Hydra Cross

The Paper City’s cyclocross race with river and mountain views.


Hydra Cross p/b Open Square is a fantastic early season cyclocross race in Holyoke, MA. It features cyclocross clinics, kids races, and men’s and women’s races for all levels and abilities.


When: Sunday, September 5, 2021

Location: Pulaski ParkSt. Koble Drive and Maple St, Holyoke, MA 01040

New to bike racing?: Hydra Cross is a great event to try out bike racing or cyclocross for the first time. There is a free intro to cyclocross racing clinic at 9 am on race day that is taught by local, friendly bike racers. Learn the basics to help you enjoy your race. Beginner races following shortly after — novice men should sign up for the 10am category 5 beginner race and novice women should sign up for the 11am women’s category 4 and 5 race. Just a note on lingo, brand-new racers and novices start as ‘category 5’ racers. Since we are a USA Cycling sanctioned race, you will need a license but can purchase one when you register on BikeReg for $10. If you have any questions about the clinic or racing, please just shoot us an email and we’ll respond with what you need.

Course Description: A fun, fast, twisty course that is primarily flat but has some surprising uphill kickers. After a slightly uphill, wide start from the “Legion Shelf,” the course heads towards Holyoke’s “Muscle Beach” and the hilly southern end of the park. The course design takes full advantage of the elevation to make riders work–but then also brings rewards with a swooping downhill that cuts back and forth across the hill. We have some stinging off-camber sections that will require your skills, with the most challenging and decisive sector coming at the end of the course (see Youtube video below for a preview). The course runs the full length of the long, linear park with ample opportunities for spectating, with continuous announcing throughout the race by the voice of Hydra Cross, Adam Syzmkowickz. Mountain and river views abound.

Equipment Recommendation: File treads (if dry) and all-around tires will work well for most riders. The course is a mix of grass, dirt, and some pavement. New to cyclocross? Mountain bikes, in any shape, work fine for getting started racing. Road or touring bikes that allow for 32mm tires also work fine.

Race Atmosphere: Come for the race, stay for the atmosphere. Our beer garden and picnic area is family-friendly. There is a playground, splash pad, and popular skate park as well. Our race is known for its good vibes and community-driven feel.

Volunteers Needed: Volunteers are needed the day before and day of the race. Volunteers receive special, volunteers-only “race staff” Hydra Cross hat. To sign up, please use this form.