It’s that special time of the year. Cyclo-cross season has started and the first race of the Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross season is on the schedule for this Sunday in Calabogie. So it was the perfect time to kick off my cyclo-cross clinics. These are small clinics (since I’m the only person providing advice) and are for women-only.
Some may bristle at this women-only approach but it’s been my experience that most of the women who are new to ‘cross or have even been doing it for a few years, really haven’t had anyone show them how to do things like dismount, mount, pick-up their bikes, ride through sand, etc. It helps to learn from someone who doesn’t have “natural” ability (that’s me). I learned by repeated practice, by making a lot of mistakes and by trying different stuff on my bike in an effort to get uber-comfortable rolling around at high speeds.
So last night we had some fun. We practiced coasting down a hill with all our weight on the left pedal (that’s right no bums on seats), we broke the dismount and mount down to a walking pace so we could identify the “dead” spots in these key moves, we ran/walked up hills carrying our bikes, and we talked and laughed. Yes, lots of fun.
I find these sessions so valuable for me, I get to help others with their ‘cross technique and these sessions get me to really think about how I learned to do things and then try to transfer this knowledge to others. Now, I was never the fastest or the most technically skilled cyclo-cross racer but I do know a few tricks that can help save a second or two on a dismount/mount, how to find the best places to recover on the race course, and how to work-around my weak spots on the course.
Anyway, all this to say, that last night was a lot of fun. Many thanks to the women who came out last night. (Oh, and I’m not going to lie, my right shoulder is a bit sensitive from our uphill carry practice…)