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Cyclocross racing; Salem Airstream trip


We timed the extensive damage repair from The Incident to fall in November so the DWR could winter over at the cozy dealership where it was purchased, two years and 12,000 miles ago. On the way to George Sutton RV in Eugene, OR, we stopped along the way to take in the spectacle that is the OBRA-sanctioned Cyclocross Championship in Salem.

As an irregular viewer of The Ocho, I was unfamiliar with Cyclocross. It’s a species of bicycle race that generally occurs in autumn and winter—when it’s cold and soggy—developed as a way for road racers to stay in shape during the off season and provide opportunities for them to take advantage of local Urgent Care facilities. The race courses are typically over uneven terrain like abandoned golf courses and post-season pumpkin patches, with manmade obstacles thrown on for an added degree of difficulty. Riders are sometimes forced to pick up their bike and run with it through the mud or scramble over fallen debris and steep dirt barriers. Sometimes they’re in costume. Some even ride unicycles.

The race this Saturday took place at the Oregon State Fairground buildings, packed with fill dirt for the occasion. I was expecting a gathering of uptight cycle zealots and their eurotrash hangers-on. Instead, a laid-back and merry group of (extremely fit) Regular Folk of all ages zoomed and floundered in and out of the pouring rain, 4-H arena and rodeo barn piled high with difficult dirt hills and a looping, unstable track.

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