We are just two days away from the start of the local cyclocross season, and it’s gearing up to be another massive year for Portland’s favorite cycling discipline. Three series dominate the calendar: Harvest CX, Portland Trophy Cup, and Cyclocross Crusade. Here’s a bit about each one to get you plugged-into the coming season…
It all kicks off at Sunday’s Het Meer CX event on the shores of Vancouver Lake. With its notorious beach section, it’s a course that makes racers curse and spectators crack-up as they watch all the spills and skills in the sand. If you’ve never been, check out my dispatch and photo gallery from last year’s edition.
Het Meer is one race in the Harvest CX series, which happens over seven Sundays (including one Saturday on the double weekend of 9/16-17 in Washougal) and is known for its diverse and challenging courses. In addition to Vancouver, Washougal, and Brush Prarie in Washington; the series includes stops in Boring, Madras, Dayton. Oregon.
On Tuesday September 12th, the Portland Trophy Cup kicks off its six-week run at Portland International Raceway in Kenton. This year’s series is back for its eighth year and looks to be better then ever with title sponsorships from Bikeflights and The Athletic. This series is known for its low-light shenanigans (later races happen in the dark and folks use bike lights to see the course), its strong community and inclusivity.
All beginners in the Women’s category (where trans women are welcome and encouraged to race) and all Junior category athletes, race free thanks to support from sponsors (but you still need to register). And there are free beginner skills clinics every week hosted by volunteers from BikePOC PNW and free clinics for juniors hosted by Grouptrail Cycling Team.
Trophy Cup is every Tuesday night from September 12th through October 17th. You can race the entire series for just $125 (one race is free!) or pay $25 per race if you pre-reg and $30 on-site. Get registered and hyped at the big kickoff party happening this coming Tuesday (September 5th) from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at High Order Studio (911 SE Salmon).
And of course no mention of cyclocross in Portland would be complete without the Cyclocross Crusade — the granddaddy of them all now in its 30th year! Back again thanks to River City Bicycles, this year’s six-race series starts on October 15th and runs through November 12th. For an extra bit of fun, don’t miss the traditional Grail Hunt. Each year, Crusade organizers bury treasures citywide and only an ancient map can unlock clues to find them all — including the True Grail. The Hunt is open to all registered racers and you can find out more about it here.
If you’ve recently gotten into gravel riding, if you love mountain biking but want a new way to hit the dirt, or if you just love playing bikes with friends — get into ‘cross this year. Check out nearly two decades of local ‘cross coverage (a whopping 145 articles!) in our archives and stay tuned for photos and race reports.
For further inspiration, I recommend taking a look at the new book edited by Drew Coleman. The Family Photo Album is a 96-page homage to the 2022 ‘cross season through the eyes of several excellent photographers.