Oregon Manifest aims to change the way we think about bikes

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The Oregon Manifest is right around the corner!

Organizers have unveiled the final program for this year’s six-week long celebration of the art, culture, and craft of bicycling. The multifaceted program promises to put a creative, utilitarian spin on all aspects of bicycling from framebuilding to racing — and aims to put them in front of a broad audience by tying them into the realm of everyday, transportational cycling.

The three day long 2008 Manifest was a major event that grasped at the gestalt of Portland’s cycling revolution, bringing together high-end framebuilders and freakbike welders with racing teams, all stripes of bicycle industry, and some of the zanier sides of local cycling culture.

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Cross Crusade schedule released; skills clinics start tomorrow

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Cross Crusade '08 - Alpenrose-48.jpg

Learn to master corners
at a cyclocross skills clinic.
(Photos © J. Maus)

This time of year in Portland, if you listen closely enough, you can almost hear the buzz of cyclocross season in the air. With just about a month before the first ‘cross race of the season, the telltale signs are all coming into view: ‘cross bikes are being sold via the OBRA email list, locals are riding to “train for cyclocross”, and plans are being hatched for yet another epic season.

Last week, organizers of the Cross Crusade released their 2009 schedule, officially setting ‘cross season planning into motion for many. The eight race series is the largest of its kind in the world and it takes place from October through mid-November. Venues are scattered throughout the Portland region and include stops in Astoria, Sherwood, Hillsboro, and Estacada.

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Local racers tough it out on World Cup stage

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Portlander Molly Cameron is flying the
Vanilla Bicycles team colors while
racing in Belgium.
(Photo: Nielsdewit.be)

Local racer and owner of Veloshop, Molly Cameron, is “living the dream” by spending her holiday racing cyclocross against the world’s best on a multi-week trip that includes World Cup races in France and Belgium.

Another Portland rider, Sue Butler, is also competing on the Belgian circuit. Butler was also just named to the U.S. Nationals Team and will compete at World Championships at the end of January.

Cameron is joined by friend and trusty mechanic Steven Hunter. Both Cameron and Hunter are keeping local friends and fans posted on their adventures via regular blog updates — Cameron on her personal blog, and Hunter as a guest writer on Race Cyclocross!.

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Northwest ‘cross fans rejoice: Nationals are coming to Bend

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2005 Cyclocross National Championships, Portland OR

A scene from the action at the
2004 ‘Cross Nationals held in Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Local cyclocross racers and fans looking for some good news now that the season has ended got it yesterday: USA Cycling has officially awarded Bend, Oregon the honor of hosting the next two editions of the Cyclocross National Championships.

The news comes after tourism officials in Bend spent a year lobbying to get the event. They’re psyched because the event is expected to bring 2,000 competitors to Bend each year for the four days of racing, and between 3,500 and 4,500 additional visitors in the form of fans, media and support staff.

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Cyclocross stars will shine in Portland this weekend

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Big crowds turned out last year.
Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

With the massive success of cyclocross in Portland this year, it should come as no surprise that the season is set to end with a bang.

This weekend offers up a buffet of ‘cross events that just might hold everyone over until next year (although I doubt it).

The big news is that the nation’s most prestigious ‘cross series, the U. S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross will hold its grand finale, The Portland Cup, just a few miles north of downtown Portland. In addition to two full days of racing, international ‘cross stars will share their secrets at the first annual Superstar Cyclocross Seminar. And, as per usual with ‘cross, there will be not one, but two parties.

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Cross Crusade participation up 25% in 2008

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Cross Crusade-SSCXWC08-45

A bit of “lunacy” and big crowds
were the norm on the ‘cross
circuit this year.
(Photo © J. Maus)

It was a banner year for cyclocross in Portland.

According to official statistics compiled by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA), the Portland-based River City Bicycles Cross Crusade series grew an average of 25% each event compared to last year (from 836 participants per race in 2007, to 1045 in 2008). The numbers solidify the Crusade’s place as the largest cyclocross race series of its kind in the world (based on participation).

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Cyclocross memories and the story of Michael Sylvester

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Michael Sylvester

[Cyclocross pioneer and
bike fit specialist
Michael Sylvester]

Michael Sylvester has a unique perspective on the Portland cyclocross scene. He was around at the beginning.

Sylvester, along with a small handful of intrepid cyclocross pioneers established the first race series in Portland back in 1985. Yes, that’s over two decades before the Cross Crusade came onto the scene as the world’s largest and put Portland on the map as ground zero for U.S. cyclocross.

Sylvester, a Portland native who at age 49 has never owned a car, started his athletic career as a self-described, “possessed” runner. He was a cross-country standout at Mt. Hood Community College, where he once ran the Sauvie Island Marathon in 2:32:04, more than six minutes ahead of second place and just four minutes off an Olympic-caliber pace.

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