Katia Strounina, 51 of Redland Bay rekindled memories of a childhood in Russia riding her bicycle on the grass and in the forest when she tackled a Cyclocross event, held on May 6 on the grassy area inside the Chandler velodrome.
Held during Bike Week, the event is an obstacle course for bike riders, combining riding, running, jumping, and skilful bike handling.
Dr Strounina is a high-profile researcher in material science at the Queensland university and started cyclocross about three years ago.
“I have enjoyed hiking for about 20 years and have been to lots of amazing places in Australia. My partner introduced me first to mountain biking, then to cyclocross. I fell in love with both straight away and while I’m not in the fastest grade, I do my best and enjoy it tremendously,” she said.
“This is a lot of fun, but very hard. I performed better than I expected and overtook two people.” she said.
Dr Strounina said she enjoyed cyclocross because it felt safer than riding on the road.
“It’s softer if you fall. It’s also concentrated into a small area so it’s a great spectator sport who can see everything all at once,” she said.
Competing on May 6 were about 100 adults and 30 children cyclists.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said riders and spectators were welcome to attend ongoing events in the Cyclocross spectacular.
“No Cyclocross course is the same. Competitors need to jump on and off their bikes to make it to the finish line. Cyclocross is rapidly emerging as a popular event for bike riders – drawing worldwide followers who enjoy watching extreme sports,” Ms Savage said.
The Bike Week Cyclocross Spectacular has competition categories for juniors, beginners, and experienced riders, as well as a relay and prizes for best costume or fancy dress.
Australian Cyclocross has been adapted from northern Europe where the sport began, and it has grown in popularity. Dr Strounina said she would be competing in Cyclocross at different venues most Sundays until August.