Saturday, October 20, 2007

Actual 'Cross advice.

So the web/blog address is, and it was created, I'll shamelessly admit, to create some traffic and therefore 'cross book sales, but also to expand on any of the subjects covered in the book if any readers wanted more information; or as we call it in the heady world of book writing, "advice"!

Now I do appreciate that the actual amount of advice in the first few posts I have made since VeloPress created the blogsite for me, has been limited. More of an opportunity for me to scribble a few lines about anything 'cross related at the time really, and to be honest I'm not really into offering advice where its not needed, soooo.....

Ask some questions. Give me some ideas. Is there anything in the book that doesn't make sense or you want extra information about? Did you race at the weekend and can't figure a part of the whole experience out? Did you watch a vid of a race and are confused at to what went on? If you didn't read the book yet, not a problem... ask away and I'll do my best to "do exactly what it says on the tin" and give some 'cross advice.

And if I don't get any takers for the advice then I'll just happily carry on writing about anything 'cross from my perspective until I realise that no-one is reading it and spend the time doing something a lot more constructive instead, like riding my bike!


Brooke Hoyer said...

I'm reading, at least. And I bet you can check your web traffic to see how many hits your getting.

Anyway, I really like your take on races and riders. The Cross Vegas piece was a real fun read and I thought the Wickes observation at the end was pithy -- just what I was thinking.

Here's a suggestion for you though ... come on over to the US for a Cross Crusade (Portland, OR series) event and take a close look at the lower category races. Then come up with a top ten list of suggestions they could use to get better.

About Simon said...

thanks for the post!
My flight is booked to come over for the Portland Supercross weekend so you are on; a top ten list will follow on my return!


I just discovered your blog today; am posting it on my blog and sending to my CX friends.

Just got my CX bike built/delivered yesterday, and am attempting my first "race" Sunday! Will definitely have questions after that!

About Simon said...

Well if you are a Velo Bella Girl I'm sure the bike is just right! Good luck with the race and ask away anytime if you have any questions.
Thanks for passing the blog info onto your friends.

John said...

Great blog so far, and great idea for questions...

I'm currently trying to figure out pacing. My starts are pretty good, and I can usually get into a reasonable position, but then seem to fade as the effort takes its toll. On guy tells me he just "rides like the boogey man is on his tail" for the whole race.... I've also heard of the 1/3 hard, 1/3 recovery (of sorts) then ramp back up... but how do you actually do that when you're alone and running after the guy up the course, and away from the guy behind?


About Simon said...

thanks for the question; 'cross is short enough that you can do as your colleague tells you and go full-gas for the duration of the race. Its not like a 2hr mountain bike race where pacing is critical. As soon as you have made your initial start effort and got into position, usually within the first half-lap when it settles down, then its a case of riding at your threshold for the rest of the race. The perceived effort will never alter, you have to try as hard as you can, maximum effort every second of the way. What will alter is the result of this max effort, and this will be dependant on your training and stage of fitness. If you are not in good shape then your speed will fade as the race progresses, once you are fitter you will ride the 40 or 50 minutes at the same speed, but the effort should never change, and I wouldn't consider the 1/3 hard, 1/3 recovery idea that effective. Just sounds like an excuse to have a rest during the race!

erikv said...

Simon! I just found your blog, and this is great stuff. I've had your book for ages.

I have a lot of trouble with 180 degree turns, usually with little room to maneuver left/right.

Seems if I don't turn enough, I have to put a foot down, lift the front wheel, and scoot it over. If I turn too much, my front wheel either slides out, or catches and turns 90 degrees.

Any advice for 180s?

About Simon said...

Yeah, nasty aren't they? I can't do 'em either, but I blame a high centre of gravity!
First off, examine the "room to manouver" issue; try and reduce the 180 as much as you can by buzzing the tapes on the outside on the way in, and the same on the way out of the corner; the issue here is usually grip as you need to ride off the slippery line to get grip to corner on.
Focus eyes on the exit of the corner and think about body position; a lot of riders move their head and shoulders but not their body and bike, although they think they are.
And practice... its an easy skill to mark out in the park to do drills and try different lines to see what works, ideally with someone watching and offering feedback. And don't be afraid to steam into the 180 fast, stick a foot out to dab and have as a security blanket if you do slide out, and clip back in on the exit. Or jump off and run round a particularly tight one, which is suprisingly fast, or check out the picture on page 83 and give that a go!

erikv said...

Thanks for the advice. I'm having trouble finding my book, but I'm give page 83 a look when I locate it! Is that page 83 in the older version, too? That's what I've got...even wrote a review last year!

About Simon said...

No the old version is so 1996, and 180's weren't popular then! Page 83 in the new one; page 83 in the old one refers to pressure washers..
Thanks, I'll check out the review.

erikv said...

Okay, thanks. Keep in mind I wrote that review in response to all the complaints about outdated equipment. The new book wasn't out yet ;)

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