Browsed by
Category: cross crusade

Crazy around every corner: Photos from the Cross Crusade Halloween weekend in Bend

Crazy around every corner: Photos from the Cross Crusade Halloween weekend in Bend

Cross Crusade in Bend-45.jpg

This running-of-the-bulls inspired costume was one of the most creative of the day.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The River City Bicycle Cyclocross Crusade was at an entirely different level over the weekend. With its annual stop in Bend for races number five and six in the eight-race series, it was Oregon cyclocross at its peak. There was creativity, debauchery, inspiration, and fun around every corner.

As a competitor and as a spectator it was truly something to behold: There were brilliant costumes, enthusiastic crowds, and some serious (and not so serious) racing on yet another slippery and challenging course.

From the woman dressed in bondage gear spanking everyone who passed with a leather whip (we got it in slo-mo), to the cheeto and Oreo cookie handups, to the couple dressed like KISS rocking out as riders passed — I’m still reliving all the unforgettable moments in my head.

Speaking of which, there were guys in my race (category 2/3) dressed like tacos and handing out actual, real Taco Bell tacos for anyone who would take them. And another guy in my race dressed like a banana and had a bunch of peels in his pouch that he dropped like booby-traps on the course as he raced! Who does that?!

Before it gets too late on this Halloween night, I wanted to send you out with a sampling of the craziness from the weekend…

Whip me please!

Slo-mo vid of the bondage whipping woman. (Pics below if the video doesn’t work)
Cross Crusade in Bend-59.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-57.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-68.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-71.jpg

Our friend Maria Schur!
Cross Crusade in Bend-70.jpg

Even the elite racers got into the fun.
Cross Crusade in Bend-63.jpg

The peak of a steep grassy climb was one of the loudest spots on the course.
Cross Crusade in Bend-67.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-66.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-64.jpg

A racer accepts the Oreo cookie handup!







Cross Crusade in Bend-55.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-56.jpg

There was something crazy around every corner — including this KISS duo complete with guitars and a sound system.
Cross Crusade in Bend-15.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-53.jpg

Jellyfish.
There were quite a few costumes based on current events and politics.

There were quite a few costumes based on current events and politics.

Cross Crusade in Bend-46.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-44.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-40.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-38.jpg

Sure, why not stop for a beer mid-race?
Cross Crusade in Bend-37.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-36.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-35.jpg

I heard this guy get brilliantly heckled by a fan: “Four score and seven years ago is how long you’re taking to ride this course!”
Cross Crusade in Bend-34.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-32.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-29.jpg

I’m glad she wasn’t in my race. Scary!
Cross Crusade in Bend-28.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-26.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-22.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-12.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-49.jpg

Even the kids got into the act.
Cross Crusade in Bend-51.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-48.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-50.jpg

Cross Crusade in Bend-52.jpg

This young bull-fighter raced with the rose in his mouth — and he posed for me!

And yes, I dressed up too…

Thanks to Chris DiStefano for the photo and Giant Bicycles for the scary fast and fun bike.

Thanks to Chris DiStefano for the photo and River City Bicycles/Giant Bicycles for the scary fast and fun bike.

Have fun out there tonight! There’s a Halloween Ride leaving from north Portland at 5:30 pm if you can make it.

And if you want to take part in this cycling spectacle, you are in luck. This Sunday the Crusade returns home for a big event out at Portland International Raceway (just north of Kenton).

I’ve got more photos from Bend over on the BikePortland Flickr page.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Crazy around every corner: Photos from the Cross Crusade Halloween weekend in Bend appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Cross Crusade heads to Bend for big Halloween weekend

Cross Crusade heads to Bend for big Halloween weekend

 Come for the bike race, stay for the costumes (and the party, and the fun people, and the beer...).(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Come for the bike race, stay for the costumes (and the party, and the fun people, and the beer…).
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The most anticipated weekend of cyclocross in Oregon is just two days away.

With half of the eight race Cross Crusade series in the books, organizers have a special event in store this year with a few new surprises and an entirely new course. Thousands of competitors and fans from throughout the state are expected to make the pilgrimmage to Bend for the traditional Halloween weekend. As usual, the festivities will be based on and around Deschutes Brewery in Bend’s Old Mill District.

