|Jeremy Powers demonstrates CX Technique at Clinic|
Walking through the pits at the Cincy3 CX Festival a few years ago, I caught a glimpse of Mark Legg, aka Mr. Katie F’n Compton, putting a teensy line of chain lube on the cleat contact points of Katie’s pedals. I’ve added that to my pre-race ritual ever since. It’s a good way to keep you clipping in the first time-every time. According to the history of cantilever brakes stored in various plastic totes in my home workshop, I’ve been racing cyclocross for over ten years. Averaging 15 races a year and $30 per race, I estimate I’ve spent a barf inducing $4000+ in entry fees acquiring tiny bits-o-genius from other riders. I almost choked when clinic organizer Chris Mayhew emailed me the comprehensive syllabus for the Jeremy Powers Cyclocross clinic in Cincinnati on September 2nd. Compared to wallowing through a decade and four grand’s worth of cyclocross trial and error, $160 for a full day of pro instruction is a bargain.
Multiple Choice Question #1: The rider leading through this point in the race usually wins:
A: The line of the Port-a-Poddy.
B: The barriers.
C: Through the sand.
D: Coming out of the last corner.
Becoming a better cyclocrosser is more than doing intervals. It’s more than learning skill and technique. It’s more than becoming a better home mechanic. It’s also about being smart on the bike. You’ll learn all of that in this one clinic hosted by the reigning US National Cyclocross Champion Jeremy Powers, Fulcrum Coaching’s Dan Tille and Rusty Williford, and Chris Mayhew and Eric Lundgren of JBV Coaching.
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Hup Hup and At ‘Em
The morning of the clinic starts with mechanical assistance. If you get there a half hour early (and you should), you can inquire about bike set-up and fit. Chris and Eric will be on hand to make mechanical adjustments and offer guidance on some little tweaks that may positively impact they way your bike performs. Just over the weekend, I learned that by slightly moving my hoods outboard a millimeter or two, it can make the handlebars feel a bit wider allowing for better control over bumpy terrain. Ask questions. Put your bike next to J-Pow’s and look for differences in set up. Are your hoods too low and/or saddle too high?
|J-Pow Puts on a Barrier Clinic at Cincy3|
9am Get Schooled By J-Pow
The clinic begins with a bit of classroom instruction where they’ll likely cover basic topics like “shifting-ahead,” a technique where you anticipate what gear you’ll need on the exit of an obstacle and shift into that gear before the obstacle. I’d recommending bringing a pen and notebook along with your bike. The rest of the morning will be spent in small groups split up by level of expertise on dismount and remount drills. Beginner riders will learn the basic step off. Intermediate and Advanced riders will cover the correct technique for the step around and the step through. From there, riders will learn the proper suitcase and shoulder carry techniques and what situation to use each in.
Multiple Choice Question #2: How do you route your arm when shouldering your bike?
A: Through the main triangle and under the down tube, ending with your hand on handle bar drop.
B: Through the main triangle and in front of the head tube, ending with hand on handle bar drop.
C: Whatever way keeps my fingers out of the spokes.
D: Depends on the size of the bike and type of brakes.
|He's gotta use teeth whitener.|
Lunch with J-Pow
At noon it’s a catered lunch with J-Pow. It’ll be opportunity to cut loose and ask J-Pow candid questions. Do you use a teeth whitener? How do you read your competition during a race? When do you decide to bunny hop the barriers as opposed to running them? Is Trebon too tall to even see around?
The Whole Shot
The afternoon starts with a classroom discussion of tires, brakes and equipment where you’ll learn the best tires to use for the races you plan on doing. I’m sure there’ll be a great discussion about tire pressure. Another good reason to take notes. At 1 p.m. you’ll hit the barriers, followed by practicing starts. Mid afternoon, the attention turns to learning how to properly evaluate a cyclocross race course, off-camber riding, bike exchanges, pitting and mini races. Lastly, the clinic ends with a round table question and answer period.
The Bell Lap
Take it from a guy who’s spent ten years racing but never won a cyclocross race. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or budding advanced rider…the $160 you spend on this clinic is worth a decade of racing experience. Click here to register or for more information.
#1: Based on my experience, the rider leading out of the last corner usually wins the race or the sprint of the group they are with. Becoming that rider is something you can learn at the clinic.
#2: How you route your arm depends on the size of the bike and whether your front brake will dig into your arm or not. Some junior’s bikes and bodies are so small that one technique may lend itself better than the other. For me, with the new mini-v brakes, I now route my arm under the down tube as opposed to in front of the head tube to avoid the abrasive metal of the cable-noodle from biting into my arm.