It’s Getting Close

Can you feel it? The excitement? The quiver when you walk into your garage and look at the tubulars? Yep – it is nearly cyclo-cross time.

It is amazing how cyclo-cross has grown over the last few years. I started racing ‘cross way back in 1994. Ottawa had (and still does) a very strong cyclo-cross racing schedule – every Sunday for 12 weeks. At the time it was a small group of riders but it helped launch many riders onto bigger and better racing. A number of racers who learned to race ‘cross in our “little local series” went on to be national champions. I remember going out with my Specialized Rockhopper with toe clips. That bike was heavy. Those toe clips were inconvenient. But I loved it. I eventually moved on to a Myata Alumnicross – complete with barcon shifter and a downtube shifter. Sweet. I raced ‘cross for a couple more years and then took a long break from bike racing.

But now I’m back. And it was ‘cross that got me back. I decided four years to go to race in the local series again. Wow – had it ever grown. We get over 200 riders out to the Ottawa Bicycle Club ‘cross series. The thing about this race series is that it is the most welcoming place for a new rider. Everyone is there to have fun. Lots of fans. Lots of cheering. Coffee and treats afterwards. And it is all volunteer run. Most impressive.

And now here we are – on the edge of a new season. A season that I hope for me will be big. I’ve got some big goals and a packed race schedule. But thanks to the support of my sponsors and people like you – I am brimming with excitement and confidence. I don’t know what the season will hold, only that I know I’m going into it prepared and ready.

What about you – do you have any big goals for ‘cross this year? Maybe it is to travel to a few races? Perhaps it is to race in a new category? Or maybe the goal is to go out and finish each race with a smile on your face?

I got in an excellent ‘cross ride yesterday with one of my team mates from last year. We kicked things off with some “follow the leader” and then set up the flags. Lots of twisting and turning. It is these skills sessions that I think really pay off during the race season. The body and brain are programmed to run on instinct. The corners come naturally, the dismounts and remounts flow, the sand is no longer a challenge. This is the beauty of a solid cyclo-cross race – everything just comes together and the body, brain, and bike move as one.

Here are few links to things happening on the WWW:

Looks like Boudler, CO is really on the cutting edge of cyclo-cross – check out the Valmont Bike Park.

Are you in the Ottawa area? Want to attend a ‘cross skills session? Greg Reain is hosting a ‘cross workshop.

Time to start thinking about race registration. For some of you guys, being the first to register is key – it means you’re not stuck in the back of a 100-man field. Keep your eyes on BikeReg.com.

So you’ve got the new ‘cross bike. Got some fast tires. You’ve been working on your technique. But your skinsuit is a bit tight… Take a look at The Eat Clean Diet. I don’t consider this a diet – rather it is a common sense approach to eating. I lost 15 lbs by following the Eat Clean principles. It was effortless and tasty.

Okay, I’ve got to jet. My road bike is calling my name. Coach Steve has got an interval session scheduled for today. Best I get to it. Have a good one. Enjoy the weekend.

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