Dyed-in-the-wool cycling fans or simply spectators just looking for something different to watch will have a pair of opportunities to see the rising sport of cyclocross this fall in the Shenandoah Valley.
On Sunday, the Winchester Wheelmen cycling club will host the second annual Winchester Apple Harvest Cyclocross race at Jim Barnett Park in Winchester. The Winchester race will be the third in a series of Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association cyclocross races, and at least 250 racers are expected to compete on the closed course.
The Apple Harvest event will be broken down by category (skill level and gender), with the shortest race lasting 40 minutes and the longest an hour. The first race begins at 9 a.m., and the final race is slated for 2:45 p.m. Admission is free.
And on Nov. 6, the Luray Caverns CX is slated for its inaugural running as part of the annual Tour of Page County in conjunction with Luray Caverns and the new Luray Valley Museum.
Organizers of the Luray event describe cyclocross courses as "featuring pavement, trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring riders to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating around obstructions, and then smoothly remount."
The course at the Luray Valley Museum will travel around the buildings and topographical features of the property. Spectators can enjoy a festival-type atmosphere for the races, with food and beer available for purchase. Organizers also plan to allow members of the general public to rid the course in a non-competitive format.