It is August and ‘Cross is Coming1. I’m getting excited because cyclocross2 is for whatever reason my favourite kind of bike racing.

I say “for whatever reason” because it doesn’t seem intuitive to me that this would be my favourite. I’m not a big powerful rider pushing massive watts. I fall over a lot riding around on rough terrain. I don’t like being cold and wet.

But yet, when I did my first cyclocross race I enjoyed it. I came back last year to do more. And even though I’m in the slowest category racing against kids and old guys, I really like it. I feel exhausted at the end of a race but I want to do it again.

It probably helps that we’ve had warm autumns since I started trying this out, so I haven’t been doing the bitter shivering or sliding down icy off-cambers.

In the offseason I started compiling the Alberta Cyclo-cross Cup race results into a spreadsheet to get a better sense of who the racers are. Like, in 2022 I had a nemesis in the races. How did he do in the races I didn’t enter? Getting all the data in one place seemed useful. So I built a Google Sheet. And then I learned about and revamped my results to get them into a place for the wider North American scene (which also does fancier things than my little csv could handle).

The other thing I’m trying to do this year is become a bit more social in the bike world. I’m in a cycling club now so I will have people wearing the same shirt as me at races. CX is supposed to be a social kind of experience3. In Belgium they cheer and crowd in for races and drink loads of beer and make lots of noise. Edmonton (and Devon) is the only place I’ve raced and Central Alberta’s a lot more sedate. But there is a facebook group where people discuss things like local tire pressure and going to Nationals and the like.

In any case, I’ve signed up for my first race weekend of 2023 (Tubs on Tubs Supercalifragiliciousxpialidocius Prestige & Velocity CX) and am getting antsy waiting for it all to begin.

  1. I wonder, did the “Cross is Coming” meme originate with Game of Thrones’ HBO popularity? I assume so and am not checking. ↩︎

  2. Usually I’ll be typing “cyclocross” or “CX” but “cyclo-cross” is also a legitimate spelling out there. See more on my cx page. ↩︎

  3. The whole fact that it happens in a limited area makes it easier to watch laps of. My kid can come to a ‘cross race and see me every 9 or 10 minutes as I come around a lap, rather than needing to just hang around and wait near a finish line for hours. ↩︎