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New cleats, new studs, wind shifted just in time to blow from the north bringing clear skies and a proper chill air of autumn. The first cyclo-cross race of my season tomorrow, bottle-cage and saddle-bag removed from the bike, legs shaved. Cowbells found.

Genuinely excited, slightly scared and gently embrocated.
 

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

8 comments

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daveherb13 [41 posts] 6 years ago
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Where do you race - around Bristol/Bath area ? Was thinking about trying cross racing but seems very serious round here unlike London/SE which looks more "fun". Also my cross bike is a heap (but works ok) - worried I would be laughed at!

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mooseman [87 posts] 6 years ago
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Dave,

Jo(usually) races a bit more SEish. He pops over now and again to grind me into the Cotswold dirt  7

I ride the Western League - Bristol/Glos (don't think there are any Bath rounds this season)and it's as serious as you want it to be.

Sure there are lots of bling bikes and riders with attitude (some who can carry it off and some who have plainly confused ability with ambition) but generally I find it a good crowd.

Like that Armstrong fella said, it's not about the bike, you don't need to have the latest kit, just good legs and lungs.
Turn up and have a go, that's the way to make up your mind.
It's Stroud this weekend coming - a fun course.

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dave atkinson [6297 posts] 6 years ago
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stroud's gotta be more fun than Purdown was :-S

wouldn't worry about your bike, yesterday there was everything from hybrids and mtbs to bling titanium and carbon. i rode my kinesis hardtail with speedcitys on it, no one seemed to mind  1

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VecchioJo [402 posts] 6 years ago
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hullo daveherb13,
as mentioned i race mostly around the south-east as i'm based in Brighton, driving any distance for a hour's race doesn't seem to make much sense

i'd say that 'cross racing is the easiest and most friendly way to get into any kind of cycle racing whatever part of the country you're in, it may seem daunting and there will always be 'serious' types hanging around, but everyone's always really helpful and friendly and it doesn't matter if you're not in the top 10, you'll always end up racing someone, they might be on a bike that's worth ten times more than yours, or on an old 50's tourer, it makes no difference, you'll still share a cup of tea with them at the finish talking about 'your' race

for what it's worth, in the race above i ended up battling the whole hour with a friend who had never done a CX race before on a bike he picked up two days previously (the Kinesis FiveT we tested here actually), beat someone who i used get hammered by and got beaten by someone else who i usually can just about stay ahead of, we all had a good laugh about it at the end

it hurt as much as usual  1

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mooseman [87 posts] 6 years ago
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Purdown not good then Dave?

I was oop North, getting my ass handed to me by the Lincs League regulars at RAF Cranwell.

Proper filthy fun!

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dave atkinson [6297 posts] 6 years ago
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If you know Purdown you'll know the climb at the start of the lap, and what it would be like after, say, an inch of rain overnight  22

It was fun. i finished in my usual position of somewhere nearer the back than the front, but I did beat the bloke on the green bike who i was battling with for five of my eight laps  1

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mooseman [87 posts] 6 years ago
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@Dave A - yep, I know what you mean, ideal for mud wrestling, no so good for bike riding.

Hey ho - MetCheck says sunshine for this coming Sunday.

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Skardy [89 posts] 6 years ago
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Dave - I have only just started cyclo cross and am a complete novice when it comes to racing. I rode Stroud at the weekend and finished near the back but it was very friendly and a real mix of abilities. Although it hurt I will be back for more.

Apparently Hengrove this weekend is a far flatter course than Stroud or Purdown. Worth a go I reckon.