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Thread: CX for dummies

  1. #1
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    CX for dummies

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    Does anyone know if CX "clinics" are a thing in the midwest/Great Lakes region? I'd like to be able to try it out one day.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  2. #2
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    I'm not sure of any large/formal clinics, but the LBSs around here tend to put on clinics. Perhaps a shop near you would do something like this. Though it's already nearing the end of the season, here, so I wonder if clinics would have been in late Aug. or Sept.? That's kind of how they've been in this area.

    Truly, though, most people just go out and try it without any formal instruction. You learn a lot just being on the course. We have a nice C race that is only 30 minutes long and a lot of brand new racers give it a try.
    Kirsten
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    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    I'm not sure of any large/formal clinics, but the LBSs around here tend to put on clinics. Perhaps a shop near you would do something like this. Though it's already nearing the end of the season, here, so I wonder if clinics would have been in late Aug. or Sept.? That's kind of how they've been in this area.

    Truly, though, most people just go out and try it without any formal instruction. You learn a lot just being on the course. We have a nice C race that is only 30 minutes long and a lot of brand new racers give it a try.
    Thing is, I'd like to be able to try it with no pressure whatsoever, and relatively few people. I'm not the greatest at bike handling to begin with (although it might be a bit different on a bike with a stem that isn't insanely short!), so I'd prefer a gentle introduction.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


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  4. #4
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    There are some good tutorials online, which is one way to cover some skills, then find a place to go practice...some mowed grass replicates CX terrain pretty well. The things I found to make the biggest difference were learning to do a rolling dismount. I still need to figure out rolling mounts. Those are trickier, since I don't run very fast and I have a hard time getting my bike moving to a decent speed and then trying to find my pedals.
    Kirsten
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    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  5. #5
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    I just discovered that my old LBS does actually host clinics. So they are out there.

    A few of my coworkers race cross and one records the races. Watching some of them do rolling mounts is pretty amazing. I'm pretty sure any attempt at that on my end will result in my getting well-acquainted with the taste of dirt...
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
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  6. #6
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    I think rolling starts are easier than dismounts; I'm always afraid that i'm going to get stuck in a pedal as I step out and get off so it freaks me out a bit!

    Go out with flat pedals and try this stuff first - it really is easier to learn and then you don't have the fear of getting stuck in your pedals.

  7. #7
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    Dismounts: start by unclipping your LEFT foot, and placing it on the pedal. This means you don't have to worry about getting unclipped in a hurry. THEN, unclip your right foot, and swing your leg over the saddle and behind. Coast with the left foot resting on the left pedal, and hop off just before the barrier/obstacle.

    Remounts: here's the mantra I use to teach this - Step (left), Step (right), Step (left) and over. Do it at a WALKING pace to start with. On the third step, make sure that you push off on that step, and there is NO NEED TO JUMP onto the bike - slide the right leg over, getting the saddle to hit the THIGH as you make contact with the bike. Don't worry about getting clipped in right away - feet on the pedals, and you will get that as you start pedaling. The other key here is that on the Step, Step, Step - your bike should be in front of you so that when you push off and do the OVER portion, you are catching up to your bike vs waiting for it.

    This is much easier to demonstrate, but it's the simplest explanation possible.

    SheFly

    p.s.
    If you are going to be racing with clipless pedals, do not practice on flats. You need to get used to the clipping out on the dismount, and clipping in on the remount.
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
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  8. #8
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    I disagree Shefly. First, it is good to practice on flat pedals first just to get the motion down so you don't have to worry about unclipping etc. Of course, you should practice with clipless pedals before you go race on them! DUH

    Also, I'm not sure if you've had this happen but I have; and that is when you get off, you unclip your left foot, but it slips off the pedal and that's always fun; and also sometimes I've had it reclip by accident and that is kind of fun too! So, that is the worry for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    I think rolling starts are easier than dismounts; I'm always afraid that i'm going to get stuck in a pedal as I step out and get off so it freaks me out a bit!
    Interesting...I've been successfully dismounting this entire season, but haven't yet tried to do a rolling mount. I run so slowly (even though I was a runner before getting into cycling) that I never feel like I can get enough momentum to stay upright while trying to locate my pedals.
    Kirsten
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    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  10. #10
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    Remember, just one foot at a time. If you miss on the first try you can pull the pedals through with one leg and get clipped in the next time around.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    I disagree Shefly. First, it is good to practice on flat pedals first just to get the motion down so you don't have to worry about unclipping etc. Of course, you should practice with clipless pedals before you go race on them! DUH

    Also, I'm not sure if you've had this happen but I have; and that is when you get off, you unclip your left foot, but it slips off the pedal and that's always fun; and also sometimes I've had it reclip by accident and that is kind of fun too! So, that is the worry for me.
    Everyone is different. I've only ever taught people who were used to clipless pedals, and they didn't have issues learning to unclip. If flat pedals work for you, go for it!

    So, what I SAID and what I actually DO when dismounting are different. The instructions I gave are the instructions you will get from most all coaches. However, I NEVER unclip with my left foot first. My dismount is unclip right, right leg over and behind, coast into barrier/hill/obstacle, unclip left foot and dismount. I KNOW I will get out of my pedal every time (have them set on lightest tension possible). A slight hip rotation will also help ensure unclipping when required. This works for ME, but may not work for everyone.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    My dismount is unclip right, right leg over and behind, coast into barrier/hill/obstacle, unclip left foot and dismount. I KNOW I will get out of my pedal every time (have them set on lightest tension possible). A slight hip rotation will also help ensure unclipping when required. This works for ME, but may not work for everyone.

    SheFly
    This is exactly how I do it, too. I did have a hard time last Spring with a new set of Shimano SPDs that were still pretty tight on the loosest tension (they always loosen up pretty quickly), but I also was likely not slowing down enough for my legs to catch up with momentum, so I got tangled-up with lack of skills/practice. Haven't had issues this Fall.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  13. #13
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    it!

    So, what I SAID and what I actually DO when dismounting are different. The instructions I gave are the instructions you will get from most all coaches. However, I NEVER unclip with my left foot first. My dismount is unclip right, right leg over and behind, coast into barrier/hill/obstacle, unclip left foot and dismount. I KNOW I will get out of my pedal every time (have them set on lightest tension possible). A slight hip rotation will also help ensure unclipping when required. This works for ME, but may not work for everyone.

    SheFly[/QUOTE]

    Wow, you've never had a problem unclipping the left even in the mud? What kind of clips do you use?

 

 

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