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Crusade stop in Sherwood was sure tough

Posted by on October 19th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Cross_Crusade_3_Sherwood-6
Racers on the big climb.
-Slideshow below/Gallery-
(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.

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Dropping into the forest.
Cross_Crusade_3_Sherwood-51
Danica’s first Kiddie Cross ribbon!

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.

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Whether watching or riding,
kids love a day at the races.

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.

For a full wrap-up of the winners in the elite categories, check out Pat Malach’s report in VeloNews. For more scenes from Sherwood, browse our gallery or view the slideshow below.

— Special thanks to Bike Gallery for supporting our coverage of the 2009 cyclocross season.

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Comments
  • Erik October 19, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    The climb was a killer. One of the toughest cross courses I can remember – especially for singlespeeds.

    A great day at the reaces though.

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  • Michele October 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    I can’t speak for the racers, but the venue was wonderful for the two-year-old I was hanging out with, and the Equestrian Center folks couldn’t have been kinder to us as we peeked in the barn. “Come on in and make yourselves at home!” they said. Hopefully, cross racing can return there soon. Thanks to all involved for the fine event!

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  • boneshaker October 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    That hill was hard, but the bumpy back sections are what have me hurting today. My hands are SORE. It was a good day for sure.

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  • Joe October 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    sufferfest Sunday. epic day.. thanks to all.

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  • Ed October 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Are you kidding? Sherwood was AWESOME for single speed… if you love running! Or in my case, shambling!

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  • beth h October 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I am SO bummed I couldn’t make it. I’ve heard nothing but aches/praise about THAT HILL. See you all at Hillsboro…

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