Cyclocross (CX for short) is a great introduction to bike racing for children and adults alike, and a great spectator sport too - not to mention a very challenging discipline for more experienced riders. This broad appeal fits perfectly with the Coasters' ethos so it's no surprise that it's becoming increasing popular in our club.
Cyclocross is a 'winter sport' with a season running from September to January. The South West Cyclocross League provides ample local racing opportunities (and their website has some helpful introductory information too). You simply need to book in via the British Cycling website and turn up with your bike. At amateur level, you don't need a special CX bike - a hardtail mountain bike is absolutely fine for most courses.
Wadebridge Coasters run our own introductory Go Ride Races which are the perfect way to come and have a go with no pressure to do achieve anything except having a good time!
An event typically involves a series of races over a day, starting with the younger children and working up to the more experienced adults (who get to ride the course once it's become really churned up and muddy!). There's usually a group for 'novice' adults so it's very accessible for anyone. The atmosphere is very family friendly and because of the way courses are set up, it's one of the most spectator-friendly forms of bike racing (wellies and warm clothes recommended)!
The courses tend to be mostly on grass, but you can expect some sections of different surfaces such as tarmac, dirt track, mud and even sand. There will be plenty of tight corners, steep banks and other technical features, and the adults can also expect obstacles such as hurdles to jump and steps to run up. Cyclocross is the only cycle sport where courses can be deliberately designed to make the racers get off and run for a bit!
Come and have a go! Cyclocross may just be the muddiest fun and most exhilarating hour you'll ever have on a bike! It's guaranteed that there will be a fun and welcoming atmosphere at any CX event.