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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    WA State

    Anyone doing CX in the NW?

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    Okay, so I started this thread in the new riders, but then found this folder specifically for Cyclocross...

    I was thinking about trying out a CX race in November at PIR, are any of you going?
    Also, how hard is CX? Any tips for beginners?
    Can I use my Mt. Bike?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    WA State
    Yes you can use your mt bike as a beginner. The biggest disadvantage is that it will be considerably heavier than a cross bike, so places where you need to get off the bike and run with it (often uphill.... I think maybe even up steps at PIR) will be more difficult and the geometry of a mt bike may make it difficult or impossible to "shoulder" it (carry your bike on your shoulder). But you won't be alone - there will be other people using mt bikes.

    Is it hard... I don't know how to answer that. The races are pretty physically intense and you'll do best if you have good bike handling skills. If you ride your mt bike off road you should already have an advantage over someone who is coming into it from road - depending on the course. A technical course with a lot of descending and turning will often favor a mt biker, while a less technical course with more flats may favor roadies.

    Tips - take a class. Learning to mount and dismount properly is important. You can lose a lot of time if you aren't doing that well. There are techniques for doing barriers and taking corners as well too. If they offer classes or weeknight practices - go and learn.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I just raced CX for the first time at Alpenrose last weekend. I'll be at Wilsonville this weekend. I live a few hours south of Portland, and since you're asking about PIR specifically I'm guessing you're too far away for us to get together to practice. But if you decide to do any of the Crusade races let me know. I'll be at all but Rainier, and I'd be happy to meet up with you before the race starts.

    I did a giant race report in the race reports forum, so you can read all about my experience. The fields are so big in the Crusade that you're guaranteed to be around women with a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses, and on all kinds of equipment. Since we're already in the thick of the season, just show up for a race and check it out. You'll notice that within a couple of minutes it's impossible to tell who's in front and who's in back. It takes a lot of pressure off. And the crowd loves everybody.

    If you're able to get to the Halloween race in Astoria, do it. It's a big party. There are still some people taking the race seriously, but there are also a whole lot of people in the race who have handicapped themselves by their choice of costume, and clearly don't care about the results. Again, it takes a lot of the pressure off. It's a good beginner choice.

    As Eden says, the courses are all different. If you've got some mountain bike skills, some of the courses will really play to that advantage. If you've spent a fair bit of time gaining road fitness, there are courses that will play to that. Alpenrose favored the off-road skills, but there were still moments when some of the roadies who couldn't catch up to me on the technical stuff would come flying by me on the flat straights. Noooooo! (shaking my fists at the sky).

    Feel free to PM if you have any questions about local races. And don't be afraid to just throw yourself in there and give it a shot!

    Last edited by ima_bleeder; 10-11-2008 at 07:30 AM. Reason: grammatically challenged
    I don't crash so much anymore (less blood on the trail), so just call me Stephanie

    I'll tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood. ~ Susan B. Anthony



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