Frequently asked questions...
1) Where is the Ithaca GP?
The Ithaca GP is held in Ithaca, Michigan, in Woodland City Park. For online maps, use the address: 400 W. Center, Ithaca, MI 48847. Or just drive around Ithaca on September 6 until you find a bunch of people running with their bikes in a park. And NO, this is not the same park as the MTB race (that's the Jailhouse Trail on the southern end of Ithaca).
2) Do I need a special bike?
No, you can use a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike to race in the Ithaca GP. If you do ride a mountain bike, you may not use bar ends. If you use a road bike, you may not use aero bars. Tire width rules do not apply to the Ithaca GP since it is not a UCI event. Fatbike snow tires are welcome and I'd personally love to see you haul that 50 lb breast around the course. Special consideration is given to those with bikes more than 50 years old. But not really. Hipsters are officially not allowed to be disallowed.
3) Do I need a special license to race?
Yes, you need to either hold an annual USA Cycling license or purchase a one-day ($10) license to cover your insurance. This makes sure we all have a good day.
4) What's the course like?
Woodland City Park is on the edge of town and forms a bit of a shelf with corn fields to the northwest and houses to the east. Most of the racing will be done on grass, however there is a gravel walking path that racers will be on and off throughout the day. Cyclocross courses typically incorporate obstacles that run the width of the course (3 meters) and force racers to get off of their bikes and run short distances. The Ithaca GP incorporates both wooden planks (up to 40 cm tall) and occasionally the amphitheater steps into the race. I am an old school 'crosser that liked it when we had five sets of barriers per lap. I like fast courses that challenge your ability to ride your bike through corners at speed. But what else can I say, you'll find out all you need to know on 9/6/2014 and on the Ithaca eve when I post photos here and on Facebook.
5) Is the park kid and dog friendly?
Yes. I have a dog and two daughters. Everyone will be with me on race day. So the park better be kid and dog friendly.
6) I hear Team Sandbag is once again supporting the race - what's with the name?
Those guys rock. The jersey says "Sandbag" but beware - not all of them are as fast as they say they are. Watch out especially for the "Chunky Dunker" and the men they call Powers and KPOT. Seriously. They took home cold hard cash in 2009 and since then can be seen at 'cross races all over the state and middle west. Some of those guys even shave their legs.
7) I hear there will be a mix of east-side, west-side, and northern 'crossers from all over the state? Is that true? What about our friends from Canada?
Watch out. The Ithaca GP was the first real bridge race in 2007. Guys like the Surly Man and the McIntyre crew from the west side keep bringing friends over from the famous Kiss Cross races. And since there is no overlap on the date between Ithaca and either a Tailwind or Kiss Cross race, expect to see a few of the west siders there. And the east siders, if they can find their way through the corn fields, do also tend to show up. It's pretty much a battle royal out there.
We even get racers all the way from Canada! The only "restriction" for international racers is that they MUST HOLD A UCI LICENSE to race in a USAC-sanctioned event. We welcome our neighbors to rural Michigan.
8) I hear some people glue their tires to their wheels for cyclocross. What?
Yes, some do. All you need to do is take a clincher tire, glue a 26" mtb tube into it, and use the elastic strap from your underwear to make a basetape. Glue that to your clincher rim using Elmer's Glue and nothing else. Boom, you've got a tubular tire.
But not really, so don't go trying that. Seriously, that was a joke. Seriously...
The Ithaca park is typically free from the types of things that would make me hesitant to run my "A" wheels. So bring your fancy carbon hoops with sticky gluey tires and ride fast.
That being said, everyone that is too lazy to reglue their tires at the beginning of the 'cross season usually ends their day at Ithaca early - the numerous off camber sections at Ithaca really put a strain on your 3 year-old glue job. Don't be one of those guys, if you glue your tires make sure they are on like a bear before you race.
9) How does the purse work for the elite men's categories?
For 2014 the Elite Men 1/2/3, Elite Masters 1/2/3 35+, and Elite Masters 1/2/3 45+ are all starting at the same time (12:30 p.m.). We'll see how the purse works this year...I have yet to make a decision on this.
10) Those jerseys are AWESOME! What's up with that?
The Ithaca GP is still the only 'cross race in Michigan that awards winners jerseys to the top Elite male and female finishers. This jersey represents all that is Ithaca, including the five stripes that are now famous for being in SVEN NYS'S FINISHING SHOT at the Louisville World Championships in 2013!
Any other questions? E-mail racepromoter /at/ gmail /dot/ com (no slashes...)!