SoCalCross always seems to be in your head as once you catch cyclocross fever, there is no cure.
Basically, cross season is either coming or is here.
The good thing is whether you’re highly-skilled or ride infrequently, there’s something there for everyone.
Riding through a obstacle course is tiring, but the fun really outweighs that nuisance.
I’ve been racing for about five years and a lot of what I’ve learned is just from pure trial and error.
Somehow, last year at SoCalCross, I won my division even as people would heckle for my poor remounting technique(rightfully so).
I know I have some of the skills to compete in the level above, but that I am lacking in some of the technical aspects of cyclocross.
The main reason I checked out Eric Takayama’s clinic out in Westlake Village was to film this piece, but I also hoped to learn a little to give me confidence to move up divisions.
This clinic focused on turning which may sound straightforward, but Eric has a wealth of knowledge and there’s a lot more to it when put into practice.
Not only are you trying to get through quickly, but also in a manner that blocks your opponent from passing.
I ultimately decided to watch and was gripped in seeing how much the riders improved while getting feedback.
Watching them practice, I could see the rider’s small openings giving Eric just enough of a window to pass, but with his notes, you could see those holes close up later in the clinic.
I wish I could have come the following week, because he was teaching about the start of the race, something I’ve failed miserably at.
Eric said half the race is how you place that first two minutes and seeing how every race I’ve done is about fighting my way back, I can’t argue the point.
Bottom line, cyclocross is fun not just from the dynamics of the sport itself, but it puts you in a position where you learn to improve your skills whether you know you’re doing it or not.
If you live in Southern California and have any inkling to ride, come try SoCalCross as it’s a real experience.