DECEMBER 9, 2010 / THE SOURCE WEEKLY / 35 outside
“They are literally taking their holiday va- cation and coming to Bend for the race.” My friend Lesley McShane is doing just
that. She and her family are traveling from Louisville, Ky., for the second year in a row to attend ‘cross nationals with 15 junior racers. “We’re insane!” she laughs, “We’re ‘cross
crazy people.” The McShanes, who have traveled exten-
sively this year to cyclocross races around the country, are looking forward to arriv- ing in Bend. “We’re excited about coming back,” says McShane, “We really love it there.” Riders from almost all 50 states visited
BEND’S RYAN TREBON SALUTES HIS HOMETOWN FANS AFTER FINISHING SECOND IN LAST YEAR’S CYCLOCROSS NATIONALS. TREBON IS IN GOOD FORM, AND A FAVORITE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR.
OUTDOORS More Cowbell
Bring on the noise of National Cyclocross Championships BY MICHELLE BAZEMORE
Cyclocross was a novel sport to me last
year when I went to watch friends par- ticipate in the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships here in Bend. As a road racer, I had a vague perception of cyclocross as a sort of sideshow in the world of com- petitive cycling. Racing hurts and when I heard ‘cross racers sometimes wear cos- tumes while they’re competing, it seemed like people just didn’t take ‘cross seriously enough to really suffer on the bike. Of course, that ignorant notion was shat-
tered when I saw my first cyclocross race in person. I was incredibly impressed by the racers’ fitness, technical ability and the willingness to turn themselves inside out so publicly. I was even more blown away by the energy of the spectators and the sheer number of them. More than 7,000 people turned out to watch last year’s elite cham- pionship races on Sunday. “It was great last year,” said local profes-
sional cyclocross racer Ryan Trebon, who competes internationally. “I think it was one of the best races we did. It was a loud, rowdy crowd—especially by Deschutes Brewery—it was so loud.” It’s not unusual to see fans with painted
faces jamming foam fingers into the lens of a close-up camera at a football game. But at a bike race? It takes a lot to generate a crowd of enthusiastic spectators, especially in freezing temperatures, to stand around and watch bicycle racing. “It was amazing,” said Brad Ross, the pro-
moter for both this and last year’s national ‘cross championships in Bend. “I’ve been doing cyclocross for 15 years, and I go to world championships and world cup races in Europe,” Ross said, “Last year’s race here in Bend on Sunday was one big party. The amount of people was off the charts.” The intrinsic appeal of cyclocross for spectators—and the racers themselves—is
the exuberance surrounding the events. There is something avant-garde about racing quasi-road bikes on dirt, slogging through quagmires and jumping off to carry the bike over barriers. The renegade attitude transfers to the fans, who ring cowbells, cheer, heckle and sometimes even don costumes and run alongside the course to torment racers. As part of a larger sport that can some-
times take itself too seriously, cyclocross is a fresh look at competitive cycling. It’s tough and unpretentious. Add the tribal rhythm of a drum corps, brisk air and a fes- tival atmosphere and a ‘cross race can trig- ger the memory of a really fun high-school football game. And when the promoter constructs the
course with safe spectator access to the beer garden, it’s obvious there’s a high value on having fun. “We’ve redesigned the course more for
spectators than anything,” said Ross, “We built a big sky bridge on the course that the racers will ride over and spectators can walk under.” One of the most endearing things about
cyclocross is its inclusiveness. Riders of all ages, makes and models participate. While the painfully thin cyclist (like the hero of The Triplets of Belleville) has his day, the more meat-on-his-bones sort of rider also has his. The Clydesdale Cyclocross Championship of the Universe, a special race exclusively for those men who weigh 200 pounds or more, and women who weigh 160 or more, will draw the diesel engines of the sport out to compete on Saturday night. Riders will be seeded based on weight, with the heaviest competitors scoring a starting position at the front of the pack. “People are so jacked up about cyclo-
cross,” said Kevney Dugan, the Sports Development Manager for Visit Bend.
Bend last year for ‘cross nationals, accord- ing to Dugan, translating into $1.08 million in direct tourism spending and $1.3 million in total sales. “Last year’s event raised the transient
room tax 22 percent (what the city collects from hotels),” explained Dugan. “That num- ber alone says the event had huge impact.” “This year it’s going to be even bigger be-
cause a lot of people didn’t really under- stand cylcocross last year. All the best ath- letes will be here, and they’ll be on their very top form, so it’s going to be great rac- ing,” said Ross.
Three Things to Bring to a ‘Cross Race
1. Noise. Cowbells are the most prolific. Bo- nus points for an air horn or snare drum. 2. Flag or a sign. Costumes show a deeper level of dedication to ‘cross. 3. Beer money.
OUTDOOR EVENTS U.S.A. Cycling
Cyclocross National Championships Schedule
Masters National Championship Races, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Time Trials at Summit High School in
Northwest Crossing, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday
Juniors and Masters National
Championship Races, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Time Trials at Summit High School in
Northwest Crossing, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday
Juniors and Masters National Championship Races, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Clydesdale Cyclocross Championship of the Universe, 9:30 p.m.
Collegiate Women National Championships, 8 a.m.
Collegiate Male (Division 1) National Championships, 9 a.m.
Collegiate Male (Division 2) National Championships, 10 a.m.
Course Open, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Elite Women National Championship, 12:30 p.m.
Course Open, 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Elite Men National Championship, 2:30 p.m.
TAKE A FREE PERSONAL NORDIC SKI LESSON AND GET A FREE SKI RENTAL THIS WINTER FROM PINE MOUNTAIN SPORTS AND CENTRAL OREGON NORDIC CLUB.
Free Personal Nordic Ski Lesson and Free Ski Rental The Central Oregon Nordic Club (CONC) has teamed up with Pine Mountain Sports to provide a free personal lesson and free ski rental to anyone who wants to learn to Nordic ski. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to set up a private lesson. Wednesday, Dec 8.
2010 National Cyclocross Championships For the second year running Bend hosts one of the most popular events in cycling. Go to visitbend.com
for the full schedule of events. Wednes- day, Dec 8. Old Mill District.
Skjersaa's Jam Friday, Dec 10. Mt. Bachelor.
Mt. Bachelor National Ski Patrol Ski Evaluation Annual ski evaluation for those who may be interested in joining this organization. Recruiting for all disciplines: Alpine Parol, Nordic Pa- trol, and Auxiliary Patrol (indoor clinical work). The Alpine Patrol is open to all downhill techniques. Questions? mt.bnsp.tr
. 9am Saturday, Dec 11. Mt. Bachelor.
Dirksen Derby This race is pure comedy and skill and it's your opportunity to win some of Josh's killer schwag from his generous sponsors. Join Josh and his buds for a freeride event to raise money and awareness for Tyler Eklund. $25/category, or $50 with a lift ticket. 10am Saturday, Dec 11. Mt. Bachelor.
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