March 19, 2016 2 min read
Cyclocross has always been a mysterious beast to many, an odd cousin somewhere between the pristine haircuts and suffering of road cycling and mountain biking's obsession with spraying mud everywhere. It's simultaneously touted as a fun, approachable way to get into racing bicycles and a gruelling slog through ankle deep mud for an hour - at least, it is in Europe.
The Port Adelaide Cycling Club run both Winter and Summer seasons in the Adelaide parklands, and with 'cross being generally a Winter sport, the Summer season is by definition less serious and a little simpler to be introduced to - there are less obstacles, more traction, and the races are about half the length.
Here at Treadly we've always loved the Winter racing, and with Hamish the proud new owner of his custom-painted Rogers Bespoke 'cross bike it seemed high time for us to dive headfirst into the world of CX. Conversations over espresso and convincing on Lazy Wednesdays led to the formation of what we now know as #teamtreadlyteam, a ragtag bunch more concerned with yelling encouragement than winning places, who race hard not in order to beat the competition but to earn the post-race pizza.
We had a couple of skills sessions, practicing tight corners on gravel and the steep pinches around the parklands we knew had been in the races before, and before we knew it the racing was upon us. We brought 6 women and 4 men into the first few races of the season while Hugh was out with a broken neck and Adam had travel commitments, but by the end of the season we were fielding 12 riders in 4 grades: Seal and Max in A Women and A Men respectively, Becca, Lana, Camille, Bethany and Fiona in B Women and Harry, Adam, Hugh, Paul and myself in B Men.
With some 150+ riders racing each fortnight (including around 40 women across the two grades) we did well to improve throughout the season and by the end of it had 3 race wins and a fistful of top-ten finishes chalked up across the grades.
The winter season promises to be harder and more competitive than the Summer season just gone, but I'm confident that we can continue our good form with more great results!
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