Nat and I were up in Stumptown yesterday, and among other things we did there, we joined a throng of spectators at the Cross Crusade event at Alpenrose.
Remember riding your bike as a kid? Endless hours in the vacant lot down the street...mud and grass stains on the knees of your jeans, a band-aid on each elbow, and a ramp that you and your friends made out of scrapwood you found somewhere. Yeah, well, that kind of riding grew up, bigtime. But the fun didn't go away. It’s turned into its own kind of sport, and it’s popularity growing faster than facebook at a middle school. There are so many challenges, obstacles, and technical aspects to this kind of racing, it’s highly interactive. Being there to watch, you could quickly see why this sport is so wildly popular with people who have always loved their bikes.
The pictures don't show it so well, but there were over 1,700 riders and about as many spectators there yesterday. Vendors, bike mechanics, and various other dudes and dudettes were there just to be a part of the scene. We only knew one person there. Beth is the rider on the right in the lower picture, and is a long-time friend of mine (we were both part of the PSU music scene in the 80’s). It was fun to cheer her on.
Nat really seemed to enjoy being able to stand so close to the riders on the course, seeing their faces as they hammered by. When we finally headed back to the car, her comment was: “...so much spandex...”
I resemble that remark.