As you get your cowbells, bikes, bodies and costumes ready, here are few things to keep in mind…

The course

bend-coursemap

There’s an entirely new course this year. It’s got a bit of everything: straight pavement sections, tight trails, and is likely to have some unexpected surprises. Organizers say race sponsor Red Bull is “bringing something very cool,” to the course. We’ll also get to pedal closer to the Deschutes River than ever before as the course winds its way behind the Les Schwab Ampitheater. Oh, and there’s a massive stair run-up that already has people buzzing. Our friends from Deschutes Brewery shared this preview video of it on Instagram on Monday…







The party

14753202_1308298795868786_2454503360783500950_o

As is tradition, there’s a huge blowout party on Saturday night. This year it’s called “Altercross” and it’s a benefit for Oregon Adaptive Sports. The name is a reference to what organizers describe as, “An immersive alternative reality experience.” “The theme dictates anything can happen,” they continue, “from light, airy, whimsical & fun to dark, scary, creepy & odd… and everything in between!” These parties are known for excellent on-stage entertainment and this year is no different with over a half-dozen acts already lined up.

The headline band is Deltron 3030 an “alt-rap” trio from Oakland, California whose 2000 album, “warped space, bent time, transcended genre and blew minds, creating an album that still stands today as one of the most important records in the annals of underground hiphop.”

In years past this 21-and-over party has had to turn people away, but it’s in a new, larger space this year. Advance tickets are already sold out but plenty will be available at the door for $25. Check out the official event page on the Deschutes website or the Facebook event page for the latest updates.

The scene

Bend Cyclocross weekend 2-72

If you want to experience true Oregon cyclocross — and arguably one of the best-run ‘cross events in America — you won’t want to miss this weekend. The team vibe is always strong at this event and this year will be no different. You have the best racers in the state, one of the largest race series in the world (in terms of participation) and the silliness and fun of Halloween costumes all over the place (the official costume day is Sunday). And did we mention it all happens on the grounds of one of the 8th largest craft brewer in the U.S.?!

There will also be a cross-country running race thrown into the mix on Saturday afternoon.

If you go the event, look for me and say hi. I’ll be there all weekend to race and soak up the atmosphere and I’ll be spending some time in the Giant Bicycles booth showing off my new bike!

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Cross Crusade heads to Bend for big Halloween weekend appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Cross Crusade gets wet and wild in the Gorge at race #3

Cross Crusade gets wet and wild in the Gorge at race #3

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-19.jpg

Quite a backdrop for bike racing.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The River City Bicycles Cyclocross Crusade headed to the Columbia River Gorge for race #3 in the series with the scenic town of Cascade Locks playing host. With the steep gorge cliffs on one side and the mighty Columbia on the other, hundreds of racers enjoyed an excellent day of racing despite dire storm warnings all over the news.

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-14.jpg

The course was extremely wet and full of big puddles; but it was very rideable except for a big run-up through the forest.

By the time of my race around 1:00 there were massive lakes on the course. Racers had a choice to make: Roll through deep puddles or the thick mud. Puddles were faster but they also had hidden rocks and other surprises lurking beneath. Unsurprisingly, most people chose the path of least resistance and plowed right through the puddles.

And as always, the atmosphere around the race was as spirited and festive as ever: Beer was flowing, vendors were cooking up tasty bites, the heckling from the crowd was strong (and more supportive than insulting). Portland’s legendary ‘cross season is in full swing!

If you missed the fun today there’s another race tomorrow in the same place! Come out to Cascade Locks and be a part of the fun.

Check out more photos below:

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-23.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-22.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-20.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-18.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-17.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-16.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-15.jpg







Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-13.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-12.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-11.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-9.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-7.jpg

A huge puddle near the finish line served as the bike wash.
Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-3.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-4.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-2.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-1.jpg

Cross Crusade #3 - Cascade Locks-8.jpg

Our cyclocross and adventure riding coverage is possible because of support from River City Bicycles and Giant Bicycles.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Cross Crusade gets wet and wild in the Gorge at race #3 appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Over 1,800 racers and muddy conditions kick off Cross Crusade season

Over 1,800 racers and muddy conditions kick off Cross Crusade season

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden23

The mud in this tricky off-camber downhill section gave even the elite riders a lot to think about on Sunday.
(Photo: Dylan VanWeelden/Pushing Towards Normal)

The River City Bicycles CylcoCross Crusade kicked off in fine fashion this weekend. With a big double-header at Alpenrose Dairy in southwest Portland, we are now in the thick of Portland ‘cross season. And by thick, I mean thick mud.

