Properly Preparing for the Impending Cyclocross Season

Don't let it pass you by.

Click here for the 2015 Schedule

The 2015 Arkansas Super-Prestige Cyclocross Series is about to get underway and it’s time to prepare yourselves. This is not just for those choosing to race but also for the spectators. Here is our list of things to be prepared for when attending a cyclocross event.

  1. Proper clothing – Fall in Arkansas can be confusing when it comes to dressing appropriately. Watch the weather and be prepared for warm, sunny days or cold rainy or snowing days. Either way, an umbrella is a good idea.
  2. Comfortable seating – Although there are rarely bleachers or stands to sit in at a cyclocross event, it is one of the best spectator sports on the planet. We recommend taking a camp chair and finding a favorite place on the course to cheer and jeer. You’ll only use the chair for sitting while waiting for the next race to start, otherwise, you’ll be on your feet making noise.
  3. Sustenance – Consider the event a great excuse for a picnic. Some people even bring small grills and meat products (I recommend pig flavored meats). Whatever beverage you choose, please remember that those are for internal consumption and not to be sprayed or thrown on racers, even your buddies. Also, please respect the rules of the host park. Many do not allow personal grills or alcohol, so check before heading to the race.
  4. Arrive alive – If at all possible, arrive early to get the lay of the land while racers are practicing. With all the tape and course markings all over the place, it can get confusing and you can accidentally find yourself in the middle of the course as a pack of racers approach. Try to restrict your movement around the course to in between races. Also, if you accidentally break some tape, fix it.
  5. Make some noise – Cyclocross has a long tradition of spectator involvement. As racers approach, encourage them along with whistles, clappers, shouts and of course….cowbells. If you are unsure of how to use the cowbell appropriately, here is the sheet music for one of the greatest cowbell pieces of all time. Practice Makes Perfect.Don't-Fear-the-Reaper---Cowbell
  6. Stick Around – Show your appreciation to the racers and race organizers by hanging around for the awards and volunteering to help clean up the course. Heck, this thing was free entertainment, so lend a hand.
  7. What the Heck am I writing about? – What?!? You don’t know what this cyclocross thing is?  Okay, it’s a short course race with a bike that looks kinda like a road racing bike but it’s not. Riders have to ride over things, under things and around things in the woods, through sand, through water, on pavement, in grass….Here, read this and all will be explained.

So you think you’d like to race…

I’ll admit, I actually know more about watching cyclocross races than competing in them, despite this. But there are some great resources out there for learning more about the sport. Here are a few videos that may help.

There are also two practice series going on right now:

  • Micro CX – A Thursday night, weekly practice session in Fayetteville.
  • Skills & Drills – A Wednesday night, weekly practice session in Little Rock.

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