If you’ve attended a cyclocross race in or around Portland, you probably noticed that there are nearly as many dogs as bikes. For some reason, there’s a huge cross over between dog lovers and ‘cross lovers.
Now, one local race organizer plans to make the dogs part of the action.
Kris Schamp, owner of Portland Racing, said the idea came to him after watching the Cross Crusade up in Astoria over Halloween Weekend. “Seeing all the dogs out there sitting on the sidelines, I just thought ‘Hey, why don’t they get to race and have fun?'”
At Schamp’s Kruger’s Crossing Cyclocross Classic on November 22nd, he’ll have a race for dogs and dog owners. The course will be about a 1/2 mile long and, like any respectable cyclocross course should, it will feature mud, several barriers, and “a bunch of other things dogs might appreciate.” No bikes are allowed in the race and dogs
can be either on-leash or off must be kept on-leash. There’s even a special category for “carry-on and lap dogs” where owner must carry their dogs along the entire course.
“The response so far has been overwhelming, so it looks like it’s something that a lot of folks (and dogs) have been waiting for.”
— Kris Schamp, Portland Racing
Prizes will be awarded to top finishers and the “most original dog attire” (will we see a pitbull in spandex!?). There will even be a fenced-off corral where dogs and their owners can socialize before and after their race.
Schamp said the venue for his event, Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island, was so dog friendly that he felt is “seemed like a natural fit.” He’s partnered up with local small business owner Lanette Noble, whose Cycle Dog company makes dog leashes and collars out of recycled bicycle inner tubes.
Has Schamp found a new niche in the local bike scene? “The response so far has been overwhelming, so it looks like it’s something that a lot of folks (and dogs) have been waiting for. Should be a blast.”