Friday, October 1, 2010

Cross is in season.

Ah, cyclocross. The autumn and winter pastime of many-a-Belgian-hardman. And over the past few years, it's become the pastime of many-a-American-average-bike racer.

Cyclocross, in many ways, is a perfect form of bike racing. The barrier to entries are low. Although you start in a group, the courses (and ability level of racers) are such that there's no peloton to speak of. Rather, it's a string of riders cruising around a race course, generally separated by tens of seconds, if not minutes. And while you can absolutely spend a gazillion dollars on a 'cross bike, it's not essential. In fact racing on less than high zoot (low zoot?) equipment is often considered a badge of honor.

But here's, to me, why 'cross is a great sport. It's ideal for weekend warriors. Although many of us hate to admit it, most of us have limited training and travel time. Cross races typically last less than an hour. So it's realistic to have breakfast with your family (or girlfriend/boyfriend/cats), drive to a race, warm up, register, race, cool down, and drive home, and STILL have time to have a relaxing afternoon. Nice. You also get an unbelievably great workout to boot.

So, given this description you might guess that I am cyclocross racer. Sadly, you'd be mistaken. Four knee surgeries have left me with little desire for sports that involve running. And while cyclocross doesn't require a ton of running, there's some, and too much for me.

Also, cross is freaking hard! OK, I'm mostly kidding. I love a great workout as much as most cyclist. But still, the running joke is that cyclocross is the perfect sport for people that like the taste of their own vomit. Of course no one will force you to work so hard that the taste of bile will surround your taste buds, (as opposed to a road race where you either 1) work hard to keep up or 2) get dropped, ride alone and likely drop out(, it really is a hard sport. This is a good thing though. Really.

Seriously though. Commit to a season of cross racing and you will definitely bring some fitness into the holiday fatness season.

OK, so all of this is a long way of saying two things. First, your helpful friends at Two Wheel Transit would be happy to tell you all about cyclocross and cyclocross bikes. And second, Michael and Marla Emde are promoting many of this season's cross races. Want more info? Read below.

Good luck!

Inland NW Cyclocross Series event kicks off season at Valley Mission Park on Sunday
First of nine races in the Inland NW Series with a course favorite in the Spokane Valley.

(Spokane, WA) Valley Mission Park in the Spokane Valley will host the Inland Northwest’s top cyclocross racers this Sunday with the first race of nine in the Inland NW Cyclocross Series on October 3, 2010. The Valley Mission Park venue features a classic ‘cross course with varied terrain such as grass, sand, elevation, and pavement as well as being a very spectator friendly course. “This course has been a favorite of the riders over the years and are excited to be back at Valley Mission after taking a hiatus from this course for a couple of years”, said Marla Emde, co-promoter of the race.

“We are expecting 150-200 cyclocross racers this year and we’ve seen the numbers grow steadily the last couple of years. Cyclocross is the fastest growing discipline of USA Cycling and we are starting to see the excitement here in the Inland Northwest”, says Emde. The series also features the second annual Bike Expo on October 10th at the Riverside State Park venue featuring a “bike car” from Pullman, local area bike shops and industry vendors will be showing their wares from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Cities hosting races within this series include Coeur d’Alene, Walla Walla, Ephrata, Moscow and Liberty Lake. This year marks the 11th year of the Inland NW Cyclocross Series in the Inland Northwest.

Competitors in the Inland NW Cyclocross Series compete for prizes and prize money given at the series final on November 21st. Registration is on race day only and athletes must be members of USA Cycling or may purchase one day licenses at registration for an additional $10.00. For more Inland NW Cyclocross Series information and future results, please visit

Schedule of Events for Sunday October 3rd:

11:30 am – Master Men 40+, Master Men 50+ (all categories)

12:30 pm – Mountain Bike Men and Women, Cat 4 Women, Junior Men and Women (all categories)

1:15 pm – Women Cat 1-2-3 and Cat 4 Men

2:15 pm – Men Cat 1-2-3

About the Spokane Regional Sports Commission
The Spokane Regional Sports Commission provides leadership in economic and community development through sports. Our vision is to position the Spokane region as the premier site for adult and youth sports events, generating a significant economic impact, improving quality of life, and bringing prominence and recognition to the Inland Northwest. For more information, please visit our website


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