Cyclocross season is upon us: Here’s a guide to the action

Cross Crusade in Bend-55.jpg

Time to start planning your practicing, racing, spectating, and costumes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Believe it or not, it’s time to start think about cyclocross.

Portland’s favorite biking season starts next Sunday. Clinics have already sprung up around parks and race venues in the region. Shops are busy gluing tubulars and setting up new bikes and servicing used ones. Teams are dialing in their donut and beer sponsors. Serious racers are watching their training logs closely in hopes of peaking at just the right event.

Here are the basics…

Plan ahead

The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association calendar is the place to start. Their calendar for September through December is where you’ll find all the links to find out more and register for the local and regional races.

Figure it out

Cyclocross clinic with Team Grouptrail-25.jpg
Practice is a must for cyclocross. To be efficient at it, you need to learn how to turn sharply, run with your bike, hop quickly over barriers, climb and/or run up a short steep hill and any number of other potentially awkward maneuvers.

Your local park is often the best place to get this practice in. Bring some cones and find something to use as a barrier to hop over. Keep your eyes on your social media feed for friends and teams that have open sessions you can join. There are also clinics to consider such as the free clinic for juniors put on by PDX Devo or the clinic by Steelhead Coaching on September 3rd ($99).



Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-44
Whether you’re a weekday or weekend warrior — or both — Portland offers a healthy dose of ‘cross racing. If you’ve never raced or you haven’t ridden much all year; don’t fret! ‘Cross has a very welcoming vibe and there’s no better way to get into shape than by racing into it. Here are four major local racing series’:

Portland Trophy Cup – Five races every Tuesday at Portland International Raceway starting September 5th.

Blind Date at the Dairy – Five races every Wednesday night at Alpenrose Velodrome starting on September 6th.

Grand Prix Candi Murray – Named in honor of veteran OBRA official and volunteer Candi Murray, this seven race series begins Saturday September 2nd.

Cyclocross Crusade – Now in its 24th year, this is the largest cross racing series in North America. The eight race series starts October 7th and 8th with a doubleheader at Alpenrose Dairy.

It should be another epic year of cyclocross. See you out there!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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5 years ago

I swear that this is the year I finally make it out to watch a race.

5 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Be warned you might have to ride through a big parking lot in order to get to the action. This is going to be risky and inconvenient for you.

5 years ago
Reply to  Manville

Thanks, I think I can handle it.

5 years ago

Watch out Adam, I spectated the first trophy cup race last year and immediately found myself trolling craiglist and OBRA chat for a used bike so I could outfit myself to participate in the next one.
It’s great fun to watch and race, but I vote racing!!! Also, last year they did a special night where they races biketown bikes. Hilarious, i hope there is a repeat!

5 years ago

Miss the old days when the local season actually ran as intended, during the wet, cold months not dirt crits. But just means fewer racers on course for the fun, muddy races after the early season peeps have burned out!

5 years ago
Reply to  onegearsneer

It is not a late summer sport, but people will pay to ride a “course”. Have fun! This is the best time to mountain bike. Go race cross and leave the trails to me. Thanks again!

Patrick H Croasdaile
Patrick H Croasdaile
5 years ago


Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
5 years ago

Bike helmets are a distraction from any costume, no matter how good. Leave ’em off.

Dan A
Dan A
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Quigley

OBRA has rules. You can’t even ride around the parking lot without a helmet.