the Fundamental Dismount/Remount 

Cyclocross Training
Workouts and Drills to Prepare Yourself for the Cyclocross Season
How to Plan Your Cyclocross Training Week 

Best bike parts for cyclocross
– Cyclocross Bicycle Parts and Cross Bike Components
What tire tread is best for cyclocross?

Cowbells and Heckling Etiquette
– Cowbell etiquette – How to Play the Cowbell – entertaining video  
– An Op-Ed on Heckling in Cyclocross by Daniel Curtin

The bottom line – join some cross races. Keep in mind that you can ride them mainly for fun and general fitness. You don’t have to take it too seriously. And even riding mainly for fun, cross will help you a lot. It improves bike handling and power and builds your cardiovascular system. You’ll be amazed how great you feel and how much more confidence you have on your bike when the race season arrives.


Your Complete Guide to the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships 2014

January 9, 2014

photo credit: ProVéloPassion, Mary Topping

Boom!  And the gun is off!

The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships are underway!

With an enthusiastic ‘cross culture and a permanent course  at the Valmont Bike Park, the 2014 Cyclo-cross Nationals in Boulder, Colorado is providing an exciting atmosphere for some hotly-contested races for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.

Here is your guide to event planning, course intel, who to watch and where to heckle! Get your cowbell on!

Event Planning:

Course Intel: 

Rider Lineup: 

Bike parts, Cowbells and Heckling Etiquette: