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Urban Denver venues diversify cyclocross

December 29, 2014
The cry of an urban cyclocross warrior

The cry of an urban cyclocross warrior

Two cyclocross races staged by DMM Solutions and Events this fall in Denver, Colorado jogged through gritty city locations instead of a green park or suburban field laced with tall grass.

Mile High Urban CX Chaos (MUCCY) transpired at a construction site. The Stadium Arena and Hall at the National Western Complex adjacent to I-70 hosted Cowboy Cross; some might call it ranch ‘cross, but it took place in the city, so let’s classify it as urban ‘cross too.

Nic Handy rolls past the stock-pens at the National Western Complex

Nic Handy rolls past stock-pen fencing at the National Western Complex in Denver

The venues offered differing course material: MUCCY rolled entirely outdoors, while much of Cowboy Cross wound through an indoor dirt arena that normally welcomes bucking broncos and across concrete-floored holding areas for livestock that are full during January’s annual Stock Show. The course also traversed an asphalt parking lot and gravel embankment.

Tim Allen crosses the MUCCY pipes

Tim Allen crosses the MUCCY pipes

Aside from their urban location, the two events had a couple of characteristics in common. One is the use of obstacles that don’t appear on your typical cyclocross course, like livestock fencing and pipes.

Just past one liquor hand-up corner that marked the end of pavement, multiple pipe crossings littered the MUCCY course and led riders to the main obstacles: run-ups and drop-offs along the sides of steeply pitched dirt piles and a ditch that awaits a building foundation. A shipping container and human-sized graffiti scrawl across a wall added industrial decorative touches.

Grafitti wall

“This diabolical course is not your average ‘cross course. It is VERY technical and that’s why I like it,” Tim Allen (Feedback Sports) noted by email.

Allen decided tackling the course’s hiccups would be more fun on a mountain bike for the open race at MUCCY. “There were stairs that I was able to ride up and down, and other gnarly obstacles including curbs, wooden ramps, steel pipes, mud, mud, more mud, sand and snow! Not to mention some crazy steep off-camber and mandatory run-ups!”

Approaching the MUCCY drop-off with a fine view of downtown Denver

Approaching the MUCCY drop-off with a fine view of downtown Denver

At Cowboy Cross racers carved turns around stock-pen fencing and hay carts. They zig-zagged under the arena stadium-style seating.

Both venues offered the traditional sand pit obstacle. The one positioned in the arena at Cowboy Cross may have been the deepest riders would see during the ‘cross season.

The atypical challenges transformed these urban cyclocross into a wackier kind of competition for riders and spectators. Allen, who won the men’s open race for the third year in a row at MUCCY and the single speed match earlier in the day, explains.

“My favorite part of this race is the atmosphere. It’s not a serious ‘points’ race, so lots of the fast guys don’t show up (unfortunately). This race also encourages (almost forces) hand-ups. There were several shots of whiskey and Lagunitas IPA available and the spectators were in top form!”

Enjoying the atmosphere at MUCCY

Enjoying the atmosphere at MUCCY

DMM Solutions and Events scheduled an adaptive cycling class for both races. At MUCCY, The atmosphere became inspiring when the hand cyclists took the start line.

Hand cyclists’ rigs sit low to the ground, run on three wheels, and weigh-in heavier than their two wheeled cousins. Consequently, deep sand or loose dirt bog down these riders more easily. At MUCCY kids were eager to help them negotiate those surfaces.

With the kids’ help and on their own steam, the hand cyclists covered almost the same course as the other riders.

Assisting a hand cyclist out of the construction pit at MUCCY

Assisting a hand cyclist out of the construction pit at MUCCY

Celebrating the end of a great day: Deirdre Moynihan of DMM Solutions and Events shares a laugh with Tim Allen

Celebrating the end of a great day: Deirdre Moynihan of DMM Solutions and Events shares a laugh with Tim Allen

A practical urban cyclocross medal

A practical urban cyclocross medal

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From → Cyclocross

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Robinson's Strength and Endurance Coaching and commented:
    This looks very exciting, for more great articles like this follow this blog.

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