Derek Bouchard-Hall Blog

October blog: Cross is here!
Post: Oct 19, 2016 by Kevin Loughery under category "default"
Cross is here!
Being a New Englander, I developed an affection for cyclocross back in the 90’s during the tail end of my professional racing career . While I primarily raced road and track, I took advantage of the strong regional cross scene in the winter and tried to keep up with legends like the McCormick brothers, Jonathan Page, Adam Myerson and Tim Johnson. (I failed.) Now that I’m back in the U.S. and living in Colorado – which has a strong cross culture – I’m looking forward to jumping in a few races this fall!
This year is a special one for cross in America, as we welcomed two UCI Cyclocross World Cups to U.S. soil at the start of the season. CrossVegas took over Las Vegas on Sept. 21, followed immediately by Jingle Cross on Sept. 24 in Iowa City. Not only did our American elite athletes excel with Katie Compton leading the way with a third and a victory in the two events, but we showed the world our unique brand of CX racing with great courses and enthusiastic crowds. Even the Belgians commented how exciting they found racing in America.
The ascent of cyclocross in America has been incredible the last few years. It is growing at the grass roots and continues to improve at the elite level. We are seeing more and more people take up the sport and new events are sprouting up all over the country— participation has grown 26% in the last two years and does not seem to be slowing.
So what makes cyclocross so appealing to so many? I believe it is a combination the sport itself, which distracts you from the suffering with its technical challenges, and its culture, which is welcoming and fun. The cross scene mixes up mountain bikers, roadies, gravel grinders, the fixie crowd and everyone in between. It is both serious and fun—business in the front and party in the back—that makes this a unique discipline of cycling loved by so many.
If you haven’t yet tried cyclocross, 2016 is your opportunity to get involved. You can use the mountain bike in your garage or borrow a cross bike from a friend. It’s a great way to stay fit throughout the winter and is one of the best social gatherings you’ll find in cycling! You can find a race or clinic near you by clicking here. And don’t worry about buying a 2016 license just for cross which would expire on Dec. 31 – we offer a 2016/17 membership that covers you for the rest of this year and all of next year!
Whether you’re out there to chase points, chase your friends or improve your skills (as I need to do), I highly encourage you to get out for this year’s cyclocross season—it’s some of the most fun you’ll ever have on a bike! As for me, I need a little help getting my cross bike sorted. My aluminum Fuji from 2001 is no longer race worthy. If you have any tips or suggestions on what I should build up, please let me know on Twitter at @DBouchardHall.
Ride often,