This Saturday is the Heiser Farms Cyclocross race, also known as stop #5 of 9 on the GPTB series (half over already!). Sunday is the Alpenrose Cross Crusade kick-off, also known as the largest attendance cyclocross race of the year in America (and possibly the world). I know most people can only race one day of a weekend, so I wanted to make a list of 10 reasons why Heiser is an awesome choice for racing:
1. The Course – If you've ever raced it, you know, for our fifth year the varied up/down/gravel/dirt/grass course offers something for everyone and is a blast to race. This year it is dry, a tad bumpy, and fast. Even if I wasn't part of the team putting on the race I'd say it's my favorite course of the year.
3. Family friendly – It's a pumpkin farm and just a quarter mile down the road from the course is a ton of activities. There is a small train for kids to ride on, long slides, hay pyramids to climb, pony rides, and snacks (hot dogs, etc) for sale. If you're ever worried about non-racing family members being bored, this is one of the best venues in the season for giving them entertaining things to do.
4. Whoops! - for no other reason than we could, we built some sweet whoops that will be worked into a flatter part of the course. They won't be firm enough to get huge air but will provide a tricky and fun distraction on the course.
5. Slow-fast speed changes – One of the things I love about the course is the variability in terrain. There are lots of twisty technical turns in the forest followed by gravel double track you can bomb down only to find hairpin turns ahead. Lots of punchy little climbs and plenty of variety mean if you pre-ride and know when to shift, you'll be pulling away from the pack when others are struggling.
6. The mud bog is tame – About the toughest obstacle on the course (even in dry years) is the nasty mud bog which has claimed more than one perfectly good cycling shoe in the past. This year it is just a tad soft, not very muddy and totally rideable so post-race cleanup will be a snap.
7. GPTB A men/women equal payout series prizes have almost doubled – Last year we gave away $2,000 total to both men and women A series top three, this year it has nearly doubled. $1,000 cash for each first place series racer, $500 for second, and $250 for third. Your best 7 out of 9 total race GPTB results count towards the standings (5 races minimum) so A racers, show up even if you're saving something for Sunday.
8. Mat Barton Fund – I was on the side of the course when Mat's STXC freak accident happened and wondered how I could help, so here is my idea: how ever many racers show up on Saturday, MetaFilter/Buy Local Cycling will donate $1 per racer to the Mat Barton fund. I'll check with Kenji/Melanie/Candi at the end of the day Saturday to see how many total racers show up and donate via PayPal that night. If 500 extra people show up, Mat Barton will get $500 extra to pay for his physical therapy.
9. No pavement in the race course! – There will be plenty of speed on the downhills but you won't get a few hundred yards of pavement at any point in the course, it'll be 100% dirt, gravel, sticks, jumps, and barriers.
10. Pumpkin-mania – It's a giant farm/pumpkin patch so if you need to buy some decorative gourds in time for this season, there's no better place to get some. You can also watch some larger ones get blasted out of a giant air cannon.
11. Course preview – I know I said ten things, but here is one extra: a 10min slow practice lap from earlier today (full course tape goes up on Friday) Here's also a lap of the course on Strava (race day laps will likely be 8-10min for most, 6-7min for the fastest racers)
We will have Leaders Jerseys from Castelli on hand for point leaders in each class as well as a couple different series T-shirts for sale. Make it a double race weekend and race Heiser Farms with us!