By Alicia Dziak
Photo by Ron Grucela
Mountain bikers have reason to celebrate this spring and early summer. Actually, eight reasons to celebrate. On Wednesday evenings, May 10 through June 28, the Campus Series mountain bike races will be held at Sprague Brook Park.
Now in its sixth year, the race series is organized and run by Singletrackracing.com and Campus Wheelworks, with the WNYMBA offering trail support and maintenance.
Greg Culver, one of the organizers, explained that, “The first couple of years, WNYMBA sponsored and organized the races. The club decided to focus on trails and trail building in 2013, and not racing events, so a couple of us formed singletrackracing.com.”
Culver noted that the group included himself and three other avid racers. “We brought in Campus Wheelworks a couple of years ago as the lead sponsor,” he said. “Campus is very involved in the local bicycle scene and really has a great following.”
It wasn’t a hard decision to hold the races at Sprague Brook.
“Sprague Brook was the perfect place for a weekday series for many reasons,” explained Culver. “One, it’s some of the best singletrack in the area thanks to WNYMBA. There were are a few course options that allow us to keep it fun and challenging. The park is close enough for most WNYers to get there after work. There is a playground and restroom right next to the race start, so many families come to support racers. When it gets hot, racers’ kids like to play in the creek to stay cool. Sprague Brook really is a gem of a park.”
The course begins and ends in the same spot, which is near shelters 5 and 6 inside the park. “We put signs up every week to guide racers to the action,” Culver explained. “Parking, registration and race start are all in the same spot. The race loop is roughly four miles each lap and crosses one creek.”
The race series isn’t just for seasoned pros.
“We try to gear the course toward all ages and abilities,” said Culver.
Culver told the following story as an example of the range of riders who show up: “We had a little guy named Moses two years ago. Moses was 4 and he rode/walked his bike over the entire race loop week after week. It was awesome. On the flip side we get some of the fastest guys on 2 wheels to show up. Some of our master 50+ guys are the quickest of the bunch.”
Races will be held on Wednesdays, May 10, 17, 24, 31 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28. Race check-in is 5 to 6 p.m. and races start at 6:15 p.m.
“You can register online for single races or the whole series of eight races,” noted Culver. “Online registration is through webscorer.com. Just search races for Wednesday Night Series and click the links. Online registration closes at 5pm each race day. We do also accept walk-up registrations.”
For those who want even more bike racing, Culver added that, “We also have another race at SBP July 22 called the Single Track Stampede. The Stampede will be the 8th annual this year and is a longer more technical race. There are always beginner and children’s categories.”
For more information, visit Facebook.com/singletrackracing or on the web at singletrackracing.com.