23 Dec Cross is Boss
Rigid bikes, drop bars, nobby tyres. Hard core – YES. Intense – YES. Fun – DOUBLE YES.
The million dollar question – what is cyclocross? It is a type of racing that is mainly off road but can include the odd bit of tarmac. Expect to encounter grass, dirt, mud, gravel, sand, stairs, obstacles and crazy spectators.
Real racing is based on a set time where the rider smashes out as many laps as their heart can take or when the timer runs out (approx 60 minutes).
The elite fields will be limited to the true cyclocross bike (drop bar, <35mm tyres), where all other fields are open to any kind of bike you like to ride.
Courses can include twists and turns, more bunting than the Australian day skyshow, barriers and features that are designed for riders to get off and run with the bike. For those brave (or willed on by the enthusiastic crowd) will bunnyhop some obstacles. Riders will experience hills, sand pits and muddy sections so unrideable that will need them to get off , shoulder their bike like a handbag and run with it.
Cyclocross is a winter sport. So when Mother Nature decides to go all ‘wet and windy’ you can bet the cyclocross show will go on. Rain, hail shine.
As with every discipline of riding, for many, cyclocross is a lifestyle. As Cyclocross Magazine elaborate ‘ It’s also an adventuresome style of riding, with a versatile bike that allows you to explore any gravel or dirt road, park or trail that you stumble on’. [https://www.cxmagazine.com/what-is-cyclocross-2]
One of the legends that brought cyclocross on to the WA stage was Greg Murison, a local MTB legend. “Basically, I wanted to race it. PMBC [Perth Mountain Bike Club] had really good success with the twilight Dirt Crits that Craig Cooke had run as far back as 2010, but the taste-of-blood-in-your-mouth pain of Cross was missing. So eventually I managed to get some mates organised to run the first one, and it was successful enough. Through 2012 and 2013 we’d get about 20 or 30 to a race, and in 2015 it was probably 50, with all 4 grades (A, B, C and the women) racing at the same time, and most people riding a mountain bike. Then all of a sudden in 2016, it just exploded in popularity and we get 150 riders at an average round, and tons of cross bikes. I’m proud though that we’ve kept the vibe of it relaxed, fun, and most of all very friendly.”
Greg was one of the main men behind the Speedshop SuperCross event. Think racing Cross under lights at the Claremont Showgrounds. One word….AWESOME! “In 2014, PMBC hosted a round of the National CX series. It was a lot of work complying with all the regulations and being very serious, but very rewarding to run such a big event. In 2015 we missed out, and so we thought we’d put the same amount of effort into a race that was everything we wanted it to be, not what we were told to have. This was the weekend after Cross-Vegas, and the idea was born.”
Cyclocross is for everyone that is wanting to try something different. Hit up WA Cyclcocross on Facebook for more information.