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Hi everyone!

 

We're working on a feature for the website about tips for new cyclocross racers. Does anyone have a great tip you'd like to share? (Something you wish you'd known when you started racing)

 

And if you're a noob, do you have any questions you'd like to see answered?


Thanks everyone!

-Molly

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Tips for your first CX race/season.

1)At some point during the race you will want to puke - this will pass.
2)At some point during the race season you may start to feel rather cocky about you CX riding skills, just keep this in mind - There are bearded old men on a steel bikes with racks/fenders who can lap you.
3)You should try and bunny hop barriers - the crowds love this.
4)If, at the Maris Farm, Wa race someone offers you a shot of Old Crow at 7am - take it! They know more about the course than you do (see tip #1).
5)Cyclocross is pain leaving the body.
6)Warm up well! before the race - you will hit your anaerobic threshold about 3 seconds after the race starts (see tip #1).
7)When hitting a sand pit at full speed - lean wayyyyyy back, if you don't - the crowds love this too.
8)If someone offers you bacon during the race - take it (there is nothing more thrust quenching than bacon -see tip # 1)
9)Bring muck boots to the race.
10)If your thinking about repurposing that shiney SRAM Red group from your sweet $5,000 road bike, just to see if you like cross, imagine someone dragging/kicking your shiny carbon components in a burlap sac down a wet/muddy gravel road in the rain.
Lower your tire pressure to where you might hit the rim once or twice during a lap. You'll need the tire bite in the corners and muddy/loose sections. Also, don't fret about specific tires. Tread makes less difference than pressure and riding style. Get a decent set of clinchers and go (Even tho I'm a clincher tire slut... I know, I know).

Try to follow someone faster than you for a lap. See where they are getting a gap on you, and work on it (in my case it's tight corners).

Practice dismounts and remounts. And practice. Then practice more.

If you can talk during the race you're not going fast enough! (See rule #1 in an above posting). As well, right after your first lap you'll be gasping for breath and curse yourself for doing such a thing. 15 minutes later you'll want to go again.

Pre-ride the course, get there early enough to do a couple of laps. Sometimes the line everyone else is using is not the fastest for YOU. Sometimes the hill that everyone's struggling to ride up/down is actually faster to run. Being faster beats shame.

If the local club/promoters are putting on a clinic, go to it.

Learn to countersteer. Look through the corners, not down at them.

Join the mailing list/group/FB listing of the group putting on the series. And if they need help setting up the course, do it! #1 - that will generally let you race for free. #2) You'll make friends with the main crew. Definite benefit - guess who will be rooting for you? #3) because they NEED it!

Most of all, get off your butt and go do it! Have fun! The cross group is usually more laid back than other groups.

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