Keep Gloucester running strong © Todd Prekaski

The Gloucester race in New England is a classic, but ’cross races can happen anywhere.  © Todd Prekaski

If you take a look at Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012/2013 cyclocross race calendar, you can see that nearly every state hosted a cyclocross race. What does this mean? It means that with a bit of planning and commitment, anyone anywhere can jump into a race.

Those who have previously entered road and mountain bike races know that we sometimes sacrifice half a day in driving time for a race that can last only an hour or two. We’ve had our share of three or four hour drives out and back. Luckily, a ’cross race doesn’t need to be held in the high mountains, nor on empty farm roads in the middle of nowhere, and so often cyclocross races are a much closer drive. City parks, school fields, your neighbor’s backyard … The possibilities are endless!

Glance over last year’s race calendar, and see what’s close. You may be surprised at just how many races are within an hour from a big city. Of course, sometimes taking a road trip to a completely different place is just as rewarding.

Main spots for ’cross in the US include New England and the Northwest, but it’s growing everywhere! Michigan has a burgeoning scene, as does Texas. The Midwest hosted Nationals, and Georgia is on the map. Even Florida has cyclocross, as does Los Angeles. Kentucky hosted Worlds, the Mid-Atlantic is giving New England a run for its money, and Colorado hosted 2014 Nationals. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a ’cross race these days in the US, and it’s growing world-wide as well. Heading to Australia? Yep, they’ve got it. China? The first UCI race was in September, and Japan has had one for two years now. Europe is where the motherland of cyclocross is, in Belgium, but it’s also in England, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and the list goes on.

Get schooled in cyclocross with our Cyclocross Academy class list here, and make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine, your guide for getting into the sport, and upping your ’cross knowledge. Not subscribed yet? For the newbies, our Issue 21 has a great feature on buying your first cyclocross bike, and Issue 22 has a story on how to get into racing and what to expect at your first race.

Thanks to Mathew Shimoko for leading our FAQs effort.