By Tyler Wren Fall is one of my favorite times of year- I get time at home here in Utah, a little break from my training regime, and, Cyclocross!! To me, ‘cross is cycling’s most fascinating and technically challenging discipline. It combines fitness, bike handling, cornering, pack riding, running and, of course, dismounting and remounting. […]
I strolled into a Walgreen’s pharmacy with my giant teammate Tom Zirbel late Saturday night ahead of the recent USPRO Championships in Greenville, SC looking for knee-high pantyhose.
We are fortunate to have a strong cyclocross scene here in Utah run by the fine folks over at UTCX. Those races start up on October 6th this year up in Ogden. Although suffering on a cyclocross bike may not seem like much of a break from working hard on a road bike, it does offer an interesting change of pace from the road scene and a chance to incorporate some running into my cycling efforts. I believe in keeping all energy levels firing to some degree throughout the year, and cyclocross is the perfect way to exercise your top-end when your head needs a break from the road bike efforts.
For the most part, competitive cycling in the United States is an activity and profession for the privileged. Many of my peers in the domestic peloton have college degrees and are pursuing their sporting passion before settling down and getting a ‘real’ job. In other parts of the world, cycling often plays a much more prominent and essential part of people’s lives. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a truly international roster at Jamis/Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team and have heard firsthand some of the remarkable feats athletes go through to be a part of our beautiful sport. I wanted to share one of my teammates’ stories this month in my journal to give you an insight into cycling from a different perspective.
As you watch the Tour de France this summer, take a look on the side of the roads in the middle of the stages out in the countryside. If you ask them about the Tour, most French folk will tell you about their experience having a picnic under a tree beside the Tour route waiting for the day’s stage to pass by while listening to it unfold on the radio.
To me, the primary purpose of the bicycle is transportation, in its purest, cleanest, and most efficient form. Through the sport of cycling, we get to pedal great distances through cities, and over mountains, winning the battle against gravity and resistance. However, my profession as a professional cyclist is ironically one of the most difficult to commute to by bike.
Professional cycling, to me, is this interesting and beautiful intersection of the sporting and marketing worlds. The truth is, as I see it, that all of the domestic teams bring essentially the same sporting merit to the table at this event. We all can and consistently do put riders in the breakaways, in the ancillary jerseys, near the top five in stages, and near the top twenty in the general classification — competitive, but not for the overall win.