Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why I instantly fell in love with cyclocross

photo courtesy of Andrea Chisnell

My all-gal racing/training club, Grunt Girl Racing, held a Cyclocross Clinic on Tuesday as a way to introduce cyclocross in a non-competitive venue.

I rode my 40-lb, 20-year old Specialized Rockhopper, complete with fenders, rear rack, and Monkey Lectric - it may not have been the prettiest bike, but I didn't care. It was fine for the event, but for sure I'll be adding a Cyclocross bike to my garage soon!

Here are my favorite moments from Tuesday's event:

1. We divided into groups according to ability, experience, and, yes, crappy bikes. (I was in the latter). We were practicing sprint starts* when one of the girls in my group looked over and saw a bunch of cheaters jumping the line in the Experienced group. She mentioned this to our coach, who replied, "Yeah, they do that all the time."
*as opposed to road racing, where the sprint is at the finish.

2. I was told that, during some races, spectators line the course so they could hand beer to the passing riders.

3. I have the ability to warp time: I am once again 12-years old, weaving my rusty, clunky bike in and out between the swings on the playground, racing across lawns with my friends, riding as fast as possible through the vacant lot at the end of the neighborhood. Just that this time, we're not getting yelled at by anybody.

What's NOT to love about a sport that encourages cheating, drinking, and acting like a 12-year old?