As half of the team prepares for the upcoming races at Downers, the other half have started preparing for the upcoming 'cross season which kicks off on September 21st at Jackson Park. In order to train and prepare our bodies for the rigors of cyclocross we have begun training at the Dan Ryan Woods . We will be starting practice around 6:15 or so and spent a good portion of Tuesday evening laying out the course.
Even without the barriers, the course can be quite a challenge. 100 meters off the start line you find yourself working through a chicane of trees followed by a nice power section along the tree line. We will eventually break this section up and include a single if not double set of barriers. After the power section and a quick dismount over a parking barrier, there is about 300 meters of asphalt with another transition back onto grass. At this point you power through the grass and get onto pavement for 75 meters before diving back into the grass and a power section before the hill. For now we are only using half of the hill, so only about 35 feet of climbing after which you dive back downhill for the last power section before the last chicane section and back into the start finish chute. The total distance for each lap is about a kilometer, if not a tad bit longer.
Jim and I sprayed the course to mark the route to follow. After a few weeks last year we started to have a nice groove going through the grass. The grass was a bit long in places, so hopefully the FPD can keep the grass nice and short like they did for us last year. Everyone is encouraged to join us for practices, and it looks like we will be holding at least two sessions per week. For more info on our practices or anything else 'cross related you can also check out the new 'Cross Forum put together by Ben.