Cyclo-Cross Weekly Race Series

Many know about the close by race series, but in case you don’t here’s the run down. There are two series close by, Kelso and Nordic Cats.

Kelso runs on Tuesday evenings and just started, it goes until the start of November. For series info and registration click here. I generally love their courses. The course sits on the side of the ski hill and features some fantastic sweeping off camber turns. It’s a tough but rewarding course. There are two races, beginner/novice at 6:45 pm and sport/expert at 7:30. I heard that parking might be bundles into the series fee now which is nice, but their page should have all the details. I’ll probably try to make it out to one of these because I miss it so much. Great series.

The second is the much loved Nordic Cats outside Woodstock. There are a good number of locals that make the trip, it’s a great atmosphere and good race. I’ve never made it out to one, but maybe some of the regulars will chime in. You can find all the info and register for it here.

Who’s getting out to either series? I think Matt B and Scott W are making Kelso a regular thing. Rob D and maybe Kevin G are getting out to Nordic Cats.

Give them a try and have some fun this fall.


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Yes we are at Nordic Cats, the course is much less bumpy this year and less climbing. I’m sure the course will be tweaked in the coming weeks

There were a good 30 last night, a very relaxed race. I wasn’t even sure what category I entered for. A huge range of abilities from little kids to Juniors racing for team Canada and at least one x triathlete that loves to be heckled.

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And here’s the old man narrative…

To challenge you. To carry the torch. To keep CX alive and well.

Half of the albums in the WCC Flickr Account are from our CX racing days.

It was always a sea of green WCC jersey’s at the start lines of every CX race for years. What a gift when I look back on it. It was the people… @MarkW @bike_daniells @CANGERMANN @rosepedal @Joe.Meissner @KevRidesGravel @tcauduro @Carolyn_Smith @AdamPoll @karihueber @tabi @Matt_Bannon @JBeattie @AnaMariaBogatan @Bob_Abell @s_weldon @adamglauser @matmanexc74 @timmerbikes …there were many more.

@AdamPoll started training us over a decade ago in the art of cornering and shouldering your bike. And the big hill power loops up mount trashmore.

We appointed @MarkW and @KevRidesGravel as the inaugural CX Race Directors and they took it to the next level with tents at every race, CX skills & drills at multiple locations, advanced heckling and hand-up clinics, CX watch parties, and created our very own home OCUP CX race (KWCX). What a party.

Still love this CX skills location and program led by @MarkW to this day.

We all did The KELSO RACE SERIES for 5 straight years together every September-October.

As usual, I would throw the WCC GoPro on the bike and try to edit something together with my best DJ loops to capture the espirt de corps. Here is what it feels like to arrive, race and cheer at KelsoCX every Tuesday Night.

And wouldn’t you know it. They snapped a picture of me for their printed promo cards they’d hand out at the start. I think they were trying to capture “all ages and abilities” ?

Back when we were young… and 20 lbs lighter


Everyone who rides G1, G2 and G3 gravel would slot perfectly into the KELSO citizen race series. You don’t need a UCI licence. You just pay your $20 and choose a category…Expert, Sport & Novice.

If you don’t know what it’s all about, or how to dismount and remount your bike while running, or properly shoulder and jump barriers, or corner at high speed on wet grass, or heckle people until your throat is sore… Go to @MarkW skills and drills sessions.

And here’s the Challenge:

If…we can get a good sized WCC contingent together and signed up to do a couple of KELSO races over the next few weeks.


Who’s in?



I’m planning on getting at least 2 or 3 Kelso races in this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve raced cross (I’m sure some Sunday practices are in order) but looking forward to getting back into it!

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You’re awesome for stoking the CXcitement, Alain! I can’t make Tuesdays this fall, but Kelso puts on a fantastic race with a great atmosphere - anyone cross-curious should give it a go! I’m hoping to get out to some O-Cups.

I also encourage anyone who rides gravel (or anything else!) to give a WCC practice a go. As the days get shorter it’s perfect way to get out with the club, put in a hard workout (or not), work on skills and still get home before sundown. @MarkW always makes sure everyone is comfortable and will show you the ropes.



