no one line

Cyclocross Barriers
October 27, 2009, 3:06 pm
Filed under: cyclocross

Last week, Al and William and I set up a plank on some milkcrates on a lawn and practiced our dismounts, barriers, and re-mounts. What we lacked was barriers of appropriate height – our plank was much shorter than the standard 40cm cross barrier. The the plank that we had was still useful – it was still an obstacle and we had to hop off our bikes and hop on. A little bit of practice goes a long way – we got smoother as the evening wore on.

I couldn’t help but turn to Youtube for footage of some of this country’s cross studs taking barriers. Ryan Trebon is absurdly smooth.

Of course, it helps a ton that his hips are probably at the height of my shoulders. Barriers that a 6’6″ person can stride over require a deliberate leap from somebody who is 5’5″.

Fortunately, us dynamite-in-a-small-package types (like Malaysian track sprinter Azizulhashi Awang) have advantages in other areas. Bigger guys with the heads screwed on properly probably don’t want to go elbow-to-elbow with somebody smaller – it’s too easy for a short person’s elbow to come up into the taller person’s arm, lift their arm, turn their bars, and send them to the pavement.

And I probably don’t have to mention how easy it is for me to stay under that climbers’ weight guideline of 2 pounds per inch of height.

Unfortunately these advantages don’t really apply in cyclocross, and I doubt that officials are going to have forks in ‘cross courses where you ride to barriers that are proportional to your height.

I guess I’ll just have to get faster everywhere else on the course.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you’re a heightest!

kidding, nice post, but you have to appreciate us for our generous draft

Comment by billytall

Guess we could have the climbs at Houstonic based on height and you can small barriers

Comment by Clayton Bruckert

lol. billy, I can’t draft your knees!

and Clayton – I think I get more advantage from the climbs than I get disadvantage from the barriers. Let’s keep it like it is.

Comment by nooneline

I would need to lose 35 pounds to match your 2 pounds per inch. And I’m already a skinny guy!

Comment by Karl

Yeah, dude, I don’t know what you’re gonna have to do. Start removing useless digits, taking a cheese grater to your skin, shave every few minutes – the grams add up. Or just settle for riding the Cancellara way. Seems to be working out for you as it is…

Comment by nooneline

Fishy! If it were 2 full pounds per inch, I’d be a climber… and we all know it ain’t so.

Comment by Michelle

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