(Scott Robarts photo)

Pumpkin Cross adds spice to cycle cross

Cycle Cross event will feature more than 300 racers Sunday in Maple Ridge

Mother Nature looks she’s bringing her A game for the annual edition of the Pumpkin Cross.

The cycle cross race goes Sunday, Oct 29 at North Alouette Greenway Park in Maple Ridge with the first race getting underway at 10 a.m. and will feature both elite and amateur riders tackling the two kilometer course.

Barry Lyster, race organizer, said the event is has been gaining traction with local racers.

“We’ve seen some real growth in the sports scene we first started this event,” said Lyster. “We had around 60 to 70 riders the first year. This year we’re expecting more than 300.”

He said he’s amazed how much the sport has grown in recent years, seeing more than 1,000 sign up for events in Portland and 800 in Washington. He attributes the growth, in part to the

“They’re great to watch. It’s fast, and crowd friendly. On our course you can see two-thirds of the entire course from the start area.

Plus, we have a Halloween theme and participants have really embraced the event.”

He said the course will utilize parts of the dike and park land and will force riders to jump barriers and have to get off their bikes at times.

It’s doesn’t get much better than this,” said Lyster.

While Lyster’s daughter Maggie is busy tearing up the track on the World Cup circuit in Europe and won’t take part in this year’s event, he said his daughter Kaelen will take part in the women’s beginner race and his youngest daughter Campbell will enter the kid’s full lap race.

“It’s really an all-inclusive race,” said Lyster. “It a great opportunity for anyone who’s ever thought about giving it a try.

He said while elite and intermediate riders must have a cycle-cross bike, beginners can use a mountain bike.

Lyster said an added bonus is that the course is in great shape and sunshine is forecast for Sunday.

Included in this year’s event is a special package for first-time women riders, which includes the entry to the race and one-day race license.

Lester said riders should pre-register on-line before 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct 27 to avoid line-ups on race day, as well as save $10 on registration fees. He said call-ups will be based on the order of registration.

• To register for the race or for more information visit www.localride.ca.

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