Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, October 3

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As if it were destined, the snow blanketed Chicago for yet another night. Sunday morning brought what would be considered challenging and what some might say, perfect conditions for a cyclocross race.

Cyclocross is the bastard child of road racing and mountain biking. It involves a bike that looks like a road bike but has knobby, thick, mountain-bike-like tires.

And a sense of fun and adventure.

Cyclocross riders and racers are a fun bunch. The cyclocross season starts when the weather turns cold and adverse conditions are welcome. The dirtier, the muddier, the harder the race, the more good-natured racers seem to be. See, cyclocross racers embrace these conditions.

A cyclocross race involves a closed course on grass and dirt. Typically, barriers and hills and technical twists and turns are woven into the length of the course, providing racers with a challenge that requires one to grind up hills, get off your bike and jump barriers, dance down hills and mash along the singletrack.

Sunday morning's race, The Chi Cross Cup in its second year and the Illinois state championship, provided all of that. The hardcore came out to watch and eat bratwurst and veggie burgers and then to race or watch. You don't see other types of bike racers eating bratwurst before having to do as many laps as one can in a specified time limit.



» Click here to view the photo essay


About the Author(s)

Jen Schuetz maintains a variety of photos and some text, too, at Treesquirrel. Naz Hamid has too many web endeavors.

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