Right now hundreds of Portlanders are nursing sore legs and picking bits of mud out of their bikes and bodies thanks to extremely sloppy conditions on Sunday. The course stayed relatively harmless on Saturday as only the early-starting categories dealt with a moist course. But yesterday the rain was, as race announcer Luciano Bailey put it, “relentless.”

You could sense the appreciation for shared misery in the post-race banter, the buzz in the team tents, and on social media this morning.

Alpenrose is challenging enough as a course in dry conditions; add in significant amounts of rain and mud and it becomes epic. Riders struggled all day and in every category to simply stay on their bikes as what started as soupy goop in the morning got progressively stickier (and even tougher to ride) toward the afternoon. But there’s no complaining in ‘cross. In fact, challenging conditions are what the sport is all about. Yes it’s hard; but it’s hard for everyone and there’s a palpable sense of shared experience and the bonds forged through conditions like Sundays are what tie this community together.

Cross Crusade crew member Steven Beardsley said 1,023 turned out to race on Saturday and 875 on Sunday.

Here’s how the action looked both days through the lenses of Daniel Steinle (Yung Pine Photography) and Dylan VanWeelden (Pushing Towards Normal).

Saturday – Cross Crusade Race #1 (Photos by Daniel Steinle)

alpenrose_16_043

alpenrose_16_149

alpenrose_16_038

alpenrose_16_054

alpenrose_16_104

alpenrose_16_011









Sunday – Cross Crusade Race #2 (Photos by Dylan VanWeelden)

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden9

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden16

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden20

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden27

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden31

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden41

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden45

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden33

crosscrusade_alpenrose_vanweelden36

Next weekend the Crusade series rolls out to the Columbia River Gorge for another doubleheader at Cascade Locks.

BikePortland will be there to watch and race, so stay tuned for more racing coverage.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Over 1,800 racers and muddy conditions kick off Cross Crusade season appeared first on BikePortland.org.

The ‘Cross Crusade’ begins a new era this weekend

The ‘Cross Crusade’ begins a new era this weekend

(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A few of the 1,500 images we’ve taken of the Cross Crusade over the past decade. See them all here.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This weekend the race series that defines cyclocross in Portland will turn over a new leaf as it launches into its 23rd season. First held in 1993 — before many of its current participants were even born — the River City Bicycles CycloCross Crusade has grown past its adolescent years and is settling into adulthood. The antics the series is known for are by no means coming to an end; but you might notice a slight smoothing of the edges and a shift from partying to professionalism.

Crusade and SSCXWC 09-2

Rick Potestio in 2009.

2016 will also be the first season in over 20 years without former leader Brad Ross actively in the mix.

Ross had been with the Crusade almost since the beginning and was the director of the event until he retired last year. During his tenure the series grew far beyond its humble beginnings and grew into the largest one-day race event of its kind in the world. At its peak a few years ago nearly 1,600 people raced in one day across numerous categories from nine-year old juniors to 60-year-old retirees. By contrast, there were only about 70 racers total at the first event in 1993.

This season there’s a renewed energy around the series. The Crusade is changing in ways that will have a significant impact on the local and — if everything goes as planned — even the national racing scene. We talked to co-founder of the series Rick Potestio yesterday to learn more about what’s new.

While some might consider Potestio to be the poster-boy of the Crusade, he’s stepped back for the past few seasons. Now he’s one of eight owners of CycloCross Crusade LLC, a new partnership and significant change from past years. Brad Ross had formerly run the series as a Sole Proprietorship which meant all the decision-making and responsibility rested on one person’s shoulders. The new LLC, Potestio says, gets the Crusade “back to its original vision” where a team of people lead the organization — from running the weekend operations to achieving larger goals.

The new Crusade ownership team includes Potestio and long-time crew members Jon Myers, Kevin Blair, Andy Wilson, Sherry Schwenderlauf, Tony Kic, Steven Beardsley, and Joe Field. They are joined by a crew of field hands that includes Doug Moak, Bret Berner, Emily Wilson, Chipp Ross, and Paul DeVries

Potestio says the new committee-based model of decision-making has injected a new enthusiasm into the event. “It’s a big move internally that will hopefully show up to participants who will see a spirited and engaged group of people putting this thing together.”









