Hit the North 2

Hit the North 2 gives you an excuse to ride your cyclocross bike for eight hours.

by Robbie Carver

If ’cross season can’t come soon enough for you (it sure can’t for us!) then you may want to consider buying a summer home in merry ol’ England. The Brits seem to be ahead of the game in extending the season into the warmer months, and we can only hope organizers take notice over here. We previously mentioned Britain’s Yorkshire Summer Cyclocross Series, already underway, and now news of three more UK events have made the voyage across the Atlantic to tease us with the idea of breaking out our ’cross rigs early.

The fourth annual Hit the North 2, held in Manchester on July 17th, is an eight-hour suffer fest around a 6.5-mile course that combines single track and carrying sections. Riders — either competing solo or in teams of two or three — can ride their ‘cross or MTB bikes, but hoisting that full suspension will get mighty tiring! Organizers are making a full event out of the race, offering free camping, a live band and beer tent, and even free wi-fi so you can track your progress via electronic timing. In the words of the course designer, via Hit the North’s Web site: “As for the race itself, I’m quite proud of this course. It’s different to the previous three races, there are the now-customary bits where getting off to push or carry is the only way forward, but there are plenty of sections that are plenty fast (and scary) to satisfy (or terrify) everyone.” Sounds great to us!

Complementing the Yorkshire Summer Series is the Western League Summer Cyclocross Series, a seven-week cyclocross series which kicked off last week. The races are put on by the Bristol Trails Group, who are also responsible for the Western League series in the winter. If you happen to be in the UK, or fancy making the trip, here’s the race calendar:

Tuesday 8 June:          Hengrove Park

Tuesday 15 June:        St. George’s Park

Tuesday 22 June:        Hengrove Park

Tuesday 29 June:        Castle Combe Circuit

Tuesday 6 July:           Oldbury Court (TBC)

Tuesday 13 July:         St. George’s Park

Still not enough summer racing for you? The Surrey Cycle Racing League is also in on the action, offering a 10-week Wednesday night cyclocross series from June 2nd until August 11th.