Have two weekends of BIG races worn you down? Has the endless cheering and world class/World Cup partying tired you out? Next weekend's low key, grassroots festivities in Des Moines might be just what you need. Saturday, approaching like an old friend you haven't seen in years, is the return of Capital City Cross to Stone Park. Sunday, for something completely different, is the non-sanctioned fundraiser "Relaycross," two hours of cyclocross fun downtown at Mullets.
On to the brae
After a two year absence, this will be the fourth edition of Capital City Cross at Stone Park, just a stone's throw away from downtown Des Moines. Home to the Renegade Cross cyclocross practice, the eight acre park between Hartford and SE 5th streets is mostly flat except for the "brae" on the south side of the park. (Brae is a Scottish term for "slope or side of hill" and is pronounced "bray.")
According to Race Director Scott Sumpter, "The brae is where the magic happens. This is where the spectators and hecklers congregate. This is the more challenging part of the course, with off-cambers, run-ups, and fast descents. From the brae you can see the whole race. Actually all parts of the park offer a great vantage point to the entire race."
Over the years Capital City Cross has become synonymous with BIKEIOWA. In 2010, the race's first year, it was held at Ewing Park and was the first race promoted by the newly formed BIKEIOWA. "We still tackle races from a grassroots angle," says Sumpter, "You'll see many first-timers, once/twice a year folks, and seasoned racers. Part of our team motto states 'we will promote both cycling and fun in our community' and we do just that. Every race we promote is fun, unique, and challenging." Register at https://www.usacycling.org/register/2017-1486.
Stone Park is close enough to downtown Des Moines to make all the restaurants, hotels, and nightlife close by. "Our top 4 spots to visit downtown for post-race eats and drinks would be Iowa Tap Room (all Iowa food and beer), el Bait Shop (superb beer selection), Mullets (great breakfast), and the High Life Lounge (offbeat homage to the Midwestern beer halls of the 1960s, dishing up old-school comfort food and in same building as Bait Shop)." Sumpter promises that "The BIKEIOWA Cycling Team will be out afterwards as well. Ask us where we will be day of!"
This year Capital City Cross is only Saturday, but make a weekend of it and Sunday afternoon you can join the fun for a 2-hour cyclocross-style relay race with 4 teammates at Relaycross at Mullets. This year the event will benefit the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, a grass-roots non-profit organization that feeds the homeless in Des Moines. Check it out at http://www.bikeiowa.com/Event/12141.
Originally published by Goosetown Racing Club