Horsham Township organizers are bringing a bike-riding festival atmosphere to town on Sept. 22. The day-long Carpenter Cross Cyclocross is a spectator-friendly bike race pitted with challenges, twists and turns, hills and grass.
“The majority of people will ride on a type of road bike with drop bars. The course itself is not technical,” Dennis Haggerty, Horsham Township’s Public Works director and USA Cycling certified race director, said in a press release. “There are some nice obstacle-viewing spots on the course that will give spectators a chance to cheer on their favorite racer – or heckle others.”
An avid bike racer, Haggerty describes the race as a combination of road biking and mountain biking.
Cyclocross is a kind of bike race that usually takes place in the fall or winter months and consists of many laps of a 1.5 to 2-mile race course, featuring pavement, wooded trails, steep hills and obstacles requiring the cyclist to dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and then remount.
Even with the challenging course, Haggerty said anyone who owns a bike can come out and race. The event has time slots for kids ages 8 and up to men and women aged 50 plus. Medals will be awarded to top racers. A separate race for kids 7 and under will also be offered on a smaller course.
Initially, Haggerty and organizer Mark Hudson, Horsham Township’s director of administration, had looked at holding the bike race in two Horsham Township parks.
“Deep Meadow Park was big enough and with the variety of terrain it offered, we didn’t need to go anywhere else,” Haggerty said.
“We have a great park system,” said Hudson, who worked previously as Horsham’s Parks and Recreation director. “It lends itself well for this type of event.”
Like the township’s successful Horsham Day event in June and the Freezer 5K in the winter, Hudson said he hopes the Cyclocross will become an annual event. So far, racers from as far away as Virginia and New York have registered. Hudson said he hopes to have at least 200 contenders for September.
“People are looking for new courses to challenge themselves,” Hudson said, adding that the popularity of Cyclocross seems to be following previous excitement over golf tournaments and 5K. “This could be the next boom.”
If you go
Horsham Township’s first Carpenter Cross Cyclocross race will be held rain or shine on Sept. 22 at Deep Meadow Park, 1020 Horsham Road in Horsham. Races begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. Medals, prizes and cash will be awarded. Cost is $35 for adult racers; $10 for youth ages 8 to 18; and free for kids 7 and under. To learn more or register, click here: https://www.bikereg.com/carpenter-cross.