Quick Release: Cross Curious and Lycra.

Author: Cheri Felix

I decided to try something new. I decide to check out cyclocross. I’ve learned this fall that doing things I’m not good at can have one of two effects; one is that I make jokes the whole entire time to hide my shame and embarrassment or two, I turn into a quiet shy person. Only one of those is even remotely close to my real self.

My friend Anne emailed me and asked “Are you still cross curious? There’s a session with Kristin Weber if you are at all interested.” Kristin Weber is a Boulder Cycle Sport Cyclocross Ambassador. So I decided to do a session for cyclocross newbies. I asked around and borrowed a bike from a friend. I put my pedals on it and rode it around the block. I’d be lying if I wasn’t more than a little cross curious. I’d say on the continuum I was farther down the line than I was willing to admit. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was wearing lycra. I’m such a baggie wearing girl.

One of the women introduced herself by saying, “My name is so and so and my husband is convinced I’ll like cross.” My introduction was “My name is Cheri and my husband is AFRAID THAT I’LL LIKE CROSS.” I consciously told myself to take it all one step at a time. To not over think it. To not be either the joker or the shy girl. To just listen. And you know how sometimes when trying something new you might have the fantasy that resembles a Massengil commercial with you running through the grass and your coach is coming towards you smiling and telling you how amazing you are? Well, I did not have the fantasy.

Luckily I had a great coach. Kristin was fabulous. She took us step by step; the dismount, carrying, running over the cross propz, re-mounting, cornering and what it’s like to line up for a race. After all that and with the bruises already starting to form I could only think of one question. “Where do I sign up?” I am not surprised that I liked learning about cyclcross. I’m a mountain biker who likes to be physical and I’m not afraid of a little mud and snow. And I love to race. Even though I never win. Or come close to it. But I know that a two hour session learning about cyclocross is different than racing. I know it’s much harder. But I still want to try it.

I think I need to find a bike. I think I need to get some tights. And I think I need to run around with my bike on my shoulder. Now if I can just figure out how to use the brakes. Oh and maybe learn how to shift.

Quick Release is an almost weekly column by Cheri Felix. She writes about anything and almost everything. People ask her why she doesn’t pick one topic. Cheri thinks there’s too much good stuff out there to do that. You can follow her on Twitter @mtnbikechic

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