Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on October 19th, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(Photos © J. Maus)
The Cross Crusade stopped in Sherwood (about 22 miles south of Portland) yesterday for the third stop in the eight-race series. The race was held at the Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center, nestled in a valley of horse pastures and wooded areas showing the bursting colors of the season.
However, for the 1,300 participants in yesterday’s race, the only memory will be that climb. As if the incessant pounding over hoof-rutted holes wasn’t enough, race organizers threw in a long, steep, and gravelly climb that sapped the life (and other things I won’t mention) out of many.
I showed up hoping to get into the action. A course that favors mountain bikers is right up my alley (I did quite well on a similar course in 2007), but the only racing I did was two laps around the Kiddie Cross course.
On Sunday I brought along my four-year old daughter Danica, who gave cyclocross a try for the first time. She loved it, and was (by far) not the only one. The Cross Crusade has blossomed into a family event. There might even be more kids than dogs these days (and that’s saying something).
All the families and dogs were treated to an excellent venue that Crusade director Brad Ross hopes can become a regular stop. Ross says yesterday’s site was a test for both the Crusade and the Equestrian Center. “If we don’t mess it up too much,” he told racers, “they’ll invite us back.” Currently, the location is designated as a farm, but the landowners are hoping it gets re-classified as a private park, in order to loosen the red tape around holding mass events like the Cross Crusade.
Next week, the Crusade make another close-to-Portland stop when it comes to the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, then it’s off to Astoria for the big Halloween bash.