Singapore Cyclocross

Singapore Cyclocross

Singapore Cyclocross
(If you know what cyclocross is, you can skip this first bit and start here. If you don’t know what Singapore is, perhaps you should skip both bits.)

Cyclocross is a type of bicycle racing invented by mad Belgians at around the turn of the 20th century. Most people enjoy riding bikes in the summer, when the days are long and the weather is pleasant. In the winter there weren’t races, until the Belgians realized it would be funny to make people ride gloriously unsuitable bicycles through brambly hedges and round muddy fields, until everyone collapsed from exhaustion.

Cyclocross races are never more than an hour in duration (why prolong the agony?) and the winner is the masochist who manages to do the most laps in that time. This is better than a road race, which takes all day, and is rubbish to spectate, because you’ll hang around for hours in order to catch one fleeting glimpse of some people wearing Lycra and grunting. Since cyclocross doesn’t require a long route, just a muddy field with lots of hedges and some broken wooden pallets to get in the way of the riders, the odd spectator (and you’d have to be quite odd) can see much more of the race, with all the opportunities to watch skin being flayed off by bramble hedges, exhausted riders falling off their bicycles into puddles of mud, and watch psychosis being induced by the constant ringing of a bell. Does that sound like fun? How could it not sound like fun, for participant and onlooker alike?

Traditionally, cyclocross races only admitted road bikes, with drop bars, rim brakes and skinny tyres, despite these being obviously unsuitable for riding off road. A mountain bike would be much more sensible, but then you wouldn’t have so much of the crashes/uncontrollable skidding into brambles/utter chaos that make cyclocross enjoyable. [To watch. If you’re a cruel Belgian aristocrat.]

An advantage of this is that you don’t need a special bike for cyclocross racing, you just find some extra-specially slippery tyres, some worn out brake pads, and your most knackered Lycra, and you’re ready to race. An hour later you can be down the pub drinking Belgian craft ale/down Accident & Emergency having brambles pulled out of your buttocks/at home drinking Stella Artois, because it’s Belgian, and not because you’re a terminal alcoholic.

To confuse matters, you can now race on mountain bikes (sometimes) and you can buy a dedicated cyclocross bike, but that’s not really in keeping with the spirit of the thing. But who am I to stand in the way of any cyclist who wants to buy another bike, just because to the non-cycling cognoscenti it’s utterly indistinguishable from every other bike they already own?

17 responses to “Singapore Cyclocross”

    • I’ll be in the middle of it ringing an enormous cowbell. Possibly on a bicycle, possibly not…

    • If I don’t get myself organised enough to have a race in October (aiming to start in December, so that could be a bit keen) then we’ll have an unofficial practice session in October. (If nobody has a bicycle, we’ll run around a muddy field while I shout lap times)

    • The added advantage of an evening race is that it’s going to be dark … further hilarity will ensue. I’ll stick up an update this weekend with where I’ve got to on this

      • Where are you with this? Did I miss an update? On a whim I contacted NParks about midweek evening CX races in their parks and got a positive response, in that I actually got a response. They know nothing about CX, which is a bonus I suspect, because niether do I. They are happy to look into it however.

        • Damn, I meant to put an update up and then lost it all. Will be putting together the rules tonight so NParks have something professional to look at than what’s here right now: , and then figuring out organisation tomorrow.

          I’ve yet to hear from the Singapore Cycling Federation – not sure if we need them included or not. I had been assuming up to now we couldn’t race at all in the parks, but if we can, that makes things a lot simpler for finding a venue.

          • NParks are not green to get just yet, but they are looking into it, and I will meet with them in a couple weeks to look at possible routes.I like the idea of keeping it really simple, and as such keeping any federations etc out of it. I plan on visiting a few local bike shops and trying to get them to run the events logisticlly (scoring, setting out the route etc.). We should probably meet up for a beer one evening and compare/combine notes, we might be able to help each other out?

  1. Finally a group about Cyclocross in Singapore. I had been looking for one since the first time I had my CX Boardman.
    I heard about this group when I had my CX for servicing where I bought my CX the first time.

  2. hi James Foreman…pls be informed that there is Singapore 1st Cyclocross mass riding on 11th January 2015 ..7am at The Tanjong Pagar rail station..obstacles is setting up ..60 riders expected to turn up..pls find us FB ‘Cyclocross Singapore’

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