"Cross" is one of the easiest branches of cycle sport to get involved in. It's generally an autumn and winter sport. Massed starts make for exciting races, usually no more than an hour in length - and shorter for juniors, women and veterans. The races are usually multi lap events, held on short (typically less than a mile and often less than half a mile), grassy courses, generally in public parks or on school playing fields. Less technically demanding than Mountain Biking, Cyclo-Cross often requires riders to dismount to clear artificial obstacles - often wooden boards. The ability to swap smoothly and quickly from riding to running and back to riding in one fluid motion is a key skill for advanced riders.
Cross bikes look very similar to road bikes, with dropped handlebars and thin tyres - however the latter have a knobbled-tread for grip, powerful brakes, low gears and better frame clearances to prevent clogging with mud, all of which adds up to make them easy to handle on the rough.
There are plenty of cyclo-cross events in the North West. Have a look at the Cyclo-Cross section of the British Cycling website to find the latest information:
To compete in British Cycling events you may need BCF membership and a racing license. Read our affiliation page for more details:
North West Cyclo-Cross Association
It might also be worth having a read of the North West Cyclo-Cross association website: