Surviving Singlespeed Cyclocross Worlds
Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships just might be the best bike race
you've never heard of. For good reason.
This was the 10th year of the event which saw it return to Portland OR where
it was originally conceived. Last year we went to the event in Victoria BC, and
for all of us but Darrin it was our first. He lived in Portland when the the
race started so he knew all too well what to expect. Take 1 part bike race, 2
parts beer and whiskey, 700 like minded hearty individuals, many parts
unmentionable and you get SSCXWCPDX. Basically a bicycle burning man.
Darrin Fresh Off The Dual Slalom Course For
The Transition crew was charged with creating a course feature. And based off
our performance last year, most of us decided to forget to enter the actual
race. (My body is still feeling the effects) Darrin and Rosara were the only two
of our group who actually signed up. Which left myself, Kevin, Toby, Logan and a
couple stragglers we collected since last time; Evan and Kelefari available to
handle whatever we decided to do. In typical TR fashion, we waited unit about 2
weeks prior the race to really nail down pretty much any part of what we wanted
to do. I came up with this idea of a 12' x 24' fenced off area creating a corral
of sorts containing somewhere around 20 yoga balls that the riders had to roll
through. The intent was to have ramps entering and exiting the corral which
would prevent the balls from departing the fenced area, and a separate 'crowd
barrier' fence to keep the crowd from handling our balls.
Full Tech Drawing Of Our Human Experiment
Pretty soon Darrin had drawn up a super technical schematic based of my
description and we had an actual feature. Fast forward two weeks and we were
fully loaded in the TR Sprinter headed to PDX. It had rained about a month
straight prior so Kruger's Farm out on Sauvie Island was in perfect shape to
have hundreds of cars driven on it, and 700 people race bikes around a
ridiculous course featuring things like a full on dual slalom course, a corn
maze, a shark jump into a pond, many beer hand ups, a stripper bus and our
A'maze'Balls Of Fury. With the help of some amazing net sewing by our good
friend Tony, and TBC's Construction Services we had a solid structure containing
21 multi colored yoga balls ready for the races.
Lars Sending The Road Gap On His Cyclocross
There are 3 heats of SSCXWC. The race for the folks who did not qualify on
Saturdays feats of strength, the Women's Worlds race, and the Men's Worlds race.
With the consolation race obviously going first. By the time the consolation
race was making their way to our maze of balls we were ready. And within the
first few riders that passed through it became immediately apparent that it was
not going to be simply navigated by the racers. The balls began flying out of
the corral. We all instantly knew we had to contain these balls, and began
chasing them and swimming upstream through the flow of racers to throw them back
in. Now here's the hitch, as the grass quickly turned into a mud pit, the balls
became coated with mud. And in turn, we got covered head to toe. My hands we're
so muddy I had to have other people open beers for me, among other things. But
the show must go on, and I have a bit of a hard time describing exactly what
happened, it's all a blur. For one, I've never laughed so hard in my life for so
long. It was the most mind bending spectacle I've ever seen first hand. It was
full contact, full racer and crowd participation, face blasting fun. I'm sure it
was shocking as a racer to deal with, but it seemed 99% of everyone was enjoying
it. And if they didn't during the actual racing hopefully they did afterwards.
Each race lasted about an hour, with a small break in between. So we were
going pretty hard for about 4 hours. I'd definitely say it was harder than
actually racing. We'd like to thank the Portland Collective for bringing the
race home, and all the hard work of the Collective and volunteers pre, during,
and post race. It is truly something to behold, and I may never forget the
experience. And that's what it's about right? We'd also like to thank all the
racers and spectators for being such good sports. I don't think anyone has ever
done something like this at a bike race, let alone a CX race. We definitely blew
some minds. All in good fun.
Toby and Evan Stacking Balls For The Start Of The Main
Rosara Working Her Way Through The Pumpkin
Oh, and did we mention the men and woman winners get a tattoo?
Last but not least, we'd like to thank our team because without you guys it
never would have been possible to pull it off. Logan, Rosie, Kelend, Toby and
Evan thank you guys for being who you are and jumping right in.
Lars, Darrin and Kevin over and out.
For the full write up and photo album, check out our Facebook Album