Registration for many of the 2012 bike events are starting to open up now that we’re into February. While registration for the Yankee Springs Time Trial and the Barry Roubaix opened at the tail end of last year, many of the race dates were released in January once various race coordinators were able to meet and decide which weekends to hold their races and if any tweaks had to be made to their events.
It’s great to be able to start registering for these races as winter training can begin to lose steam quickly whether you’re in the warmth of your basement on a trainer or battling the cold of winter outside. Registering for races gives me a boost of energy in my training and reminds me that each ride is helping me achieve my goals. I try not to beat myself up for not riding one day or another because it is winter, but each year I have been more and more consistent in getting in my rides. I made the greatest stride yet, last year.
This year will be my first year riding on a team (Cross Country Cycles) and I’m looking forward to it. I am also planning to nearly triple the number of races that I rode last year to compete in the Michigan Mountain Biking Association’s (MMBA) Championship Points Series (CPS). The CPS includes 10 different races this year, of which you need to race in 5 in order to qualify for year-end awards. The scoring works by accumulating points based on your finish within your division at each race. Accumulate the most points in your division over the race season and you win the series.
There are a couple of different race series’ (leagues) that you can participate in throughout the state. The CPS is one, Tailwind Racing is another. The Tailwind series is made up of 7 races (including one 2-day stage race) which are all organized by one group. The CPS series races are all organized by different groups (like Fun Promotions) but coordinate with the CPS to manage finish results for point accumulation. Both race series’ include races across the state, however, the CPS has 4 of its six races within an hour’s drive of Grand Rapids while Tailwind’s races are almost all more an hour from Grand Rapids (east and north). Peppered into the schedules are also MiSCA (Michigan Scholastic Cycling Association) events for middle and high school riders.
Race attendance varies by event, but one race to keep an eye on is the Barry Roubaix. This is the 4th year for the race and they had to cap registration at 1,500 in order to manage it well. It’s already sold out. This race in particular has broad appeal because it is open to mountain bikers and cycle cross riders. In fact, this year the race will qualify for the Ultimate CX Series. I also think this race has appeal because it is one of the first outdoor races giving all of us bike riders an opportunity to get out and see how well we did on our trainers over the winter. Because it is so early in the season, there aren’t a lot of other races in the Midwest to compete with, either.
If you’re going to ride in some of these races, check out their websites (or Facebook pages) for registration info and then make sure you find out how quickly spots are taken to make sure you don’t miss out. The perfect example is Iceman where if you don’t register in the first few hours you’ll be stuck begging for a transfer in August.
Ultimate Cycling Challenge – Indoor cycling fundraiser for Livestrong (non-competitive)
Barry Roubaix – March 24th
Yankee Springs Time Trial – April 22nd (CPS)
Fort Custer Stampede – May 6 (CPS)
Fat & Skinny Tire Festival (Tentative)
State Games of Michigan at Cannonsburg Ski Area – June 23 (CPS)
Sweat Shaker – June 30th (CPS alternate for me)
Boyne Challenge Marathon – July 14 (CPS)
Holland Hundred – July 21
Ore to Shore – August 11
Pando Challenge – September 23 (CPS)
Iceman Cometh Challenge – November 3
Link to more Michigan Mountain Bike Races: http://crosscountrycycle.com/articles/mountain-bike-races-pg21.htm