News

NO package pickup at Canmore Nordic Centre on Saturday evening

Given the lower registration numbers this year, there will be no package pickup at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Saturday evening. This also saves a volunteer a drive to Canmore.

There will be package pickup as scheduled on race morning, from 8:00am to 9:30am.

Package pickup is also still scheduled to be available at the MEC Cyclocross race in Confederation Park in Calgary on Saturday, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Given the rainy weather, however, it might be worthwhile to keep an eye on the MEC CX Event Page and the XCX Facebook Page for news about a potential race cancellation. (Obviously, no package pickup if the race is cancelled.)

Holy smoke!

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It’s been a hot and dry summer in western Canada and a lot of this place is on fire, man. And while Canmore isn’t burning (yet), we do have our share of wildfire smoke in the air throughout the Bow Valley.

On some days, it’s clear(ish) with blue skies while on others it can feel like you’re stuck in a Cheech and Chong movie (where uncontrollable coughing has replaced the uncontrollable laughter). Unfortunately, reliably forecasting local smoke conditions more than about a day ahead of time is pretty difficult, so we just have to keep on keeping-on until race day and hope for the best. In other words, it is very unlikely that we would cancel the 2018 event before race day because of what the air quality might be.

Of course, there is a good chance that the Air Quality Index on race day in Canmore will be moderate or high. If that’s the case, out of interest for rider and volunteer health, the race could be modified (i.e. shortened, neutralised, or both) or cancelled. Ultimately this decision rests with the ABA commissaire or (in exceptional cases) with the Conservation Officers (translation: it’s basically out of our hands). We’ve had good conversations with the ABA to develop some general guidelines for air quality and we will support the race day decision of the ABA commissaire.

So when you register for XCX this year, keep a few things in mind:

  • There is always an elevated health risk when involved in strenuous activity in poor air quality conditions. For most healthy individuals, adverse effects will likely be limited to temporary irritation of eyes and lungs.
  • Individuals may be more seriously affected by poor air quality if:
    • they have chronic cardiac or respiratory conditions (including asthma),
    • they are younger children,
    • they are elderly, or
    • they are involved in strenuous activity.
  • Unfortunately, a race day cancellation would mean that our expenses for the event are about the same as if the race had gone ahead, so full refunds would NOT be provided in this case. We promise, however, to try our best to put some swag and maybe a bit of money back in your pocket if we possibly can.

For more information on the risks associated with air quality and wildfire smoke in particular, have a look at the information posted by the Alberta Government or by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA.

You can keep an eye on the real-time air quality index on Environment Canada (Calgary is the nearest station) or use the interactive air quality map at Breezometer.com.

XCX welcomes Legend7 Brewing for 2018

This post is a bit overdue, but we’ve been busy sampling the sponsor’s product, so give us a break…

For 2018, the XCX is happy to announce Legend7 Brewing as a race sponsor!

When we first encountered the Calgary-based brewery, the dark and forboding tone of the label art piqued our interest. Well that, and they were offering free samples (hey, less money spent on beer = more money for bikes). In short, we were impressed with the Legend7 offerings and immediately reached out to them. Lucky for us (and you) they’re keen to support local events and we’re happy to join XCX as a sponsor!

So this year, look for Legend7 gear and (hopefully) product on race day and give a big thanks to Legend7 by grabbing a six pack or two on your next run to the booze bin. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

Minor course change for 2018

We’ve modified the course a bit for 2018 to avoid some sketchy/annoying stuff. The new map section below shows the change. Basically, CXers take COYOTE around to BANFF TRAIL instead of taking KING OF SWEDEN -> MEADOW (2-way) -> FREDDY’S FLIP.

The MTBers turn off on EKG as before, but now follow EKG a bit farther to the ELEVATOR SHAFT turnoff, then down to reconnect with COYOTE.

This change avoids the sketchy corner on FREDDY’S (surface is worse this year), avoids the 2-way traffic on MEADOW (yay, no pylons to haul out on course!), and slightly extends the MTB singletrack.

