In our Issue 2, we called the SSCXWC event our top choice for a race to travel to “as a participant and spectator looking for a weekend packed full of ‘cross fun.” But promoter Dani Dance and the Portland Single Speed Collective crew didn’t rest on their laurels, and stepped it up for the ’08 edition. Planning is already underway for ’09. Will you be there? Also see the Day 1 Report, photo gallery, and one rider’s account.
Barriers, run-ups and mud are the usual suspects that cyclo-cross racers have to contend with on a course. But add to that mélange a giant windmill, and bubble/foam machine set against the beat of a drum corps and things start to get interesting. The second Single Speed Cyclo-Cross “World Championships” was never meant to be a serious affair and the racers and organizers made sure of that.After a semi-serious and treacherous Day 1 qualifier, riders in various costumes and states of undress stopped to high-five, kiss and/or steal beer from bystanders. Out of the couple hundred official (and unofficial) entrants, about five people took the race seriously and the rest were just there to parade, revel and have a good time.
The race got off with a le Mans start, with all racers lined up in one line. Riders rolled up to the start line, dismounted and lay down their bikes and walked back a hundred meters. The favorites were getting no favors, reminiscent of the 2007 SSCXWC when the race organizers reversed the start leaving Trebon, Wicks and others at the very back. With the appearance of the first racer through the foam machine, the drum corps started up and the crowd went rabid every time someone bunny-hopped a barriers.
While most people – those racing included – lost track of the lap count, it didn’t really matter. It’s not often that you get to ride in the same race with professional cyclists who compete at the international level. And it’s not often that these racers take a back seat to local lower category riders or give up their competitive nature. That’s what makes this event so awesome (for lack of a more eloquent word) – that everyday riders can ride in the same race with former U.S. cyclo-cross champions and Olympians and get the same appreciation and love from the fans. Get ready for 2009. The bar has been raised.
Oh, and if results matter to you, Sue Butler won the women’s race, and a Canadian mystery-man, Drew MacKenzie took home the men’s title. Butler won a custom Tony Pereira frame, and MacKenzie wins a Speedvagen, assuming both get their obligatory tattoos. Butler is scheduled already scheduled to get her ink today (11/10). Results can be found here.
The author practices safe portaging: