Viroqua cyclocross starts up again
The first Viroqua cyclocross race was located in a city park in the fall of 2006 with a small but dedicated turnout of adults and youths for the weekly events. The following year, due to the increased involvement of area youths, it was moved to the nearby campus of the Viroqua Area Public School District.
Chris Newlin, of Viroqua, who at that time was a fitness trainer at the community's Vernon Memorial Healthcare Wellness Center, began the event as an experiment. "Cyclocross racing was not generally known in the area," Newlin said. "I believed this activity could become a major outdoor sports event, which would benefit the region in physical fitness and economic development."
Today Newlin is now a regional sales representative for RP Active Sports.
Cyclocross racing participants usually complete several laps of a one- to two-mile course that can include grass, woods, steep hills and a few man-made obstacles requiring competitors to dismount and carry their bicycle. Most races take about 30 minutes to an hour.
Newlin recently announced the 2009 cyclocross racing season was expanding the event's schedule beginning in August and ending in October. The race course will also move to the multiuse trails on a 25-acre park on the southwest side of Viroqua. The Hubbard family owns the property but has permitted the local Vernon Trails organization to build trails there.
Vernon Trails is a volunteer nonprofit organization that has constructed numerous miles of sustainable and multiuse trails on county and state lands. Pete Taylor, co-founder and owner of Bluedog Cycles in Viroqua, is volunteer director for the Vernon Trails organization.
"We are extremely proud of our creative partnerships with private property ownerships like the Hubbards, which gives us the privilege of developing cooperative and creative relationships to promote human-powered trails for diverse users," Taylor said.
All the proceeds from the 2009 cyclocross event will go to Vernon Trails, according to Newlin.
The cyclocross races will be held every Friday for 13 weeks, beginning at 3:30 p.m. August 7, at the west end of Maple Street in Viroqua. The series will end October 30.
For more information, call Chris Newlin at 608/630-0229, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.viroquacross.blogspot.com.