Willamette to uncover his piece
of The Grail.
(Photos courtesy Brian Ellin)
The Quest is a contest dreamed up by Crusade director Brad Ross, and event founder Rick Potestio. The stakes? Prizes, bragging rights, and one lucky winner will get a round-trip ticket to the Cyclocross World Championships in Treviso, Italy.
The rules are simple: follow the trail on the map (below), when you see the orange “X” you begin searching nearby for “a fragment of an ancient bike or even The Grail itself.” Each participant can only collect one fragment and then they must bring it to the Cross Crusade Awards Party (this Sunday) to find out if their fragment is in fact The Grail.
For one local racer, the search for The Grail led to the bottom of the Willamette River.
A few weeks ago Steven Hunter noticed the orange “X” while riding on the Esplanade near downtown Portland. Then he saw an orange helmet floating in the river. Without a second thought he rode home, put on his swim trunks and headed back to retrieve it.
After cutting the rope and grabbing the helmet, he assumed he had found a fragment of The Grail. But he and his friends soon wondered…what was at the end of the rope?
The next day Hunter returned to the river with a wetsuit and diving goggles.
His friend Brian Ellin came along. “Seriously, it was gross, and I wasn’t even in the water,” he said.
Ellin reported that after various techniques, “including diving to the bottom with a headlamp and hand flashlight and looking around, we decided on a mark and sweep grid technique,” they finally settled on one: Ellin and another friend stood on the beach, directing Hunter to comb the river-bottom foot by foot.
After several tries, Hunter eventually stumbled upon a big blue bag filled with rocks. Inside was his treasure.
Now Hunter just has to bring his fragment to the Party on Sunday night. For his sake, I hope his efforts result in much more than a fun story to tell his grandkids.