Why You Should Try Cyclocross This Autumn

21 October 2019 - Learning to Ride


Why You Should Try Cyclocross This Autumn

Why Try Cross?

Cyclocross is extremely popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and France and was originally dominated by these nations but in recent years we are seeing young British Superstars emerge in the world of cross. With the help of these role models, there is increasing exposure of the sport nationally. Cyclocross for beginners classes are now available all over the country and there are exciting times ahead for this cycling discipline. We’re thrilled to see a younger generation inspired to try cyclocross.

Why You Should Learn How To Ride Cyclocross

There are so many positive aspects of this exhausting, yet exhilarating sport.

  1. 🚴 The bike handling skills that are learnt in cross-training and racing make young riders so much more confident on the road too
  2. 🚴 The aerobic exercise gained in just a 30-minute cross race is huge. It’s full gas from start to finish with this discipline. Anyone who’s ever run up a grassy hill in their local park knows how tough that can be, now add carrying a cross bike into the mix
  3. 🚴 Cyclocross racing at beginner level is out and out fun, there’s fantastic camaraderie and it’s a brilliant way to meet new friends
  4. 🚴 Not to mention the audience factor, cyclocross is an amazing spectator sport. Like criterium racing, multiple laps mean you can see the action throughout the race. You can even move from spot to spot and if you ever get to visit a World Championship event the atmosphere here is unforgettable
  5. 🚴 Oh yes, let’s not forget, kids love the opportunity to get muddy!

The sight of riders struggling up crazily steep hills and shouldering their bikes has become the iconic image of cyclocross racing. In reality sections like this will make up a very small part of the course so don’t let this put you off!

The Stars of Cyclocross

In our current World Tour Peloton, there are some hugely talented riders who have transitioned from cyclocross to compete in road racing and cross country mountain biking. The amazing skillset and huge level of fitness gained from cross has made them stand out from the crowd. It has also showcased cross as a fantastic place to hone your bike skills and become an all-round superstar.

Who to Watch

These racers have helped propel cyclocross into the mainstream and with a track record like theirs, you can see why.

National, European and World Cyclocross Champion
National Road Race Champion
European MTB Cross Country Champion
World and National Cyclocross Champion
National Road Race Champion
World and National MTB Cross Country Champion
World and National Cyclocross Champion
National Time Trial Champion
National, European and World Junior Cyclocross Champion
National, European and World U23 Cyclocross Champion
National Criterium Champion
National U23 MTB Champion
National and World U23 Cyclocross Champion
National U23 MTB Champion
UCI U23 MTB World Cup Winner
National and World Junior Cyclocross Champion
National Junior Road Race Champion

The Legend of UK Cyclocross

No blog post on Cyclocross would be complete without mentioning British Cross Legend, Helen Wyman. Helen was born in St. Albans and began racing her bike aged 14, finally finding Cyclocross aged 18. She became a full time cyclist at the age of 23 and has since won 10 National Championships, 2 European Championships and a World Championship bronze medal in 2014.

Having dedicated her life to racing cyclocross we felt it was only right to ask Helen's thoughts on why it's such a great sport for kids. Helen told us that she feels it's a wonderful sport for young riders to learn and develop. Especially as it provides family friendly environments for everyone to enjoy, with the races having the added benefit of being in traffic free locations.

Her top tip is to remember that cyclocross is about getting you and your bike to the finish line as quickly as you can; not necessarily as quickly as you can ride. So being quick to get on, and off, your bike is important. Practice safely getting off your bike at your running speed, and getting back on at the same speed. It’s should all be one smooth motion and can be the biggest area in which you save time, without adding any fitness.

Helen's golden rule is the minimum speed you should be moving at is your running speed. If you find yourself riding at a speed slower than your running speed you know you should be getting off!

"For me cyclocross, especially at a young age, is about enjoying yourself.
Go out, have fun, don’t get stressed and enjoy being a part of the CX community."

Hints and Tips from the Kids Cyclocross Frog Squad

We asked two of our Frog Cyclocross stars why they participate in this sport and there was one definite theme cropping up!

12yr Old Ellie Mitchinson

12yr old Ellie Mitchinson who races Cyclocross and Grass Track racing for her club Ashwell CC told us “I enjoy getting really muddy and the satisfaction of riding new courses.” She recommends to stay confident and hold your line, make the most of any practice laps to get used to the course and most importantly don’t be scared to fall off (it’s inevitable)!

Ellie’s great advice, regardless of what discipline of cycling you choose to try, is to ultimately do your best and enjoy it. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

9Yr Old David Avery

9yr old David Avery has recently been racing at a 3-day event called the West Coast Cyclocross Points Prestige and is hoping to go to the USA National CX Championships in Tacoma, Washington this year. When asked why he enjoys cyclocross David replied: “because it’s muddy and mud is fun!”

His top tip to anyone wanting to try cyclocross is to learn how to pick up your bike and run because there are usually stairs and muddy hills that you can’t ride on.

If reading this still doesn’t make you want to grab a bike and give cross a go then we don’t know what will! If you love riding your bike, learning new skills and getting muddy this is definitely the discipline for you!

To check out the range of 20, 24 and 26 wheel Cyclocross Bikes click HERE:

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