Bunny Hoppit


Get Your Hop On

Bunny hopping is a huge skill to possess in any cycling sport.  This is obvious when it comes to BMX, cyclocross and mountain bike racing.  Road racing not so much, but it can save your @$$ when things go haywire.  It is a learned skill involving a few important steps with a bit of body English mixed in.  Not everyone will be able to perfect their technique to the point of being able to sky over the barriers.  We can all learn to hop over roots, rocks, curbs and small barriers (Indian Lakes, Campton CX and Dan Ryan Woods) to save the tubulars and maintain momentum.

Take it in a few steps, and best to practice on a nice soft grass surface:

  1. Coil by crouching your legs and arms down a bit, like a cat.
  2. Unleash the coil so that your back goes back up and your arms and legs straighten out. Once your front wheel is at least as high as the object you’re going to clear, your arms should be almost completely extended (straight).
  3. Lift the front end of the bike just a little bit more by slightly coiling your arms again.
  4. Unload the weight on your back wheel by coiling your legs up toward your body slightly while pushing the front end of the bike by simultaneously straightening your arms.

This is a tough thing to describe and so here is a good video as well:

It’s more of a teeter-totter action, as if you have an invisible fulcrum beneath your bottom bracket.  Be careful on the landing to not come down with too much weight on either wheel so that you don’t damage the rim or tire.  It takes a bit of finesse which can only be gained through repetition.

Practice the two main steps one at a time.  The coil and subsequent unleashing by popping your upper body up to get the front wheel up is one step.  The second is un-weighting the back wheel.  If you can do those two steps, and neither is very difficult, you have it in you to catch some air sans-lip.  Work on each individually, over and over again.

Once each is comfortable put the two steps together.  Jump a small stick at first and slowly move up as you become more proficient.  The best set up we’ve come up with at TBC is a garden stick as you’d use to prop up wilted plants and two of the plastic course marking stakes that we use on our CCC courses.  You can buy these at pretty much any hardware store.  Position two marking stakes with the tabs on the side farthest from you.  Place the garden stick on the tabs at the appropriate height.  If you hit the stick it will harmlessly fall to the ground and you can keep upping the ante tab by tab.  It’s a very safe set up that still adds some pressure to your situation.

Good luck, take it slowly and safely and have fun out there!

Rob Kelley

Director of Coaching

Training Bible Cycling


Tuesday CCC Updates

Photo: SnowMountain Photography


  • Up next this coming Saturday the folks at BBVP want to soften up our legs at their non-CCC event at Dan Ryan Woods – Beverly Hills CX. This is NOT a CCC series event, but in the same location and still a boatload of fun and great way to get in some warm up/extra CX racing.
  • Then on Sunday the CCC series continues at Dan Ryan Woods.
  • Remember on Sunday the Chicago Marathon will be running its way around the city, so please plan your travel times accordingly to make it to DRW on time.
  • In general almost everyone is doing a great job of pinning bib numbers to their left side… but did you ever wonder why it takes One2Go a little longer to score some races? Ever wonder what your image looks like as you cross the finish line? One2Go was kind enough to share a few choice images with us here. It should be pretty obvious (besides the file names) who pinned the number correctly and who didn’t. Please make an effort to pin your numbers correctly so all categories can be scored quickly and accurately.
  • The CCC is putting together a few new playlists for you listening enjoyment during the day. Let us know if you have any requests.
  • Another note from our friends up North… Grafton PumpkinCross is on the horizon – next Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Lime Kiln Park, 2020 S. Green Bay Rd., Grafton, WI. The race is proud to announce some new course features for 2015 including a several hundred meter paved start & finish, PRO only (well, they may do masters 35/45 123s as well), the grueling sledding hill climb with a DJ hillside and an open mic for heckling (or giving words of encouragement…), and the death grip slalom descent! Plus local food vendors: Hop In Smoke BBQ, the local crepe food truck for morning, pizza, beer, drink. If that’s not enough the FIRST FOUR CCC riders to use the promo code: “TOLL” gets free entry to PumpkinCross. Take their prize money! If you weren’t quick on the draw, “CHX” gets 25% off entry fees. Register at: https://www.usacycling.org/register/2015-2319
  • And finally…  as the CCC grows and grows and grows and we try to give everyone a chance to race please remember that even in what should be similarly skilled categories the front of the race is going a lot faster than the back. As fun as mullet metaphors can be, if you’re in the back of the pack (party in the back) please be aware of  your surroundings… and if you are about to be lapped, please do the right thing and allow the leaders to pass you safely and as best you can do not interfere with their race. In other words, don’t take the best/easiest line and let the fast guys/gals fly by, especially if there are several people riding together who are battling it out for the win. And to the leaders (business up front), please be respectful to those riders you are lapping, let them know which side you are passing on, and take it easy. You are already lapping these poor souls, there’s no reason not to be excellent to each other. Thanks! 

