Speed racers

Cyclists haul ass over all sorts of terrain.

Bike racing
Bike Authority Cyclocross riders travel over hill and dale to - get to the championships.
Bike Authority Cyclocross riders travel over hill and dale to get to the championships.

Nearly 100 mountain-bike racers pedal for a $1,000 prize this weekend at the Bike Authority Cyclocross.

The competition takes place on a two-mile track of pavement, grass, and dirt in a Broadview Heights city park. The five bikers to complete the most laps in an hour will split the money. Typically, the fastest racers cover as many as 18 miles.

"It's more speed-oriented," says Rudy Sroka, the race's organizer. "The original concept years ago was that road cyclists would get too bored trying to ride on the road. So they started riding on grass and through fields and over farmers' fences. Now it's a fairly big international sport that a lot of the pro cyclists in Europe do to kill the winter."

The races are designed as a warm-up to the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships, held the weekend of December 9 in Providence, Rhode Island, where an estimated 1,500 bikers are expected to race. "A lot of people try it, but it's not easy," says Sroka. "It's a fairly good-sized sport in the U.S. Not so big in Ohio, but we're trying." Racing starts at noon Friday through Sunday at the Fields of Broadview Heights, 8938 Broadview Road. Fees are $15 and $25. Call 440-546-9966 for more information. -- Chris Glaser

Fowl Weather

Surviving birds show their faces at hike.

SAT 11/26

This time of year, Cuyahoga Valley National Park ranger Margaret Adams is in a fowl mood. And she's going to share it with participants at Saturday's Talking Turkey Hike, a three-mile ramble along the Valley Trail. Adams will discuss the behavior, habitats, and calls of the wild ones, while sharing some trivia about the tasty birds. "Our goal is to look for and hopefully see some of the wild turkeys that have made CVNP their home," she says. "And there's a good chance we'll spot a large number of them, because all the leaves have fallen off the trees." That is, if they didn't end up as Thanksgiving dinner. The hike happens from 10 a.m. to noon at Hunt Farm, 2054 Bolanz Road in Peninsula. Admission is free. Call 216-524-1497 for more information. -- Lucy McKernan

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