New spin on C'ville biking event
Folks at the Village of Carpentersville along with Jeff Provisor, owner of Main Street Bicycles have teamed up to put a new spin on the Chicago Cyclocross Cup event that will be held for the fourth time in as many years in Carpenter Park.
On Sunday, Oct. 19, the cyclocross event will be combined with the previously defunct Autumn Fest to become Oktobercross.
As Janice Murphy, economic development/special events coordinator explained, the Autumn Fest that was originally scheduled for Aug. 23 just sort of fizzled out. When she suggested they combine it with the upcoming Chicago Cyclocross Cup, a new event was born.
The day will now not only include exciting, obstacle course-type racing, but also food vendors, a beer garden, live music, and activities for children.
"I thought that was pretty much a dream come true," said Provisor, who has been trying to generate more community participation and spectator enthusiasm for the race.
"It's an extremely spectator friendly type of event. One part that's been lagging behind the growth of the sport is spectatorship. In Europe whole villages, towns and cities turn out for these events. And that's what we're trying to do with this event.
"In the past we've had just the race and not a whole lot else going on around it. Combining it with the Autumn Fest and making it the Oktobercross - where there is going to be food and a beer garden and music - it encourages better spectatorship."
Cyclocross bike racing is usually held on a closed course with relatively short laps. Racers must navigate obstacles like a sand pit, man-made barriers, a creek, and tight corners. They can either ride through, or pick up their bike and carry it. Carpenter Park lends itself to this type of race well, as spectators will be able to see nearly the whole course from various spots along the route.
"It's not as fast as the road rides," Provisor said. "So when they come by, they're not just flying by you. They're at a pace where if you yell encouragement or their name they'll have time to look and see who's yelling at them.
"The racers are accustomed to all types of support from good positive things to good natured heckling. Anything and everything is always appreciated."
"Jeff Provisor and Main Street Bicycles and everybody that he brings in is just wonderful," Murphy said. "Jeff wants to have more of the community come out and participate and be part of the excitement. In Belgium they ring cowbells as the bikers go by and cheer. It gets the bikers going. That's the idea, and that's what we hope the combined event will be."
The races will start at 10 a.m. A new race will go off generally every hour until 3 p.m. Provisor said the highlight is the 1 p.m. race when the fastest, most experienced racers compete, as well as 3 p.m. when the entry level racers go off.
"That can be the most fun to watch because they're just figuring things out and might not be so good going through the sand or around the corners," he said. "You might see a little bit of mayhem, which usually adds to the excitement of watching those races."
The festival portion of the event will begin at noon. Randall Road House will provide food and seasonal beers, along with some other food vendors. Music on the main stage will begin at 1 p.m. featuring local bands Brave Nu Soul, Midnight Run, and Chaotic Harmony. There will be a rock climbing wall and moon walk for the kids. The fest will wrap up at about 5 p.m.
The event will be held rain or shine. Parking will be available in the surrounding neighborhood and at Parkview School on Cleveland Ave.
For more info about the race, visit www.chicrosscup.com, or call Jeff Provisor at Main Street Bicycles at (847) 783-0362.
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