Lately, I've been talking with my non-cycling friends about this year's cycling obsession for me, cyclocross. Everyone asks what cyclocross is. Cyclocross is hard! I like it that way. You have mud, sand, dirt, grime, water, beer, more mud and pain! Yeah, you may only be on the course for 30 minutes to an hour. That is the beauty of it. While you are racing, you are going all out. If you let up, you're done. There isn't the opportunity to recover or gain back ground.
During a road race, most everyone rides in a pack. Occasionally you will have someone or a group make a break. Sometimes, there will be the occasional sprint. Mainly, everyone holds into the pack and hopes there will be a sprint finish to determine the winner of the race.
So, back to cyclocross. It's kinda like a crit race but we're not scared to get dirty. We race regardless of the weather. Actually, we prefer the worse the weather, the better. In CX, you're gonna crash on occasion but you get back up and finish the race. You're gonna have a mechanical problem but again, you get back on your bike and ride it out. Throughout the race, spectators will try to give you a beer hand-up. Be a man and down it! That's just part of the sport.
So why do I love cyclocross racing? Because there are few rules, lots of beer and you get to get muddy! It relates back to my previous post about "HTFU and Ride!" Check your local state cycling organization's website and see if there is a cross race near you. Go watch a race and then let me know if this is not the best form of cycling!