The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 9.25.13. “Yay, Marymoor!”

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s finally time for the Wednesday Night Worlds of Cyclocross to start up!

Yup, that’s right, the Marymoor Cyclocross clinics begin tonight, and this year they’re brought to you in part by the fine folks at  Check ’em out!

We’ve made some changes to the format this season, and I think you’ll enjoy ’em.

Things get rolling at 6:30, but it’s probably worth heading over a bit early to get registered.

Hope to see you there!


Since we’re already talking about ‘Cross practicising, sure seems natural to roll right on into the WOTD, eh?


Skills Day!

1 – warm up for 10 minutes.

2 – Stretch out after you’re warm.

Pay special attention to all the muscles used in those movements you make hopping on and off the bike that are different from what you usually do.

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5-10-15 minutes (depends how rusty you are. Do more of these, less of everything else if you need to.)

– Start at literally a walking pace, and slowly increase speed until you can mount and dismount the bike smoothly and perfectly at full speed. Do not jump on and off the bike, you are looking to smoothly slide yourself on and off.

 Need a refresher on the basics? Click here.

Do just the most  basic dismount/remount as per above until you have it wired, smooth at all speeds. When you are feeling confident, add some barriers to the session…

– Again, start at a super, super slow speed.

– Approach the barrier, dismount smooth as silk.

– Step over the barrier, paying attention to how you lift the bike, and how you place your feet.

– Remount. Again, think smoooooth….

– Start with a single barrier, move to a double, and keep going slow until you have things wired. Then, speed things up until you aren’t smooth, back it down 1 notch, and make it smooth.

(If you don’t have barriers, anything will do. Use a log, put a stick on the ground – whatever.)

4- Shouldering the bike.

Start with the basic dismount, as you’ve been working on.

Back things up a bit, and dismount again, but really focus on the “drift” phase of the dismount, where you are still clipped in with one foot, your off-side foot has already swung over the saddle, and you are coasting with your left hand on the bars and your right hand on the top tube.

Concentrate on the moment where your left foot unclips, and you drop to the ground. Try to coast with both feet unclipped, weight transferred onto the bike through your hand on the top tube, and your right ass-cheek against the side of the saddle.

Drop to the ground, literally. No big step, nothing dramatic, just drop to the ground.

– I don’t care if you “cowboy” your dismount, or “step-through” (right foot passes between left leg and frame.) Ideally you will work on both, and be equally competent, but there are riders on the World Cup circuit who neverdo a step through dismount, so… whatever.

Repeat, trying to coast with your weight on the top tube for a longer and longer period of time.

Got it wired?


This time, drop to the ground and swing the bike up onto your shoulder using the hand on the top tube (next week, down tube grab shouldering. Don’t worry about it right now.)

– Use both a palm-up and a palm-down grip on the top tube. Figure out which one works best for you.

– as you shoulder the bike, think about how you are going to carry it. There are really only two good options…

1 –

2 –

It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, both have their advantages, just pick one.

If you don’t look like one of these two pictures when the bike is on your shoulder… well, you should.

So, the bike is on your shoulder.


It doesn’t have to be uphill (we’re working on the skill, not the fitness, and you’re doing stairs tomorrow…) but it helps.

Whatever. Just run a few steps.

Place the bike gently on the ground. Don’t drop it, slam it down. Just place it.


Repeat the whole cycle until you’re sick of it, then on to…

5 – Starts.

Practice your starts, just like the beginning of a race. One foot on the ground, dead standstill, get-up-and-go.

Begin with a few medium effort starts, just to work on the mechanics. Round off your rough edges, and make sure you remember where the heck your pedals are.

When you start to get the feel for things, hit it hard a couple of times, then back off.

Here are some tips –

– Start with your pedals at 3&9 o’clock, not 12 and six.

It might take some practice if you’re used to starting with your pedals ant closer to 6 & 12, but it really is better and faster.

Every gate start event does it this way, and they do it for a reason, eh?

See what I mean?

-Try starting with your butt on the saddle, and your butt off the saddle. See what works best for you.

– Ditto, try starting with hands in the drops vs. hands on the hoods.

After you have tried a couple of variations at a medium/slow pace, get yourself set to go hard.

– Do 2 sets of six full-gas starts.

– short effort, just go long enough that you are up to full speed, then back down, turn around, go again.

6 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two interval efforts on relatively easy terrain.

– “Easy” as in a loop on grass with some tight-ish turns on it, or some pretty buffed double-track.

– Go hard, and work on accelerations out of the turns.

– Every time you slow down entering a turn, get on the gas on the way out of it, ass out of the saddle, working hard.

– 6-8 minutes full gas, rest for 2 minutes, then go again for 5.

– Start each effort with, well… with a start. Like you were working on a couple of minutes ago…

Warm down, go home, relax.

Enjoy, and hope to see you out at practice,


~ by crosssports on September 25, 2013.

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