Freewheelers host Cyclocross

  • By Klas Stolpe
  • Friday, September 25, 2015 1:08am
  • Sports

It is not uncommon to see a Cyclocross racer approaching a concrete finish line covered in mud from shoe tip to helmet top.

The sport usually features an off-road portion but there can be bouts of pavement (generally at the finish), grass, dirt, mud, gravel, sand and just about any other combination of nature’s obstacles.

“Cyclocross is usually done on a beefed up road bike,” Cycle Alaska owner John McConnochie said. “It is more like cross-country running. It is cross-country on a bike. That is a good way to describe it.”

It is also not uncommon to see a Cyclocross racer dismounting and then carrying his bike over an obstacle or through waist deep water. Typically a racer grabs any bike and tries to navigate any type of terrain or obstacle in the fastest, most efficient way possible. There is a professional circuit with designated Cyclocross bikes.

“Typically the frame is a little bit heavier,” McConnochie said. “There are larger tires with a little more tread on them. A typical road bike tire would be 23 millimeters, whereAS a Cyclocross bike might be 38 millimeters… not huge, not like a mountain bike tire. They are just a little more solidly built. We sell quite a few because people like to commute on them. Cyclocross is not road riding, it is not mountain bike riding, but it is just cross country riding on a beefed up road bike.”

True Cyclcross bikes also have different cable routing as riders often need to shoulder the bike during the race. Full housing is also used for mud protection. Chains can have extra guards to prevent injury in frequent mounts and dismounts.

“We are encouraging people to bring mountain bikes, too,” McConnochie said. “Not a lot of people have Cyclocross bikes in Juneau. We have more mountain and hybrid bikes, which are excellent for this. People should just come on out, give this a try and have some fun.”

On Saturday, the Juneau Freewheelers will host the Dredge Lake Cyclocross Ride Or Race along a .6 mile lap.

Cyclocross races are based on a set time, measured by numbers of laps and not distance.

The Dredge Lake race begins on Crystal Lake Trail behind the Forest Service Regional Offices on the Mendenhall Loop Road. Riders then head to the Pit Trail, then Moose Lake Trail and back to the Crystal Lake Trail.

A community cyclocross ride of four laps will be held at 2:25 p.m. At 3 p.m. will be the youth race (ages 10-18) of three laps and at 3:15 p.m. is the open race of 10 laps.

Registration begins at 2 p.m. on the Crystal Lake Trailhead and ends at 2:25 p.m. Cost is $10. Riders must be a member of Juneau Freewheelers for insurance purposes and can join for $5 (individual) or $10 (family).

Following the races will be an awards and pizza party at Bullwinkles, hosted by Cycle Alaska.

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