Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Well, my friends. In case you missed it (and many did), the Cross Border Clash at the DeltaTech Industrial Park on the day after Halloween was one of the best cyclocross courses, conditions, and scenes many of us veterans of this little Series have ever threaded together. How can I say that? Well, of course, I've been to every one (that's well over 40 races, folks). I, along with the Homegrown Racing Team pb Jacks Bicycle Center pieced together a bike racing festival at the Transition Bikes headquarters of the highest quality. On our fifth visit there, with the additions from Red Tent's upgraded timing & results system, volunteers at registration, a PA system rocking the iPod tunes, beer & taco vendors, neutral support and wheel pits from BikeSport Bellingham, spectators/hecklers with their bacon & fireball handups... you name a good 'cross element, and we had it!
You can read an excellent write-up with an equally excellent photo gallery from our friend Brett Whitehead on TheHoleshot.ca. We're really getting into a groove in this, our 9th season of incredible cyclocross! If you need even more reminiscing on how great the season has been so far, or just a taste of what the Cascade Cross scene is all about, read this fresh article on BBMX #2 from Chris Stevens at the Bicycle Paper.
And I quote: “The community spirit of this group of racers and volunteers is infectious... The racer in front of me actually looked back and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ That’s a level of courtesy I’ve never experienced in a decade of ‘cross, and I don’t think it’s an exception... But don’t be fooled by the laid-back mountain biker attitudes, the caliber of competition is high.” That's right, Chris. We'll loan you a wheel, then ride you off ours with excellent handling ability, power, and tenacious attitude, then treat you afterwards like a very welcome guest!
So why are people not coming out in the same numbers we've seen in the past? That's anyone's guess. Could it be us taking tight schedule spots next to nearby races in Seattle and/or Vancouver series? Could it be people still recuperating from four solid months of playing outdoors this summer? Could it be the reputation of derailleur-snapping mud at BBMX, then holding Border Clash the day after a drinking & late-night dancing holiday? Well, all those may have formerly been the case. Now, the other big series are wrapping up. Unless cyclocross is no longer the fastest growing discipline in cycling (besides enduros?), we can find no excuses for not seeing your muddy grin out on our varied & interesting turf!
If you haven't seen any Cascade Cross action yet this season, this Saturday is a perfect chance to hop on the fun train we're just getting up to full speed. You'll find us down on gorgeous Whidbey Island riding bikes around the radical Fort Nugent Park. I'm really excited to debut this venue to our many loyal series followers, as well as newcomers and the city of Oak Harbor itself. The community is welcoming us with open arms, with various businesses offering discounts and deals for race participants. For example:
Candlewood Suites in Oak Harbor is offering group rates of $89 per night.
The Coupeville Inn is offering 10% off their winter rates for lodging.
Flyers Restaurant & Brewery will be serving food at the race and giving out $5 gift cards to racers for beer afterwards.
Port Townsend Cyclery is donating prizes for 1st Place finishers in every category.
So you get the sense they're rolling out the red carpet for Bellingham-based cyclocross, don't you? Let's show them how amazing this community of cyclists is and go have a great day of racing! You won't be disappointed, and you'll be even more prepared for the big UCI race coming to town in early December. Or just strengthen your vocal muscles because if you do go to Waves For Water event in Tacoma, you better be shouting your head off for our rising local star Courtenay McFadden who just won her first UCI race on Day 3 at Jingle Cross in Iowa. I confirmed she will be there racing her heart out for the home crowd and hopefully another big win!
Here's another bit of info you might want to see before call ups on Saturday - your standings in the overall points after 3 races. Please let me know if you see anything needing correction. So yes, we still have 4 races to go in a 7 race series! Other series are packing up their bags just as the cyclocross weather is getting (how shall we say) consistent? That is to say, more challenging. But honestly folks, this is the heart of the cyclocross season in other similarly-cold parts of the world where the sport is dominant. It belongs in this weather! Once you take off from that start line, you should not feel cold again for at least another 40 minutes. So get your front wheel where it belongs - in front of our official calling out your name over the megaphone, tire pressure just right, ready to roll out between the tape and go flying through the beautiful courses that we have created for you right here at home in the beautiful PNW.
See you out there,
p.s. if you're into cross-country running and want to help keep the gates open at the Bellingham BMX venue, we've converted over to a BBMX Winter XC running series out there, starting with a 5K Christmas Cross run on Dec. 20th. Check it out!