2015 Hopkins Park Preview

Real quick… The Friends of Big Marsh crowdfunding campaign ends THIS Friday night! If you haven’t yet participated, it’s not too late to get on board to help build Chicago’s FIRST URBAN BIKE PARK!! So many great options to show your support – check it out! http://igg.me/at/bigmarsh

  • #HopkinsCX
  • See general info on the preview page here.
  • Preliminary staging will be posted hereNumbers on the LEFT!
  • First and foremost, alcohol is prohibited in Hopkins Park so please respect that DeKalb Park District policy.
  •  Dave’s Slow Food will be out all day with BBQ and vegan chili.
  • Alexandra Barnes from Morning Bird Studio will be out to help with post race stretching.
  • Heritage Bicycles will be there with coffee and their cool RV as well as Other Brother Coffee.
  • Our friends at Podiumwear are coming down from MN.
  • First Aid is next to Officials Tent at Start/Finish.
  • One2Go REvent Services will be keeping lap times and emailing results. Watch actual live results on LiveLynxResults here.
  • Comrade Cycles takes pity on the Cat 4/5’s and is kicking in swag for the top 3 finishers in that race
  • Kiddie Cross at 2pm! Parents need to sign an Axletree waiver. Ages 10 and under. 5 age groups: 2 and under, 3-4y/o, 5-6y/o, 7-8y/o, 9-10y/o.
  • Sorry in advance for any confusion we may have caused at Caldwell Labagh Woods but the Single Speed category will start two minutes before the Jr 15-18. Slower single speeders, please make way for the fast juniors in a way that does not affect their race.
  • The course: similar figure-8 as in previous years but we get out to the tennis courts again. The course will run clockwise (except for the small loop around the flyover), same as the past couple years, but using some sections of the park we haven’t used in years. The course designers are going all UCI and having a paved start, so there will be no parking on the dead end road that goes back to the baseball diamonds. The flyover is back for it’s last race, at Hopkins Park anyway. So if you haven’t experienced the first, and now only, flyover in the CCC you won’t want to miss it this year. Equipment Pit access is shortly after coming down the flyover and again shortly after the finish line.

Dan’s Hills


Dan Ryan Woods is right around the corner and with it come some hills.  Throw in CamptonCX, Melas, etc and even here in the flat midwest they’re worth some preparation.  They might not be too bad on the first go around, but by your last couple of laps they’re gonna hurt!  They aren’t very long or incredibly steep.  But when you add in the cost of going all out to the base of each hill they become more substantial and will have an effect on the outcome of your race.

As with sprinting on the road you’re wise to simulate the total cost of the effort during your training, and not just the relatively short trip from bottom to top.  The training can be done on the road or off road.  They are tough, so consider this one of your hard days on the bike.

Warm up for at least 20 minutes in zones 1-2 heart rate/power

This is one interval, and do as one continuous effort: From a standing start ride at 100% effort for 200 meters, just as you would for a race start. Then settle into CP30/ftp HR (this is your best 30 minute power or ftp heart rate) and hold it for 3 minutes to the base of a 200 meter hill (longer if you have access).  100% effort up to the top of the climb.

3 minutes recovery between intervals.

X3 intervals = 1 set.

Take at least 8 minutes off between sets.

Warm down with at least a 20 minute spin in zones 1-2 heart rate/power


Do 1 or 2 sets if you are doing the category 4/5 races, 2 or 3 sets if you’re doing the cat 3 races, and 3 sets for the 1/2/3 bunch.


