52° F

Wis. cyclists pay visit to the pain cave

By Dave Delozier,
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:44:16 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 25 2013 12:00:00 AM CST



The cyclo-cross is not your father’s bike race. For an hour, cyclists race over open fields, climb up hillsides and scramble up dirt, mud and rocky slopes. It is an aerobic sport that tests the physical condition of the riders.

“One of the guys always talks about the pain cave. So you enter the pain cave and you sit there for an hour,” Travis Gruchow, a cyclo-cross racer, said.

The origins of cyclo-cross can be traced to the early 1900s in Europe. It is typically an autumn and winter sport that riders gravitate to once the road racing season ends. Many riders use their road bikes to navigate the cyclo-cross course.

“You are riding a bike that’s not really meant to be ridden off road,” Joe Vadeboncoeur, a cyclo-cross racer, said. “You start the season with a bike that’s really nice and fancy and shiny and clean and by the end of the season, yeah, it doesn’t work so well.”

Weather is also an integral part of cyclo-cross. The races are held regardless of frigid cold temperatures or snow.

“Weather is part of the race,” Luke Batchelor-Clark, a Madison cyclo-cross race promoter, said.

The Wisconsin Cycling Association conducts a series of cyclo-cross races during the fall and winter. The races are open to children and adults of all ages, men and women. For more information about the cyclo-cross series, visit the Wisconsin Cycling Associations website.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers


    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • Twitter

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Famous first tweets

    The Queen is on Twitter! Check out what she had to say and other famous first tweets.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC


    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink


    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.