Thursday, June 18, 2020

Let It … Snow?

Winter seems far away on a day like this, but ...
Because of COVID-19 there has been almost nothing but bad news for the 2020 cycling season. There was more this week. The Wisconsin Off-Road Series announced, eventually, that half of its schedule is cancelled. And the future of the remaining four races doesn’t look bright. In Illinois, both the Chicago Cyclocross Cup and Heart of Illinois series have been cancelled, though individual races may take place. The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships—scheduled for December 8-13 in suburban Chicago—are in danger. USA Cycling will make a decision on or before September 15. News of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup cancellation has led at least one Wisconsin race promoter to question whether our series will follow. Half of our races are scheduled for venues in Dane and Milwaukee counties, where local restrictions could make it impossible to bring together large crowds of racers.

But yesterday brought good news from, of all places, West Bend. You will recall that the city welcomed the Hugh Jass Fat Bike Series to Regner Park last winter. Next winter West Bend will have an entire Hugh Jass weekend: January 23-24. The Saturday race will take place in Regner Park and the Sunday race will be at Lac Lawrann Conservancy. The city is providing a $1,500 grant to promote the weekend, which it estimates will attract 1,500 attendees.

“West Bend is becoming a bicycling destination and I am most intrigued by the potential of the Hugh Jass Bike Race,” District 2 Alderman Mark Allen said in the city’s press release. “This event has expanded into a two-day weekend, which encourages participants and spectators to stay overnight and explore all that West Bend has to offer.”

The Hugh Jass weekend is going to put me in the very weird position of hoping we have snow on the ground, but good news for bike racing in West Bend is good news for me.

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