Cyclocross is all about the smiles. It’s a little quirky riding a modified road bike around a muddy field for an hour, but that just makes it all the more appealing. There are lots of local races all over the country and there’s a good atmosphere at these events, with only the very top racers taking it too seriously. Everyone else is there for the joy of it. It’s good for spectators too as the courses are short and tightly confined.
Riding a cyclocross bike through adverse conditions, whether it’s slick mud, wet grass, or rocky ground, with the myriad of obstacles you’ll encounter from off-camber turns, steep banks and hurdles, gives you a good lesson in bike handling skills. Handling a slip sliding cyclocross bike requires a relaxed technique and that can transfer really well to the road bike.
You can never have too many bikes. If you have a mountain bike, you can use that just fine, many people do quite happily. But if you want to get into it properly, then you might want to invest in a cyclocross bike. Cyclocross bikes have changed quite a bit in the last few years and disc brakes are now very popular. Many cyclocross bikes are very versatile as well, and can be used as a commuting and winter training bike with a simple change of tyres.