The love of dirt, then mud
I’ve always loved biking. When I discovered mountain biking, however, it was a whole new love. This new love bordered on obsession. I just wanted to do it all the time. I completely neglected my road bike because that was time that I could use for mountain biking. All the time I spent in the saddle was on the dirt and among the trees.
A few years ago, I met a boy. He was happy to indulge my love of mountain biking and quickly bought a mountain bike to join me on rides. All the time we spent together biking, he kept talking about this other type of biking, cyclocross. Cyclocross was a discipline I had never heard of. He spoke of it with such joy in his voice. He described the courses, the mud, the heckling, the mud – but did I mention the mud? He went on about how it was the hardest physical thing he had ever done in his life, and that is saying something.
The weather started to get a little colder, and lo and behold, cyclocross season was upon us. After hearing all this talk about cyclocross, I agreed to try it. I signed up for the whole Eastern Ontario cyclocross series. I can now testify that he was right. It is a physically challenging event that pushes you to your limits. And boy, was he right about the mud! I developed a love/hate relationship with this new sport: the love of pushing myself around corners in the mud and the hate of the cardio pain.
At the last cyclocross O-cup of 2017, held in Belleville, Ont., we drove down from Ottawa to participate. The weather was cold, -2 C, but no snow. The course was fun and twisty. I ended up placing third in the race after only a few races into the sport. I proudly got to stand on the podium and received my medal. I’m proud of my efforts this year and look forward to next year’s ’cross season – maybe not, however, with the same zeal that I look forward to next year’s mountain biking season.
Kelly Doyle Ottawa