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It’s Time To Ride Cross

September 27, 2010

This month we talk with Bicycle Sport Shop’s ebay czar and resident cyclocross fiend, Joey Machado, about the sport he’s absolutely crazy for. He shares with us how he got started riding cyclocross, what keeps him coming back and a quick review of the Specialized Crux.

BSS– Joey, tell us how you got started racing cyclocross.

JM– My first Cross race was in ’99 on a mountain bike nonetheless!  I was hooked immediately and bought my first cross bike (yes, it was a Specialized purchased here at Bicycle Sport Shop) that following year.

The fact that cyclocross required a different skill set, and involved Fall/Winter conditions was some how intriguing to me.  Also, it is still one of the most spectator friendly bike races.

My first race was actually held on Town Lake.  It was a legit Texas Series race.  I really had no idea what skills were involved, but being on the gas the entire time while negotiating tight turns, barriers, and run-ups was something else!  I think if your a good bike handler you’ll love it.  If you don’t consider yourself a good bike handler, you will certainly develop bike handling skills quickly.

BSS– What’s your favorite thing about the sport?

JM– One of my favorite things about the sport is the open/cross country courses. Both racers and spectators can usually see the majority of the race unfold.  Another thing  is that every course is different and offers its own unique challenges.  Some courses may be more technical than others (bunny hopping obstacles, sand pits, hill run-ups, etc.) while others may have choppy ground where the power/big gear mashers will shine.

BSS– Can you tell us a little bit about your most recent race?

JM-My most recent race was at the Dirt Derby.  The Dirt Derby motocross course can be a bit harsh, but surprisingly I felt pretty good.  I raced the “B” category and managed (despite dropping my chain) to hang onto a strong 3rd finish.  Not bad for an old man!

BSS– What kind of riders do you think might enjoy trying cyclocross?

JM-I think anyone who loves to ride fast and have that eye/hand coordination thing should give cyclocross a try!  Whether your a commuter, mountain biker (mountain bikes ARE allowed) or roadie who wants to keep fit during the Fall/Winter should give cross a whirl.

Dirt Derby is an excellent training ground for a newbie or die-hard racer.  The atmosphere is very casual and low key, not intimidating at all.  It’s definitely worth experiencing at least once, whether your racing mountain bikes or cyclocross for the first time or have previous racing experience.  People there are encouraging and fun to hang out with.  Do it!

BSS– So you were one of the lucky first to get your hands on Specialized’s new for 2011 cyclocross bike, the CruX. Why did you decide to make the switch from your Tricross Expert?

JM– While the Tricross is a sweet ride, the new CruX is designed to compete with other true cross geometry frames and is aimed at the die-hard crosser.

Both the CruX “Comp” (what I now have) and CruX “Elite” are completely redesigned for 2011. Nothing really similar at all to the Tricross…except for the aluminum tubing, SLX E5.  The new aluminum CruX models feature internal cable routing, keeping things out of the way for portaging the bike and for the rough conditions cross bikes face.

BSS– So far, how do you like your CruX?

JM– My favorite thing about the CruX is the handling; super stiff front end as well as a very responsive frame. But I’m very psyched about several things:  The CruX “Comp” bike features a BB30 bottom bracket.  I think it makes a big difference.  It’s definitely stiffer and even a hair lighter.  Both features any cross racer can appreciate.

The neon “Yellow” has actually grown on me to the point where I’m now psyched about having a cross bike that is louder than most.

BSS– What would you say to someone who is considering the CruX for their next bike?

JM– I would recommend the CruX to any die-hard crosser or even first timer.  The performance/handling will not disappoint and the price point delivers a good bang for the buck!

Come live out your cyclocross dreams and take on Joey at the Bicycle Sport Shop Dirt Derby!

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