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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, October 21

Shameless plug: Spa 'Cross to roll through state park


150 athletes, 300 spectators expected at Belgian-style, fan-based bicycle race and expo on Sunday

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, cyclocross racers from across New York State and New England will converge on the Columbia Pavilion in Spa State Park for the first-annual Saratoga Spa ‘Cross.

Cyclocross is a style of bicycle racing that evolved in northern Europe, as a way to keep bicycle racers competing through the fall and into winter, by moving them off of roads and onto muddy paths and open fields. The sport is now a popular way for many bicycle racers to end a season of road or mountain bike racing.

“It's a race that hasn't been held in Saratoga since the '70s, or ever in the park and a very unique type of event,” said event promoter and cyclocross racer John Onderdonk “We're hoping for a great turnout as we have designed the course thinking about the spectators as well as the racers. There are many great vantage points to watch, including hanging out in the pavilion by the fire.”

Athletes will compete throughout the day in categories broken out by age or ability. Races for children 10-14, and beginner’s categories for adults begin at 9:15 a.m., to be followed by races for master’s athletes competing in 35+, 45+, and 55+ categories at 10 a.m. Intermediate men will follow at 11 a.m. Elite women will race at 12:30 p.m., with the elite men to close out the day at 1:30 p.m.

There will be a cyclocross-style race for children under 10 at noon.

Cyclocross racing places demands on both a competitor’s fitness and their ability to navigate variable, and constantly changing terrain. Cyclists using specialized bicycles with road-style handlebars but wider, knobbed tires will complete multiple laps on a mile-long course that will force them to navigate obstacles, jump over barriers, and to dismount and run up hill while carrying their bike. With a course marked by yellow tape, fans will have their choice of vantage point –exciting fast stretches through the woods or on the run-up, where racers will look for a cheer (or jeer) to get them over the top of the climb.

“This race would not have been possible without the generous support of our local sponsors, who are as excited as we are to be bringing this unique event to Saratoga Springs,” said promoter Andrew Bernstein. “We were also glad to bring in food vendors and other local businesses to our race expo, to add another element to the spectator experience at Spa ‘Cross.”

Sponsors include Blue Sky Bicycles, Sigma Sports, the Olde Saratoga Brewery, Eastern Mountain Sports, Embrocation Cycling Journal, and Kubricki Construction.

In addition to racing action, spectators will enjoy a race expo, with vendors from the Saratoga area, including: Blue Sky Bicycles, who will have mechanics on hand to tune bikes for racers; KD Energy, makers of organic, vegan energy bars; Happy Chain, a locally-produced chain lubricant for bicycle chains; and Sigma Sports, maker of bicycle accessories.

In addition, Saratoga Coffee Traders will be on hand to keep athletes and spectators properly caffeinated, and Joe’s Burrito, of Albany, will serve chicken, beef, and vegetable burritos.

Spa ‘Cross is the first-ever cyclocross race to be held in Saratoga Springs, and is the seventh race of the series, a nine-race series centered around the Capital Region.

To register online, please visit For more information, please visit us online at Also, you can find us on Facebook!

DIRECTIONS: I 87 to exit 13N. After exiting, head north on Route 9. Go through the first set of lights. At the second light, turn left to enter the park. Follow signs for the Columbia Pavilion.


Blogger Ben lives on said...

Ah Ben to forget about politics for awhile.

October 21, 2009 at 9:59 PM 
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Updated video at

And an interesting discussion at

With John Kaufmann

October 21, 2009 at 10:49 PM 
Blogger demroc said...


October 22, 2009 at 9:09 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Andy should spend more time reporting actual news than sharing his worthless, self centered, self serving interests.

Andy, your opinions are without value to the everyday reader. Your role is, in many ways, that of a news reader. Just look at the the words.

Just type the stories as they come...let the people develop thier own opinions.

October 25, 2009 at 6:44 AM 
Blogger Andrew J. Bernstein said...

anon 6:44: What, exactly, about volunteering months of my life to organizing an event for other to enjoy is self-centered? What exactly about providing a fun, event that brought 450 people into our city for a day is worthless?

Please let me know, I'm very interested.

I'm sorry that you feel my opinions are without value. However, this is my blog, and this is my place (and my job) to provide those opinions. If you don't like them, guess what? You don't have to read them. In fact, I'd appreciate if you wouldn't.

Your hateful, disparaging comments are only detracting from the experience of the 300-odd readers who come here ever day and value my opinion, or at least see it as a useful jumping off point for further discussion.

October 27, 2009 at 11:13 AM 
Blogger demroc said...

Ben georgestein is so good at bringing comments from Isaratoga when he feels it backs his case. however here he forgot to post the link where horatio told them to go scratch about the water line project on 9p. that was a very interesting discussion.

October 28, 2009 at 4:06 PM 

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