Ashton Court is the official home of mud. Even if you dont go there you can see the people returning, get a feel for conditions, just by looking at mountain bikers on their way home.
Its disappointing, therefore, that Sunday's cyclocross race seemed to choose a mud-free route.
Down the "non-technical" side of the woods, a bit of a zigzag in the trees, then uphill
While not dry, it isn't mud. Not like 50 acre wood or even the entrance to Ashton Court itself. And as for Leigh Woods, well, that's something to fear.
While its more fun than, say, a sunday morning road ride out in that biting wind, it's not really Cyclocross. Here, for reference, is a video from a recent event in Oregon, a video by my friend John "Mud Bath" Wilson, someone who has the luxury of a hot water tap in his back garden so he can hose himself and his bike down after such events, all in one go.
That's what cyclocross is about. Watching grown men wallow in mud. Perhaps at the next event on the schedule things will be better.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
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Cyclocross looks brilliant but I've never done it. I have a racer (obv no good) and a reasonably sturdy hybrid (Specialized; about £350; about 5 years old) with fairly smooth tyres (I use it for commuting). I'm not going to buy a third bike. Could I do it with said hybrid? Would I need to buy some knobbly tyres? I'm free on the 21st and might be keen to do that Hanham one.
Any bike with mud-ready tyres could do. For the real CX racing bikes they have cantilever brakes, 700x32 knobbler tyres and double -not triple -rings. They also wear shoes you can get off and run in, while carrying a bike
A lot of people in the race had mountain bikes with MTB tyres. These can be faster on the downhill, but not so nippy uphill.
A hybrid would give you better control than drop bars, and with tyres that you are happy with on dirt tracks/mud, then you should have excellent fun!
I presume that the link you put in a few entries back (http://www.bristol-cycling.com/section.php?xSec=210) is the best place to find out further info. Would you have any further advice on which of the remaining events in this season are good for a total amateur?
That link is valid -you can email the people to get more info -they might recommend some good tyres too. Take any mudguards off (they'll block up) and do a training ride round somewhere like ashton court for practise.
The other thing to note was that it was very cold before the race. Bring a warm layer to wear before the race begins
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