An example of cyclocross. Photo courtesy of Southern California Cross.
How badly do you want to watch a bunch of mud-splattered cyclists race around a dirt course, sweating through their lederhosen? How terribly would you like to see said cyclists stumble and attempt to make it through the mud, sand pits and hard-to-jump barriers set up to confuse and destroy?
Southern California Cross (SoCalCross) brings you KROSS-TOBER Fest, Race #4 of the Prestige Series, a cyclocross race series formed in 2006 by a group of cycling clubs eager to grow the sport.
"Cyclocross is like a big party, but with bikes," said P.J. Alvarez, a freshman at CSULB and avid cyclocross competitor for the CSULB Cycling Team.
For those of you who don’t race (or haven’t touched a bicycle in years), cyclocross is one of the more spectator-friendly sports within the genre. Competitors ride over grass, mud, sand, dirt and wood chips. They ride over barriers, run over barriers, hop off their bikes. They even carry their bikes, all for the sake of a prized podium placement and a fun day barreling through obstacles.
And you'll be able to see them vying for that placement come this Sunday.
“Cyclocross is extremely fun and exciting," Alvarez, in his second year of racing cyclocross, explained. "The courses week to week are always different and keep things interesting. The thrill of competition keeps me in it race after race and gives me a reason to work harder every time I come out.”
Elaina Alvarez, sibling to P.J. Alvarez, said, "I like cyclocross because it challenges you both physically and mentally. You push yourself harder than you ever thought you could. Not only are you challenged by your competition, but also the course itself." As a senior at CSULB and member of the CSULB Cycling Team, this is her second year racing cyclocross.
Heckling is encouraged, beer is encouraged and attaching dollar bills to sticks and holding them out into the middle of the course for riders to grab is definitely encouraged. This weekend’s day of delirium will be especially rambunctious in celebration of Oktoberfest. So make a day of it and strap on your lederhosen, bring out your steins and be a part of this annual merrymaking tradition.
This year KROSS-TOBER Fest will be held at El Dorado Park Area 3 in Long Beach on Sunday, October 19, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. Oktoberfest costumes are mandatory for all racers and special prizes will be given out to the best-dressed. The El Dorado Park Area 3 course is located at 7550 E. Spring St.