How I became a Cyclocross racer at age 48

How I became a Cyclocross racer at age 48


by Beth Walker Lev-Tov

Three simple steps:
(1) Get the kids into CX racing to justify # 2.
(2) Buy a CX bike.
(3) Register for a CX race, Valmont seemed like a good one since I like running (5280 run up!).

Hmmm, maybe I forgot one step – learning how to actually race CX. The kids decided they would teach me how to race. They said I needed to learn how to do some sort of flying Superman leap onto the bike, something like this.

Scary! I wisely (or unwisely) decided that I would just use my extensive road and triathlon riding skills for the race. Translation, stop slowly. Dismount. Carry bike carefully. Get back on the bike slowly. Ride. Repeat.

Luckily, a day (or maybe two) before Valmont, I heard about a SQUARE1 CX clinic at Valmont. Maybe there was hope for my race after all. An hour at Valmont, and I was a different rider, well almost a different rider. A CX dismount really was not as scary as it seemed at first, and it’s possible to do a safe CX remount without flying in the air like Superman. Sand riding skills would need to wait until later in the season, but I was ready to race!

The race was fun! I was last off the line, but luckily there was a hill soon after the start so I passed a few people there. I ran the sand, despite being heckled by the kids who were yelling, “Mom, ride the sand!” I loved the stairs! I do not remember my finishing place, but I know I had a lot of fun! I ended the season with 9 races, including 4th place in a race at a golf course (lots of sand)!

Thanks to Melissa and the SQUARE1 crew for the great start in CX racing!

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