Well it is just over 1 week to go to the Scottish Cyclocross season starting which I was looking forward to but will have to cool my heels until I get this back sorted. If you want to try a bit of friendly easy to get into racing off road give Cross a try and you might even get hooked.
- 1st Oct /Peebles / Peebles CC
- 14th Oct / Blairadam Forest / Dunfermline CC
- 21st Oct / Auchentoshan /Glasgow United
- 28th Oct / Mugdock Country Park / Glasgow MTB Club
- 4th Nov / Glenrothes / Kirkcaldy and District
- 11th Nov / Carron Valley / Glasgow Ivy
- 17th Nov / Bannerman High School / SCX Association
- 18th Nov / Gatehouse of Fleet / Glasgow United
- 25th Nov / Dundee / Dundee Discovery CC
- 1 & 2 Dec / Cross at the Castle, Mull / Glasgow United
- 9th Dec / Scottish Champs, Plean / Stirling BC
Cyclo-cross has some obvious parallels with cross-country cycling and criterium racing. Many of the best cyclo-cross riders cross train in other cycling disciplines. However, cyclo-cross has reached a size and popularity that racers are specialists and many never race anything but cyclo-cross races. Cyclo-cross bicycles are similar to racing bicycles: lightweight, with narrow tires and drop handlebars. However, they also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they utilize knobby tread tires for traction, and cantilever style brakes for clearance needed due to muddy conditions. They have to be lightweight because competitors need to carry their bicycle to overcome barriers or slopes too steep to climb in the saddle. The sight of competitors struggling up a muddy slope with bicycles on their shoulders is the classic image of the sport, although unridable sections are generally a very small fraction of the race distance.
Compared with other forms of cycle racing, tactics are fairly straightforward, and the emphasis is on the rider's aerobic endurance and bike-handling skills.
A cyclo-cross rider is allowed to change bicycles and receive mechanical assistance during a race. While the rider is on the course gumming up one bicycle with mud, his or her pit crew can work quickly to clean, repair and oil the spares. Having a mechanic in the "pits" is more common for professional cyclo-cross racers. The average cyclo-cross racer might have a family member or friend holding their spare bike.
Don't worry if you have not got a Cross bike as a Mountain bike will get you started.