And they're off!

Cyclists race off the start line behind the Canada Games Complex for the the second of a six-race cyclocross series Monday. The series, hosted by the Thunder Bay Cycling Club, also has races at Chippewa Park and Centennial Pines Golf Course.

For the last three years Mikkai Jones has been a cyclocross racer.

“It’s a lot like mountain biking and road biking together and it’s got lots of agility stuff and it’s really fun,” said the 12-year-old.

On the holiday Monday, Mikkai Jones took part in the second of a six-race series that typically runs each Sunday, joining a pack of about 15 cyclists to take on obstacles and hill challenges behind the Canada Games Complex.

The series has been hosted by the Thunder Bay Cycling Club for at least the last 10 years and offers both mountain bikers and road racers a change of pace at the end of their regular race seasons.

“I like that it extends the season,” said Darrell Hay, road race co-ordinator for the cycling club. “You get outdoors on the weekends, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time, and you get to enjoy the fall weather.”

Hay explained that cyclocross originated in Europe about 50 years ago and can be described as a mix of cross country running and cycling as often the course requires people to get off their bikes and either carry them or push them around obstacles.

“It’s typically a two- to three-kilometre loop you repeat over and over again,” said Hay.

“It’s got challenges like hills, you have to get off your bike — barriers you might have to jump. It’s really on grasses and sandy knolls and sort of a park environment.”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.

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