LE MARS — For bicycle riders and spectators looking for an adventure during Ice Cream Days, Bike Central is hosting the second annual Summer Cross.
Riders will compete against the clock and each other to try to tally up the most laps around a rough 1.25-mile course in the park in about 45 minutes.
“For those people needing a little break from road cycling season or the extreme athlete that wants a challenge this is for you,” event information states.
Cyclocross is kind of similar to a steeplechase race on a bicycle, where riders may have to dismount and carry their bike over obstacles or up hills, and they’ll have to maneuver over sand and other difficult ground.
That’s according to Monte Brent, a race organizer from Bike Central, in Le Mars.
“A lot of people usually stay on the paved trail and this gives them a little opportunity to get off the beaten path,” he said.
Spectators are encouraged to stop out at the course and cheer the riders on.
“It’s free to watch and we encourage spectator participation,” Brent said. “It’s kind of a cool sport in that you can watch the whole event from one vantage point.”
A central location for spectators is near the enclosed shelterhouse in the upper part of the park.
Brent encouraged spectators to “bring bells and make noise” for the riders.
“It’s all about having a really good time,” he said.
The race will use a similar course to the one used for the local fall race, Frosty Cross, but recent floodwaters have changed the route a little, Brent said.
“There are 2 feet of cornstalks out there we’ll have to work around,” he said. “But it might add a little excitement if there’s some more mud out there.”
The June 15 event will offer two divisions for adults, with both men and women welcome.
Race time for B division, which is less experienced riders, is 1 p.m.
Beginners are welcome, Brent said.
“The B race is really for fun, going out and having a great time,” he said.
The race for A division, with more experienced riders, starts at about 2:30 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded to top place winners for each division of men and women.
Adult riders have an entry fee plus a $5 food item for a local food drive. Riders can also register for both races for a slight discount.
Youth can try out a shorter race at 2 p.m.
The entry fee for this race is a can of food for a local charity.
“We want to encourage kids to come out and try it. Every kid that shows up will get something,” Brent said. “It’s a different experience for them.”
Helmets are required for adult and youth riders.
“It’s about protecting your brain,” Brent said.
People can register online at www.allsportcentral.com or register the day of the event at an additional cost.
Same day registration begins at noon at the park.
Riders should bring their food item the day of the race.
People can call Bike Central at 712-540-7076 or visit www.bikecentralinlemars.com for more information.
Brent said the summer cyclocross race gives cyclists a chance to go off-road outside the usual cyclocross season.
“It’s another opportunity for people to experience racing in the summer. This type of racing is generally done in the fall and late fall months,” Brent said. “We’re adding a little flavor. There’s been a lot of interest.”