JF Cycling Fall Session – Less Pumpkin, More Pain.8 Min.
At Jewett Farms + Co. we have two passions. The first is our work – from design to construction of fine cabinetry, soapstone and flooring, we simply love what we do. But on the weekends (and the occasional weekday afternoon) we ride bikes. And in the Fall we race Cyclocross, dusty, muddy, hilly, crazy cross.
“Cyclocross is the sport that would happen if road biking and mountain biking fell in love and had an awesome baby.” – Jason Gay, “The Dirt on Katie Compton,” The Wall Street Journal. Jan. 16, 2014.
Those of you who live more sane lives may be wondering – what is this cyclocross? And why should I care about it? Probably you should stop reading now. Seriously, the couch will always be more comfortable than cross, most things are. But if you enjoy suffering, you may have found your calling.
Cyclocross has a rich history in Europe – the Belgians are the international cx heroes! This type of racing started in France, stemming originally from unsanctioned ‘gentlemen’s races’ in the cycling off season where bikers would race from village to village across farm lands, fields and fences.
Fast forward to 2015 and Cross is taking the cycling world by storm. A cyclist that loves to suffer will truly love Cyclocross. Each race is between 30 and 60 minutes of all out, go till you puke effort. Courses are twisty, bumpy 2.5-3.5k circuits that can include everything from steep dirt or mud run-ups, sharp u-turns in mulch, sand pits, grass, stairs and of course the barriers. To be proficient in cross you need more than stellar bike handling skills, you also need the fitness of an 18 yr old Tour de France cyclist because at it’s core cyclocross is 45 minutes of lung busting hell.
Sound appealing? What about if we mention the crazy heckling and the on course beer hand-ups? It takes a special sort of person to truly embrace the suffering that is cross, but the fun community spirit and ever present beer tent at each race inspires more and more cyclists to take on the pain every year.
The JF Cycling team has been racing cross for a while, we moan and groan and get our butts kicked, but we keep on going back. Really we should be enjoying the time we have left…. before the JF juniors start making the pass!
Want to get involved? Email me and i’ll get you all the info on the JF Cycling team firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our great local bike shops and cx teams – go local!
Images found here.