The Emotions and Unknown of a Rookie Cyclocrosser

When anyone thinks of emotions in sports they think of overcoming the challenge and achieving victory or they may think of the despair of defeat, but cyclocross is an entirely different beast. Looking to the approaching cyclocross season I am filled with emotions.

We’ve all been him or her, the new kid, I am the new kid when I enter my first race on Oct. 1 at Cross the Domes. Besides my nerves, I’m gratefully excited for that day to come. “Cyclocross, to put it simply, is painful,” according to condition coach, Jason Ross. “How much pain can you endure without giving in or giving up.”

From the articles I’ve read in Cyclocross Magazine to the numerous YouTube videos I’ve watched explaining the sport to showing its highlights I know it is everything I’m looking forward to. There will be the crazed, some drunk, fans ringing cowbells and cheering us racers on. The cold fall air will be coming into fruition along with my worries.

It is two weeks before the race and I already have the prerace jitters. Am I conditioned enough? Am I going to crash? If my preseason endeavors racing through campus at UW-Oshkosh to get to class on time are any indication of my conditioning and bike handling abilities I believe my finishing time will be “in time.”

But will I be able to handle the pain? If biking to work at Menard’s after getting run off the road by a typical Oshkosh driver and then still managing to make it to work on time is an indication of my pain tolerance, I believe I will be able to handle the pain of hopping barriers and shouldering my bike.

After two weeks of healing this is what I'm left with from the Oshkosh driver who ran me off the road.

These are all questions that keep racing though my mind. The truth is there is nothing that can be done for the prerace jitters besides focusing on the excitement of the race to come and, “Man, am I excited!”


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