Friday, September 15, 2006

cross clinic questions

So I've been teaching these cross clinics out at Alpenrose for a few years now. There's a lot of beginners out there, a lot of them have never raced cross or raced bikes at all. I thought I'd post some of the more common questions that I get and some of the answers. Hopefully this will be helpful even to the more experienced riders out there. If anybody has anymore questions feel free to ask them in the comments section, and I'll do my best to answer them.

1. How do you dismount?
Swing your right leg over your rear wheel. Some people like to put their right leg between the frame and their left leg, then unclip their left leg. This allows you to start off with a full running step. I just swing my right leg over the wheel and kind of use the momentum to unclip my left foot. This means you start out with a "half step" be careful. Practice it so you get your timing down so you don't have to slow too much going into a barrier.

2. How do you remount?
The best way to practice is to start slow. Take long, walking strides next to the bike, then swing your right leg over and "walk" onto the bike seat. You shouldn't have any stutter step when you're walking, and as you get faster and faster make sure the stutter step doesn't make an appearance. Otherwise, go back to practicing slowly. You don't so much jump onto the bike (this can be dangerous, for obvious reasons). Instead, when you're going fast, imagine how it feels when you're practicing slowly. There's not a violent impact between you and the seat. That's how it should feel when you're going fast, too.

3. What's a good training plan?
Well, there's a few schools of thought. You can do like Tonkin does and ride your bike as much as humanly possible. I'm talking every waking hour when you're not at work. This works well if you work 60 hrs/week like he does, but plan on giving up a social life. It does help if you eat butter.

I try to ride less, but skip the butter. My goal is to ride as little as possible but still be able to win races. You'll have to experiment a little, because that amount of riding varies from person to person. I've pretty much settled in on commuting to and from work.

4. What should I eat before/during/after a race?
Well, cross races are so short, especially for the beginner categories, that there's not much use taking food or drink with you. That's why prerace nutrition is so important. Here's what I do: warmup well, and during the 30 minutes up to the race I like to have a quad-espresso, a coke, and 2 or 3 gels. After the race, I like to have a nice burger from burgerville. I might have a burrito and a snickers bar after that. On non race-days, I like to eat anything that gets in my way. Don't forget to drink water!

5. How can I/how did you get on Team Vanilla?
It helps if you need a couple bikes. Plan on looking good in baby blue. Do you have a long sleeve skinsuit? I didn't have one, and Sacha had some, so I think that's why I got on the team.

6. Are tubies really worth the hassle?
Well, I'd say that for some courses absolutely, and dry fast courses not as much, but keep in mind that you can get the most performance advantage out of a set of carbon wheels AND tubulars. Make sure you get a set for you backup bike, too. Last year I only had one set, then a set of clinchers on my B bike, but it looks like this year both my A and B bikes will have carbon tubies, and the clinchers will be relegated to my C bike.

7. How do I get really fast? I mean REALLY fast?
I can't give away all my secrets, but it does help to have prior experience at the elite level in other sports. Try this: get really good at snowboarding, then really fast at mtn. biking, then really fast at road racing, then try your first cross race. If you're like me, that will lead to a 7th place finish at your first cross crusade in the A category. From there, once you improve your skills a little and get comfortable in the races, the wins are right around the corner!

Ok, hope this helped.

Peace out.


"I like to have a quad-espresso,"

Before the first race I did with Mr.TooVanillaForMe as a teammate, he swirled some black ooze around in a little glass baby food jar.

"What is that stuff?"





Sweetness. I shall print this out and hand it to all the local aspiring cross racers.

Tell Jeremiah Swanson johnson I said hello
I'm on it.
how you you last so long in the sack?
What about cross bike #4?

Will it have carbon fiber derailleur pulley bearings? What about sparkle bar tape wrap?

And what's with grifo 32's being 470 grams while tufo flexus 32's are only 310 grams. Why go grifo then? Shit, the grifo's are heavier than stans'ed up michi muds!

Also, where the heck is Hulick???
I'm here Huckleberry.
i tried a quad before a 'cross race recently. that worked ok, but to be honest i felt much better at the next race after downing a PBR 15 mins before the start.
Yeah, but Shannon is smart enough not to risk elevated testosterone levels by drinking a beer...

Stick with qwai. I mean qwad.
i still wan tto know the awnswer to my question. maybe hulick knows...

no mention of Kozy Shack?


ain't that the secret to being fast?

is it supposed to be eaten the night before or the day of?

go over that again...

and so what? you too sissy to try out Providence this year again? Ya think Kansas City will be a warmer venue in the middle of December?
Here's the plug for the Kozy Shack. Check it out it made the NY TIMES Yesterday.


Ingredients: milk, rice, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt. Rice pudding, like baked beans, has slipped out of the culinary spotlight, but this version makes up in flavor what it lacks in glamour
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?