This tandem was powered by beans, but stoker avoids deadly fumes. © Janet Hill /

This tandem @ SSCXWC was powered by beans. Perhaps an inspiration for TDCXWC? © Janet Hill /

by Christopher Bagg

Sal Collura, organizer of innovative cycling events (he ran last September’s inaugural ‘Cross-Over Stage Race, bringing three ‘Cross events together for one weekend of racing), will bring the flavor of the departed-for-Seattle Single-Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) back to Oregon when he opens the Tandem Cyclocross World Championships (TDCXWC) at the end of August, 2010.

“Working for and racing for Co-Motion Bicycles just makes this make sense,” Collura told us over the phone. Co-Motion is a well-known fabricator of tandem and solo mounts, based in Eugene. They’ve taken up title sponsorship of the event and will run several tandem based sideshows during the championship race: a mismatch time-trial (teams will race for time but get to subtract a number of seconds equal to the difference in their body weights), a tandem frame-toss and a bunny-hop competition. Collura expects that the event will soon gather the same fame and notoriety of its smaller brother, which graced the trails of Portland for three years before heading north. “I love doing events like this,” he said. “It’s great to get people out of Portland for a little bit, because the events get so insular there. It’s why I started Cross-Over, and I think this event will have a lot of that flavor. ‘Cross racing down here in Eugene is more trail-based, a little more grassroots than it is up in Portland, and I think the right kind of person will really enjoy this event.”

Just like the SSCXWC, off-beat courses and wacky prizes will be the order of the day. “We’ll definitely have multiple barriers,” says Collura. “Watching people try to do a ‘cross dismount on a tandem is just hilarious. The guy in front has got to get his leg way high, so the stoker (that’s the guy in back) doesn’t get kicked. The stoker usually has to put his head way low, too, down near his handlebars.” A technical section will take the riders through a series of tight hairpin turns along the walkways of Lane Community College, where ‘Cross-Over was held. The winning team will get a strap-on brown nose for the stoker, and a pair of horse blinders for the guy who rides up front. Any plans for the future from Collura?

“Fixie-Cross,” he says, his voice steely over the phone line.