Cyclo Cross

The sport of cyclo-cross is very popular during the months of September to February, having originated as a winter alternative to road racing. Competitors have to cope with a circuit comprising a variety of surfaces from tarmac to grass, gravel, mud and sometimes sand. In addition, the circuit of around 2.5 km length will include steep climbs and descents, together with obstacles enforcing a dismount and the need to carry the bicycle.

Needless to say speed, stamina and bike handling skill are all required as the races will generally last around one hour, although shorter times apply to the events for young riders.

A special cyclo-cross machine with studded tyres and clearance for the build up of mud is best, but in the lower category races any machine will do and the ubiquitous mountain bike will fit the bill quite well.

Chippenham & District Wheelers promote an event for all ages as part of the Western Cyclo Cross League with club's Scott Chalmers winning in 2008. Other events are listed in the British Cycling race programmes. It is hoped to hold club events in the area, so that more Wheelers can practice and become involved in this sphere of cycle sport.