Know of any Cyclocross events in Toronto?
Do you know of any entry-level friendly cyclocross events that are taking place this fall in Toronto/the GTA? Please let me know. From what I've seen there seems to be a pretty binary setup when it comes to events:
* races where you are a UCI licenced, experienced rider with extra bikes/pit-crew/sponsorship?/etc.
* Paris-Ancaster, where in the video I not only saw everything from champion racers to everyday dorks like me, but I *swear* in one of the videos there was a dad with his kid on one of those ride-a-long things
I'm a fan of the latter, for sure, but other than Paris-Ancaster itself I can't seem to find a lot of newb-friendly races. Also P-A is in the spring.
Any information appreciated!
Talk do your LBS. They usually know the scene very well and can fill you in. I believe the Canadian Nationals were in Toronto last year.
All cross events are entry level friendly, that's what makes cross well, cross. Its run what you brung.
Entry level or not, you have to have a licence. And if you don't have one, most if not all races require you to buy a 1 day licence anyway. Most races have classes or categories, so you aren't racing head to head against the "so called" pros. Here in New Brunswick, all classes race togther at the same time, so you can rub shoulders with the more experienced riders.
Have a look at your provincial cycling association website - they usually list all the events happening in Ontario - then go from there.
There are not a lot of Point to Point Cyclocross races in Ontario, the only ones typically are P2A and Tour de Pelham, but it got cancelled this past year, and they both typically happen in April.
Last year the Tour of King was labelled as a cyclocross / mountain bike race, but I did it on a cross bike last year, and the prevailing feeling was that it is a bit too challenging to do a on a cross bike except for the really good technical riders. It happens in late September.
That being said actual cyclocross races start in mid-september and they happen all over Southern Ontario. The rough schedule is listed on the OCA site. These are more than easy enough for a beginner if you start in Master 3. They are pretty easy enough to do at your own pace for the experience because the main bunch goes pretty hard at the beginning and the folks behind them string out a bit.
I stated doing the cross races last fall, and while I wasn't particularly competitive I did find it fun.
In addition to this the Mid Week Cycling club hold cyclocross clinics every Tuesday night throughout the fall at Centennial Park. If you are not a club member it is $10 and you need to have some form of OCA license (which will you need for the races anyways). The citizen permit is fine and it is pretty affordable for the year. I believe this year they start on Sept 11th.
Let me know if you have any other specific questions.
Originally Posted by aerodynamic
Thanks, Stuart. My priorities aren't point-to-point at all, but rather locale (i.e. IN Toronto, not 50-100km outside of it). My attempts to look at various cycling event calendars tends to be tharted because those calendars have to date have been pretty much empty. With licenses plus entry fees but whatever else comes up, cost is starting to raise it's head, too.
Know of any good races that fit my specs?
Yeah for some reason the OCA and Cylcocross organizers are horrible at announcing details about the events in the fall. Some events last year didn't have their final details announced until like a week before. So if you were new to cyclocross, it was hard to find simple things like where to park etc.
Originally Posted by aerodynamic
Anyways I would definetley recommending trying out the Mid Week Cyclocross Clinics. Even if you can't drive you can get there on bike paths or via the road in about 40 mins from downtown and it gives you a good taste of riding cross, without the pressure of an actual race. Usually the way it works is that it starts at around 6 or 6:30 and people just informally do loops around the course for an hour or so, then the finish off the night with a little "race" that goes in waves of good folks then new folks. It is nice albeit a bit unstructured. The did however have one night were it was a bit more structured and they went through some drills like jumping over barriers, doing the tight turns etc. and that was pretty great. There site is here : http://www.midweekclub.ca/ No info no the nights yet but I did see a poster at a local bike shop advertising it again for this year.
They also do a two day cyclocross actual race at Centennial in October. Last year the Saturday was a Citizen Race and the Sunday was an S Cup.
From what I understand about this year, there actually a lot more races, pretty much every weekend. The Saturday's will be Citizen Races and the Sunday will be Southern Cup Races. The only difference is that the Sunday Races are for points for the series.
Last year I did Durham Cross in Oshawa, The Toronto Race, and Esteem Cross at Albion Hills and they were all good. Although at the Albion Cross my crank arm came off on my final lap, but I still came in sixth. I just one footed it back in. I think Albion was my favourite. They had chilli and baked goods.