DCMTB-City Bikes 4th and Final Cyclocross Clinic in September
Last night DCMTB-City Bikes hosted its 4th and Final cyclocross clinic in September at Fort Reno Park in Northwest Washington DC. The weather felt like cyclocross as this was the first Wednesday of fall. The numbers were consistent with the previous weeks... a consistent discrepancy. It appeared that there were between 25-35 people including 8 or 10 DCMTB team members, but the actual numbers are unknown to me.
This week's clinic was lead by Rob Campbell of NCVC and Marjan Huizing of Team Kenda. After Rob and Marjan gave instruction on mount/dismount and the proper approach to the barriers everyone worked on the barriers as a group then the participants at the clinic split into three groups. An advanced group left off with Marc Gwadz and Chris Clarke to work on things at speed while two lesser groups split off with Rob Campbell or Marjan Huizing. It seems that the woman participants prefer a female instructor, this is somewhat evident in the number of female participants on the weeks that we had a woman instructor. So the majority of the women split off with Marjan and the intermediate male group followed the instruction of Rob Campbell.
As I was not following the groups of Marc Gwadz or Marjan Huizing I can not review the skills that were reviewed by these groups. My time was spent working with the Campbell group. Rob Cambell's group worked on three basic skills. The Rob Campbell group worked on FAST STARTS, SHORT STEEP HILLS CLIMBS, and OFF CAMBER DOWNHILL TURNS. Practice, practice, practice... it makes sense to break the cyclocross course down into a bunch of individual skills. Practicing the start is a skill just like any of the other skills and proved to be well worth practicing. While the short steep climbs showed that each person as an individual needs to practice how they will approach the obstacle. Some people tried to ride all the way up the hills, others rolled as far up the hills then dismount and run, while some including myself opted to dismount at the base of the hill and start the running there. The short tight off camber downhill turns again proved to be an important task to approach. So much about cross is about maintaining speed. It is easier to use the speed you have than to have to regain speed. This drill offered a chance for the participants to gain more skill and confidence making tight corners at speed.
The separate groups then rejoined for some post clinic socializing as well as some more barrier work outs.
The Cyclocross Clinics at Fort Reno Park were a success!
The cross clinics hosted by DCMTB-City Bikes served their purpose well. There was a wide variety of participants. There were cross overs from mountain biking, there were newbie racers, and there were many who have never raced a bicycle before. The clinics reviewed the basics as we can all use a refresher course on the basics. The response to the clinics was positive. This is something that we will definitely try to repeat in the years to come. It was a good feeling to see that our team and our shop is making such a positive contribution to the local cycling culture. These clinics not only aid to make stronger cyclists these clinics aid to make a stronger cycling community.
With the clinics behind us it is now time to focus on DCCX on October 26th at the Armed Forces Retirement Home right here in the District. But that will not happen without more cyclocross practices!
this weekend NCVC is hosting not only the Ed Sander's Memorial Cyclocross event at Lily Pons but they will also be hosting a cyclocross clinic the day prior as hosted by Gunnar and Betsy Shogren it should be a muddy weekend for cross!