In some parts of the world, 'cross is here, but in the Southwest USA the season won't get going until October due to the heat. With that in mind, the first USA UCI races are currently in process, which marks the start of the "real" season for many.
Unlike other sports, in cyclocross you can train and compete on the exact same course used by Elite athletes. Conversely, if you are an Elite athlete, you'll be racing in a community that is 90%+ amateurs. This is very different from, for example, basketball - where the average fan has no chance of shooting hoops with LeBron James. With this comes some special opportunities to build your skills by observing others.
If you're an amateur athlete, don't miss the opportunity to interact and watch the pros from behind the tape:
- How do they warm up?
- Conduct a course inspection?
- What do they do immediately after the race finishes?
- What gear ratios are they running?
- At some events you may even be able to take a lap during the pro course inspection and follow their lines and techniques.
If you're an Elite athlete, you aren't off the hook either. Take some time to interact with fans or conduct an intro clinic. Most Elite cyclocross athletes are great at doing this and are happy to sign an autograph or pose for a photo. This is a great way to give back to the cyclocross community.