Cyclocross season starts in Central Arkansas starts off Saturday night, October 13 at Little Rock's Kanis Park with the Arkansas Superprestige Night Cyclocross Race sponsored by CARVE. If you have a hot date Saturday night that does not involve mud, you can still get some 'cross at the Reservoir Cross event on Sunday morning at 11:00AM, sponsored by the Community Cyclist.
Saturday night (10/13)
ASP Night Race presented by CARVE
Kanis Park, Little Rock
4:30pm Registration opens, course open for practice
6:30pm Kid's race
7:00pm Women, Masters (40+), Juniors (18-), Fours
Reservoir Cross presented by The Community Bicyclist
Reservoir Park, Little Rock
9:30am Registration opens, course open for practice
11:00am Women, Masters (40+), Juniors (18-), Fours
Come out & race or spectate/cheer/heckle your friends
OK, I'll admit that cyclocross doesn't make much sense, but it sure is fun to watch and, from what I'm told, even more fun to race!
Cyclocross is supposed to allow bike racers to mimic the "good old days" of steeplechase, when the boys from the villages of merry old England would race their horses cross country while leaping hedgerows and slogging across muddy bogs. Since we are in a modern era of paved roads, new-fangled pneumatic tires and the like, course designers have to seek out natural barriers or build them in order to punish new-age 'cross racers. The sport is huge in Belgium, where there is usually plenty of naturally occurring mud and if there is not constant drizzle, the spectators usually spill enough beer to make up for any lack of precipitation.
For the uninitiated, cyclocross involves riding what is essentially a robust road bike with knobby tires and caliper brakes (remember the frequent mentions of mud) around a course that includes barriers, stairs, hills and anything else that can be put in the way of forward progress, usually along with copious quantities of.....mud. Riders run, jump, hop, and climb their way around in circles until they get tired or someone is declared the winner.
It is a fall and winter sport often associated with being cold, muddy and wet, fried potatoes, suffering, cow bells, rowdy spectators, and beer.
You can keep up with the cyclocross scene at Arkansas Cyclocross
If you lean toward northeast Arkansas a bit, more 'cross opportunities arise..
Gearhead Outfitters of Jonesboro is sponsoring races on 11/4 at Village Creek State Park near Wynne and on 11/18 at Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro.