cross training has begun. or rather, training for cross has begun. what is cross? you ask, my faithful running friends who still stop by to see what this former marathoner is up to? maybe this will help explain:
here's the crazy thing: in cross, you are riding your bike, happy as a clam, (ok. i have never raced cross and from what i understand, maybe you aren't as happy as a clam, but stay with me here) and then - omg. there is a barrier. (a.k.a. something way too friggin' high to ride your bike over) and it is put there on purpose (its part of the gig) so you have to get off your bike whileitisrollingpickitupandrunoversaidbarrierplacedinyourwaythengetbackonyourbikewhileitisstillrolling. and there are a bunch of these barriers (not to mention sand pits, tight turns, mud bogs, all manner of crazy shit that should not really be on a race course) all over the place - some are manmade, and some are natural barriers. so you do this obstacle course over. and over. and over again. lap. after. lap. after. lap.
so it goes like this: ride your bike. keep riding. keep riding. now while still rolling clip your right foot out bring it back behind you over the seat so that now both feet are on left side of bike and bring your right foot forward between your left foot and the bike so it's in front and your left foot is still clipped in and you are still rolling now put your right hand on the top tube to take some of the pressure off your foot especially if in eggbeaters then automagically your left foot hopefully comes out of the clip if not you're going down if you dont fall then pick your bike up and run over the barrier with it then as you are still running or at the very least a slightly fast canter of a walk if you are a newbie throw your right leg over the seat aiming for the thigh so as not to maim your va-jay-jay and balance ever so carefully on the edge of your seat while you hope your bike still rolls forward and get your shoes onto the pedals while you are still moving forward and clip in. ride your bike. keep riding. keep riding. repeat.
i wont even go into hole shots (which after mounts & dismounts is number two on the list of things that scare the shit out of me in cross), sand pits, mud, or tight turns just yet.
tonight was our teams' first skills and drills night on the cross course. i am happy to say that i can actually dismount without crashing and can remount (although not quite while running, its' more of a semi-fast canter of a slightly faster than a walk thing i got going on) also without crashing. i'm not saying i didn't crash tonight. because i crashed quite a few times; and got stuck in my pedal a bunch of times and i am pretty sure i almost took out about 3 guys going into a shit tight turn on the first obstacle; but all that said - much of the fear that exists for me in road riding (the higher speeds and the asphalt) are absent in cyclocross. the speeds are slower, and its likely that when ( i don't say 'if', because i WILL crash) i crash, the surface hopefully is more forgiving. i will be sure to link to this statement when i post about my first real crash - we'll see how forgiving it is.
my husband thinks 'cross will be the key for me in getting my handling skills for road racing and riding in gear. all i can say after my very first official training cross night is that it was an absolute blast. this is gonna be fun.