The 2015 Connecticut Series of Cross begins this weekend with two races in the Hartford area. Cross is a great spectator sport--in countries like Belgium where cross is extremely popular, crowds come out in droves to watch riders wrestle with muddy, wet, and slippery conditions on off-camber turns and hills. If you're interested in cyclocross but not ready to race, or if you're a fan of live sport, this weekend's races are a great chance to see competitors up close on a variety of terrain. Bring some beer or bust out the apple cider, ignoring the 90 degree heat we've been having and celebrate the beginning of fall in your local parks.
|Not Connecticut cross.|
This Saturday, September 12 is Silk City Cyclocross in Manchester, CT on the campus of Manchester Community College. There are races for all levels, including juniors, women, and men.
On Sunday, cyclocross returns to the City of Hartford's beautiful Riverside Park with Riverfront Park CX. Riverside Park will be the venue for the 2017 US Cyclocross National Championships, a pretty big deal for the City and for Connecticut. There should be beer for sale at the event. Tony wrote about this national event coming to Hartford on the beat bike blog during last year's cross season. 'Cross races have been taking place at Riverside Park since the early 2000s. It might not be the best, pure cx course out there, but riding trails feet from the river in a race is pretty rad.
A great place to watch the action at Riverside Park is on the dike that the course rides up, down, and around in the northern end of the park. Heckling is encouraged. I rode an old steel mountain bike at last year's Veterans' Memorial CX Race in Colt Park (moved to Waterbury, CT this year) and was laughed at and heckled mercilessly by anonymous spectators--it was wonderful. My sense of the races in Hartford has been that they are relatively staid affairs, and could use more brash, inebriated spectators. I know that Connecticut itself is a staid affair, but we can do better, I know it.
Find out more about the CT series, which runs from September through December at the stylish website for the series: http://www.ctseriesofcx.com/.
See you Sunday, Justin