Peter Kelley


Tuesday CCC Updates

  • Really short update this week since the CCC series took last weekend off.
  • Racing up North in WI this past weekend.
  • Big racing on the East coast this past weekend both on and off the road.
  • This coming weekend the CCC heads to Dekalb for Hopkins Park. Reg closes Thursday. Look for the course preview on Thursday at the regular time.
  • And finally… if you want to see how a professional videographer covers a major CX event, check out what BigBikesThom does with DirtWire.tv.

CX Skills

As mentioned in this forum last week not all training rides can be full tilt.  You need easy recovery and moderate tempo as well and those are good days to make the most of your time in the saddle by working on skills.  A skills day workout should be a 1 hour and 30 minute ride maximum. Push yourself not in terms of physiological cost, but rather in the handling department.  These are a few basic tenets of the sport with some super cool videos that cover the basics of each:


Set up a course with turns to the right and left and at varying angles…..90, 45, 180, etc.  This is a great chance to try varying tire pressures as well.  Nice thing about working turns on a skills day is that you can hit them full speed without too much effort so you get the true feel that you’ll have on race day.  Push it and see how fast you can go.  It’s never fun to crash, but sliding out on grass once in a while is the price you might have to pay to find your thresholds.


This is not a good day for 200 meter or more “sprint” starts.  It is great day though to work on form a bit.  So take it slow and easy and focus on the little things that you can’t when going all-in.


Try starting with your hands on the hoods and in the drops.  Left leg forward versus right leg forward.  Try slightly different gearing.  You may find that you’re more comfortable with something you haven’t tried yet. With any adjustments in style though be sure to get in at least one full-on session of CX starts first before race day.

Click Here for Super Cool Video on CX Starts


Start very slowly, walking pace.  If you can’t do them slowly you’ll definitely not be able to do them at speed.  Try both sides also so that if a weird corner into a barrier (think Indian Lakes) or a crazy situation (think just about every CX race you’ve ever done) crop up you’ll at least have a frame of reference.

See you in Dekalb!

Rob Kelley

Director of Coaching

Training Bible Cycling

Tuesday CCC Updates

CCC15_00_LaBaugh Woods 99

Photo: SnowyMountain Photography

  • Well, that was an interesting 48 hours to relocate an 800 rider CX race and still have a great start to the CCC season. We hope you all had at least as much if not more fun than we did on Sunday at Caldwell LaBagh Woods. Results are up online all over the place, find links here: https://goo.gl/A88B7T
  • We hope you enjoyed the quick and live results from from One2Go on LiveLynx Results. The rest of the series will follow the same format, but please remember official results come from the (wait for it) USAC officials. So please see the officials if you have protests of questions.
  • The CCC takes this coming weekend off but a good friend of the series up above the Cheddar Curtain tells us… “The Cross-Shooshko Cross Race looks to be a lot of fun this year. Big party in the parking lot, improved course, $5 off pre-registration.” Read all about it on the internets here.
  • And then the next weekend (10/4/15) the CCC is back to Hopkins Park in Dekalb, IL. Its a bit farther to get out there, but
    • the course is always rad,
    • the CCC’s first ever flyover was born, raised, and still lives there,
    • Brian Conant also lives just around the corner, and
    • sources tell us we’ll have at least one special guest appearance.
  • And finally… while switching venues at the last minute was hectic and stressful to say the least, we think everyone from xXx Racing and their volunteers, to the USAC officials, to One2Go, to the Forest Preserve, to our uber MC Kenny Labbe, to the vendors (hey the porta-potties even showed up at the right place), to SRAM NRS, and especially to you the riders, spectators, fans, and supporters handled it all with aplomb. We’re always so proud of how, in times of need, the Chicagoland CX community comes together to make these little weekend parties happen.
  • And finally, finally… many of us are too young to even know that Chicago cyclocross more or less started in LaBagh Woods many, many years ago, so Sunday was a bit nostalgic and a coming home of sorts for some old-timers. But thankfully cameras had already been invented back then and we have photographic evidence. Apparently aero helmets were already en vogue and the only thing larger than the field sizes were the crowds of spectators.

