We're glad you stopped by! Please email us if you'd like to get involved, suggest something, see something that needs corrected etc. We look forward to seeing you at the beautiful parks we get to ride in.
The series of cyclocross bicycle races on the west side of Michigan are known as KISSCROSS. Acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. Cross is short for cyclocross.
A Cyclocross race is a 40-60 minute circuit race that takes place on a ~1 mile loop. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete one lap depending on the course length. The course is a mixture of grass, dirt, asphalt, sand and we try to avoid mud and snow. Some courses include forced dismounts and short running sections up hills. Some riders get lapped but everyone finishes on the leaders lap so the amount of time for everyone is very close to the 40 or 60 minutes. Lapped riders keep racing the whole time, since its such a short course this happens often and lapped riders could still finish high in results. Cyclocross is typically raced in cold weather yet you won't feel as cold as on open roads because of the slower speed and high intensity.
Dismounts are created with barriers that are 12 inches high and are usually placed in sets of 2. Experienced riders will approach a set of barriers at speed, dismount and begin running while lifting their bikes and jumping over the barriers. They then set down their bikes, remount on the fly, and resume pedaling. Most of us don't do it as smoothly. Some times barriers will be placed at the base of a small hill called a ‘run-up’ where riders will dismount and shoulder their bike and sprint/walk up the hill, remounting at the top.
Sometimes there are opportunities for racers to grab "hand ups." Hand ups are where spectators hold out an object for the racer to grab. Some examples are dollar bills, twizzlers, and swag.
There are specific cyclocross bikes but pretty much any bike will work when competing in Kisscross. Gravel and Cyclocross bikes should be fastest if we do the course well but I (Jason) have used a mountain bike the last few years and still been very competitive. Fat bikes, mountain bikes, gravel, cross and tandems are all welcome.
In the beginning (early 1900′s) it was intended for road cyclists interested in training and racing during the winter off-season in Europe. The idea is that if you are on grass and pavement, the speed is lower and the intensity is higher. Additionally with the introduction of barriers, which require the rider to dismount, run and jump over the barriers, a riders feet keep warm. In countries like Belgium, France, Holland, Italy and Switzerland, Cyclocross enjoys tremendous popularity. The top names in road cycling like VanAert, Vanderpoel, and Pidcock all honed their engines at cyclocross before turning to road racing. It's the best training available. If you want to be fast at any cycling discipline, this is where it happens.
Kisscross specifically started back in 2002 due to the need for cyclocross racing in the West Michigan area. The idea here is to have a series of cyclocross races that are fun, affordable, friendly and challenging for riders of any skill level.
Our races tend to be held in City or County Parks and are very spectator and family friendly. Participants can use any non-motorized bicycle type (gravel, cyclocross, road, mountain bike, hybrid, tandem). The one day course snakes through the park on grass and dirt. There are a few obstacles like steps or wooden barriers on the course to get around or over. Each lap is about 1 mile long and can be seen from many vantage points. Participants do approx 5-10 laps depending on course distance and which race they are in. Races are 40 or 60 min. Local teams, clubs and individuals “host” each race, setting up and tearing down the course which helps to keep the costs of the race down. It can take as long a full day to set up a course so please thank them when you have a chance.
Short answer is anyone able to ride, push and pick up a bicycle. You should be healthy and in good physical condition as this is a very strenuous activity. These races are for beginners or experienced racers who want to compete against themselves and others while getting the best workout available on a bike. Never tried cyclocross before? Want to learn more about the sport? This is a great opportunity! Come out and give it a shot!
No racing license required
No specific bike required. A cyclocross bike is not necessary, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, fat bikes, tandems; are all fine to use. We'd love to see someone on a unicycle try it sometime.
B race - same course as A's just a shorter race time (40min). We suggest the B race to those new to cyclocross, those who don't get to train as much, those who are there to compete against themselves, etc.
A race is for those who want to compete over a longer race (60 min). If you're not sure which race to enter email me and we can discuss it. The A race is broken into a few age categories and there is a series winner for each category that gets a sweet VIE13 jersey. There is also a team competition in the A race so even if you finish mid/back of the pack it can be helping your team.
