‘Cross Up’ a fun mix of riding, crowds

Posted by on February 6th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

An amped up cheers a racer during the ‘Cross Up’ event held at a former bowling alley on SE 82nd Ave on Saturday.
(Photo Gallery/Slideshow)

Racers vie for the lead into the first corner.

Saturday night’s “Cross Up” event was a very big night for Portland’s bike scene. Amanda Sundvor and her Backyard Blam crew brought indoor cyclocross racing to The Lumberyard on NE 82nd, and they also gave a shot in the arm to local bike culture.

Beyond the screaming crowd of several hundred people and the amazing displays of bike riding skill, it was the first event to be held at The Lumberyard, which if all goes according to plan, will be open for business by this summer. The Lumberyard will be one of the premiere indoor bike parks in the country and we got a sneak peek at its potential Saturday not just as a place to ride, but as a place to bring people together who share a common love of bicycles.

Men, women, kids, adults, beginners, and experts all seemed to get a thrill out of riding the jumps, whoops, and berms on the course. And the crowd cheering them on was just as diverse. The event brought together many strains of the local bike scene, from freak bike makers to cyclocross racers, mountain bikers, young BMX fans, families with kids of all ages, and just bike-curious folks who were looking for a good time.

If Cross Up is any indication of what’s to come at The Lumberyard, our city is in for a big treat.

As for the racing itself. Wow! Backyard Blam really outdid themselves. Before the main event even got started, we were treated to a display by some local mini-shredders and some BMX jump masters…

Once the racing started, the heats were competitive and exciting all night long (they were still racing when I had to leave at 10:30 or so!) Two riders started, shoulder-to-shoulder on a ramp…

When the flag dropped, they flew down the ramp en route to a banked, 90-degree berm…

… then they swung around slippery hairpin turns, up and over a tabletop jump, then full-speed into a series of cyclocross-style barriers followed by a stair run-up section and then onto a rolling rhythm section which let to a quarter-pipe turn and more rollers…

The finishing stretch was a fitting finale, long and fast and right in front of appreciative fans…

The venue is a former bowling alley and the racing took place in the sunken area where the lanes used to be, which made for a natural viewing platform up above. There was a DJ, lots of eating and drinking and lot of smiling, happy people — especially when they were grabbing for free prizes and hoping to win raffle items…

Event organizer Amanda Sundvor (left) and Jenny Powell.

From my perspective, the event was a huge success in many ways. Were you there? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Will Heiberg

Thanks for the great coverage, Jonathan, as well as to Amanda and all the volunteers from Backyard Blam and most importantly everyone who joined us and made this an outstanding first event! Quick correction, we are located on NE 82nd, not SE 82nd 🙂

Can’t wait to get the doors open for business!





Great times as always from Amanda and Blam. There were 60 men who raced and 20 women. I’m pretty sure even more wanted to participate after they got there. Very impressed with The Lumberyard and I look forward to what they’ve got in store for PDX!


Fun event and excited for more awesome events to come at The Lumberyard!!!!!!!


The racing was AWESOME! Thanks to Amanda for putting on a great event! Thanks to Apex for supplying some refreshing beers!
Thanks to Red Bull for sponsoring a fun time!


Woooo!!! My knee is so sore!!! Wooooo!!! I loved the event! Too much fun!!!

Amanda Sundvor
Amanda Sundvor

Thank you. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. This is a labor of love, for sure and it is so gratifying just to hear that people walked away from this event totally pumped with a smile on their face. That’s why I do it. Cycling and the cycling community gives me so much and it is so nice to be able to give back. I love you guys. Don’t ever change.


An amped up *what*? (lead photo)

Kevin Phomma
Kevin Phomma

I believe it’s and “An amped up canadian.”