Cyclo-cross Drills

Bike Technique, September 29, 2014

There are many variations to these skills so you should experiment until you find the right fit for the situation. To get faster and more efficient, practice, practice, practice.

Although criterium like fitness and time trial stamina goes a long way in a cross race, skills on and off the bike can make the difference to a successful result. Set aside 15 minutes a few time a week just to practice skills. This can be done during a separate session or before a run or road ride.

Here is a couple of items to work on:

Dismount - Shoulder run - Remount

Set up small loop about 100 meters on the grass in the back yard or at a park. It can be 50 meters each way. Mark off about 25 meters. Ride the loop, dismount at marker, and run 25 meters with bike. Experiment with different styles of carrying the bike until you find a balance of comfort and speed. Lift bike from top tube underhanded and place on shoulder. Choose between wrapping right arm under down tube or around head tube and grabbing left side of handlebars. Remount at end marker after placing bike on ground by swinging right leg over saddle landing on upper leg and sliding into place. Focus on a single motion avoiding a double hop. Think more of sliding into position rather than jumping on to a horse in a western movie. Complete 10 laps of your course at warmup pace, focusing on form.

Dismount – Run over barriers- Remount

Set your markers 4 to 6 meters apart (4 to 6 full strides). You can use a couple of rakes or brooms or traffic cones on their side for this one. Take a lap and dismount at barrier lifting bike straight up from top tube. Carry bike over both barriers. Place bike on ground before returning hands to hoods and remount. Accelerate for 25 meters and repeat 10 times.

Starts

With one foot on the ground, sitting on saddle and clipped in foot at 10 o’clock, accelerate finding pedal and clipping in with opposite foot. Keep head up; do not look down at pedals.  Sprint for 25 meters and complete 10 laps.

Practice

There are many variations to these skills so you should experiment until you find the right fit for the situation. To get faster and more efficient, practice, practice, practice.