Ladies got a chance to practice their skills in a fun, casual environment at the first women's cyclocross clinic.

Consider a clinic to prep for the season! © Cyclocross Magazine

by Jacob Fetty

If ’cross is your primary partner, what should you be doing over the coming weeks to insure that you are giving the relationship your best once ’cross Season starts?

There are four simple things that you can do to show ’cross your love and affection.

See a Counselor

Find a ’cross camp that best suits the area needing the most attention. In previous articles, we have addressed how clinics/camps can assist in improving your skill set. Plus, these camps tend to be a great deal of fun and remind us what it is that we love about our partner, ’cross. Camps are a prefect kick off to a successful ’cross campaign as they are the perfect honest evaluation of what you need to work on with your relationship with ’cross.

Prep for a Date

Often, ’cross season sneaks up on us and catches us unprepared. We tend to do a pretty good job of being emotionally available, i.e. training, but we let our appearance go (we don’t properly prep our rigs). Now is a great opportunity to get your ’cross bike out and start showering him/her with love an affection. Keep in mind that once you start training for ’cross you need to exclusively be dating your ’cross rig.  So, start out casual, put your best foot forward and prepare to be exclusive.

Go on a Date

As you start to date your ’cross bike more, you can use these casual outings to dial in your position, practice smooth transitions and fall in love all over again. Take your ’cross bike for a long outing in the woods. Gently replace your endurance and recovery rides with more time on your ’cross bike. Riding your ’cross bike on “fun” rides is a nice way to trick yourself into improving your skills. Now is the time to establish a proper relationship foundation with your ’cross bike before you become exclusive.

Get Hot-n-Heavy

Now that you are exclusive with ’cross, it is time to make riding this wonderful rig your one and only two-wheel partner.  At this point you are certainly at or past the third date and it is time to turn up affection and desire by the introduction of variable paced workouts aimed at improving your upper-end power. As you phase into higher intensity workouts/dates with cross, you need to focus on making these efforts cross specific. Examples are, riding into an uphill transition, shouldering your rig up the hill, climbing back on and sprinting out of the transition. Or, practice starts. Along these same lines, you should be doing transitions with the goal of being smooth and adding more and more speed as your smoothness allows.

By incorporating these four relationship building (and saving) points into your love life with ’cross, you will insure that your courtship with cyclocross is meaningful, long-lasting and pleasurable.