A new style of bike racing is coming to Powell River this weekend. The first-ever Powtown CX Classic takes place Sunday, September 22, at Willingdon Beach. Cyclocross is a form of racing that involves many laps of a short course on different terrains, including pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles.
“It's one of the most exciting cycling events because it combines road racing and mountain biking,” said co-organizer Graham Cocksedge. “The more diverse the terrain you race on the better the race course.”
The event is being organized by Brooks Secondary School teachers Chris Bratseth and Cocksedge, together with Justin Bailey of Taws Bike Garage. Any proceeds from the event will go to the Brooks Outdoors Club.
A free training clinic took place on September 11, giving participants a primer on some of the techniques involved in cyclocross racing. For example, riders quickly dismount and carry their bikes while navigating obstructions and then remount. One of the great benefits of the style of racing is that it is accessible to all ages and most fitness levels, according to Cocksedge.
“It’s a short race, 30 to 45 minutes, so it’s good for everybody in the sense that you don’t have to be super fit or trained, and it’s great because it can be a family event,” he said. “There are categories right down to five years old and up to masters and everybody can watch everybody else so it’s very inclusive.”
The visibility of the course makes it an especially exciting race to watch, said Bailey.
“It’s the best spectator event that you can go to on a bike,” he said. “It’s not like you see someone go by and don’t see them for another half hour. A lot of times you can stand in one spot and see the majority of the course and what’s going on.”
There are no specific rules on the style of bike participants ride for a cyclocross event, although cyclocross or mountain bikes are best suited. Riders of road bikes may find the course quite difficult, said Cocksedge.
“Come and ride any bike you want,” he added. “All bikes and levels welcome.”
For more information or to register, go to tawsbikegarage.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.