Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Post: Christine explains Cyclocross

Christine is a nonprofit professional for Apple Patch living in Louisville. She had been biking for a little over a year and runs a the all women's cycling team Fleur de Lis. You will be able to find her this fall racing her bike and passing out beer hand-ups.

Cyclo What?????

I never thought I would be so excited to see Fall. Don’t get me wrong, I have always enjoyed the changing of the seasons, the crispness in the air, and getting to wear my fabulous boot collection, but I am a summer time kind of gal. This year, however, I have a countdown calendar to September 15, the opening day of Cyclocross season in the Louisville area. OH, BTW, my name is Christine, and I am addicted to Cyclocross (CX).

What is Cyclocross you ask? It is a crazy cycling event that involves a course mainly on dirt and grass but sometimes, for fun, the course designers or Mother Nature, throw in some sand, gravel, steps, water, snow, and pavement (just to name a few). The course designers also like to add in elements that make you dismount your bike, lift or shoulder your bike, and run over or up the obstacle. Keep in mind you always want to keep forward motion going. Oh and you have to CRAZY to do it. I have declared myself crazy several times while riding.

So why do I do it? Because it is FUN. It is also one of the most crowd-friendly of the cycling sports. Since it is a looped course that is usually less than 2 miles long, spectators can walk to almost all of it and see all the action. Heckling of the racers is strongly encouraged, and prizes are even given out sometimes to the best hecklers. There are also hand-outs from the spectators to the racers. As you race by, a friendly spectator might have a beer or bourbon shot ready for you; in some cases they might even have a $. All of this is encouraged, and makes it so worth each peddle stroke. If you would like a sample of all this fun you can check it out here, http://www.ovcx.com/, click on videos in the bottom right.

Louisville is one of the best places to get into Cyclocross. We are one of the few cities that has a dedicated cyclocross park that is open for all to try. Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park is located on River Rd next to Nugent Sand and is beautiful.

Something else that has us super excited this season is Louisville is going to be home of the 2013 World Championship of Cyclocross. Yes I said WORLD. This is huge! This is the first time that this race has ever been outside of Europe; we will play host to the fastest men and women of the sport and all of their fans. When else would you get the chance to check something like this out? If you want more information on Worlds you can go to http://www.louisville2013.com. If you are interested in getting more involved and volunteering hit me up, Christine.vaughan (at) gmail (dot) com.

So now that you know how much fun Cyclocross is, come out and cheer-- or heck, grab a bike and try it out. Who knows you might find a little bit of crazy in you and enjoy it as much as I do.


PopCosmo said...

definitely need to check this out -- always been curious about it. Is there a special cyclocross bike? Obviously not a road bike, but would a mtn bike be too heavy?

Anonymous said...

PopCosmo: There is a special CX bike that is a like a hybrid road bike with nobbie tires and cantilever breaks that help with mud clearance. However some people start out using there Mountain Bike to see if they like it. But you are right they are heavy.