How many cities in North America have not one but two cyclocross series? And how many cities host an event in a major city park in a residential neighborhood? Pugetopolis cxers are lucky on both counts. The perennial Seattle Cyclocross series, a spinoff from the Marymoor Velodrome Association now in its umphteenth year, was joined last year by the MFG (your guess is as good as mine) series, whose principals include the long-time promoter of the UCI-permitted Starcrossed race. The peaceful co-existence between two series has only meant increased opportunities for mud and pain available to the local cross community.
The newcomers soon made their mark by scoring that permit from the Seattle Parks Dept, and the 700+ participants at Woodland Park were happy to be there. Your humble correspondant was happy that he could rise at a reasonable hour for a leisurely breakfast before jumping on the knobby-tired velocipede for a quick pedal over to the venue, where he arrived to find the first race of the day in full throttle, and the usual RCR tent party underway.
The MFG course designers had taken full advantage of the varied terrain available in Woodland park: straightaways along grassy meadows, slaloms in the golden leaf-carpeted woodland, bombing runs down gravelled paths, anaerobic modest rollers; a little off-camber here, a lot of thick mud there, and excellent suffering all over the place. Did I mention the mud? Not the soupy slop you can coast through, or the corrugated chop that forces one to run, but the kind that seems rideable enough yet gradually thickens and coalesces between frame and wheel until it requires manual removal to recover one’s natural velocity.
The spectator-friendly course naturally attracted a host of spectators: family&friends, members of the non-competitive cycling community, and jes’ regular citizens. We had a good turnout of Recyclers, as the hardcore crossers were joined by the dillettantes and the merely cx-curious, who showed to goad on their teammates and investigate the contents of the cooler. Race highlights include Nick Brown’s outstanding 4th place among the cat 3 men.
The stalwart Raleigh RX 1.0 demo bikes got a good workout. You still have two opportunities to take one of these babies out under Real Cyclocross Conditions. Or stop by Recycled Cycles to see a pristine model.
Chef Tyler at the bbq served out beef sliders to one and all, courtesy of our meat sponsor Bill the Butcher, purveyor of natural and ethically-raised animal products for the discerning locavore. Look for the Recycled Cycles tent and have a burger on us.