It’s Friday, which means that tomorrow is for cyclocross! Tomorrow’s race in the Utah Cyclocross Series will be at Wheeler Farm, in Murray, Utah. Wheeler races are typically fast and fun, with lots of singletrack.

So what is cyclocross? Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing, typically in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (2–3 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, jump the barrier and remount in one graceful motion.

Races for senior categories are generally between 50 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions.

CX—as it is sometimes abbreviated—is generally believed to have orginated in the 1940s in France but in recent years it has been dominated by riders from Belgium.

CX bikes resemble road bikes in nature, but have clearance for wider, knobby tires, and most often use cantilever brakes (again for clearance) rather than a road bike’s sidepull brake.

The Napa Valley Velo Team has put together one of the best cyclocross webpages I’ve seen, titled The NVV Cyclocross Circuit, with articles ranging from a general introduction to cyclocross, and a “Mud Index”, which ranks the various types of mud that you might encounter.

I’ve got more links to cyclocross sites over in the column on the right. Check them out, and get back to me.