Smiles, fire, kids, crashes, and mud: A Cross Crusade gallery

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Cross Crusade #1 Alpenrose-53-53

(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the eve of the opening race of the Cross Crusade, I find myself getting a bit nostalgic. This season marks the ninth year I’ve photographed these epic spectacles.

Looking through the 1,500 or so images in my Cross Crusade archives brings back all sorts of memories. There has been so much great racing and shenanigans over the years!

Scroll down and browse through this selection of images as you get ready for yet another season of the world’s most photogenic cyclocross race series…

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A newbs-eye view of ‘cross: Fighting fear with practice

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newb-taborsun

Training ground.
(Photo by Ben Salzberg)

There’s just one race left in the Blind Date at the Dairy cyclocross series and I’ve got my work cut out for me. With the exception of my wipe-out in Week 2 that left me in 14th place, I’ve been stuck in 3rd and can’t seem to budge. The rider who has been finishing first usually does so with such a large margin that I can’t even see her after the first minute of the first lap.

That’s quite a gap to close, but I’m an unreasonable person and let’s be honest – I want to win.

I know from my extensive experience in adult beer-league kickball that practice is essential to improving on-field swagger as well as performance, albeit to a lesser degree. So I’m ready to put some work into this. But where to begin?

For me, cyclocross can be broken into 3 categories: things that are hard, things that are tricky, and things that terrify me.

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Guest article – Newb on the tracks: My first cyclocross race

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Blind Date at the Dairy race-3

What happened when Rebecca lined up
for her first race?
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

I never intended to do a cyclocross race.

I’d been to a race before, several years ago when a roommate was competing at Barton Park. But the actual racing part of the affair was entirely lost on me as I happily settled into what I assumed was the True Meaning of Cyclocross: drinking beer under a tent, with the faint sound of cowbells clanging in the distance and the occasional blur of muddy spandex warriors providing momentary yet unimportant distractions from the rotation of hot dogs on the grill.

Racing myself seemed entirely out of the question. My position in the bicycle world has always been firmly ensconced in the advocacy and bike-fun camps. My bike-related skills consist of dressing up like David Bowie for Pedalpalooza and sending indignant tweets to @PBOTinfo about drivers parked in the bike lane.

But then this beautiful new bicycle came into my life: a Creamsicle-colored All-City Macho Man with disc brakes and internal top tube cable routing, built for adventure. The first day I rode it to the office, my boss (and avid racer) Todd took one look and said, “Oh, you got a cross bike!”

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‘Cross update: A new weekly race series and a training talk

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Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-13

Weeknight racing at PIR? Sign
me up!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two items of cyclocross news to share today: There’s a new, weekly race series and a talk by locally-based elite racer Beth Ann Orton.

The big news is the announcement of the Rapha Trophy Cup presented by Western Bikeworks. This new cyclocross race series starts September 2nd and happens every Tuesday night through October 7th. The six race series goes down at Portland International Raceway and adds to our great local tradition of weeknight racing.

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‘Cross is coming! These clinics will help get you ready

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Cross Crusade #7 at PIR-44

Cyclocross is fun; but it requires a special set of skills if you want to do it well.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Cyclocross season is fast approaching. I can tell by the increased listings of ‘cross bikes and gear on Craigslist and the OBRA email list and the photos and updates on my social media stream (many with the #crossiscoming hashtag).

The other clear sign that the season is just around the corner is the announcement of clinics aimed at mastering the many skills it takes to do well in this discipline.

Whether you’re a junior just getting started, or an old pro that just needs to dust off the cobwebs, the clinics below are an excellent opportunity to get ready for the season (and they start this week so… get on it!).

Hosmer Chiropractic and Portland Bicycle Studio Present Cyclocross Skills Clinic Series

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Bend cyclocross race leads to global bicycle brake recall

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The bike industry is abuzz with news of a global recall of 19,000 sets of high-end SRAM hydraulic road brakes; and it turns out a cyclocross race in Bend, Oregon on December 7th had a lot to do with it.

SRAM made the voluntary recall announcement on December 13th, citing, “last weekend’s Cyclocross racing in the US, in sub freezing temperatures,” as the main culprit. That event was a two race weekend that started with the UCI-sanctioned Deschutes Brewery Cup, which was followed the final stop in the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association’s Cross Crusade series.

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Cyclocross interview series: OBRA Executive Director Kenji Sugahara

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A visit with Senator Jeff Merkley-8

OBRA Executive Director Kenji Sugahara
in the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley
in March 2012.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the fourth installment in our series audio interviews with local cyclocross personalities. We’ve partnered with the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) to broadcast these interviews in advance of their 2013 Cyclocross Championship event coming to Troutdale on November 9th. (Yes, we realize that’s this weekend!)

This week’s interview is with OBRA Executive Director Kenji Sugahara. Sugahara has led the organization since 2008 and during his tenure cyclocross participation has skyrocketed. In addition to his capable leadership of OBRA, Sugahara has also branched out into bicycle advocacy as a board member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and involvement with Travel Oregon’s bicycle tourism development efforts.

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Getting hooked on cyclocross

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Cross Crusade Wash Co Fairgrounds-5

Hooked.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Seeing people get hooked on a new type of cycling is one of the things that keeps cycling industry veterans going. And for some reason, cyclocross is especially good at reeling people in: Maybe it’s the challenging courses; the relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere; the support of family, friends and complete strangers; the mud, or all of the above.

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