    Photo: JP McCarthy


    Photo: JP McCarthy

2015 Caldwell Woods Preview

UPDATE 3 – 9/19/2015 at 4:30pm
The rains have passed and a new course has emerged at LaBagh Woods. The situation is improving by the minute and we are all systems go for racing tomorrow at LaBagh Woods. See the tentative course map below. A bunch of the turns will be different, but reg, staging, the finish, and the equipment pit will not change. Enter the park from Cicero Ave. Parking is a little tight and the park road is small, so please drive slowly and be excellent to each other. Also, you’d never know it from Caldwell, but LaBagh is actually dry right now. Don’t just bring your mud tyres. Seriously, its flat and dry. See you all tomorrow! #CXishere

UPDATE 2 – 9/18/2015 at 4:46pm
We’re on the move, quite literally. The Chicago Parks District and Forest Preserve have decided there is too much standing water in Caldwell Woods for our event. But fear not, our fantastic xXx Racing race director and team have been on the phones all afternoon and secured another venue just down the street at LaBagh Woods. Some of you will remember LaBagh woods as the location of xXx’s Wednesday evening practice crits this summer. More details to come over the next 24 hours and we’ll be sending out an email via BikeReg, but please let everyone know the event is still on. All details below are still valid besides the course map (obviously). Also, given the conditions please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PRERIDE THE COURSE. Doing so could materially impact xXx Racing’s ability to secure a venue in the future. Thanks!

UPDATE 1 – 9/18/2015:
There is a fair amount of standing water in Caldwell Woods as it is in the floodplain of the North Branch River. xXx Racing and the CCC are working together with the Chicago Parks District and Forest Preserve to reroute the course around sensitive areas and be good stewards of the park. Stay tuned here and on Twitter for details. The situation is fluid (pun intended) and xXx Racing will communicate changes concerning the event through email before Sunday. To be clear as mud (again with the puns…) the course map below will almost certainly change by Sunday.

  • Alrighty then… #CXisComing is finally turning into #CXisHere in Chicago… the 2015 Chicago Cyclocross Cup kicks off at Caldwell Woods hosted by xXx Racing-Athletico.
  • Live results by will be here: Watch races scored in real time!
  • Online pre-reg on BikeReg closes tonight, so get to it.
  • On site number pick up and Day-Of Registration will be in picnic pavilion near start finish line. Remember reg closes 30 minutes before the schedule start time of each category.
  • The CCC has returned to the old Tyvek bib numbers, but our officials and One2Go remind everyone to please not fold or crumple your numbers. If you do you risk not being scored. Numbers on your LEFT side (not your back!) .
  • Staging for the first race of the series is 100% by CrossResults.com ranking. See here for preliminary staging and if you believe your CXR points to be incorrect please contact CrossResults. Also, please check the discrepancies page. If you name is on this page you need to either edit your BikeReg registration (and profile), renew you annual USAC license, etc. Wait list orders are here. All of these lists will be updated again with final reg data no later than Thursday evening.
  • Results will be posted as soon as possible on the CCC’s 4 sided results board and for all pre-reg’d riders with correct/valid email address in their BikeReg rider profiles results will be emailed to you shortly after you finish. Also, One2Go will have its LiveLynx site updated in real time. Full results will be posted on USAC online Sunday night and series standings will be updated shortly afterward. This is the first race, so series standings are the same as the first 30 finishers.
  • The standard 2015 CCC Payout Schedule is here.
  • Porta-potties will be located in the small parking lot nearest Devon and Milwaukee adjacent to registration.
  • Teams can set up tents anywhere, but xXx Racing recommends doing so in the field North of the reg pavilion for viewing the finish line or the field to the North East for viewing the hill.
  • Main parking will be at Aquatic Center with pedestrian/racer access to course along north side of Devon Ave.
  • The equipment pits will be double sided.
  • Chicago Pizza Boss will again be in attendance and serving up fresh, hot, pies.
  • Additional info over here on the static preview page.
  • Remember to use the hashtag #CaldwellCX so everyone at home or in other parts of the country can follow along.
  • The course. See above, we’re moving to LaBagh Woods so the course is TBD for as of Friday night  xXx Racing has made a few improvements from last year including a smoothed out start, slightly shorter length, and double sided equipment pits (of course staffed by SRAM NRS). New tentative course is below. Reg, staging grid, finish line, and pit are all on the SW corner of the park.