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Kisscross

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Checking In On The Kona Cyclocross Crew

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It's October, and cyclocross season is in full swing not just in Grand Rapids, but all over the US and Europe! 

Kona put the new 2018 Super Jake under two of their most experienced and tough riders, the legendary Helen Wyman and Kerry Werner. The two American World Cups were the high points of September and were big targets for Kona riders. After strong rides, Kerry turned his attention to KMC 'Crit' Fest in Connecticut, while Wyman went across the Atlantic to do what she does best; battle the Belgians on their home turf. 

Helen is doing a very cool series of one-minute videos at her races, which are definitely worth checking out and following on Vimeo.  She gave the new Super Jake its first European podium at Neerpelt in Holland this past weekend, too! 

If that's got you jonesing for some cyclocross action, there's plenty to be had right here in Grand Rapids. The Beer City Growler is the second of the Michigan CX Series on Saturday, October 7, right at Wilcox Park. With a bit of rain in the forecast, it might be a truly Belgian experience for everyone, with the promise of mud, beer, and a lot of fun! 

Sunday, Kisscross is back in action for the second race of the season, this time at Highland Park. Many racers will be taking on both days, with the famous flyover expected to feature at both races. With plenty more racing to come this season, as well as other big tests like Peak2Peak at Crystal Mountain, the Lowell 50, and of course the Iceman Cometh, a double-header weekend is great preparation for the rest of your fall campaign! 

Make sure your bike is in perfect shape, even if you aren't, by getting it in for a tune-up this week, and we'll see you in the mud this Saturday and Sunday! 

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Top Five Hand-Up Foods For Elite, Serious Cyclocross Racers

Cyclocross demands a commitment to training and diet, and that extends past the weeks and months of #crossiscoming right into the very middle of the event. We've selected the important foods and drinks you need to peak, bro. 

First off, if you eat or drink when you're on a bike, that food or drink becomes known as 'nutrition', which is like food but with all the fun sucked out of it. Triathletes loves nutrition, and they're known to stuff it strange places. But they have to, because their shirts don't have pockets. 

Anyway, this 'nutrition' can make or break your day between the tape, so we've picked our top five favorite hand-ups. Take this as the gospel, and make sure they're on your grocery list heading into the weekend. This is especially important, as you'll most likely be performing hand-ups for others before or after your race, and in a shark/lamprey type of symbiotic relationship, you'll rely on others to provide hand-ups for you. Don't let them down. 

1. Pea Soup. Pea soup is a powerhouse food that combines an appealing green color with a refreshing pea flavor that's sure to help you dig deep. Served boiling hot (i.e. scalding) and with some cilantro as garnish, try to splash it in your friend's face early and often so they are properly fueled. Super Soakers work well. 

2. Twinkies. Packed with sugar and other important nutrients like synthetic cream and yellow dye 12,242 the quick-shot energy from a Twinkie is tough to beat. It's also soft, so if the person has to grab the bar in a panic after taking the hand-up, it squashes neatly and poops out its creamy filling. Don't worry, they'll still be able to eat it after they take the next turn, and they'll likely have bits of it in their bar tape for weeks to come. 

3. Veggie Burgers. In today's diet-conscious environment, we suggest ditching the traditional bacon hand-up in favor of a more environmentally alternative. No animal cruelty, a reduced impact on resources, and plenty of flavor options make this a much more green option to protein-rich cyclocross nutrition. Most people like Spicy Black Bean, but you can really stand out from the crowd by going for the Garden Veggie version. 

4. Cookies. Everyone loves cookies. We're not going to even try to joke about this one. Bring cookies. 

5. Boone's Farm Wine Coolers. Look, beer has been done guys. We get it, Hamm's, PBR, all great. I mean, since you can't get a good urine-flavored can of Schlitz in Michigan (can you?) those are solid alternatives. But Boone's Farm goes down like a Kool-Ade and offers a tasteful nostalgia for simpler times. Junior year of high school, some wine coolers, a sunny day, Rebecca...oh she was a good girl...but we're getting away from the topic. (I'll wait for you, Rebecca)

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Put your nutrition and preparation to the test this Sunday at KissCross at Richmond Park. We'll be there. With a cooler. 

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Kisscross #1 at Richmond Park!

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Cyclocross is almost here! We're excited to bring you the first Kisscross race of the year on September 17 at Richmond Park. 

Kisscross is a darn big deal. The series began with 30 guys and gals, content with someone shouting "Go!" and racing for beer. Over the years, it's grown to include more city and county parks all over West Michigan, with an emphasis on local shops, local businesses, and local racers who just want to have fun. 

There is a full points series over the course of the five race days, starting in September and ending in November. Each stop features a different park, and a different local shop takes on course design. We're excited to highlight Richmond Park in Grand Rapids, and to put on a challenging, unique course that you're going to love. 

Cyclocross is a great way to get into racing. It's fast and intense, but only as intense as you make it. There's no pressure; after a lap or two, most spectators have no idea who is winning or who is last! Most are more focused on food hand-ups, cheering, and simply enjoying the race. And that's easy to do, because cyclocross is by far the best spectator-friendly type of cycling. On a short 1-1.5 mile course, the whole course is easy to see! 

The kid's race starts things off at 10:30, followed by the 30 minute Beginner/Junior race at 11am. The Experts start at noon for a full 60 minutes, with the Sport category capping things off at 1pm. 

We'll have tons of prizes, and the spoils don't always go to the victors! Everyone has a great chance to pick something pretty sweet. 

Check out all things Kisscross right here. 

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