Racing Around a Victorian Town: The Queen Victoria CX
Have you ever been somewhere and thought ‘this would make a great ‘cross course’? Here’s what happens when that fantasy comes true…
Blists Hill Victorian Town is hidden away in a suburban corner of Telford. It’s a working recreation of a Victorian Town, complete with actors in costume, high street and a 207ft-tall inclined plane lift. What that means is slopes, and that comes in very handy when you’re making a cyclocross course!
One evening each year, the museum opens its gates to cyclists, and tapes out a course around the town. It’s characterised by loose gravel streets, tight back alleys, and the long run up and steep descent of the inclined plane.
It’s not just riders tearing around a ghost town, though. All of the actors work into the evening in character, to keep the amusements running and the attractions alive. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the commissaire dressed in period getup.
Modern carbon and Lycra makes an interesting contrast to the ironworks and old shop signs, but the atmosphere of a CX race is definitely a match for the bright painted signs and the noise of the street organ.
Queen Victoria CX for a full set of photos from the event.