In cyclocross, bikers race through laps of rough terrain, steep hills, and obstacles in a timed event. Races generally last between 30-60 minutes depending on the course, and the season runs fall through winter (making weather a huge factor in the difficulty of the event…check out last winter’s post about some below zero action!). I think the sport started as a way for road racers to train in the off season, and has taken off in the US as an exciting and somehow extreme AND relaxed sport. I say that because the vibe is all-out athleticism combined with an air of casual fun. Some racers train intensely, while others are more laid-back in their approach.
Now that you’ve got the background…In the upcoming article for Metroparent Magazine (coming out in October), I mention attending a sport as a fun thing to do with your kids this fall. And this is our version. On a day with “scattered thunderstorms”, I packed up my four kids and headed to watch a Cyclocross bike race at The Rock in Franklin.
After cheering on my brother as he tagged off to his relay partner, we walked around the sports complex and course a little, watching the other racers and asking questions about why the bikers were going so fast and up hills and getting off their bikes. But mostly, we played with rocks.
And cheered on uncle Chris!
And found more rocks.
About half way through the race, the wind picked up. Like, really picked up.
And before we knew it, it was downpouring. We ran to our car and huddled inside and tried to dry off with a teeny tiny towel I just happen to have in my sweet ride. It’s times like this I’m glad we have a minivan to more or less play in while the weather sucks. I should mention that people KEPT RACING in this weather. Remember the hard-core parts I described above?
Though we didn’t tough it out to watch the rest of my brother’s race, we caught up with him afterwards. The kids yelled things like “good job!” and “I’m cold!” and “why is it so wet outside?” to him as we drove away (to Kopp’s, because my kids were champs and deserved some custard).
There are lots of free upcoming races that anyone is welcome to attend. Find a spot near some obstacles so you can see the racers either master or fail the hurdles, sand/mud pits, stairs, and wood chips. Because both falling and being extremely agile aren’t uncommon.
And if you’re looking for a few other ideas of things to do this fall, get your hands on Metroparent’s October issue to read my article. OR, tune in to The Morning Blend tomorrow morning at 9am to see me chat with the ladies about the article. Wish me luck, all!