Cyclocross is a unique, non-Olympic discipline of cycling that can best be described as a cross between road cycling, mountain biking, and steeplechase. Watching cyclists dismount their bikes to run up stairs and steep embankments often arouse questions about the origin of the sport. Although it is difficult to find the exact reason, many legends have it that cyclists would race from town to town off-road to bring a new element to road racing. These off-road adventures could have often required dismounting to hop fences and impossible terrain.

While many people refer to the type of bike used for cyclocross as a “cx bike”, “cross bike”, or “cyclocross bike”, most competitors actually use modified road bikes. These road bikes are then equipped with skinny, knobby tires, disc brakes, and slightly different geometry which allows for better clearance when passing over various obstacles.

Cyclocross races generally take place on a closed circuit in a park or other open land with competitors racing multiple laps. Since the cyclocross season generally takes place from September to February, races are often times plagued with adverse weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, and mud –all of which add to the sport’s allure.Riders begin in mass-start fashion and must navigate through both paved and off-road terrain, oftentimes dismounting their bikes to hurdle barriers, climb steep hills or stairs, or traverse other obstacles.