2019 is a big year for cyclocross in the Pacific Northwest. The headline news is that the USA Cycling Cyclocross Championships will be held at Fort Steilacoom Park December 5-10. The Seattle-area season kicks off Sunday September 8th with MFG Cyclocross’ Lake Sammamish GP presented by Planetbox.
Cyclocross originated in the early 1900s as an off-season training alternative for road racers, and has since evolved into a popular cycling discipline with its own traditions and culture. Cyclocross races are held in parks and forested areas. The challenging courses includes pavement, singletrack, grass, mud, sand, steep hills, and obstacles. Cyclocross emphasizes hard aerobic efforts and nimble bike handling skills.
As former pro Jessica Cutler says, “Cyclocross is better than training.”
Since cyclocross races are held on relatively short-looped courses, it’s a great spectator sport. The venues are set up to encourage a fun, festive environment. Another key element of ‘cross events is that they are family-friendly, and most series have categories for every age group.
If you’re thinking about trying cyclocross, any kind of bike can be used. For starters, rather than buying a cyclocross-specific bike, you might be able to simply swap out the tires on your road bike with some narrow knobbies. Try it a few times with the gear you have, and experiment and iterate based on what works for you.
From Bellingham to Bend, there are plenty of series to satisfy your cyclocross obsession:
Northwest in Motion will be at the entire MFG Cyclocross and Cross Revolution series with a pop-up retail store featuring “designed in the Northwest, made in Italy” clothing from biciclista (aka “beechikleesta”), plus classic looks from Bianchi Milano, Nalini, and others. Stop by and check it out!
Inland Northwest Cyclocross (northeast WA and northern ID)
Riders targeting the Nationals can race at the same venue (Fort Steilacoom Park) at MFG #4 Natz Practice III, presented by Rapha Seattle on October 20 and Cross Revolution #6 on November 24.
MFG co-Founder Terry Buchanan says: “While the course at Natz Practice III won’t be identical to the Nationals course, it will be held on the same grounds and will use some of the elements that will appear at Cyclocross nationals. We welcome riders from all over the country to visit Lakewood in October and experience the venue.”
Full Speed Ahead is the title sponsor for the 2019 MFG Cyclocross series. Don’t miss the November 17th finale of the MFG Series–the 11th Annual Woodland Park Gran Prix, presented by Sub Pop.
Our 2019 cyclocross coverage will feature images from Tory Hernandez of Evrgrn Photo.