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HoliCX3 Cyclocross Race at HoliMont
October 20, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Bicycle riders love the fall. The colorful landscape, the cool crisp air and smell of nature….Ahhhhh. Now add a zig zag course, with a splash of mud. Sprinkle in some grass, a handful of barriers and wrap everything in spandex. Yee haw, now you got a cyclocross race. HoliMont is hosting its 3rd annual HoliCX3 race October 20, 2018.
There are many stories of how cyclocross racing got its start. It’s kind of like the origins of snowboarding. There is always some old timer claiming to be the first. “Yeah I remember when I rode my bike through a field and then jumped over a fence while a crazy bull was chasing me. Next thing you know they went and made a race out of it.” The true origins of cross trace back to Europe and by most accounts it was a way to train during the off season for long bicycle races like the Tour De France. In 1910 Belgium hosted the first national cyclocross championship and in 1924, Paris France was the location of the first international race, Le Critérium International de Cross-Country Cyclo-Pédestre. All organized competitions end up being governed by a group of rule makers, so in 1950, UCI regulated its first cyclocross race which happened to be the world championships in Paris. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that cross racing got some traction in the US. Participation grew threw the 90’s bike boom and is still growing today. Boulder Colorado has become a hot bed for cross and hosts numerous races and events throughout the year.
As for our local scene, there are many sponsors and promoters holding races all over Western New York. Two years ago, a local legend and racer John Roden had the idea of combing the popular cross races in the area into an overall series with a focus on families. WNY Cross Series (www.wnycyclocross.com) was born. There are classes for all ages and abilities and is a great way to get the whole family active and outdoors. Great friendships and rivalries have formed over the years. It’s been great to see many young riders become young competitive adults. There’s nothing more rewarding and defeating than getting beat by a kid who you watched start on training wheels.
As the Marketing Director for HoliMont I’m always looking for new ways to showcase the club. There were no cyclocross races in Ellicottville but I knew that there was a huge contingency of riders in the area including members of the club. I wasn’t sure how the idea would be received but by the end of August, we were mapping out a course, had a couple of sponsors and buy-in from the board. The first race would be held during Fall Festival and draw racers from all around. 100 racers were registered and event with cold and damp conditions, the race was a huge success. The course offered challenging lines and features with the fall foliage creating a magnificent backdrop. The balance of a good course comes from good flow, unique features and a high level of suffering. You know you did your job well when racers love and hate you all at the same time. One of the best photos from the race was of three veteran racers sitting on the grass, covered in mud looking completely drained but smiling the whole time. Many people have compared grueling bike races to hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with a hammer. It feels so good when you stop.
So, if you like bikes and are looking for a challenge, sign up for this year’s race. If you like to watch other people suffer where heckling and cow bells are not only allowed but encouraged, then mark your calendar for October 20. This year’s race is a couple weeks after Fall Festival to allow us to focus on the race event by itself. Registration details, times of events and other information can be found online (www.bikereg.com). If you’re the type to wait till the last minute, we will have day-of-registrations open at 8:30am race day. Racing, parking and spectators will all enter at the WestMont entrance located at Ridgeway drive, off route 242. There will be a fun kid course free to all racers 8 and under. All other racers will need a valid USAC license or buy a one-day license for $10 on top of the registration fee. Did I mention socks? The first 100 people to register get a free pair of HoliMont bicycle socks.
For more information or if you would to set-up on vendor row, please call HoliMont at (716) 699-2320 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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