Bend Cyclocross weekend 2-66

The annual Halloween-themed weekend in Bend is always memorable.

He also said that the Crusade is getting back to its roots: To grow the sport of cyclocross by developing new talent and supporting elite racers. Yes, that means partying for partying’s sake will take a backseat to putting on a world-class race.

“We really weren’t doing the sport as a whole a service if we just focused on the tailgating… We want to get back to promoting racing so riders can develop the skills they need to be competitive.”
— Rick Potestio, CycloCross Crusade

“We’ll never leave behind the middle-aged Cat C racer, that’s our core group and the foundation of fun,” Potestio said, “But we realized we really weren’t doing the sport as a whole a service if we just focused on the tailgating component. We want to get back to promoting racing so riders can develop the skills they need to be competitive on the regional and national level.”

There are several ways the the races will change to reflect this renewed focus on youth and elite development.

You might have noticed in the race-day schedule that the Crusade will now include podium ceremonies throughout the day. Potestio says there will now be award ceremonies for all 25 racer categories. It’s all about “upgrading the race-day feel” according to Potestio. They had never done podiums in the past, he added, because the race production crew was simply too tapped out with other tasks that it never got done. “We just feel like having podium ceremonies is really important, and now we’ve gotten our act together on the production side so we can make it happen.”

2016 Schedule

The series has been shortened this year due to three double-weekends.

  • Race #1 – October 8th at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland
  • Race #2 – October 9th at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland
  • Race #3 – October 15th at easyCLIMB Trail System in Cascade Locks
  • Race #4 – October 16th easyCLIMB Trail System in Cascade Locks
  • Race #5 – October 29th at Deschutes Brewery in Bend
  • Race #6 – October 30th at Deschutes Brewery in Bend
  • Race #7 – November 6th at Heron Lakes/Portland International Raceway in Portland
  • Race #8 – November 13th at Barton County Park in Estacada

The shift toward recognizing top finishers is also part of a larger change in Oregon racing. This year the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, our state’s sanctioning body, revamped the cyclocross category system to match USA Cycling’s system. This means Oregon cyclocross racers can earn national points at local races.

Another big change this year is that the elite racers (men and women Category 1/2) will ride on a different course that everyone else. Potestio says not only will the fastest racers go for 15 minutes longer, they’ll do it on a slightly altered course that’s more technical and challenging, “So they’re getting a course that really pushes them.” This more difficult race will also be more spectator friendly. And, in another change this year, it will be the finale of the day.

In past seasons Crusade organizers moved the elite race to the middle of the day hoping it would attract more spectators. But that backfired because so many other racers (which make up the bulk of spectators) were preoccupied with warming up or cooling down from their own race. Potestio wants as many people as possible to line the course and cheer on the main event. The new schedule allows racers in the largest categories to get done early so they can relax, grab a pizza and a drink, and enjoy the festivities.

Speaking of enjoyment, the race series is still not all about racing fast. There are other ways to win even if you’re first to see the checkered flag. The traditional Grail Hunt is alive and well. The hunt is a citywide scavenger with 13 “relics” hidden along a 40-mile course that’s posted on CrossCrusade.com. 12 of the relics can be cashed in for a season pass ($200 value) and there’s one grand prize that’s yet to be determined (in the past the winner received an expenses-paid trip to Europe for a cyclocross World Championships race).

Potestio says the Grail Hunt, along with the big series-ending party and other surprises (beware of the Black Knight during your race!), are ways for people to have fun even if they are competing for 60th place.

Cross Crusade finale 2012-18

The tent scene is on point at the Crusades.

Since people spend most of their time at a Cross Crusade event off their bike, the race’s festive atmosphere has become as legendary as the competition itself. The expo area and the bustling team tents are the heart of the event. But for newbies, it can be intimidating to break into the tight-knit team communities. Potestio says this year they want to break up those cliques and get teams and newbies to intermingle. “We don’t want people who are new to racing to be intimidated by all the matching kits and team tents. The tents have become like clubhouses. We want to make newbies part of this community.” To do that he’s going to hide free beer in a random team tent and tell a new racer where it is. He might also “fire” someone from one team and ask them to join a different team for the day.

