Drivers passing on Monroe and Culver might not have known what they were seeing. It was the Cobb’s Hill Cyclocross where fans and cyclists enjoyed a sunny afternoon of intense competition and warm camaraderie. (Much more on Cobb’s Hill at end.)
Scott Page, owner of Full Moon Vista Bike and Sport, runs the event and is its primary sponsor (along with many other cycle-friendly businesses and organization). Scott provides a full vista of the event:
The Cobb’s Hill Cyclocross celebrated it’s 9th year on Sunday November 15th with amateur bicycle racing all day. The event is part of the Western New York Cyclocross Series which includes other events from Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse. Athletes attended Cobb’s Hill from as far away as Buffalo, St. Cathrines and Syracuse. One unique aspect of the sport of cyclocross is that it attracts riders of all athletic levels – from beginners to very experienced. There are different categories to race in depending on your ability level and it’s a ton of fun for all that give it a try. Races are shorter in length (typically 30 to 60 minutes) and riders have to dismount their bikes to get over obstacles, kind of like a steeple-chase course. An exciting aspect is that the event pulls together mountain bikers, road riders and everyone in between to enjoy a beautiful day in the park!
And a beautiful day it was. The area near the the lower tennis courts and Lake Riley was packed with spectators and resting participants: hearing the ring of the bell (beneath the American flag) announcing starts, watching cyclists “bunny hop” the planks, and medal winners enjoying their hard earned trophies. The slopes of the Hill–where some onlookers picnicked on blankets–looked like Christo’s Running Fence (1976) or those crop circles somewhere in England.
As I wandered and met people, I was immediately realized how much the Cyclocross is regional, not knowing Rochester was part of–if not a marque destination–the Western New York Cyclocross Series.
I met people from Ithaca, Syracuse and Buffalo who told me the Series draws people from all over the Northeast. In the Wheel Pit, I learned members of the Cyclocross Series are very much a community, swapping stories about the sport they so passionately enjoy.
Cycling is thriving in Rochester. Scott says the event is growing 10 – 20% a year. And there will definitely be another Twilight Criterium this summer. (You may recall my Twilight adventure, courtesy of Scott and his crew
While my feat at the Twilight was unprecedented, I rallied to the Cyclocross challenge. Through an unlikely turn of events–and my own bunny hopping brilliance–I managed to capture first place in the Women’s Category 4 race! Well, not exactly. That honor actually belonged to Kate Brett, a trainer at Fleet Feet down the road at the Armory. This was Kate’s second triumph in two days, having won at the Cross in the Maze event at Long Acres Farms in Macedon.
Above is another actual winner, 13rd old Dylan Antum from Ithaca, who came in second in the junior competition. Glad to hear from Dylan that competitive cycling is considered cool in middle school. And that the various slopes on the course are “the meanest things in the area.”
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ON COBB’S HILL