I ventured out this morning into the cold, wet day to check out another form of bike racing. I’ve seen photos and video of these kinds of races, I’ve seen the special bikes on display at the local bike shops but I’d never actually been to a race. I have really been missing some cool stuff and great camaraderie among cyclists. I’m not going to go into the history of cyclocross here (this is a fun way to learn about cx) but let’s just say it’s a melding of mountain biking and road cycling. Mostly off road, technically challenging short courses across wet fields, in mud, over barriers, through sand, across slick bridges…racers ride for a set period of time and the rider with the most laps at the end wins, simple. Oh, and cowbells, lots of cowbells.
The race today, “The Turkey Burn”, was held at Allsop Park in Little Rock and is part of a larger cyclocross series called the Arkansas Super-Prestige held across the state this time of year. One of the great things about the race is that spectators can wander around a pretty small area and watch the race from several vantage points. Something that’s kind of tough to do with road races and mountain bike races. So there is a lot of cheering and cowbell ringing. This event had three separate races based on skill level and each ran fora different length of time. Between the races everyone just kind of hangs out and talks about all things cycling. This race was sponsored by Arkansas Cycling and Fitness, Arkansas Bicycle Club and Vino’s, the latter supplied pizza and beer for the racers. Yes, it’s that kind of event.
Their are two more races left in the series so you still have a chance to get out and witness the craziness. On Sunday December 4th is the Jingle Bell Race at Boyle Park in Little Rock and on Sunday December 11th is the State Cyclocross Championship Race at Burns Park in North Little Rock.
The rest of the story is best told in photos. Please excuse the quality of some of the photos, the big camera had a mishap on a backpacking trip the day before so we had to rock the point-and-shoots. If you feel the need to see even more suffering visit our Flickr Page.