Kelso is so laid back.

The pointy end of the Expert field is for top top riders. But the vast majority of us are just having fun spinning around a cool course with whatever we want to ride…including MTB’s.

In fact, I used my MTB last time I raced at KelsoCX. I needed the extra suspension, traction, and gears and my race objective was more about the cookie hand-ups.

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@Francqlife I just might take you up on your offer. I’ve been chatting with people at cx practice and maybe we can all arrange a week to go. Would be fun for old times sake. I do miss that series.

Anyone else interested in picking a week and getting a group of us to show up for some fun in the dark?


I would be interested, sick right now so I need a week or two though.

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I would love to go!

I don’t have a car so I would really appreciate a ride if someone has a spare seat :slight_smile:

Super new to CX but depending on the day, I would also like to give it a try :slight_smile: .

Also if you guys have any advice on which CX tires I should buy (that are within budget and for a beginner), I would really appreciate it!

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It’s been a while since I’ve raced CX, but the Vittoria Terreno Mix is an excellent all-rounder and a surprisingly fast rolling tire on gravel. They’re pretty soft rubber, which helps with traction in CX, but does mean they wear pretty fast.

I don’t think I’d survive a lap at Kelso right now, but I’d love to come out and cheer folks on if we’re going to have a contingent show up.


We might be able to find some CX tires for you to try out from the collective “parts bin” of people’s garages?

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After my one lesson I feel completely unprepared to race so please count me in, what could possibly go wrong??


I think you mentioned that your wheels aren’t tubeless, so honestly you might be better off buying a more aggressive gravel tire. There’s no real need for you to go down to a “skinny” 33mm cyclo-cross tire. I’m sure you could find an aggressive gravel tire that’s 38mm, it’ll give you more grip and comfort. Just a thought.


Kelso happens Tuesday nights, and I’d be driving there straight from work. @VikramSubramanian I could potentially give you a ride. I’d be coming back shortly after the later 7:30 race.

Sept 26 would be great as it’s before the first O-Cup, but the following Tuesdays would work too. I can probably get away with attending two Kelso races.


I do have a non-tubeless set of the classic Clement MXP “33mm” intermediate tires you could try that still have some life in them. I can bring them to the next Thursday evening practice.


My sons and I all race cyclocross and we’ve reviewed and tried a number of different tires. Most cyclocross racers could talk for hours about CX tires…and we often do!

We’ve tried Vittoria Terreno Dry, Schwalbe X-One Allround, Challenge Baby Limus, Challenge Chicane, and Clement PDX (for dry/all purpose). Challenge tires are by far the most common CX tires (and possibly the best) but they are also pretty expensive and a little more difficult to install.

CX tires can’t be wider than 33mm which is why many CX tires only come in that size. But if you aren’t planning on racing at UCI events I’d recommend going a little larger (if they fit) so you can use them comfortably for gravel rides or races.

I would recommend the Schwalbe X-One allround (or the newer X-One Super Race) especially for Keslo. They have great traction on grass, work reasonably well in light mud, last a really long time, and actually ride surprisingly well on both gravel and road. We use them as a general purpose CX race tires, and also on all of our mixed grave/road rides. They are still pretty expensive but can be found on sale Merlin (UK) for ~$45. I don’t know if any of the local bike shops have them in-stock but I’m sure all could order them.
Alex at Ziggy’s is also a great resource for discussing and sourcing CX tires :slightly_smiling_face:

The other big tip for CX tires is to run tubeless and ride as low pressure as possible. That improves grip and helps smooth out the rough terrain.


For anyone interested in seeing what the 2023 Kelso course looks like, Nial Fisher recorded a great ‘spectators view’ of the race last Tuesday. Both insightful and entertaining!

2023 Kelso CX Week 1


Thank you so much for all your input! It seems like buying gravel tires with much more grip than the ones I have is a great option to start with :smiling_face:

@Arlambert it would be awesome if I could try your tires on Thursday practice. Thanks!

I can make it to Kelso on Sept 26th and then a few in October.