There were many levels of competition from beginner to UCI Elite pro racers. Some rode single speed bikes, some rode advanced cyclocross bikes, some rode hard tail "29er" mountain bikes, but they were all having fun and going all out on this 1 mile course that included stairs, hurdles long uphill climbs and endless turns.
I tried riding it on Heather's Trance and with over inflated tires managed a 7 minute lap time. The fastest elite races rode the course in 4:58. Humbled, yes. Inspired, most definitely! As soon as I can find room for one, I'll be buying a cyclocross bike!
I know nothing about this sport, so forgive me for only recognizing Tour De France veteran and 10 place finisher Chris Horner decked out in Radioshack attire, as well as AMA Superbike Champ Ben Bostrom. These stars were no match for the pair of elite men at the front of the race, Adam Craig and Ryan Trebon, who put on a "clinic" in cyclocross 101, finishing well ahead of the rest of the field.
I did meet the mother of a young up and coming racer named Casey Williams from Big Bear. At 16 years of age, Casey has shown tremendous skill and potential and will certainly be a name to watch in the years ahead. He has a brother as well, and the two are very competitive, which reminds me of the Schleck brothers across the pond. American cycling is in good hands with these young men.
Thanks goes to the organizers of this event, So Cal Cross and the hard working series director Dorothy Wong, who's dedication and perseverance resulted in this amazing race in Griffith Park. I hope this is just the beginning of more competitive cycling events in Los Angeles. Thanks Dorothy!
Here's all my photos from both days: