Every September, a wild and curious thing takes place across our province. Off the highways of rural Manitoba and emerging from the river trails of Winnipeg, cyclists come together to celebrate the 2-month phenomena lovingly referred to as cross season.

What is cyclocross?

Cyclocross is a form of bike racing that could be described as a blend of mountain bike racing, cross-country cycling and criterium racing. Races consist of multiple laps of a short course featuring pavement, grass, hills, wood chips, sand and barriers which require the rider to dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstacle. Races vary in length between 30 minutes to one hour depending on which race category a rider is in.

Who participates in cyclocross races?

The simple answer: everyone. The youngest riders in children’s races are 2 years old, while racers are known to continue participating well into their 60s. For those who are interested in “trying out” the sport, most race organizers offer an Open Race for riders without a race license or a cyclocross bike, however, helmets are always a requirement! As soon participants have acquired a race license, they compete in categories based on skill, regardless of age or gender.

What do I need to know before I try it out?

  1. Ensure your bike is in safe, working order. There are many (awesome) bike shops in the city with knowledgeable staff who can give your bike a tune-up in preparation for the season.
  2. Invest in a pair of padded bike shorts (called chamois) and a properly fitted bike helmet. This means protection and comfort for your most important body parts!
  3. Head over to Manitoba Cycling Association to purchase a membership and a race license. This site is also the home to all race information including sign-up, race bibles, and race results.
  4. Come out to Twila Cuthbert’s FREE CX Bootcamp which takes place every Wednesday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm from August 29 to October 24. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to find out where each CX Bootcamp will begin and what to expect.

2018 Race Season

Consult the Manitoba Cycling Association website for registration and changes to the schedule.

Dark Cross

Red River Co-op Speedway

Saturday, September 8

Ego Cross

King’s Park, Winnipeg

Sunday, September 16

Menno Cross

CMU Campus, Winnipeg

Saturday, September 22

Dead Horse Cross

Stanley Centennial Park, Morden

Sunday, September 30

Thanks Givin’r Cross

St. Adolphe

Saturday, October 6

Southern Cross

Centennial Park, Altona

Saturday, October 13

Cross Tastic

Whittier Park, Winnipeg

Sunday, October 21

Bikes and Beyond Cross

Selkirk

Saturday, October 27


Cyclocross is exhilarating, welcoming and completely addicting. It is a sport you cannot begin to comprehend until you are present and participating. Don’t try to over analyze it or have all your ducks in a row before you begin. Come out to CX Bootcamp, join the Manitoba Cyclocross Facebook Page and before you think twice, sign up for Dark Cross on September 8!!

Twila Cuthbert


Photography:

Gregory C. McNeill