Cyclocross riders blast through Aldergrove park

Hundreds of riders braved mud and gusty winds to compete in a cyclocross race in Aldergrove Regional Park Sunday.

The b-Team Superprestige saw racers from novice to elite levels competing over multiple laps of a course at the bowl area on the east side of the park.

The ride included declines into muddy low-lying areas and long, gruelling climbs up onto nearby hills. Many riders hopped off and carried their bikes to make it up the hills faster.

Donna Tyson, Josh Harder, and Blair Benjamin are from North Langley and rode in the colours of the Fort Langley Cyclery, a local bike shop.

“It’s a first race for me,” Tyson said. She said her fellow racers had encouraged her to try out the sport.

She said the community around cyclocross was nice and was pleased to see the sizeable numbers who turned out for Sunday’s event.

Harder said he’s been racing for almost 20 years.

“It’s just pure joy, to fight through the elements and the mud and get to the finish line,” he said.

Cyclocross has been around the Lower Mainland for decades, but in recent years more and more races have been relocating to areas like Langley and the Fraser Valley.

That’s been good for the local racing community, Harder said.

Cyclocross racing somewhat resembles mountain biking, but the bikes are usually more like lightweight road racing bicycles. Riders compete across a course that may include some paved roads or hard-packed paths, grass or dirt paths, and quite often, mud, as the racing season usually takes place over the autumn and winter.

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