Dismounting and Remounting in Cyclocross
Dismounting and remounting are essential skills in cyclocross that with practice will make riding a cx course significantly easier.
Dismounting a moving bicycle can be….uncomfortable. It sounds simple in theory, but go watch any cyclocross race and you’ll multiple methods people use to separate themselves from their machine. I hesitate to say there is a “right” way as that is not necessarily true. There is, however, a “most efficient” way of dismounting your bicycle.
It’s pretty simple:
- Unclip your dominant foot
- swing your leg around the rear of the bike to bring it to parallel with your leg that is still clipped in.
- There are two ways to go about this step. Practice both and pick whichever you prefer.
- Unclip your non-dominant leg well before you need to dismount
- Unclip your non-dominant leg immediately before you need to dismount
- Drop your feet to the ground, ideally landing mid-stride.
See what I mean! It’s not so bad. A simple drill to practice dismounting is to perform step 1 (unclipping your dominant leg) and step 2 (swinging your dominant leg to the other side of the bike) repeatedly. Start off practicing at a slow speed, and slowly increase the pace from there.
Dismounting may be uncomfortable, but remounting can be outright scary. Remounting the skill that the majority of cyclocross riders struggle with. It is not uncommon to see people stopping their bikes to remount, or taking a few tries to get it right. Maybe they even land in some not-so-pleasant areas. While none of these are necessarily wrong ways to do it, they are really inefficient and make remounting your bike much harder (or in some cases more painful) than it needs to be.
How to remount:
- Swing your dominant leg back and over your saddle mid-stride, making sure to land on the inside of your thigh.
- Slide your hips all of the ways onto the saddle while bringing your non-dominant leg off the ground and finding the pedals with both feet
- Clip-in and pedal hard!
It may seem simple in writing, but I guarantee you it’s not. Check out the attached video to see me demonstrate how to practice the above steps in a way that is comfortable and ensures you get the technique down.
Dismounting and remounting can be difficult and uncomfortable skills to master. With practice, they will quickly become an asset and bring your cyclocross ability to a new level.