It’s no secret that new and exciting cycling events are popping up all across North America in the past few years. The late 90’s is referred to as the “hay day” of cycling when road racing and mountain bike racing was at its peak in attendance, and there was a list of sponsors lining up to invest in the quickly growing cycling disciplines. That growth in the 90’s seem to have fizzled, but fast forward to 2018 and some in the cycling industry have mentioned that the sports interest is nearing an all-time high and exceeding the “hay day” of cycling in the 90’s.
So, it’s no surprise that two time Olympian and World Championship bronze medalist Emily Batty is creating an event of her own and continuing to build a legacy in the sport.
“Cyclocross is a unique discipline that has a spectator friendly race format and challenges riders in different ways than road and mountain bike racing. With Batty Cross, we wanted to create a cyclocross race that was also an experiential event, where a Halloween theme echoed throughout and had no limit in participation for spectators or riders.” – Emily Batty
When asked about producing Batty Cross, Emily won’t take all the credit for entering the event space and credits the team of people around her including her husband Adam Morka and sister Charlotte Batty who have formed an event team named Emily Batty and Co. When asked about their long-term plans.
Adam said, “We are certainly in this for the long haul and there is a great sense of accomplishment in supporting the cycling community and providing an event that has something for everyone, including non- racers. We always wanted to produce an event in proximity to the GTA and after Emily’s family gave us the go-ahead to utilize the family farm as a venue, we went full steam, and it worked out perfect with the featured corn maze, spooky spectator path, trick or treat tech zone, and the haunted forest. We are going to continue building out this event for the next three to four years and once established, look at producing a mountain bike event with a similar framework to Batty Cross.” – Adam Morka
It would seem strange that three mountain bikers would want to produce a cyclocross event and especially when most of their experiences stem from mountain bike competitions. We asked Charlotte why they chose cyclocross and she was quick to answer.
“Cyclocross is viable in the sense that you can have many people in a small venue with a course that is spectator friendly. With Batty Cross, we only marketed the event for two weeks leading up to event day, and that was because we were so focused on event operations. However, we exceeded our expectations and had 200 racers and over 500 people in attendance. Now that the event is off the ground and built, next year we will have a comprehensive marketing lead-in, and we are confident we can double the number of people participating and in attendance.” – Charlotte Batty
We asked a few people what their overall impression of Batty Cross was and the feedback was nothing but positive, and some raved about the positive energy and good vibes of the venue and expo. Most had no idea what to expect, but from the sounds of it, they had a good time on a course that tested racers abilities and one that proved to be exciting for spectators on the sidelines. Poutine, smoked meat, beer, candy, good music and games and activities for everyone to participate sounds like the perfect fall event.
Huge thanks to all the sponsors that made Batty Cross a success. Pfaff Auto, Brooklin Home Hardware, Red Bull, Brock Street Brewing, Durham Shredders, Emily Batty Project, Joy Ride 150, and Sam Moffat Photography. To learn more about Batty Cross and stay up to date on the 2019 event, be sure to check emilybatty.com/battycross