The weather might still be dry and warm, but for many folks in the Portland area, it’s beginning to feel an awful lot like cyclocross season. With a few races already in the books, training rides and clinics all over town, and a full calendar ahead, now is the time to get yourself into cyclocross mode.
I’ve rounded up a few event and news bits below to help get you started…
New Portland-based e-commerce site, Cyclocross.com, now open for business
If this is your first year doing cyclocross, you might need some new gear. Many of our local shops are full of ‘cross experts and great gear (Sellwood Cycle Repair and River City Bicycles have especially deep roots in the local scene). There’s also a new kid on the digital block. Portland-based Velotech, owners of the Western Bike Works store on NW Lovejoy as well as BikeTiresDirect.com and other online retail sites, has just launched Cyclocross.com.
The new site has lots of cyclocross gear, has great shipping and return policies, and through December they’ll be holding a sweepstakes for two free Redline ‘cross frames and one complete bike from Focus.
PDXCross photography exhibit
For the uninitiated, PDXCross is a team of professional photojournalists who took our local scene by storm when they turned their lenses onto cyclocross several years ago. Since then, they’ve published a book, inspired thousands, and provided us a stunning visual narrative of the sport we love. Tomorrow night (9/7) they’re hosting an opening reception of their new exhibit of “Dirty Pictures” at the i witness gallery (1028 SE Water Ave., Suite 50). Doors open at 6:00 pm and beer will be flowing. The show (but not the free beer unfortunately) runs through October 27th. More info here.
Gran Prix Tina Brubaker (GPTB) kicks off the season
The GPTB — named after a popular local racer (and former UPS bike delivery woman) — kicked off its nine-race series last Saturday at David Douglas Park in Vancouver. There’s plenty of great local racing left in the series, which runs through December. For folks that find the uber-popular Cross Crusade a bit overwhelming — or who just can’t get enough racing — the GPTB is a great addition to the schedule. More info here.
Blind Date at the Dairy
This relatively new series is another great addition to the calendar. It happens on Wednesday nights out at Alpenrose Dairy (where would our ‘cross scene be without that place?!) beginning on September 19th. The action starts at 5:00 pm, and by the end of the night, many people have turned on their lights and the racing continues into the dark! It’s really fun and comes highly recommended. More info here.
The Cross Crusade is back and strong as ever
This is the grand-daddy of all cyclocross series’. Renown for its fun courses, huge, supportive crowds and irreverent vibe, the Cross Crusade promises another epic year of racing. The series kicks off at Alpenrose Dairy on October 7th. If you want to experience ‘cross in true Pacific Northwest style, put the Crusade in your calendar and get ready to join the party! More info here.
Take a clinic to sharpen your skills
If you need to brush up on your ‘cross skills, or if you need to learn the basics, there’s still time to attend a local clinic: The Cross Crusade has their last (of three) beginner skills clinics next Wednesday out at Alpenrose; Wenzel Coaching will be teaching riders about how to clear barriers and will even hold a mock race at their clinic on Monday (9/10) out at Portland International Raceway; and Upper Echelon Fitness has two clinics per week — on Tuesdays (all are welcome) and Thursdays (women and juniors only) — through the end of this month.
I hope this info helps you get rolling strong into the season. I’m still sorting out my schedule and hope to be out at the races quite a bit. I hope to see a lot of you out there.