Save for my very first road race, which was in Cleveland (done with an incredible hang over), I have never raced any other than Oregon. In the OBRA bubble as it were. And with Signe living in Seattle a visit seemed like a good time for a bike race to sample the local flavor.
Starcrossed is huge and from what I can tell is on par with a Cross Crusade event here in Portland (though I have yet to witness it myself). From what I gather this shindig was worth UCI points and a month earlier last year. If you’re interested, the history of the “first twilight cyclo-cross race in the country can be found here. Past winners include the en forme Jeremy Powers.
Whatever the reasons were for the race not carrying any UCI points this year, they certainly didn’t detract from the enthusiasm of the crowd. Ninety-three people were in my race, and the single speed group was just as large. ‘Cross races have this festival air about them, with sponsors set up, food trucks, and beer gardens. Which makes it fun for those forced to stand around and cheer, or heckle you for the few seconds that you ride by. Signe, doesn’t like going to races, but she seemed to have a good time Saturday. Especially once she realized that she could yell things other than GO! Things like “You need to do the dishes!” or “Pick up your clothes!” That maybe enough to get her hooked on going to races.
I was curious to see how the scene would differ from Portland. Racing in general, not just cross. I have heard that the level of competition is higher and that the races are a little more organized. I’m so far out of actually competing that I can’t make an honest accounting of that claim.
As far as organization goes it seems that the timing chips they gave us would lead to faster results. Also, the entire course was tapped off, which is something I have yet to witness at an OBRA race. That fact alone gives it an air of professionalism that just makes you feel good while racing. But I’m basing that off of one race. I may head back up in a couple of weeks and check out another race in the MFG series.
It’s not a big deal, but feels worth noting. This race was unsanctioned (as I believe the whole series is) which means I didn’t need to throw down any extra for a one day USAC license. But that didn’t detract from the great battle that took place during the 1/2 race. There is good racing fun to be had up North. I’ll be back.