The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 10.1.14. “Das Beste”

Howdy folks,

I hope you enjoyed your intervals yesterday! Those damn things never get any easier, do they?

The better you get, the harder you can go, the faster you can do ’em, but the pain?

It remains constant.

Maybe learn to like it?

Anyways, onwards!

It’s Wednesday, and as we usually do, today we’re talking about the skills part of the CX game.

If you’ve been at one of my clinics recently, you know that I’ve been talking a fair bit about Moto GP racing as a source of inspiration and knowledge in RE: bike handling on the Cross bike.

Stuff like this –

Can offer a ton of insight into what is possible when a mere mortal like you or I is driving a bike, even if it’s a puny 1-human power CX rig.

No, you can’t ever do everything these guys do.

64 degree lean angles? Yikes!

On a bike, you simply don’t have the horsepower and the down force that these bikes have, but the basic physics of the bike remain more or less the same –

But there’s more to it than just bike handling.

Want to work on your starts?

Check this out –



If you watch a whole race, I defy you to not come away with little bits and pieces that will help your racing!


So, homework.

Watch these guys – the best bike handlers in the world – and learn from them.

You won’t regret it.


Today’s workout?

Skills Day! (of course)


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 (We’ve talked about stretching on here in the past, check out the search function if you want/need some more info.)

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5-10-15 minutes

– 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? Check out this old post…

Do just the most  basic dismount/remount as per above until you have it down cold, smooth as silk.

When you’re perfect (hah!) throw some barriers into the mix.

4 – Figure eight drill.

Set up 2 cones or 2 rocks or two… somethings. Doesn’t much matter what it is.

Ride in a figure eight pattern around the cones…

– first pedaling the entire time.

No coasting.

Pedal all the way around the figure 8, including the turns.

Practice using the brakes while still pedaling. This is one of those secret techniques that – once you figure it out – makes a huge difference. When you stop pedaling you lose traction, so don’t stop pedaling!

Experiment with this, it’s a game-changer.

Mind blown?


– Same drill, not pedaling through the turns.

– Same drill, alternate styles.

Now move the figure 8 to the side of a slight hill.

One cone up hill, one down, about 5-8 meters apart and staggered, IE: not directly below each other on the slope.

 – Same drill(s) as before. Go.


Next, pilot around those corners – uphill and downhill – with the inside foot out.

Having trouble making the turn at the top of the figure 8? Put your foot down and push off with it to make the turn.

Don’t be afraid to use the foot that’s unclipped to push off or “paddle” around a turn, or to keep yourself driving forward on an off-camber section.

This can be another game changer, so work on it, eh?

 – Alternate both of these styles around the figure-eight.


Try different speeds, different lines, different angles.

See when/how/why each style works, and figure out how they can work for you.

6 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two interval efforts on relatively easy terrain, but make sure to include the figure – 8 in it.

– “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, and your exits from turns & technical features.

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.

Spin down for a few minutes, then head home and finish up your day.


Have fun!


~ by crosssports on October 1, 2014.

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