"The BIKEIOWA RACING TEAM knows how to put on fun
and exciting events and this one will be no different."
From any other club, about any other event, a boast like this might come off as false bravado. But take a minute to unpack Capital City Cross, two days of Des Moines cyclocross this coming weekend, and it looks more like an understatement.
Here are five quick reasons not to miss Capital City Cross.
BIKEIOWA is the premier bike advocate for racers in Iowa, bar none. Their website is a welcome resource to all cyclists, a showcase for any event, and a gateway to toeing the line. While bike racers have a reputation for taking themselves too seriously, BIKEIOWA events are low-key and friendly, competitive but always fun.
2. Stone Park
A lot of great race venues have histories. Capital City's Stone Park is no exception. Renegade Cyclocross, the largest cx practice in the state, once roved the Des Moines area each week from park to park. When it grew to the point that that became impractical, the city offered up Stone Park as a more permanent home. The unassuming 8-acre park just south of downtown Des Moines has been home to both Renegade Cyclocross and Capital City Cross ever since. By now BIKEIOWA knows how to make the most of it.
3. Fast, Fun, & Spectator-friendly
Other than a hillside to the south, Stone Park is small and flat, offering a great view of the race from pretty much anywhere. It's a welcoming venue for less experienced racers and the spectators that come to heckle and cheer them on. "Look for tons of great vantage points to cheer on your favorite racers or just chill and watch the action."
The course is not intimidating, even to beginners. Mostly fast and flowy, with challenging turns and barriers. It's a great first race to try out cyclocross.
4. The Brae
There are some more technical bits on the hillside to the south, "the brae," but nothing that elicits "hell no." Short climbs and descents, an obstacle or two, a long off camber. The hillside serves up a lot of Stone Park's best cyclocross action.
As a bonus, one part of the brae often offers mud even on drier race dates. Unreliable sources from BIKEIOWA explained that it's from a septic problem in the neighborhood above, but for all of our sakes we'll just assume they were joking.
5. Des Moines
Years ago Capital City Cross helped launch the Central Iowa Cyclocross scene, even though BIKEIOWA never set out to make it much more than a fun local event. Still, this is Des Moines, with quick access from Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, and Minnesota. Capital City Cross is well known in the Midwest, and draws competition we don't often see in Eastern Iowa. Minneapolis or Kansas City is a long trip for a 40 minute race, but at Capital City Cross you can meet some racers part way.
Don't miss Capital City Cross.
Stone Park is just less than two hours from Cedar Rapids, even less from Iowa City. Right now the weather for race weekend looks pleasant enough, with highs in the 70s and 80s and overnight lows at near-cyclocross temps of high 40s and low 50s.