While the Crusade is growing up a bit this year with the owners’ sights set on attracting a World Cup event to Portland someday, you can bet the fun and shenanigans will never end.

“We don’t want to lose sight of this being an Oktoberfest with bikes to some degree, that’s what differentiates us from other races. But we don’t want it to just be a big party in the park. This is a legitimate bike race.”

I’ll be out there all weekend racing and talking to friends old and new. Come introduce yourself!

Get the latest updates by following the Cross Crusade on Facebook or check out CrossCrusade.com.

Our 2016 Cross Crusade coverage has been made possible by River City Bicycles and Giant.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post The ‘Cross Crusade’ begins a new era this weekend appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Brad Ross, Cross Crusade promoter since 1995, announces his retirement

Brad Ross, Cross Crusade promoter since 1995, announces his retirement

Cross Crusade Hillsboro 2007-27.jpg

Ross at work in 2007.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Brad Ross, the man behind the Cross Crusade, which has grown into one of most successful cyclocross race series in the world, has announced his retirement. Ross was also the director of the Cascade Cycling Classic and many other races during his career.

Ross made his announcement at Portland International Raceway on Sunday from behind the megaphone as racers assembled at the starting line. There was no fanfare and no press release. It was typical style from someone who isn’t much for formalities and has spent his entire career with a singular focus: put on really fun bike races.

Ross took over as head promoter of the Crusade in 1995 and has seen it grow to what he calls “mythical status” over the past few decades. Mythical or not, the Crusade has definitely garnered national attention for Portland’s cyclocross scene and has introduced thousands of people to the thrill of bike racing.

In 2006 Ross and the Crusade hit the big time with a feature story in the New York Times. “On the Portland course,” the Times reporter shared, “… a group called the Gentle Lovers, made up of amateur riders and friends, installed a wood-stove-fired hot tub. Wearing red Speedos with hearts on them and fueled by plenty of refreshments, the Gentle Lovers danced, slipped and swam to music from a nearby stereo.”

In 2010, the Crusade hit its peak in terms of participation. At the opening race held at Alpenrose Velodrome (just a few miles from Ross’s home), 1,762 people participated. That’s one of the largest single-day crowds ever assembled in the history of the sport.

That 2010 race was a far cry from the 80 or so people who used to show up on the weekends back when Ross first started promoting the Crusade in the mid 1990s. Back then Ross and his friends Rick Potestio and Russ Humberston would make just enough money at the end of the weekend to buy pizza and beer.

Ross, now 49, told me today that, “It was finally time.” “At the moment,” he added, “I have no future plans other than to get reaquainted with my family and enjoy the holidays.”

The Crusade will likely live on without Ross (he has built up a very capable crew over the years); but it won’t be the same without his laid-back and irreverant style.

Speaking of which, a video from this weekend’s races (created by the Crusade’s lead sponsor, River City Bicycles) perfectly captures the fun racing scene that Ross has cultivated over these past 20 years:

Thanks for your dedication to cyclocross Brad! And thank you for giving us all the glory and goodness that is the Cross Crusade.

(For more on Brad and the Cross Crusade, read the our 2013 story published on the 20th anniversary of the series.)

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org


The post Brad Ross, Cross Crusade promoter since 1995, announces his retirement appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks

Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks

22134034938_3fc62ce42a_z

The beauty, folly, and challenge of cyclocross was in full display in Cascade Locks on Sunday.
(Photos by Dylan VanWeelden/Pushing Towards Normal)

By all accounts, this weekend’s Cross Crusade event out at Cascade Locks was a huge success. Everyone I’ve talked to about it had rave reviews — not just for the usual racing and fun vibe these events have; but for the venue itself. 

It was beautiful out there. Misty, overcast gorge cliffs on one side and the might Columbia River on the other with a course that had all the elements you hope for as a ‘cross racer: singletrack trails, a bit of mud, loose stuff, tight turns, and so on.

I wasn’t able to make it out there myself, but fortunately for all of us I’ve gotten permission from very talented photographer Dylan VanWeelden to share some of his images. Dylan works in marketing for a local manufacturer and he makes pictures on the side. As I think you’ll agree from checking his website, I have a hunch he could make it as a full-time professional photographer if he wanted to.

