A Loaded Question

“What do you have to do to train for ‘cross?”

I was in the middle of playing Angry Birds, or maybe reading that Thomas Voeckler interview in Cycle Sport America. Or I could well have just not been paying attention. Either way, my wife was asking me about getting ready for cyclocross.

“Well, you kind of need to be in shape to start with, and then … blah, blah, blah.”

I went on through a pretty long-winded (and unnecessary) explanation of training and workouts and all of that stuff. What I failed to grasp was exactly why she was asking. Surely she doesn’t really care about what I plan on doing in preparation of gutting myself through the fall, does she?

And since she’s five months pregnant, she’s not asking for herself right now, either. So what’s cooking?

I have a feeling it’s a little bit of this fall – for me, since she’s unable to ride – and a little bit of next fall. She’ll be one year post-kid … I get the feeling she’s starting to think about her own racing ambitions.

That’s an interesting prospect, mainly because of her bike-racing history – which is completely nonexistent. She’s done her share of riding, and she’s not without athletic ability, but ‘cross as your first bike-racing endeavor?

Yikes.  Then again, giving birth twice isn’t exactly easy, either. She has a bike already – she requested a bike that could go wherever she wanted to go. That meant road, gravel and a bit of dirt. Sounds like a ‘cross bike to me.

We’re big fans of ‘cross here at VeloGear – maybe even super fans. Last fall, Jay our buyers (Matt and Mark) and I embarked upon a seven-hour drive from Omaha to the VeloGear warehouse in St. Louis. The topic of discussion for at least two-thirds of the ride? Cyclocross.

The three of them spent their spring and summer road seasons preparing for … you guessed it … cyclocross. My own preparations – getting a new bike, shoes and thinking about running (but just thinking about it for now) sound pretty lame by comparison.

And while getting a new bike and shoes is certainly fun, think of how committed you have to be to start thinking about laying the groundwork for racing more than a year from now?

Yikes. I hope I can keep up.

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