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If trudging on a treadmill at the gym to get your cardio in has you feeling about as motivated as a mouse on a training wheel, maybe you need to join the tens of thousands of guys who have decided to grab a bike and get in the mud with Cyclo-cross – a workout that challenges your aerobic capacity, your coordination and balance, as well as your ability to get down and dirty.

What Is It?

If you haven’t heard of Cyclo-cross yet, my answer is you soon will: it’s the fastest growing cycling sport in the world. So much so, that the World Championships were held in the Czech Republic, earlier this year. The European derived sport combines elements of mountain biking, road cycling, and steeple chase running; Cyclo-cross is a full-body workout in a raucous environment ideal for amateurs who are looking to have an intense workout in the outdoors and have a good time while they’re doing it.

Cyclo-cross races usually involve a closed, 3 km racecourse that may wind over paved roads as well as mud, dirt, sand, snow and a variety of man-made and natural obstacles that force riders to dismount their bikes and carry them up steep hills, across rivers, over barriers or through deep mud pits. The races last between 30 and 60 minutes and thanks to the closed course, they’ve become favorites with friends and family, who get to see your mud-splattered face pass by multiple times before the race is done.

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