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Cross Crusade news: Women’s singlespeed, two-day opening event, tailgating competition

Posted by on September 16th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Cross Crusade '08 - Alpenrose-61.jpg

Bottleneck at Alpenrose
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s preeminent cyclocross race series, the Cross Crusade, has announced some big changes for its 21st season that kicks off on Saturday, October 11th at the Alpenrose Dairy in Portland’s southwest hills.

One of the biggest changes this year is an entirely new race category: Women’s singlespeed. The singlespeed category is typically one of the largest (and most raucous) of the Cross Crusade. Last year’s Alpenrose race had 97 starters. In the past, everyone raced together, but now the women will get their own start time. If this sounds like fun to you, prepare to get up early. The gun goes off at 8:40 am, which organizers say should give you plenty of time to race again in the multi-speed races later in the day.

Another new thing to look out for this year is the Tailgate Party Competition to be held during race #4 (October 26th) at the Washington County Fairgrounds. “Over the past few years,” wrote series director Brad Ross in an email to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association list, “teams have been getting more and more into their tailgater parties. So we have decided to make it an official contest.”

Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-21

Get your sausage recipe dialed-in if you want to impress the judges.
Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-48

These folks are not messing around.

Technically it’s a tent party competition, a nod to the burgeoning tent villages that pop up during race day (a phenomenon we wrote about last year). Ross says a specially chosen panel of “hungry, thirsty, and somewhat impartial judges” will walk around to each tent and sample their hospitality, food and drink. Winners will get prizes, and more importantly, bragging rights.

Another big change this year is a two-day opening event. The race at Alpenrose Dairy typically sees the largest turnout of racers and spectators of the entire year. In 2010, over 1,700 racers participated. That’s almost more racers than one day of racing can handle. With over 20 categories and a relatively short course, there is only so many people Ross and his crew can safely have on the course at one time. Spreading that crowd out to two days might help reduce crowds and make the even more pleasant for everyone.

Of course many racers will participate on both days and the Crusade will change the course to keep it interesting. There will also be a camping zone if you want to hang out with teammates and friends overnight.

While the Crusade doesn’t start until next month, Portland’s ‘cross season is already well underway. There are two weeknight series to choose from — the Rapha Trophy Cup on Tuesdays and the Blind Date at the Dairy on Wednesdays — and the Grand Prix Ryan Trebon is already onto its fourth of six races. Check the OBRA schedule for more info.

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11 thoughts on “Cross Crusade news: Women’s singlespeed, two-day opening event, tailgating competition”

  1. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    for the crock pot in the photo…I guess they brought a generator / solar panel too.

    I do miss those wilder cyclecross spectator days when there used to be hot tubs along the sidelines and beer swamps for riders to run through…I am sure the Tour De France experienced similar growing pains to maturity in the 1960s…and then what they had in the 2000s.

  2. Avatar davemess says:

    I’m curious how many women the new SS category will get? I know when they tried to split the SS category a few years ago (adding an “elite SS”) it didn’t go off very well.

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    They need a married with kids & work full time category.

    1. Avatar Kenji says:

      We’ve talked about an Al & Peggy Bundy class. Now the question also becomes do we have it broken out by age of kids? LOL.

    2. Avatar Rob Chapman says:

      It exists already and it’s called Master’s C( assuming you are old enough).

      1. Avatar davemess says:

        That was my thought. There are so many kids at Cross Crusade races.

    3. Avatar Last of the Mohicans says:

      How about an AARP class??

  4. Avatar resopmok says:

    Ooh I do hope it starts raining soon, cyclocross is supposed to be wet!

  5. Avatar Erinne says:

    Women single speed at 8:40 am? Thanks, but no thanks. I need time on the weekends for things other than racing.

  6. Avatar 9watts says:

    That first photo is hilarious. What are they all doing crowding up those stairs? Is there a bathroom at the top?

    1. Avatar davemess says:

      You should come to a race and find out.

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