newbs-eye view of cross

A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: Fighting fear with practice

Avatar by on October 9th, 2014 at 10:33 am

newb-taborsun

Training ground.
(Photo by Ben Salzberg)

There’s just one race left in the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and I’ve got my work cut out for me. With the exception of my wipe-out in Week 2 that left me in 14th place, I’ve been stuck in 3rd and can’t seem to budge. The rider who has been finishing first usually does so with such a large margin that I can’t even see her after the first minute of the first lap.

That’s quite a gap to close, but I’m an unreasonable person and let’s be honest – I want to win.

I know from my extensive experience in adult beer-league kickball that practice is essential to improving on-field swagger as well as performance, albeit to a lesser degree. So I’m ready to put some work into this. But where to begin?

For me, cyclocross can be broken into 3 categories: things that are hard, things that are tricky, and things that terrify me.[Read more…]

A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: How to win over the crowd

Avatar by on October 1st, 2014 at 10:38 am

Cross Crusade 2010 #2 - Rainier-75

Currying favor with ‘cross crowds is easy once you know the secrets.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Spectating at the cyclocross races is entertaining, educational, and usually results in fewer stitches than racing yourself. I recommend it for anyone who’s feeling cross-curious.
[Read more…]

A newbs-eye view of cyclocross, part two: Learning the hard way

Avatar by on September 22nd, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Blind Date at the Dairy race-16

How did our guest author do her second time out?
(Note: That’s not her in the photo.)
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is Rebecca Hamilton’s second article in a series about her introduction to cyclocross racing. Read last week’s installment here.

It’s Week 2 of the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and here I am again, back for more.[Read more…]

Guest article – Newb on the tracks: My first cyclocross race

Avatar by on September 15th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Blind Date at the Dairy race-3

What happened when Rebecca lined up
for her first race?
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I never intended to do a cyclocross race.

I’d been to a race before, several years ago when a roommate was competing at Barton Park. But the actual racing part of the affair was entirely lost on me as I happily settled into what I assumed was the True Meaning of Cyclocross: drinking beer under a tent, with the faint sound of cowbells clanging in the distance and the occasional blur of muddy spandex warriors providing momentary yet unimportant distractions from the rotation of hot dogs on the grill.

Racing myself seemed entirely out of the question. My position in the bicycle world has always been firmly ensconced in the advocacy and bike-fun camps. My bike-related skills consist of dressing up like David Bowie for Pedalpalooza and sending indignant tweets to @PBOTinfo about drivers parked in the bike lane.

But then this beautiful new bicycle came into my life: a Creamsicle-colored All-City Macho Man with disc brakes and internal top tube cable routing, built for adventure. The first day I rode it to the office, my boss (and avid racer) Todd took one look and said, “Oh, you got a cross bike!”[Read more…]