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Photos: Hyattsville CX Brings Rain, Pain

Cyclocross race draws about 400 racers to city on damp Sunday.

It was a smooth but wet day for about 400 off-road bicycle racers in the fifth annual Hyattsville CX. 

The wet weather was no problem for these racers, who seemed to relish the sprinking rain throughout the day. They compete in a discipline called cyclocross, a form of mixed-terrain bicycle riding which combines elements of road and mountain bike racing. In addition to speeding down grassy straights and negotiating tricky turns, riders must also dismount to navigate obstacles in technical sections like barriers and fallen riders. 

"It went really well, consider we were at 40 percent rain at the beginning of the week, then up to 90 percent rain in the middle of the week, then down to 60 percent rain for Saturday," said Schieken. "We ended up getting the perfect amount. Guys who race cyclocross like to race in the mud"

The course featured a redesigned technical section in the back-woods of Magruder Park which increased the distance riders would have to travel through the tricky stuff. 

In previous years, the wooded section was short enough that one could dismount and run their bike through the section without losing much time. The new layout made that decision to carry more risk, said Schieken.

Men's elite winner Stephen Cummings, a Pittsburgh resident who races for Charm City Cycles, said that the wooded section separated the racers out a lot. 

"It wasn't super technical as some other courses, but where it was technical, it was very technical," said Cummings.

The new section featured an off-camber descending turn along a creekbed which many riders struggled to navigate upright. Take the wrong line and your bike could be tripped by a glarled tree root.

But where the cyclists enjoyed the damp weather, it served to keep some spectators away. Attendance was down among the crowds over the day, a fact which Hyattsville Communications Manager Abby Sandel chalked up to the weather. 

The Hyattsville CX raises money for the Prince George's County Special Olympics cycling team. Throughout the five years the Hyattsville CX has been around, it has raised more than $15,000 for the Special Olympics. 

Complete race results at USACycling.com

WWJB October 08, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Did anyone turn in a set of keys? I lost a set at this event. Thanks!
Jim Groves October 08, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Who fixes the grass? It's a mess down there. Also, needed more recycling and trash containers. The City or the organizers should have made sure that happened.
Michael Theis October 08, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I don't have any definite answers, but all of those things should be the purview of the city parks department and public works. If I understand correctly, this was the first time the Hyattsville CX has experienced rain during the event, which obviously accelerated wear and tear on the fields.
Corey Somers October 08, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Is it impossible for us to have an event where someone doesn't complain? Complain to your councilman rather than Patch Jim.
Michael Theis October 08, 2012 at 10:42 PM
You can complain to both!
SunnyDaysInMD October 08, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I agree with Corey WWJB--had overheard you stating you'd lost your keys and looked around. Hopefully, someone from the City will find them.
Jim Groves October 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Corey, I will, believe me. Don't, however, tell me where I can complain. If someone comes in and messes up my park you better be damn right I'm gng to complain everywhere I can.
Steve Soresonboners October 09, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Race organizers will be meeting with the city to evaluate any work the park needs to be restored to pre-race conditions. In past years, within 2 to 3 weeks the park look untouched after the race. The race staff cleaned out the park Sat night after the football games, picking up trash left on the fields. They did so again Sunday after the race. In addition, large amounts of trash and glass were removed from the woods.
Cheri Everhart October 09, 2012 at 02:31 PM
We found a set of keys while walking the fields at Magruder Park this morning. Please contact me, Cheri Everhart, with the City of Hyattsville Department of Community Services at 301-985-5021. Thanks!
MORT BOOTMILL October 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
THE PARK WAS IN NO BETTER OR WORSE CONDITION THAN AFTER A FOOTBALL OR SOCCER GAME, THESE PEOPLE DID AN ADMIRABLE JOB REMOVING THIER AND OTHERS TRASH FROM THE PARK
Michael Theis October 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Mort, we all appreciate the enthusiasm, but please do not use all caps lock on our comment threads. It's just grating to the eyes.
Chris Davidson October 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I totally agree with Jim. Why are we letting recreational event happen in our parks. The football, soccer and ultimate frisbee games and practices just destroy the grass. Baseball players dig holes in the batters box's and pitchers mound. The wood chips get thrown all over in the playground. Not to mention all of the graffiti all over the grass. Hyattsville would be a much better place if we lock down our park like we do the parking lots.

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