Maybe it’s the quirky fusion of bikes, crowds, costumes and cold beer that has seen cyclocross gain popularity by leaps and bounds. Or maybe it’s the leaps and bounds themselves — heady cuts through deep mud, hard rain, cold air and rough track.
Cyclocross quickly became the fastest-growing cycling sport in the nation, and Oregon is a veritable hub of all things ‘cross. What can we say? Our cup of mud poureth over, our hills are lofty, and we really like dressing up and yelling loudly while downing finely crafted adult beverages.
Popular Oregon cyclocross events abound in the fall and winter across the state; it’s hard to keep up with them all, so we recommend a little current online research.
The great part about cyclocross is that it’s truly a spectator sport — and the onlookers have just as much crazy fun as the guys and gals in the mud. From the incessant but somehow pleasing clanging of cowbells to the beer hand-ups during a race, the spirit of camaraderie is unmatched in the cycling world. Riders go like the devil, and yet there’s an atmosphere of “we’re all just having fun together” that underscores the whole scene.
You’ll find every age and every gender at a ‘cross event; they have routes for kids barely big enough to ride. And the events are incredibly welcoming to newcomers; show up with a spirit of adventure and a bike that can handle the conditions, and you’ll have a blast.
For a closer look at ‘cross culture, check out this first-person account of immersion into a strange but enchanting new world.
Want to Find Out More?
Whether you’re cheering or gearing, you can find CX events by scanning OBRA’s cyclocross schedule for races and clinics near you.