Tuesday, July 03, 2007

MTB Race in Crothers' Woods

Race route through Crothers' Woods (click to expand)

I attended the mountain bike race in Crothers' Woods on Sunday July 1. This was the first scheduled race in this part of the Don and it was a modest success. There were only about 50 competitors, about half of what was expected. The numbers may have been affected by putting it on a long weekend.

There were three heats starting at about 10 AM. The course was slightly different than originally planned. There was no loop around the snow dump which was canned because the bailey bridge across the river is too narrow for two lanes of bikes.

The course started at the bottom of the treatment plant road and wended its way through Sun Valley and the Ridge Trail. The finish line was at the top of the hill which I thought a little sneaky. The longest race was six laps each lasting about 15 minutes and it was all wrapped up by noon. Most of the competitors were adults although there one youngster who was only thirteen.

Apart from the low number of competitors, there weren't enough race marshals. I shooed a couple of people off the course during the race who said they didn't see any signs posted although there was yellow police tape marking the route. The one marshal I did see up by the Bayview Avenue access point near Nesbitt Drive commented that there weren't enough marshals.

I was a little disappointed that the local mountain bikers didn't come out to represent themselves. This would have been a prime opportunity to advertise their group. Events like these don't happen very often and they could've put something together with a little effort. They could also have volunteered as marshals to help out with the race. The city did have a booth with the usual collection of flyers and pamphlets as well as a couple of staff to answer questions.

I haven't talked with Ziggy Martuzalski (the race organizer) yet about his thoughts so it remains to be seen whether he will organize another race. I'll keep you posted.

Getting organized in the Loblaws parking lot

Racers wheel around a corner in Sun Valley

The finish line at the top of a tough climb

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