Check out Dylan’s shots from Cascade Locks to get a taste of this past weekend’s action…

21699011544_87be253f8e_z

21700680943_8fbfe82f1f_z

22133750560_263239f403_z

22133755520_4410130bea_z

22133755930_1bd74b306c_z

– Advertisement –


22321754415_cd623d61f7_z

22332355711_9c6aa054e3_z

22332357631_8d745b19f9_z

22332359701_5974f7e626_z

22321755735_aa9f4ef485_z

22134914649_d13a5d1574_z

See Dylan’s full gallery form Cascade Locks here and discover more of his work at PushingTowardsNormal.com.

— Jonathan Maus
jonathan@bikeportland.org
(503) 706-8804
@BikePortland


The post Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks

Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks

22134034938_3fc62ce42a_z

The beauty, folly, and challenge of cyclocross was in full display in Cascade Locks on Sunday.
(Photos by Dylan VanWeelden/Pushing Towards Normal)

By all accounts, this weekend’s Cross Crusade event out at Cascade Locks was a huge success. Everyone I’ve talked to about it had rave reviews — not just for the usual racing and fun vibe these events have; but for the venue itself. 

It was beautiful out there. Misty, overcast gorge cliffs on one side and the might Columbia River on the other with a course that had all the elements you hope for as a ‘cross racer: singletrack trails, a bit of mud, loose stuff, tight turns, and so on.

I wasn’t able to make it out there myself, but fortunately for all of us I’ve gotten permission from very talented photographer Dylan VanWeelden to share some of his images. Dylan works in marketing for a local manufacturer and he makes pictures on the side. As I think you’ll agree from checking his website, I have a hunch he could make it as a full-time professional photographer if he wanted to.

Check out Dylan’s shots from Cascade Locks to get a taste of this past weekend’s action…

21699011544_87be253f8e_z

21700680943_8fbfe82f1f_z

22133750560_263239f403_z

22133755520_4410130bea_z

22133755930_1bd74b306c_z

– Advertisement –


22321754415_cd623d61f7_z

22332355711_9c6aa054e3_z

22332357631_8d745b19f9_z

22332359701_5974f7e626_z

22321755735_aa9f4ef485_z

22134914649_d13a5d1574_z

See Dylan’s full gallery form Cascade Locks here and discover more of his work at PushingTowardsNormal.com.

— Jonathan Maus
jonathan@bikeportland.org
(503) 706-8804
@BikePortland


The post Through the Lens: The Cross Crusade visits Cascade Locks appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes it toll

Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes it toll

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-19

After a record-setting week of rain, the Cross Crusade‘s fourth stop was mired in mud.

Cyclocross coverage
made possible by
Sellwood Cycle Repair.

Many cyclocross lovers rejoice in muddy conditions: A few mud bogs can be fun and navigating a few slippery corners can be a technical treat. But when about 90% of the entire course is slippery and sticky and so full of grass and muck that it seizes up your entire drivetrain? That’s pushing it.

At the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro yesterday, there were 105 DNFs (did not finish) out of 1142 starters. That means you had around a 10% chance of not finishing. And the percentage was a lot higher later in the day, as the saturated dirt baked in the intermittent sunshine and morphed into a peanut-buttery consistency.

You can get a sense of how absurd the conditions were by the faces of these spectators who were camped out on a particularly tricky, off-camber section of the course…

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-1

The largest field of the day, the Master Cs, started at 10:35 AM and had only three DNFs out of 143 racers. That’s only .02%. The Category A men on the other hand started at 1:15 and lost 27% of their field to the mud (17 racers out of 62 starters).

Typically the culprit of a DNF in extremely mud conditions are rear derailleurs — or more specifically derailleur hangers. As the muck builds up inside the pulleys, it gets harder and harder for your chain to pass through. Then suddenly the whole system seizes up and, it only takes half a pedal stroke to rip the derailleur hanger right off. If you’re lucky, you simply replace the hangar for about $20 and you’re back in business.

I wasn’t so lucky: Just 2 1/2 laps into the race I heard a sudden, “Snap!” and that was it. I looked down and my derailleur was viciously bent, hangar was snapped clean off, and a spoke was dangling inside my wheel.

