Hyattsville Cyclocross raises money for Special Olympics
By Sophie Gorman Oriani
On Oct. 10, 392 riders gathered in Driskell Park for the return of the Hyattsville CX cyclocross bicycle race. The race, put on by Arrow Bicycle and their bicycle racing group, Route 1 Velo, raised money for the Prince George’s County Special Olympics, which provides sports training and competitions for people with intellectual disabilities.
Cyclocross racing is a style of offroad bicycle racing which combines elements of road and mountain biking. It has lots of technical challenges such as steep uphills, sharp turns, and barriers. Most cyclocross races last a set amount of time, usually between 30 to 60 minutes, during which the riders complete laps around a closed track as fast as possible. The number of required laps varies by race depending on the speed of the riders.
What makes cyclocross unlike other bike races is that riders will often dismount and run for short sections of the track, carrying their bicycles with them. In some cases, this is because the terrain is too steep or muddy for riding to be efficient. In other cases, there are barriers in the way, either manmade or natural (such as fallen trees).
The track for the Hyattsville CX race was 1.7 miles long and wound around the sports fields, beginning and ending by Hamilton Splash Park. Many spectators gathered to watch the competitors, who were broken out by age and ability level, including riders as young as nine years old.