For the past year and a half, Dan Tille, Bill Schieken of In the Crosshairs Cycling, and photographer Bruce Buckley have been hard at work compiling a full-color cyclocross skills book that features U.S. National CX Champion Jeremy Powers.
Skills, Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer contains detailed descriptions of the fundamentals of cyclocross as demonstrated by U.S. Cyclocross Champion Jeremy Powers with full-color images highlighting each skill in an easy-to-follow format, providing new and experienced ‘crossers a valuable resource for learning the sport.
Available for pre-order now, the book will ship the week of September 23, 2013.
The book was something of a labor of love for Schieken, well known in the U.S. ‘cross community for his witty Twitter banter, his genius #SVENNESS videos, and perhaps best of all, for his loving homage to the mysterious Twitter personality @AnonCX.
As Bill describes it, the book was borne out of a 2011 training ride with friend and coach Dan Tille:
My idea was to use Dan’s years of experience and knowledge from racing, coaching and running ‘cross clinics and pair that with detailed images of the basic cyclocross skills and techniques. The idea was to have a book that covered, in every detail, the nuts and bolts of racing cyclocross in a presentation that would not be out of place on your living room’s coffee table.
After a year of shooting and writing, and then another year of drafts, design, and editing (including 18 different versions comped by book designer Jennifer Franko Dudek), the end result is a solid primer for new racers, as well as a means for experienced riders to hone their craft. As the book blurb promises, “If you master the skills and techniques covered here, you can go into the cyclocross season with the same fitness you had last year, yet achieve better results.”
“Skills Drills and Bellyaches is an incredible addition to the cyclocross community,” Powers says. “The contents of this book are going to help you improve your cyclocross riding without doing any intervals, without any long rides, and without any rigorous training plans.” Powers added that learning the concepts and techniques explained in the book “will be one of many steps in a long journey to becoming a cyclo-boss!”
If you have been racing ‘cross for several seasons, you may ask yourself why you need a book teaching the fundamental skills of the sport. Schieken and Tille look at it like this:
Every time you dismount from your bike you are either gaining or losing time on your competition. For instance, if you are a habitual stutter-stepper on remounts, this can cost you around one second each time you get back on your bike. If you are on a course that requires three remounts per lap and you do six laps in your race, that’s 18 seconds wasted. Let’s say you have similar issues on the dismount. Same math, 18 seconds lost. You are now 36 seconds behind a competitor who is equally fit, but gets on and off the bike more proficiently. Even if you have years of ‘cross racing under your bibshorts, you can always make improvements to your game. What is discussed in this new book helps show you the way.
Skills, Drills and Bellyaches teaches the techniques and skills that all racers, from beginner to elite, should learn and apply to become a better cyclocross racer. It covers basics such as what to wear and how to get back on your bike after carrying it over an obstacle, as well as more nuanced starting techniques and how to mentally prepare for your race.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of Skills, Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer go to support the JAM Fund, a non-profit organization created by Jeremy Powers that is committed to nurturing and growing the next generation of American cyclists.
Those of us at Interbike and CrossVegas will get a sneak peek, and I’m happy to say I cannot wait to see the finished product and congratulate Bill.
To order your copy go to www.cyclocrossbook.com.
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