My cyclocross pre-season training was truncated this year because of family vacation and work schedules, and the surprise of needing more time to recover from a surprisingly strong short-track season (I raced nine times in eight weeks). Most of my training has consisted of daily commuting, a few intervals, some cargo-hauling on the big bike, and dismounts every time I come to a stop on my daily errands.
I planned weekly cross practices at my local park, invited teammates and friends to join me -- and ended up practicing alone every Sunday for four weeks in a row. To be fair, Sunday mornings are tough for many; still, it was a little lonely at times.
I brought cones and set up practice "barriers" and a mock course around my local park, which has a large undulating grassy center that falls in gentle slopes (off-camber), stone bleachers and ampitheatre (great for run-ups), and a soggy softball field with several deep mud puddles whose bottoms are invisible (mud, mud and more mud).
Getting back on the bike still sucks, and all the videos in the world aren't helping.
Dismounts are better, smoother. Maybe someday I'll transition to a bike that lends itself better to shoulder carriage (hard to do with a mountain bike, I usually just grab the downtube and shove the whole thing under my armpit).
Last Sunday it was cold enough to require some embrocation for my knees. And that has made all the difference. I can't wait for my first race on Oct. 2.
Onya for persevering. Its tough.
I keep finding ways of avoiding remount practice. Guess what the weak spot in my cross race is?
Plenty of stellar races to choose from this month. You already missed two. Check out Zaandercross on the 22nd. Only 10 minutes from that place you did most of your short track racing. Alpenrose is great and all. But the Crusade is such a circus, I'm spending my entry fees elsewhere (mostly) this year.
Hi fellas -- thanks for commenting. However, this post is from last year; and due to changes in my knees and my career I am not racing 'cross at all in 2012. Look for me next summer out at the short-track races, and have a great 'cross season! Cheers --