ALL Races: We will look at the first few lap times and post the remaining number of laps. If you get lapped by the leader you just keep going. Everyone finishes on the leaders lap so everyone races about the same length of time.
A race- approx 60 minutes. Most people who do the A race are faster or more seasoned riders. You do not have to have prior experience to do the A race though. If you're not sure which race to enter email me and we can discuss it.
B race- approx 40 min. The same course as A's, just a shorter race time (40min). We suggest the B race to those new to cyclocross, those who don't get to train as much, and those who are there to compete against themselves, etc. CX is an intense workout, 40 min will feel like plenty.
Women's race- approx 40 min. This is for women of all ages and abilities. This will be the race for the women's series jersey. Women may participate in A and B races also if they prefer but those races won't be counted towards the jersey.
Youth race- Ages 11-17. Racing on the course with B racers, same format race. Youth race may start 30 sec after the B race.
Kids race- Free to anyone under 18, most are under 12. One lap between the B race and women's race. We do alter the course a bit to take out the most difficult sections.
Riders, please refrain from riding the course during other's races. There will be a few minutes before each race to ride the course.
Prizes and Categories:
A Race: We will have age group category results for Men under 35, 35-54, and 55+. All A catergories will be racing together. Each category will have a leader jersey as an end of season prize. Best 3 of 4 races count toward the jersey, so come to as many races as you can! Podium pictures for top 3 each category/each race post race mandatory. Swag prizes will be awarded to the top three racers along with other random racers.
A team competition will be added this year. The team competition is all age inclusive. It will be cross country running style scoring where the lowest score wins. The top 5 racers from each team will score the points. If you have more than 5 and your 6th/7th racer places ahead of a 4th/5th place rider from another team it will still help your team score. All 4 races count toward the end of series team championship.
B Race: Prizes assigned randomly, given about 10 min after the race at the podium presentation. We will do a podium pic with the top 3. No separate age categories. Results will be listed on the website.
Women: Podium pictures shortly after race. Prizes assigned randomly, given at the podium presentation. Overall winner of the series (best 3 of 4) will get a VIE13 jersey! We do not have age categories for women at this time.
Velocity Wheelset: Each racer can put an entry in for the raffle to win the Velocity wheelset at each race they attend. It will be raffled off at the last race. You must be present to win.
Number Pickup / Sign In
Please sign in and pick up your number 30-15 minutes before your race. You will keep your number for all of the races in the series, so please bring it with you to your next races. You still need to sign in when you arrive so that we know you are there and you get entered in the raffle to win the Velocity wheel set.
11:30 am A Race (approx. 60 min)
12:45 pm B Race and Youth Race (approx. 40 min)
1:50 pm Free Kids Race (1 altered lap)
2:15 pm Womens Race (approx. 40 min)
Free balance bike course all day for the littles
Race Entry Fees
Series Entry Fee: $50 prior to August 1st, $60 on August 1st and after
Single Race Fee: $30
Youth Race Fee: $10 each race (max. $20/day/family)
No licenses required!!
Q: I have never tried cyclocross, what race should I sign up for?
A: If you have raced gravel, mtb, road etc and placed well or were competitive do the A race. If you are newer to any racing or finished another race halfway down try the B race.
Q: Can I use a mountain bike or fat bike instead of a cross bike?
A: Yes, any type of bike is ok. Remove any bar ends or aero bars.
Q: Can I do more than one race on the same day?
A: Possibly, just ask us. Some women racers did the B race and the women's race which worked fine.
Q: Can I warm up on the race course?
A: Yes, but not during a race.
Q: Do you have podium pictures?
A: Yes, top 3 in each category. We have random prizes for all races given out at the podium presentation. We try to have podium presentation within 15 min of race completion.
Q: I didn't do as many laps as some others. Why is that?
A: The leaders of the race lapped you. Everyone finishes the race on the leaders lap. This way everyone gets the same amount of racing time, but maybe not the same distance.
Q: Will there be chip timing?
A: No, we will not be using chip timing at this time. We manually count laps. Devices like Garmin Edge can be set to do auto lap functions if you want to know lap times.
Go to the sponsors page. Find and click on the registration link. Fill out the google form the registration link gets you to.
We will have you fill out a liability waver before the first race when you pick up your number.