Archive for October, 2010

Iron Cross

Posted in Cross, Must do Races on October 13, 2010 by rogeremasse

29er Crew 200 years ago, the Iron Cross was a military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, and later of Germany during the Napoleonic Wars. The only thing that Iron Cross has to do with the 62 mile bike race that I’m about to tell you about, is that the handmade awards that are given out at the end bear a keen resemblance to the original emblem.

Inspired by the Three Peaks Cyclocross race in England, the Iron Cross race is a 62 mile back-country bike race tailored to the strengths of a Cyclocross bike. Think Ironman Triathalon of Cyclocross, although the “Iron” part of Iron Cross does not come from Ironman. The race venue, Camp Thompson, is within Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a notable iron producing center around the turn of the century and before. So, Iron was pulled from the area’s rich history and reflects the toughness of the event.

This, the X.X.X edition (Oct 10, 2010) of Iron Cross takes you on a variety of terrain including pavement, gravel roads, primitive gravel roads, grassy fields and relatively easy mountain bike style single track. Since I’d been racing my Fisher Superfly Single Speed mountain bike all year for the 100-mile NUE series races, I thought this was the year to try Iron Cross riding a single speed. There’s a lot of pavement in Iron Cross, so  I set up my SuperFly with a fairly big gear: 32×16 and Bontrager XR1 1.9 Expert 29er tires to keep the rolling resistance low. My ride tips the scales at 19.5 pounds, definitely competitive with the average cross bike. I’m ready.
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