One of Southern California’s grandest and most prestigious cycling events is on tap for this coming weekend, November 21-22-23, hosted at the City of Los Angeles Vermont Canyon Park adjacent to the famed Greek Theater. Cyclo-Cross Los Angeles (CXLA) is a multi-faceted cycling festival featuring LA Bike Fest, CXLA Bicycle Expo/Swap Meet and Food Truck Festival, benefiting the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition plus a full schedule of competition including California Cyclocross (CACX), the SoCalCross Prestige Series and, most prominently, UCI internationally-sanctioned elite racing as part of the USA Cycling PRO CX Tour. Among UCI Elite Men, nationally known stars such as Belgian cyclocross champion Ben Berden, mountain bike champion Adam Craig and Utah’s James Driscoll will be vying for points and rankings. The Women’s Elite field appears equally impressive with Olympian Katerina Nash, cyclocross champions Nicole Duke traveling from Boulder, Colorado and Courtenay McFadden from Bellingham, WA favorites to hit the podium, in addition to Elite Juniors 17-18 as well as factory teams from around the country going wheel to wheel on a challenging Griffith Park course.
“This is only the UCI sanctioned race in the State of California,” commented Dorothy Wong, SoCalCross Prestige Series organizer. “That fact has motivated many of the top UCI Elite racers from all over the western United States and Canada to complete here in Los Angeles. We anticipate between 400 to 500 cyclists to participate in the racing plus some other really fun events like Kiddy Cross, a Ladies Ride, Community Cross and Doggy Cross. The point of this is to raise money and awareness for bicycle advocacy. We constantly strive to find ways to promote and improve the sport, encouraging people to enjoy a more healthy lifestyle through cycling and cyclocross.”
“Making this extraordinary cycling weekend possible are many generous supporters including Jenson USA, our SoCalCross Prestige Series sponsor and key sponsor for this weekend along with Knobbe Martens IP Law, Clif Bar, Voler Premium Cycling Apparel, Squareone Athletics, Bike Effect, Rock N Road Cyclery, LA Bicycle Attorney, NUUN Hydration, TRP Brakes, GMC, Union Sport and Road Runner Bags,” continued Wong. “This is a herculean effort on the part of many local, national and international bicycle clubs and associations to organize and conduct an event of this magnitude. We invite everyone to come and enjoy, participate and spectate all of the world class racing and activities this weekend at Los Angeles’ historic Griffith Park.”
Festivities begin on Friday, November 21, when a “Ride with the Pros” starts at 3pm at Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles over to Griffth Park, Vermont Canyon, the Greek Theater for a cyclocross clinic and an opportunity to pre-ride the course. That evening, there’s also a pre-event happy-hour with food and beverages at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park.
On Saturday, things get more serious as the CXLA officially opens at 7am with race day registration. At 8am the course opens for participant warm-up followed 30 minutes later with the start of various youth classes. UCI Elite racing for Men, Women and Junior Men 17-18 begins at 1pm. Kiddy Cross and Community Cross benefitting the Friends of Griffith Park will be mid-day special attractions. It should also be noted that there will be a Women’s Lounge hosted by the She Wolf Attack Team and an impressive array of Los Angeles’ finest gourmet food trucks standing by all day serving a delicious assortment of menu delicacies. Once action on the race course has subsided, Saturday evening diversions will convene at Golden Road Brewing on San Fernando Road in Los Angeles from 5 to 8pm.
One thing is for sure, CXLA won’t lack for live entertainment. On Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 4pm, CXLA will showcase local talent including students from East LA Performing Arts Magnet High School recognized for its high-quality academic programs and outstanding performing arts opportunities. All of the students in the bands that will perform at CXLA on Saturday play orchestral instruments as well as guitar, bass or drums. Their music teachers are Paul Perez, Melissa Rios and Greg Yoshida. Their Rock Band Club sponsors are Ed O’Connell, German Pinon and Edgardo Ramirez. Practice instruments for the school are provided by LittleKidsRock.org, Donorschoose.org, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Exploring the Arts/Tony Bennett Foundation and Fender Music Foundation. Come enjoy the show or be a part of it.
Sunday’s event schedule mirrors that of Saturday including another Kiddy Cross plus a Doggy Cross to benefit the LA Country Animal Shelter. There’s also an Outdoor Expo/Bicycle Swap Meet planned for both days, 8am to 2pm to raise money for bicycle advocacy organizations. Bring parts and gear to donate to the Swap Meet to support Bike San Gabriel Valley and the Bicycle Kitchen.
JUST FOR THE LADIES: Equal prize money to the UCI Elite Women’s races from top to bottom will be provided thanks to Knobbe Martens IP Law. There will also be a Women’s Lounge hosted by the She Wolf Attack Team! Ladies Ride, as well as Women on Bikes web radio Q&A.
RIDE WITH THE PROs: On Friday at 3 p.m. we’ll be gathering at Golden Saddle Cyclery to ride with a few of the fast guys and gals in town, over to Griffith Park for a CX clinic. Everyone’s invited!
PARTY TIME: Friday evening after riding with the Pros, let’s enjoy Happy Hour food and drinks at Mowhawk Bend. Saturday evening everyone is invited to an After Party Social at Golden Road Brewing.
Special thanks to the following parties for helping to make it all happen: Voler Team Apparel, Jenson USA, Knobbe Martens, Clif Bar, TRP Brakes, CENTRICsport, Castex, American Classic, Union Sport, Squareone, Montrose Bike Shop, H&S Bicycles, Golden Saddle Cyclery, Rock N Road Cyclery, Bike Effect, The Mob Shop, SoCalCycling.com, 10 Speed Coffee, Pedalers Fork, Empire Bikes, Craig Abrams, D.C., Sock Guy, Pasadena Cyclery, Cadence, The Bike Shop of Temecula Valley, Orange Bikes, Road Runner Bags, NUUN, Road Runner Bags, American Classic, Magic Cycle Werks, Pro Gold, and Velo Allegro.