By David Goodwin
Published 08/07/2022; Updated 08/07/2022

Just as in the past 15 or 20 years (so easy to lose track!), the first Wednesday in August means that the weekly UMass – Renaissance Center cyclocross practice/training sessions have begun. They will continue each Wednesday through August (starting at 5 pm), September (starting at 4:30 pm), October (starting at 4 pm) and November as the weather gods allow.

We have a core group of 8 or 10 folks that show up regularly. In the past, we have welcomed all aspiring CX riders/racers from Elite Men and Women (including a former World Champion!), to regular shmoes like me, entire families, juniors and many people who have never even been on a cyclocross course or bike.

We might occasionally do some skills work (barriers, 180 turns, gravel pit, singletrack, starts, or hill repeats) depending upon the upcoming weekend races and user interest.

Each year brings a slightly different course. The 2022 version includes most of the same course as last year but has been expanded to include a high speed grassy chicane section and has cut out most of the second, highly technical singletrack section. The new distance is a non-UCI-friendly 3.04 miles.

August dates and times are already on the NCC calendar and we meet at the appointed time by the “big tree” just west of the entrance on East Pleasant Street, north of the main entrance to the Renaissance Center in North Amherst.