Sandra Walter's costume gives her the power to hop over the step other riders had to run. Doug Brons

Sandra Walter's costume gives her the power to hop over the step other riders had to run. © Doug Brons

Canada is leading the way for Halloween hijinx, with costumed racers coming out of the woodwork this past weekend. Cyclocross Magazine contributor Doug Brons (you can see his race photography at StarCrossed and Vanier Park) shared some of his snapshots from the weekend with us, and if the American cyclocrossers are going to come near the craziness of the Canadian’s Halloween getups, they’d better start sewing now!

Photos and words by Doug Brons

This is not a race report.  Let’s call it a photo essay with a few words. Local Ride’s much anticipated annual cyclocross race, Pumpkin ’Cross, always has a Halloween theme and this year with record numbers of racers (except Elite men and women) the costumes were the centre of attention. Of note, the other big draw was Canada’s own World Champion of XC mountain biking, Catherine Pendrel, who won the Elite women’s race. She was chased the whole way by Jean Ann Berkenpas, who would not give up.

OK, a little more about the races; mine more precisely. The course felt excruciatingly long, was bumpy and early on quite wet and muddy. Perfect! Let the suffering begin. The weather was incredible and I rode with no leg/arm warmers, in late October.  Go figure. Suffice it to say, I was happy to not finish last, there were three racers behind me. They were probably impaired by elaborate costumes that prevented them from passing me. My arch-rival, Maggie, toyed with me most of the race, glancing back regularly to make sure I wouldn’t gain on her. She had a gap of about 20 metres most of the race, but being the astute racer that she is, was saving something for the last lap and when she saw me closing in at “Lezyne Lake” she stepped on the gas and left me in the … dust (I mean wet grass).

By the time I’d cleaned off the layers of grass and mud, I almost didn’t have the energy to pack my camera around the course.  I was beat.  But, the weather was great, the scenery unsurpassed and of course, the costumes had to be documented. Enjoy.

Can the US racers match the Canadian’s level of cyclocross antics this weekend? If so, we’d like to see photos! Email your best Halloween cyclocross snapshots to [email protected].