Gotta be honest, I really don’t know why YOU need to race CX this year. I don’t even know why I need to race CX this year.
Truthfully, I don’t know the first thing about CX. Wait, that’s wrong. I know that it’s a CROSS between road and MTB. Well. sort of. I think
Oh wait, I also know that a CX race has fences and barriers. Or something like that.
And I know that CX races are on grass. I mean, mostly grass. And other types of terrain.
Okay, so maybe I’m not a CX resource, but the world wide web is.
The Googler dictionary defines CX as:
cross-country racing on bicycles
So thanks for that Google. Try not to be so precise next time.
How about the Wikipedia
Cyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or ‘cross) is a form of bicycle racing.
Um, okay. Worse than the Googler.
I’m kidding, there’s more.
Races typically take place in the autumn and winter, and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.
Okay, that’s better. Sounds kinda cool.
Check out the rest of Wikipedia’s post here. CX
So now I know, based on my extensive research (or two clicks on my computer) the following:
- races last about an hour, and consist of multiple laps of a short course
- course conditions are a mix of everything
- CX bikes are a cross between road and MTB
- you’re probably going to have to shoulder your bike at some point
- drop bars (or not); 33mm tires (or not); disk brakes (or whatever)
I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty boss. Boss indeed.
And once again, riders and racers in Southern Ontario are blessed with a horde of different CX races from which to choose. There are a bunch of established CX races and series, and a bunch more one-offs. If that’s not enough, there are some great new opportunities this year. In fact, my Tuesday night races series, the King Weekly Series (presented by Evolution Cycles), is even extending the season to add three cross races: King Cross. Awesome.
To make it easier, races like Substanx and King Cross are promoting their CX races as hybrids, and allowing (nay, encouraging) a variety of bikes and riders from different disciplines to come out: Fatbike, SS, MTB, whatever.
I’ve never done a cross race, but with so much choice, I think it’s time.
So, for my first cross race, I’m going to try Substanx, Dan Marshall’s answer to cross, presented by Substance Projects (yeah, cool name, eh?). Substanx is a three race series, starting this Sunday, at Millbrook (near-ish to Ganaraska Forest). Aside from the proximity to the city, and the fact that I can actually make the date, the race is sure to be another Substance Projects wickedly fun and awesome rip.
Oh, and there’s a rumour floating about that there is a special emcee for Substanx Millbrook. It may or may not be Team Colin. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Who am I kidding, tell EVERYone. I get to race AND talk about racing–with a microphone. Bee double oh, em.
By the way, my second cross race will be a few days after, on Tuesday night, at King Cross.
Back to the title of this blog post. Why do YOU need to race cross this year? Well, Sunday is coming up, and there’s a bike race. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me.
PS. Here are some links to some pretty awesome CX rips:
Mad Cross, Baseball Cross, Dam Cross, CX O-Cup, Turkey Cross, Nordic Cats…Check out the OCA Events Calendar
Something to say about bikes, riding, racing, cross, or otherwise? A race to add to the list of links above? Comment on the link above, or send an email to: email@example.com