Crash and Gamble by Brooke Lyman


In the early 1900s, when the European training routes iced over, a group of road cyclist challenged each other to stay fit by racing to the next town, but through the fields, over the fences, and across the iced-over streams. Over a century later, this sport is known world-wide as cyclocross. There are local races, national championships, and world championships, each course featuring different challenges, terrain, and conditions. They can consist of a combination of gravel, sand, grass, mud, and dirt, and every course has obstacles that 99% of individuals cannot ride and must dismount to run through instead. If you can ride it, you are allowed to do so, but for most individuals, certain obstacles pose such great a risk for costly crashes, that it is simply not worth it. The obstacles can consist of barriers (vertical wooden boards about two feet tall), stairs, a very steep, loose hill that is not ridable (called a run-up), or sand pits. Essentially, cyclocross is the obstacle racing of the bike world, where crashing is simply part of the sport. Continue reading