Monday, October 8, 2007

Cyclocross coming to Mercer County Park, NJ

Mercer Cup, presented by Toyota
, is coming to NJ. Wow Mercer County park has changed so much in the last 10 years, you now have the New Jersey State Triathlon being held here and the USRowing National Championship Regatta, what a great thing to see.
So what is this:
  • "Cyclocross has been described in many ways, some of the more common phrases are...
  • “the toughest hour in cycling”
  • “the NASCAR of bike racing"
  • “requires the finesse of a ballet dancer, the speed of a motorcycler and the grit of a hockey player”
Cyclocross is a fall/winter, on-road/off-road cycling discipline held on a looped circuit of approximately 1-2 miles.

Cyclocross racers navigate mud, sand, pavement, grass, gravel, pasture, and mulch. When the terrain is too steep to ride or they are confronted by a standard set of wooden barriers, riders dismount, shoulder their bikes and run. Regulations suggest a lap be comprised of 90% riding and 10% running.

Each race is a timed event lasting anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the racer's category. The race leader at the completion of the last lap is declared the winner. The sport originated in Europe after the second World War where road cyclists began riding in pastures and muddy fields to maintain their fitness. The first World Championship was held in Paris in 1950.

A cyclocross bike splits the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike, equipped with knobby skinny tires, drop handlebars and a lightweight frame.

Cyclocross enjoys a colossal following in continental Europe and is currently the fastest growing cycling discipline in the United States. The UCI has targeted the US as a key market for the expansion and continued growth of the sport.

In 2007 US athletes made history - winning 3 Silver Medals at the World Championships for the first time since the US began competing on the international stage.

Cyclocross is a great sport for viewing by spectators as the racers complete laps every 6-7 minutes, so there is always plenty of action happening right before your eyes. Clanging cowbells are a staple accessory used in cheering on the competitors at most every cyclocross event."

This is a great way to change it up and enjoy another way to train in the off season. If not just come out and support the riders. Cyclocross, Mercer County Park