Course should be reasonably marked towards the end of the week and fully marked by the weekend. Pre-riding the course is recommended as there are some steep and loose sections that you’ll want to check out before race day. A complete map and GPX file for the new course is posted here.

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2018 Race Swag!

The custom race swag for 2018 has arrived!

This year all racers and volunteers receive a custom XCX cycling cap (in our two favourite colours, of course). Caps are handmade in the USA by Pace Sportswear. They’re advertised as one size fits all and we can confirm that this is pretty much true. Our entire family (mom, dad, kids, and grandma) all fit into the caps…somehow.

Custom caps are a limited run, but we guarantee that every racer and volunteer will get one. After that, we may have a few left over for sale at the race. They’re sure to be the hottest item on course this CX season!

2017 XCX a success!!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! All in all, we would call 2017 a resounding success!

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Thank you to all the racers that supported this inaugural event. The Alberta cycling community has continued to impress and inspire use. It’s never easy to put on an event, never mind an inaugural event, never mind an inaugural event that’s kinda weird. Thanks everyone for having our back!

The idea for this race was hatched on a long, hot, noisy, and busy drive on the German Autobahn. It started with a discussion of which bike was better to tackle the thousands of kilometres of dirt road in the Black Forest and ended up as a plan to run a race where riders were forced to choose a bike and follow a slightly different course based on that choice. Hopefully what materialised in the end was close to that vision. We think it was. We’ll keep thinking about it over the next year and see if we can’t improve things going forward.

Thank you to all the volunteers that showed up to help us pull off this monstrosity of a race. Races don’t happen because of the hard work of a few people. They happen because a huge group of people see an opportunity to help create something special to benefit the entire racing community. Without volunteers, there is no racing, whether the racers show up or not. THANK YOU volunteers!

Some highlights from the weekend that you may or may not have heard about:

  • We had racers actually register for our race, knowing full well that they couldn’t make it, just to support the event! Did I mention that Alberta cycling is awesome?
  • We had volunteers drive down from Edmonton just to help us make sure the event happened!
  • We had 115 racers sign up and only 15 that didn’t show up to race (4 of which I know were because of injuries). This is probably the smallest proportion of DNS riders I’ve seen at an event I’ve organised.
  • We also had 15 DNFs. One word people: tubeless.
  • We had three bear sightings on course and nobody got eaten. Win.
  • On the podium, we had a good mix of cyclocross and mountain bikes, including:
    • 1/3 on CX bikes in the Men’s Full Marathon
    • 1/3 on CX bikes in the Women’s Full Marathon
    • 2/3 on CX bikes in the Men’s 40+ Full Marathon
    • 2/3 on CX bikes in the Men’s Half Marathon
    • 3/3 on CX bikes in the Women’s Half Marathon
  • We saw at least 3 people finish laps running. One went into the finish (and made the podium!) and the other two went back out to finish their race!

You can see all the 2017 race photos here and you can find the results here.

SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!

Don’t get stuck with a XXXL shirt

We have to place our t-shirt order pretty soon here. To make sure you 1) actually get a shirt, and 2) get the size that you want, be sure to register (either as a racer or volunteer) by Sunday, August 19th.

We will be making a single t-shirt order and will make our best guess at numbers and sizes. Priority for shirt sizes will be based on order of registration, with volunteers getting supreme priority, of course!

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Why pink, you ask? Here’s why: my 6-year-old son one day refused to wear one of his shirts that has pink stripes on it. He said that kids at school told him that pink was a “girl colour”. Naturally, I replied that this is B.S. and that I would prove it to him by making the race shirts pink, for both the boys and girls.

So yeah. It’s pink. And if you’re a dude that won’t wear it because “pink is for girls”, go back to kindergarten.

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We’re online!

Here we go folks!

It may be the dead of winter in Alberta (okay, it looks and feels more like summer at the moment), but we’re furiously at work getting things sorted out for this ridiculous endeavour. So stick with us, offer to help us out if you like and, of course, go riding.