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USA Cycling to Develop Cyclocross Protocol for Public Parks

USA Cycling has selected renowned New England landscape architect Josh Burgel to develop a technical guide for cyclocross promoters working in public parks. This manual will set standard for course layout, preparation and renovation that can foster long-term venue enhancement.

“We are excited about partnering with an expert like Josh Burgel to help cut through the myths and misunderstandings about the impact of cyclocross bicycles to landscapes and vegetation,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling Vice President of National Events.

“We are very aware of the difficulties that cyclocross race directors are encountering when talking with their parks departments across the United States, and we look forward to creating a healthy discussion about cyclocross. Communication between race directors, parks and rec managers, arborists and landscapers are critical to the health of this quickly growing sport, and USA Cycling endeavors to be a resource for all of these groups. As cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts, the love of nature and respect for our parks is important to all of us.

Burgel worked with a team of other landscape professionals, including Eric Papetti and Donald Bishop, during 2014 to conduct frontline research using penetrometers to determine the real impact of cyclocross on Roger Williams Park in Providence, the site of two national championships and six editions of the KMC Cyclocross Festival Presented by Maxxis.

“As a landscape architect who designs parks and a dedicated cyclocross racer, it is an honor to combine my two passions to benefit the sport and our shared open spaces,” said Burgel. “This kind of event takes careful planning and communication between director and steward, and the end result is a great collaboration. My goal is to help navigate the sometimes treacherous landscape between a race director’s goals and a park steward’s mission.”

Burgel’s work both in Providence and for USA Cycling will guide both race promoters and park managers to create exciting events that, if properly managed, can revitalize park usage for the 21st Century.

“We are redefining the ways our parks are used; not only through the amenities we offer, but how we work with residents and community partners to bring relevant programming and activities into our parks that engage and inspire,” said Providence Park Superintendent Wendy Nilsson.

“Cyclocross is one of those non-traditional activities where there is clearly a demand and is suitable for many abilities and generations. We are looking at creative ways of keeping the historical context and beautiful landscape, while providing unique experiences to explore and play in our parks.”

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