Mud and Heat at Spectacross

Mud and Heat at Spectacross. by Jamie Mack

Friday’s rain left some token mud for Saturday’s hot and sunny cyclocross racing at Spectacross, held at the New Jersey State Fair. Summer cyclocross racing held in conjunction with a fair promised a unique experience for both fair attendees and racers, and the inaugural event did not disappoint. 

With a rock-hard racing surface compacted by multi-ton tractors during tractor pull competitions, pounding in stakes and taping the course was not an option. Instead, promoter Ken Getchell added some flair and marked the course with fluorescent-colored fabric course markers on the ground. The fluorescent markers weren’t the course’s only unique feature; a semi-crushed car also graced the course as a massive barrier. It’s debatable as to whether the old car could qualify as “natural terrain” under UCI rules, but racers didn’t care, and unfortunately the slippery mud forced a detour around the car. Their race wasn’t even the weirdest event. The speed trials made dismounting for a 40-cm barrier look plain silly.

There was racing to be had, and debts to settle from the previous night. Alec Donahue, who suffered derailleur problems with the mud during the Cyclocross Magazine Friday Night Sprints, had better luck Saturday and took the Elite men’s race. For his efforts, he won not only some cash for the piggy bank, but won the piggy bank as well.

Check back shortly for a full report, photos and videos from Spectacross 2009.