Urban ‘cross racers are on a seemingly endless hunt for the perfect spot. Within the city limits, property is at a premium and bikes are usually prohibited in public green space. And so the search goes for that secluded corner of a park or that piece of abandoned property where you can cobble together a mini course for mid-week practices. Old staircases and punchy little climbs where you can do some session work. Stretches of lightly traveled pavement where you can work on your starts and knock out short intervals.
Ten years ago, when members of DCMTB went searching for a venue to host a ‘cross race within the District, they found their spot. Tucked in the corner of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in northwest D.C., the club took an overgrown and unused collection of fields and carved out what would become one of the premier cyclocross venues on the East Coast.
Over the years, DCMTB (which has co-hosted the race with Crosshairs Cycling since 2014) has refined the course’s concept, taking advantage of the property’s undulating natural features and incorporating AFRH’s historic infrastructure.
That ongoing effort earned the event a UCI C2 rating, drawing in top local, regional and national racers. This year, Katie Compton (KFC Racing) produced two days of dominant wins at DCCX, marking the first time a reigning elite national cyclocross champion toed the start line in D.C.
The men’s elite field produced some of the most exciting racing ever witnessed at DCCX with both days coming down to a sprint finish between Kerry Werner (Kona) and Dan Timmerman (Stan’s NoTubes).
But what’s most notable about DCCX today is the growth of the event itself. You see the diversity of DC on full display, from bike couriers to K Street lawyers and everything in between. Plenty of local foods are on offer and there’s even some course-side entertainment (this year it was a mariachi band). The local cycling community and racers from around the region have truly embraced DCCX and, for one weekend every year, made it their spot.