By Katie Macarelli
Coming up on my 3rd season of Cyclo-cross, I can safely say there is wisdom that comes from doing things the wrong way. In cross, this wisdom can come quite quickly. Say, as you careen into a barrier at 10 miles an hour without really knowing how to successfully handle said barrier in a decent fashion. This was the year I decided I would actually apply the wisdom gained and DO something about my bad-habits. This led me to seek out and meet Paul McCarthy, owner and designer of CrossPropz, portable cross barriers.
Much like me, Paul's inspiration for Cross Propz began with botching a barrier. "A while back in Boulder Colorado, I was attending a Cyclo-cross clinic put on by Boulder Cycle Sport at a local park. There was a good turnout and Brandon Dwight brought some help with him to teach this informal Cyclo-cross training session. We started out riding across a field practicing dismounting and remounting our bikes. We started at a slow pace and gradually picked up speed. Now it was time to try dismounts with barriers. Some pvc barriers were set up and we rode in circles practicing dismounts and getting over the barriers. At one point I managed to crash into one of the barriers. I put my bike down and walked back and started to re-assemble the barrier when a friendly voice said "I’ll do that, … you just practice." Although it was a nice gesture, by none other than Greg Keller of Mud and Cowbells, it made me think 'Why should anyone have to stop their session to re-assemble a barrier. After all it's practice, they’re gonna get hit?' So that’s how it started." -Paul McCarthy