Chris Tries a New Sport

Just kidding, it’s still biking; it’s just a new form of his favorite activity. As I’ve learned over these past six years, anytime there is a new form of biking, a new type of bike must be purchased.  Accordingly, Chris bought a cyclocross bicycle from his friend, Andy, a few months ago.

Photo I found online of Andy during the race.
Photo of Andy during the race, thanks J.Bressem!

“What is cyclocross?” you might ask, as I did (several times, because sometimes I forget to pay attention to the answer and struggle to remember the little differences between each type of biking… Chris gladly explains these differences each time, with much enthusiasm).  This is what I’ve gathered: there is a track that is about two miles long. This track is either on grass or dirt and is marked off by caution tape and wooden stakes. On this track are obstacles, such as big rocks or piles of dirt. You have to either tackle these from the seat of your bicycle, or, more likely, smoothly dismount and pick up your bike and run over or around them, and then get back on your bike and keep going. You and a bajillion other racers go around the track as many times as you can in forty minutes.

“How do you win?” you might ask, and this part really confused me, so listen up: everyone starts in a massive group and fights for a spot as they enter the narrow track. The people running the race record how long it takes the leader to do a first lap, and then, based on that time, calculate how many laps they think can be done in forty minutes. So, if you’re riding, you don’t really know how many laps you’re going to have to do; if it’s getting close to forty minutes, though, chances are, you’re on your last lap. So to win, you just have to cross the finish line on that last lap before everyone else.

Chris’ first race was CompEdge Cross @ Blunt Park. Andy, the friend who sold him the bike, raced with him. He did three warm-up laps and practiced his dismounts for the obstacles.

I saw him off to the start line, where he joined the mass of other racers. The race started, and they were off. He did a great job, and I saw him do some really tricky passes that I most likely wouldn’t have been brave enough to do. Each time he passed me, I cheered him on and hollered, “Only {insert number} racers between you and Andy!” He didn’t catch up to Andy, but he finished 23rd of 55 racers, with a time of 38 minutes and 5 seconds.

Photo of Chris & Andy after the race.

Now, he’s trying to convince me to get a cyclocross bike!

Andy’s Strava post:   

Great job, Chris!


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