Skinny tyres, mud, short, sharp off-road races, with hurdles, obstacles and intense action. That’s cyclo-cross, a form of off-road racing that predates mountain biking by decades. Cyclo-cross is also one of the most accessible forms of cycle sport with racing for everyone from young kids to grandmothers. The longest race is only an hour for seniors, older folks race for 40 minutes and children and youths for only 10 or 20 minutes or so.
At the literal grassroots level you can take part on a mountain bike, so no 'special' equipment is required. A cross bike can also double up as a rufty tufty commuter and gravel bike so N+1 is not a requirement in the bike stable.
Children are catered for from all ages and adults can have a go as a novice and ease themselves in relatively gently, with a 20 minute race with the youth riders! It's a lot of fun!
Newbury Velo promotes a race in the Wessex League, usually in September. Locally there are summer cyclo-cross series and the winter-based Wessex Cyclo-cross League runs with a weekly series of races from September through to January throughout the Wessex region. Other leagues are run all over the country so there is a wide variety of local racing opportunities.
There are also regional and national events and championships organised by British Cycling and plenty of opportunities for day trips to the spiritual home of cross, Belgium, for beer, frites and epic mud! Enjoy!
Newbury Velo has a number of coaches specialising in cx and we will have a number of fun weekly coaching and training initiatives leading up to and through the season.