What is KISSCROSS and Racing for Beer?
A group of us started Kisscross back in 2002 because we saw the need for cyclocross racing in the West Michigan area. The closest ‘cross races were around the Detroit area and a $30+ entry fee plus a tank of gas became really expensive not to mention spending an entire day driving and preparing for a short 40 minute race was a drag. We started as volunteers with no business sense, no insurance and fees of only $10! Thirty of us (including myself) would go on my command and racing was underway. Someone wrote down our names in the order we finished. K.I.S.S.CROSS was born. Keep It Simple Stupid. The idea here was to have a series of cyclocross races that were fun, affordable, low key and challenging for riders of any skill level. And the beer….Yes we give away six packs of Founders Ale at each ‘cross race and to discourage sandbagging the beer wasn’t always awarded to 1st place!
A few things have changed since then. No one can blame us for purchasing insurance and this also meant forming an LLC to protect our personal assets. Then the races became larger, the sponsors donated more swag and additional classes became necessary. Professional timing was introduced in 2012 to score 150+ people accurately each week. Little by little our prices have risen but at the end of the day these races don’t put much money in our pockets, we do it out of the love for the sport and to support the habits of our local family of cyclocross racers.
Our races tend to be held in City or County Parks and are very spectator and family friendly. Most courses are about 1.5 miles long and can be seen from one or two vantage points. Local teams, clubs and individuals assist with setting up and tearing down the course to keep fees as low as possible. It can take as long a full day to set up a course so please thank them when you have a chance. Kisscross Events LLC also donates $2 per rider to the team for their efforts. Most of the teams or clubs turn right around and give the money back to the ‘cross community by offering lunch for the day or additional prizes and awards! How cool is that?!
Also, don’t forget each ‘cross race you enter increases your odds of winning a great prize to be raffled off at the end of the series. Just fill out a name card and deposit it in the raffle box at each event. You don’t have to be present at the final race to win!
Are these races for you?
Are you a skilled ‘cross veteran? Come on out and give it a go. As you already know, there’s not much else in the way of cyclocross action in West Michigan. This will give you a good chance to have some fun and hone your skills in the process. Plus it is affordable at only $25 per race.
No pre-registration necessary, all races are day of registration. No license required.
Never tried cyclocross before? Want to learn more about the sport? This is a great opportunity, as we’re dubbing this a “training series”. Come out and give it a shot! What’s the worst that can happen? The pain only lasts 45 minutes.
We have four classes available to choose from; the one lap kids race which runs with the C group, the C Race including Juniors, Men, Women and Masters is the beginner class and lasts about 30 minutes, the B Race includes, Tandem, Mens, Womens, Singlespeed and Masters (40+) is the intermediate class and lasts about 45 minutes and the A and A Masters (40+) Race is the advanced/expert class lasting about 60 minutes.
Everyone should start in the same category that they were racing in last year. No excuses such as, “I’m out of shape”, “I haven’t been riding much”, etc. If we adhere to this only the winner of each race must move up to the next class. Look for your name each week on the results page, if you were first place you must move up a class.
A cyclocross bike is not necessary, mountain bikes are allowed; just remove the bars ends if you have them. Heck, some folks even use road bikes.
You will race for 30, 45 or 60 minutes depending on the class you signed up for. After everyone in a class is underway we will determine how many laps the lead pack must do to come as close as possible to your designated race time. At this time we will hold up the “laps to go” cards so you know how many laps are left. If you get lapped by the leader or leaders you will be scored as being down a lap. Everyone finishes on the leaders lap.
We also have many prizes donated by our other great sponsors so please check the prize table after each race to see if you have won something. We label prizes with random placements in each class, even DFL!