CX Comes to Adelaide

I have to say, if I’m not out riding a bike myself, I really don’t mind just kicking back and watching others do all the hard work on the bikes, and some of the local racing in Adelaide can be very entertaining, just a shame we don’t get more people out to support some of these events. Some of it is that in Adelaide, we are notoriously slow at taking on new ideas & challenges, and some of it may be that it gets marketed to a specific audience.

I was lucky that I had spotted this event on the Adelaide Cyclists site, (www.adelaidecyclists.com), and it sparked an interest. So after an extremely slow start of the day for me, no, not from a sleep in, I was just enjoying a really good stretching session, I decided I should head in to the City and have a bit of a look. So I grabbed the Schwinn and headed to the train station! Yep, I was feeling deadest lazy. Must have looked great, me sitting on the train proudly wearing my I Bike Adelaide cap and Chamois Butt’r t-shirt. 100% pro. But at least I wasn’t driving a car!

So being the stickler for details that I am, I checked on neither the start time of the race, nor the location. Well I knew it was starting in the morning, and it was being staged in the City, did I really need anything else? Apparently so. Relying entirely on my zen navigation skills, and the various trails I’ve ridden on, I immediately set off down the River Torrens Linear Park, heading to the Par 3 Golf Course. I don’t know, I’d seen some “single track” along here, and thought well that’s where it is.

So after reaching Port Rd and having only seen a few people on bikes, none of them racing, and none of them CX bikes, I came to the startling conclusion I had headed the wrong way. A quick call to Jim Woods had me sorted though, and heading to the diagonally opposite end of the City fringe. I never said my zen navigation was reliable, but it has often proved interesting!

So I’d seen CX on the occasional YouTube video, and of course you can’t help but hear about it on Twitter from some of the riders, and there had also been some chatter on the AC site about some of the training the riders had been doing. So I had a rough idea what it was going to be about, but nothing definite.

The course had been laid out in the South Parklands, and had a mixed terrain of grassed areas, a sand trap, some technical “s” bends, a mulched area they had to traverse, and a nice straight away on compacted dirt that let them pick up some real speed. They had also set up a couple of obligatory hurdles that apparently caught a few of the riders out! I saw one clip it as he jumped over, but he managed to regain his footing as he was running, and eventually remounted his bike.

This was an interesting style of racing, where in the technical areas the progress seemed to be slow, but necessarily so to navigate those areas without coming off. When they hit the hard stand areas though, is when they hit it with the pure speed. There was an interesting mix of bikes out there on the day, with some of the serious riders having full on CX bikes, others having serious MTB’s, ranging through to their road bikes with CX tyres, to even a few single speeds.

There are times when I am out there watching racing, and I get the momentary urges to start training again and get back in to it, but then I think of how much more I enjoy my social rides. The urges to race then pass, but there is still that tiny part of the brain that says to me, you know, I reckon you could take him on that section, or I reckon you could outsprint them in that category! The old Cat 6 racer rides again!

This is definitely though something that I really think I would like to have a crack at, and just might one day. I would just need to work out which bike to take, as the mtb which would be my first choice from the current stable, would be just a little too heavy to pick up & run with. I am thinking of building up a single speed or fixed gear bike from the Rainbow Wreck and the Hardwaste Malvern Star. I guess I could always set it up for CX, or just get some more wheels for the Felt, & use that. Ahh, the decisions!

I should say congratulations to Gemma Kernich and the Port Adelaide Cycling Club for staging such an awesome event, running it professionally, and increasing the range of cycling opportunities to the cyclists of Adelaide! They are a fantastic club, very friendly, and always welcoming of new members. If you’re interested in racing, I’d suggest you check them out! Port Adelaide Cycling Club

Gemma front & centre