sscxwc-janet-hill0040.jpg by Stephanie Chase, photos by Janet Hil

Every little kid loves the chance to get muddy, and many adults find that as they’ve gotten older they enjoy getting dirty less and less. These adults are not cyclo-cross racers. If you don’t like mud, get a road bike. If you like mud, check out the video from the Barton Park Cross Crusade race of the some of the women racers wrestling in the mud after their race. It doesn’t matter how fast you ride. We all get dirty.

Seven down and one to go; the Portland International Raceway hosted the seventh Cross Crusade race in addition to the unofficial Single Speed Cyclo-Cross “World Championships” yesterday and the Pacific Northwest rain gods managed to bite their tongues and keep it dry for the races. However, that did not dry out the course and racers still had to contend with thick and slick mud. Despite the elements the Crusade continued to grow in popularity with nearly 1,100 riders turning out for the day, not including those registered for the SSCXWC. Fourteen people raced in the unicycle category, which is an incredible number considering most people don’t even know a single person who rides or races unicycles let alone fourteen!

Portland International Raceway (PIR) will also be the site for the US Grand Prix races in December, and conditions on Sunday gave riders a preview of what lies ahead in the next couple weeks: soft dirt on the corners, off-camber turns that were more like slip’n’slides, mud puddles that only parted to swallow bikes. For ninety percent of us mere mortals, these obstacles are what make or break our races and its only human to be a bit nervous about bombing down a muddy and rut-filled hill when the rider in front of you just flew over their handle bars and slid ten meters. But mere mortals don’t usually race in the men’s and women’s A races which are filled with people who have had the fear section of their brains removed. Sue Butler (Monavie Cannondale) and Ryan Trebon (Kona) took a break from the national race circuit to claim dominant victories in a combined four races. Trebon took both the men’s A and non-championship single speed categories while Butler won the women’s A and SSCXWC “crown.”

Next weekend is the final Cross Crusade and Oregon state cyclo-cross championships in Hillsboro, Oregon.

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