It was easy to get caught up on the scenery, the atmosphere. Through rolling hills in north Pasco County, with orange and brown trees in the background, riders took part in the Inaugural Little Everglades Ranch Cyclocross, the fifth of eight races in the Florida State Cyclocross Series on Sunday. The event was held at Little Everglades Ranch, a 2,200-acre ranch that hosts the annual Little Everglades Steeplechase each March.
Bikers arrived early at 7 in the morning, and the last race, the points race for the professionals, who will have the point leader crowned in January, held their race in the afternoon.
"It went really well," race coordinator Dan Millstead said. "I got real good feedback from the riders, that they like that it was a very fast course. We didn't charge any entry fee for the kids, but this is a great scene and it's been a pretty good day."
Millstead is the racetrack manager at the Dade City ranch, where he oversees the horse races. Hosting the race at the ranch was his brainchild, designing a 2-mile course of winding curves and obstacles, including a few hurdles, in which riders had to get off their bikes and jump over, a small water bog to ride through and then on the last leg, riders would bike through the horse barn.
"It's a beautiful property out here," Millstead said. "It turned out to be a great venue with the hills and the barn and the scenery. Everyone out here has been saying this has been a great event and it just turned out really well, and I hope we can do this here again."
For more info on the race, log onto www.littleevergladesranchcx.com/1.html.