Don’t worry if you don’t understand Flemish because “ongleooflijk” means exactly what you think it should mean and the only words we have in return are thank you. This year heralded the 10th edition of the AACX cyclocross race and the 8th edition held at South River Farm off Lock Raven Rd in Mayo on October 29th. The weather was perfect, albeit slightly warm for CX, with a fairly dry course except for the traditional boggy sections. We spent a lot of time up front this year mowing, trimming, and raking to make the course as nice as possible given that much of it is in a “wild” field most of the year. Not only did we reverse the course direction from prior years, but we changed the layout in the field a bit to reduce the “slog”, but we also added some new features including a double set of ridable stairs going up the hill, a “bullpen” at one end of the field, a new flowy single track section on top of the hill, flowy turns in the other end of the field, a set of chicanes on the backside of the maintenance yard and a faster approach to the “goat hill” which put is solidly on the ride/run line.
Riding the “goat hill”.
Riding or running the new stairs.
The customary way to measure the success of an event like AACX is through a profit & loss statement, but that’s boring so we’ve come up with our own list of key performance indicators that we believe will accurately represent the true experience of AACX!
# of Total Riders
# of True Flandrians who doubled up at AACX
Total Lap Count
Total Junior Racers
Percentage of Riders who Rode the Goat Hill every lap
Percentage of Riders who Ran the Goat Hill
Percentage of Riders who Tried to Ride the Goat Hill but ended up Running
Combined hours spent building the course
Combined hours spent tearing down the course
Number of course laps driven on the Jacobson Mower
Number of parking spaces available during peak AACX
Size in diameter of the CX-tape ball from tear-down
Tree(s) worn smooth from people swinging around a turn
Lost count during the Juniors
Number of bad words said while trying to ride the Goat Hill
# of Pictures available online by Ted Morgan
Reported Bee Stings
# of Beers Consumed
Speaking of 1700 pictures, we paid Ted Morgan a flat fee to make all the shots he took free high resolution downloads for personal use for all competitors. Please head over to his site to grab your glam shots and post them on social media. Of course he’d love it if you tagged and followed him (@tedmorganphoto on Instagram or @tedmorgan on Facebook) to see more of his great work.
ABRT would like to thank the Anne Arundel Parks & Rec South County maintenance team for their amazing support! Every year we have a hard time imagining the prospect of a field with 7’+ high brush transforming into the soft grass you experienced on Saturday, and every year that crew makes it come true. Additional thanks to AACO Parks & Rec Superintendent, Karen Jarboe, for her partnership. Bikes take a heavy toll on walking trails, so our use of the wooded section was a special treat. Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring the CX Sportif Series and MABRA for making sure that we had a fully loaded CX trailer (the tire was already like that when we got it). Thank you also to the amazing crew of USAC officials who all quietly shared the sentiment that they enjoyed the 10th edition of AACX more than the Maryland Cycling Classic. Finally, a very special thanks to Iain & Sarah over at Parvilla Cycles in Edgewater for providing the prize packages and generally herding the cats that go into putting on a race for 320+ riders. Miss you mate and wish you were able to be here to see it all come together.
ABRT President Mike Roth not only ran the event, but put in a good race performance!
With the fall comes cyclocross and the 2021 edition of AACX. Clearly there is pent up demand for racing on the backside of the pandemic and AACX had a record turnout of over 300 registrations and 290 unique riders. The weather was sunny, dry and a bit unseasonably warm in the low 80s which made for fast, dusty laps until the last race of the day where it sprinkled a bit with the passing of cold front.
If you have ever looked at the ABRT History Timeline, you will notice ABRT has only run a few road races over the last 30 years. Those included the Tour de Crofton (aka Crofton Classic Bike Race or Chris Strader Memorial), The Annapolis Classic (the only ABRT race actually run in the City in West Annapolis), the Snow Valley Grand Prix (a UCI level criterium in Bethesda) and the Tour of Walkersville out by Frederick. As is typical in urbanized areas, these kind of races raise the ire of locals as they are inconvenienced by traffic and lack of access in their neighborhoods and to make matters worse multiple field typically span almost a full day. So often these events only happen for a few years and then move on.
