Wednesday Night Cyclocross Series Returns

The Night Shift Cyclocross race series returns for its third year of Wednesday evening races at Riverside State Park in September. Cyclocross, explains series organizer Kyle Mensing, is kind of like a bicycle obstacle course that requires good bike handling over mixed terrain plus getting on and off your bike to make it over various obstacles . . . and maybe a little running. “It is amazingly fun and challenging,” he says, and doing it at night with course lighting (provided by Offroad Power Products) only adds to the excitement.

Mensing, a cyclocross fan who started racing eight years ago, says 75-100 participants typically show up each night. Each race is held at the same location, Riverside’s 7-Mile Airstrip, where the popular Wednesday Night Mountain Bike Race Series is also held in May and June.

“It’s definitely a little different than other cycling disciplines,” Mensing explains, with a mixed surface course that includes dirt, gravel, and even some asphalt. While most racers show up with gravel style bikes with bigger tires than road bikes, he says, you can pretty much race any type of bike. “We see a lot of people on mountain bikes. It has that mix of fun and challenge that’s really intriguing to a wide range of riders.”

The courses tend to be about a mile long and riders do as many laps as they can during the 30-40 minute time set for the category they sign up for. Race registration is $27 per night and kids ages 9-18 get to race for free thanks to support from School of Cross, Spokane’s junior cyclocross team.

Cyclocross racing also makes for an entertaining spectator experience, explains Mensing. “There’s some friendly heckling and cheering going on, and you get to see riders come by multiple times.” Hand-ups, where spectators hand out food and beverages to riders as they pass by, is also a big thing in cyclocross, he says. “Some riders race hard and others go slower and take all the food and beverages they can grab.” Register and find all of the details at

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