I rode cyclocross races in 2022 but they didn’t feel like cyclocross. They aren’t muddy and cold1. Part of that was due to the boiling frog that we are as a planet but part of that is due to living in Edmonton, where we don’t really get shoulder seasons. The abrupt floompf of winter that happened on November 2 starts fatbike season, not a time for racing in mud, like in Europe (or even Victoria, which is where the Canadian nationals are going to be happening in November).

When I entered my first cyclocross race in 2019, my partner and I were surprised at how sedate it was. Not the race itself, which I finished somewhere in the middle of2 but the cheering. We’d somehow imbibed the notion that cyclocross races are loud and crazy with people banging cowbells all the livelong day. So we brought noisemakers for our toddler but it was a lot more spread out and low key than the internet might have had you believe. Biking around the course looking for my partner and kid afterwards I hit a pothole and whacked my shin on my pedal, leaving a scar I still have.

But that was a lone race. I had enjoyed it but when I was thinking I’d do more the next year, COVID-19 hit and everything went to hell. So come 2022 I was ready to try again.

I bought a Citizen Racing License (good for Alberta only) and determined to enter three races to make it worth while (you can do 2 races on Single Event Licenses here which would have been cheaper). And I did enter these races. And it was fun.

Before the cyclocross season I entered the Alex Stieda Classic which was less of my thing. I mean, I enjoyed the ride but coming in last with a knee that felt like it was dying wasn’t my favourite. Cyclocross is short and doesn’t involve a long limp home if my body failed me.

As far as a season goes I didn’t do a long one. One race per local weekend. It worked out to 4 with Tubs on Tubs, the Jim Horner Grand Prix, Devon Puncheur Cross and Zombie Baby Walter Cross.

  1. There’s a whole thing in ‘cross about “real cyclocross weather.” You can buy a shirt ↩︎

  2. he says, knowing full well it was 16/32, see Tubs on Tubs SuperDuperPrestige Part II - Novice Men Results or crossresults ↩︎