We have always wanted to have a namesake race close to where we ride. After the demise of the Tour of Walkersville, which became too logistically difficult so far away, in 2011 we attempted to move the race to our weekly “Tuesday Night World Championships” group ride course in Harwood, Maryland just west of Annapolis. Stu Waring and Iain Banks worked really hard to set the race up and get it permitted with Anne Arundel County. The planning and promotion for the race was spot on and we had 357 people registered in a large set of fields. Unfortunately, the County denied the permit two weeks out as this race got all twisted up with polemics around complaints from a recent triathalon and we had to cancel it. Since then, we have talked about another road race, but have not been able to make it happen.
Fast forward to 2020 and Team Bike Doctor has taken up the challenge to host this race and ABRT is proud to be a major sponsor. Fortunately, the conditions in Anne Arundel County are much more favorable to cycling (thanks in large part to Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County which we sponsor) so Pat Hogan was able to get the permitting approval. We are all very excited for this race, which takes place on April 4th (BikeReg opens on March 2nd) and we hope the MABRA community will come support this race.
The Tuesday group ride starts early this year on March 10th at 6pm for those who want to get some race pace experience on the course. If you do come to the ride, please familiarize yourself with the route so you don’t get lost or have any miscommunications that cause a safety problem. We gather around the park and ride before so just introduce yourself and then stick around afterward for a post ride chat or bragging rights 😉 Here is an annotated course preview video we made in 2011 and it is still accurate:
Thanks to all who came out for the quintessential hot and humid August time trail. We had a lot of new racers out today as this edition saw the largest number of one day licenses ever. Great to see so many new people.
The links to results, podium pictures and free downloadable high resolution on course pictures are available on the Church Creek Time Trial 2 page.
The registration for the Church Creek Time Trial on August 17, is now open.
Discounted Fee Deadline: Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET
Online Registration Deadline: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET
New for 2019: The Mens and Womens category 4 and category 5 now have a “non aero” option. Prizes will be awarded for category 4 and 5 aero and non-aero categories, but will the aero/non-aero fields will be combined for USA Cycling reporting purposes.
Non-Aero requirements are no: time trial or triathlon bikes, aero helments, shoes covers, clip on bars, skinsuits (jersey and shorts must be separate garments) wheels deeper than 40mm, or foil shaped tubes/bars. The event organizer reserves the right to determine specific eligibility based on equipment.
The professional photographer Ted Morgan will be back taking on course pictures with free full resolution downloads!
The registration for the Church Creek Time Trial on June 29, is now open.
Discounted Fee Deadline: Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 12:01 AM ET.
Online Registration Deadline: Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET
New for 2019: The Mens and Womens category 4 and category 5 now have a “non aero” option. Prizes will be awarded for category 4 and 5 overall (all aero and non-aero riders together) and for the subgroup of non-aero riders, but will be one field per category for USA Cycling reporting purposes. Non-Aero requirements are no: time trial or triathlon bikes, aero helments, shoes covers, clip on bars, skinsuits (jersey and shorts must be separate garments) wheels deeper than 40mm, or foil shaped tubes/bars. The event organizer reserves the right to determine specific eligibility based on equipment.
The only lost and found reported was an umbrella…..although on course takedown we did find a few lungs and broken dreams on the hills! As always if you have any feedback or comments please contact Race Director directly firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Contact Us form on our web site.
AACX couldn’t happen without our many sponsors – Parvilla Cycles, Bobs Red Mill (hands-up if you love the gluten free pizza crust!), Shimano, SRAM, Hawley, Tifosi, Saris/Cyclops, Gu, Felt.