In Louisville every Wednesday in the fall a group of like minded cyclist gather for cross practice. Seven years ago, these practices are what got me started in cycling. I rode a few rides with Bobrow and his disciples many summers ago when all of a sudden they started riding these road bikes with knobby tires and funny looking brakes. Cross bikes, that is. Next thing I know they are careening across the grass at Seneca Park.
As a professional “trained observer”, I start studying about cross and soon I am off to the bike store to get me a low end Cannondale CX bike. Staci is saying “another bike.” I’m responding: these guys in the park said I needed a cx bike. Here is me many years ago on the Cannondale. Note how hard I am going and the others are grinning…
I won my first CX race. It was a C race. The third place guy had a basket on his bike. After that, I was hooked.
Back then, we had a handful (less than 10) hard core fanactics who would race around Seneca Park in the dark. I would get repeatedly dropped.
Present day Wed night cross has exploded. There are huge turn-outs. Ages range from 7 to 60. The Redzone cycling kids are out in full force. There are women, families and spectators. Yes, spectators–how cool is that. There are national champions and first timers.
For those not there. The format includes an entire group warm-up. That’s 50 plus people riding cx bikes on dirt, through sand, over barriers and upstairs. We then break down into groups: Super fast, really fast and fast. Like life, these days we are politically correct and do NOT call them A,B and C groups. Tonight we had a blazing fast group (AKA A+ group) that a few ventured into. Not me.
“Hot Laps” are about 20 min which is 3 times around the abandoned golf course. Three times per lap and 9 per hot lap we jump on and off the bike at speed. The sensations of tension in the legs and back muscles when pedaling hard, the focus of trying to smoothly jump barriers and run steps and the eye popping fear of taking a corner too fast is hard to top. Doing this with family and good buds is even better. Really good peoples!
Here’s hoping for a good season of riding a bike fast in dirt with my buds. No golf or collared shirts for me.
Come on down and check it out. Bring your kids Friday at 6 for Kids Cx.