Thursday, November 3, 2011

Post-Race Cyclocross Clean-Up

A couple of days ago we talked about the key things you should do to prep for a wet and cold cyclocross race. Just as important is what you do after. Mud and grime will not only tear your bike up but it will also tear up your clothing.

Bike Wash: Don't wait to wash your bike. It may seem like a hassle when you're wet and cold to go wash your bike right after the race but you'll be thankful you did the next day. Depending on the soil, I've had dirt that once dried does not want to come off. So get to it while the mud and dirt is still damp.

Cothing: Don't let it dry out. If you've got a longish drive home, stuff your clothes in a plastic bag and keep them damp. Stinky? You bet. But just like your bike, once that dirt dries, you're clothing is stained for life. Once you get home, grab the Oxy-Clean. If you clothes have clumps of mud on them I hose them off in the yard first. Load the washing machine with your detergent and a couple scoops of Oxy-Clean. I like to run it through one cycle, then stop the machine and let it soak for at least an hour. I've been in some really muddy races where I've had to go through 2 or 3 wash cycles to get stuff clean. If you do it right, you'll minimize the staining.

Shoes: Just like clothing, pre-clean them in the driveway to get off any big clumps of dirt. Once you've cleaned them up, stuff the inside with waded up newspaper. The dry paper will pull the water out of your shoes and decrease dry time. I'll let them sit like that overnight, then remove the paper and let them air dry the rest of the way. I don't like to use a heat source as it messes up the leather.

I try to do all these things right when I get home. After that, you can shower up and relax and leave the deep cleaning until the next day.

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