Cross Crusade #4-3

My poor, poor bike.

The funny thing is, I was really enjoying the race before that happened. There’s something zen about the extreme focus it takes to ride well in conditions like that. And I love it!

Many (smart) people opted to leave their geared bikes at home and race a singlespeed. But even without a derailleur, there were 10 DNFs in the singlespeed category. The mud was so sticky by their 3:15 start that it packed into every open space and made some bikes unrideable. One singlespeed racer I talked to said his pedal sheared off. “The spindle’s still there,” he said, “but I couldn’t even find the pedal.”

Here are a few more shots from the scene of the grime:

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-2

There were no good lines.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-3

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-11

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-5

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-8

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-10

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-7

Even singlespeeders found it tough to keep pedaling.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-12

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-13

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-14

Look how caked up this guy’s cleats are.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-15

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-16

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-17

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-18

Team support!
Cross Crusade #4

Cross Crusade #4-2

This team tent had a Saloon theme and
played old Johnny Cash music all day.

The Crusade packs up and heads for Bend next weekend. There will be races Saturday and Sunday, and of course the traditional Halloween partying and whatnot.

Stay tuned for more ‘cross coverage!

The post Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes it toll appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes its toll

Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes its toll

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-19

After a record-setting week of rain, the Cross Crusade‘s fourth stop was mired in mud.

Cyclocross coverage
made possible by
Sellwood Cycle Repair.

Many cyclocross lovers rejoice in muddy conditions: A few mud bogs can be fun and navigating a few slippery corners can be a technical treat. But when about 90% of the entire course is slippery and sticky and so full of grass and muck that it seizes up your entire drivetrain? That’s pushing it.

At the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro yesterday, there were 105 DNFs (did not finish) out of 1142 starters. That means you had around a 10% chance of not finishing. And the percentage was a lot higher later in the day, as the saturated dirt baked in the intermittent sunshine and morphed into a peanut-buttery consistency.

You can get a sense of how absurd the conditions were by the faces of these spectators who were camped out on a particularly tricky, off-camber section of the course…

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-1

The largest field of the day, the Master Cs, started at 10:35 AM and had only three DNFs out of 143 racers. That’s only 2%. The Category A men on the other hand started at 1:15 and lost 27% of their field to the mud (17 racers out of 62 starters).

Typically the culprit of a DNF in extremely mud conditions are rear derailleurs — or more specifically derailleur hangers. As the muck builds up inside the pulleys, it gets harder and harder for your chain to pass through. Then suddenly the whole system seizes up and, it only takes half a pedal stroke to rip the derailleur hanger right off. If you’re lucky, you simply replace the hangar for about $20 and you’re back in business.

I wasn’t so lucky: Just 2 1/2 laps into the race I heard a sudden, “Snap!” and that was it. I looked down and my derailleur was viciously bent, hangar was snapped clean off, and a spoke was dangling inside my wheel.

Cross Crusade #4-3

My poor, poor bike.

The funny thing is, I was really enjoying the race before that happened. There’s something zen about the extreme focus it takes to ride well in conditions like that. And I love it!

Many (smart) people opted to leave their geared bikes at home and race a singlespeed. But even without a derailleur, there were 10 DNFs in the singlespeed category. The mud was so sticky by their 3:15 start that it packed into every open space and made some bikes unrideable. One singlespeed racer I talked to said his pedal sheared off. “The spindle’s still there,” he said, “but I couldn’t even find the pedal.”

Here are a few more shots from the scene of the grime:

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-2

There were no good lines.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-3

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-11

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-5

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-8

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-10

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-7

Even singlespeeders found it tough to keep pedaling.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-12

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-13

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-14

Look how caked up this guy’s cleats are.
Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-15

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-16

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-17

Cross Crusade #4 - Hillsboro-18

Team support!
Cross Crusade #4

Cross Crusade #4-2

This team tent had a Saloon theme and
played old Johnny Cash music all day.

The Crusade packs up and heads for Bend next weekend. There will be races Saturday and Sunday, and of course the traditional Halloween partying and whatnot.

Stay tuned for more ‘cross coverage!

The post Cross Crusade #4 recap: Sticky mud takes its toll appeared first on BikePortland.org.