In anticipation of this fall's CX races, I got together with a few fellow riders and did a little practice dismounting, mounting, shouldering, and running some barriers. I have completed one CX race on my mtb so I am not that unfamiliar but a few of the little uncertainties had me curious. I never realized that I was so awkward going through the barriers and the fact that I wasn't quite mounting properly. The mounting problem seamed to be easily fixed. The barriers not so much. I'm pretty comfortable with the whole riding on the side of the bike and stepping through to run but that's where it falls apart. It's going to take a little more practice to get the barriers done smoothly. It feels like I don't have my stride working well so I need to hesitate to run over the first barrier, but then when I make it I jump to much and then the bike settles and I drop it lower makeing me have to throw it up higher again which is making it harder to get over the 2nd barrier. Practice makes perfect...or something like that.
The best part is that the park that I practice at has a pretty large field that is normally mowed pretty well, but now for some reason they have let it grow long , but carved nice, twisty, intersecting paths all throughout the fields. This makes perfect CX practice. The ground is fairly smooth except for one really rough section and there's perfect spots to open it up and do a few sequential hairpins which were really tight and hard to navigate at speed. The best part is I can ride there right from my place. So a nice 30 min ride, then an hour of practice and then a nice 30 min cooldown riding home. Not too shabby! I'm diggin this whole cross thing.