Cross Country, Gravel and Mountain Biking activities are coordinated by the CX Secretary.
An increasingly popular cycling discipline is off-road, especially CX. Several club members participate in CX, at the local regional level Wessex League events, National Trophy Series and National Championships events, and even UCI World Masters Championships!
It’s a great way to get into racing and improve your bike handling skills, in a safe, traffic free, fun and friendly environment. All the racing is age/gender categorised, so you are up against your immediate peers.
Courses are created in venues ranging from school football fields to Motocross MX tracks, featuring obstacles such as steep banks to ascend and descend, hurdles, and sandpits, and deeper into winter, lots of lovely boggy or slip-slidey mud. Races consist of laps around such a course of approx 3km in length, but more based on a 6 to 10 minute leader lap time. Race duration depends on category, so 10 minutes for U10/12s, 20 for Youths, 40 for Vets & Junior and Women, and 1 hour for Senior men.
Participation in the après race activities of eating Belgium frites and mayo, and quaffing copious amounts of continental beer whilst dancing to euro pop, adorned in fancy dress, remain entirely optional.
Coaching sessions are held at Mountbatten Centre to help you increase your fitness and bike handling. These skills, and the fitness and stamina gains, are, of course, transferable to road riding. Look at how the likes of cyclocross legends Tom Pidcock, Wout Van Aert, and Matthieu Van Der Poel dominate the Pro road racing scene.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park, between Horndean and Petersfield, provides some excellent Mountain Bike trails to have fun on, or for the more adventurous MTBers, there’s the South Downs Way, 100 miles of off-Road between Winchester and Eastbourne. Bike Packers might even fancy doing the Cycling UK King Alfred’s Way the 350km circular route taking on Winchester, Salisbury, Swindon, Reading, and Petersfield.