A few of the folks fond of knobby tires and smooth dismounts have begun practicing for the coming cyclocross season, giving themselves a slight head start on the official preseason race in Verona on Saturday.
Hosted by Team MadCross, the race in Badger Prairie County Park follows a three-hour clinic that starts at 9 a.m. The experts on hand will teach basic cyclocross skills: mounting, dismounting, clearing obstacles, grassy corners, sand and run-ups.
(If they can also clarify whether its cyclo-cross, cyclocross or cyclo cross, this writer will be happy).
The clinic costs $30, or $25 with a canned food donation to a local food pantry. Those who attend the clinic will have free entry to the race, which costs $20.
In Milwaukee, Team Emery's Third Coast hosts a practice session in Washington Park every Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. They meet at the bandshell and have a couple sessions in. Watch their schedule on Facebook for a move to the Harley Trails at Highway 45 and Capitol Dr.
Also in the Milwaukee area, the My Wife Inc. team hosts the CX practices in Kletzsch Park on Wednesday evenings, starting at 5:30 p.m. Details are available on the Facebook page and via the new Wisco Cyclocross blog.
The blog, the practice sessions and the general enthusiasm are further signs that the sport has taken hold in Wisconsin. Either that, or the locals want to be prepared when the rest of the country shows up in January for the USA Cyclo-Cross National Championships, right back at Badger Prairie County Park.
Also note that WCA Crank Daddy's Cyclocross Series has expanded to 16 races, including the Badger X Midwest Regional Championship on Dec. 10-11.