Wednesday evening was the finale of the 2018 NW Mountain Bike Series. Also known as the “Wednesday Night World Championships,” this was the series’ fifth season.
The “world championships” reference pokes fun at the fact that although riders at local races and group rides are just out for bragging rights, everyone acts as though World Championship stripes are on the line.
Over the past five years event director Russell Stevenson and a crew of volunteers have put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears(?) to develop the race venue at North SeaTac Park. What Russell has been doing at North SeaTac Park is similar to what Dave Douglas has done with the Thursday Seward Park Series in terms of literally cleaning up the park and creating public spaces that are viable for “legit” purposes.
I first attended the series when it was in its second season and Russell expressed a little concern about its long-term viability. But, despite a sometimes difficult commute from Seattle, participation has grown every year since. Russell claims the series is now the best attended MTB series in Washington. I think events like this are part of the reason folks are abandoning road cycling: why take the risk of riding near autos when you can ride hard for an hour or so then hang out in a festival atmosphere with buddies?
Something else that struck me in season two was how much fun everyone was having on their bikes. That fun vibe has continued to grow, and now overflows to the start/finish area where friends hang out and commiserate over beverages and food by Tacos El Guero.
The junior race is the most delightful to watch. Some of the more competitive kids fiercely test their mettle against one another, while other who are new to cycling or competition circle the course with a parent in tow.
Although the 2018 NW MTB Series is over, You can join Russell and cyclocross enthusiasts at the Wednesday Night Cyclocross Practice and Mock-Racing events which begin September 5.
For more pics check out the Flickr album
Feel free to use any of the images with attribution: