by Ted Burns

Members of the local cycling scene have been hustling to put on a good show for visiting cyclists. The full list can be found on Cyclocross Magazine, but there are a few events that are picking up steam. Stay tuned for more details, and be sure to keep up on the latest Nationals news through Cyclocross Magazine’s coverage of the event on our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships page.

January 4th – Wednesday
A whole new day of ’cross! Wednesday is the single speed, B Races, and packet pick up. The single speed races always bring out an enthusiastic crowd of freaks and bike riders so it is a good day to get a feel for the venue. Not much is planned for Wednesday night, so if you are getting here early head downtown for dinner on the capital square and check out State Street. If you are looking for a place to eat on capital square go to check into the Old Fashioned to get your Wisconsin cuisine love fest out of the way. If there is a way to do cheese curds without getting huge, it’s going to be at the Old Fashioned.

January 5th – Thursday
Early in the day the ‘notnationals crew’ is putting together an informal race in the downtown confines of Madison. If there is an event that could rival the Cydesdale World Championships this is it. It is the cyclocross equivalent of surfing the POP pier with Wisconsin’s cyclocross version of the Z-boys. It’s a locals-only venue, which they are holding back till the last minute, to create some much needed drama and suspense. By Thursday night, when they light up the course with torches and random lighting devices, the trees, ice, beer and berms should be perfectly tended for a roller coaster ride that these freaky badgers will allow you in on … for one night only. They have one piece of advice: bring a light. After checking out ‘notnationals’ head over to Smokeys Club for the Cyclocross Magazine and Happy Hour. Smokeys Club is an old-school Wisconsin dinner club. Good drinks and steak. Of course you get to meet the Cyclocross Magazine staff who make everything seem so glamorous. We are starting up the engine at Smokey’s at 7:30.

Check out the preview here:

January 6th – Friday
Machinery Row is the place to be Friday night for Veldrijden Nacht. The bike shop is hosting a solid night of ’cross partying on Friday starting at 5 PM when you can meet the big names in women’s ’cross, and then at 6 PM all the big shots of US ’cross including Katie Compton, Ryan Trebon and Jonathan Page will join in to talk cross over frites and beer. Luckily, Machinery Row is flanked by the Essen House, which looks like a Katie Compton kind of joint, and Sardine’s, a fancier upscale kinda place that looks like it would appeal to the likes of high rollers like Jeremy Powers.

There are some more events planned for Saturday and Sunday but no inside skinny yet. Here’s what looks good so far…

January 7th – Saturday
After racing in the cold for a few days, you will probably be wondering how the locals do it. The Bicicle Party and Winter Fashion Show at the High Noon Saloon looks like it might be an interesting diversion if you need some ideas on staying warm in the winter.

January 8th – Sunday
The final showdown at Badger Prairie will be cool and after the race the party moves from from Verona back to downtown Madision to the Great Dane Pub at 123 E. Doty Street. If you’ve been watching calories and holding back, the Great Dane will be the perfect place to let loose.