Thrills and spills at Cross Crusade #3

Posted by on October 23rd, 2006 at 10:23 am

Cross Crusade 3 - Hornings Hideout

[Pre-race focus.]

Yesterday in North Plains, 700+ cyclocrossers enjoyed perfect weather at the third stop on the Cross Crusade. A very challenging course offered little respite to racers for burning legs and lungs.

Unfortunately the usually festive atmosphere was hampered by a serious crash that sent one rider to the hospital via helicopter. No update yet on his condition Here’s an update on his condition. I’m not sure where exactly he went down, but I can vouch for the tricky, narrow and serpentine singletrack that might have caused it.

But despite the challenging terrain, I think most racers would agree that the toughest part of the course wasn’t the downhill. The copious amounts of climbing, especially the one really long and steep run-up (that was taken out after the post-crash course revision), had everyone gasping for breath.

Cross Crusade 3 - Hornings Hideout

[Official poster.]

I borrowed a bike (thanks to Joel at Bike Gallery!) to race on and brought my family along for moral support.

I raced in the C category and stuck to my usual modus operandi; keep pedaling and fighting hard and try to pass everyone in sight. I thought I did pretty well and hoped for a top 30 or finish, but somehow I managed 7th place (out of 67)! Woohoo! That sure makes the pain a distant memory.

After my race, I got the camera out (a loaner from a friend because my broke down) and shot a few photos. I enjoyed capturing the faces at the start line of “Kidde Kross” and I did a little photo-shoot with Matt Slaven’s new Vanilla bike (see below). This beauty is Matt’s prize for winning the Singlespeed Championship last year (hence the belt):

Another cool thing that caugh my eye, was this sticker designed by Josh at Cyclepath bike shop. It was made in homage to the Specialized/Stumptown/Mountain Cycle fiasco.

Cross Crusade 3 - Hornings Hideout

And while there are a ton of blingin’ Vanillas rolling around, I also noticed some sweet frames from two other talented local builders; Ira Ryan and Joseph Ahearne. It’s great seeing local bikes at local races.

Like always, the course was perfect for spectators and there was some serious cheering going on. Veloshop racer Mark Blackwelder was sporting this funky pink jumpsuit, and there were plenty of cowbells. And of course, Team Beer was on hand to provide plenty of support.

It was yet another great event from the Cross Crusade. Next week it’s time to party and race in costume when the Crusade heads to the Flying M Ranch for its annual Halloween festivities.

[View the rest of my photos from this event in the Gallery]

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One Comment
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    Jonathan Maus October 24, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    Here’s an update on the injured racer:

    “Chris has a spinal cord injury in his neck but there is no serious damage. The MRI didn’t show anything. He is moving all body parts. He only has some tingling in a few fingers.

    He will probably go home later today and the neurosurgeon says he can go back to work whenever he feels ready. The neurosurgeon will follow Chris closely and will repeat the MRI in a wk or two. He should be fine and have no long term damage.”

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