Orion on the runup, photo by Jordy Wilson

The races we’re missing: Cyclocross Crusade: Cascade Locks

Published 2020-10-25

I can divide my racing “career” into three or four periods.

The first period was 2010–2011, when I raced three times in the “Beginner” category (which is now Cat 5), and one season in Cat C (now Cat 4). This was my Unserious Phase, when I had no dedicated racing bike, paid no attention to how well I did, and didn’t race with a team.

The second period was after I joined Team Oregon in 2012, raced two full seasons in Cat C, and a few races in Cat B (now Cat 3). This was my Glory Days, which included my (relatively speaking) best season, 2013. I joined a team (Team Oregon), did a little actual training, bought a dedicated race bike, and collected upgrade points. This was when I wrote regular Race Reports and kept my racing log updated.

I went into Early Retirement in 2014, my first full season in Cat B. That season was abbreviated by injuries, my father’s death, and merely middling results. I mostly sat out 2014, 2015, and 2016.

In 2017, Orion wanted to start racing for real, as a Junior. He pulled me (a little reluctantly) back into the sport. This is my, I dunno, Race Dad Era. I didn’t have a team for two seasons, and have done no training or any other prep. My results have been consistently bottom-third of Cat 3. (When I torture myself by comparing my times to the racers in Cat 4, I wish I had sandbagged in 2014. I’d still be grabbing the occasional podium.

But about Cascade Locks...

Because this race wasn’t on the calendar in 2013 or earlier, I never contested it in an easy field. I’ve been near the bottom of the field every time I’ve raced here. But it is an awesome race.

First: it is in a beautiful place. This might be the most scenic of all the local cyclocross races. It’s a bit of a drive from Portland, but a quick one (up I-84).

Second: it is in a spectator-friendly venue. You can watch almost all the race from the finish line. The part you can’t see (the massive runup) is worth hiking to (it is a massive runup). It is also a family-friendly venue, because it is spread out and there’s room for kids to roam around in packs with their friends.

Third: it is a really fun course. Excepting some long sprints through a (heavily rutted) field, it is pretty much either mud, sand, or runups. This is one of those courses where, if I had performed exactly the same but in Cat C or 4, I might have earned some upgrade points, or at least finished on the leader’s lap.

In 2017 this was Orion’s first Cross Crusade race. In 2019 Iris raced here as a Junior, and Ada did kiddie kross.

Year Category Result
2015 Masters 35+ B 51/84
2017 Masters 35+ 3 69/82
2019 Masters 35+ 3 56/65

Photo at the top by Jordy Wilson


2015 Cross Crusade Cascade Locks from A-Cam Aerials on Vimeo.

Cross Crusade #3 2015 - Cascade Locks, Oregon from Kevin Dickson on Vimeo.

Cross Crusade #3 2017 Cascade Locks from Kevin Dickson on Vimeo.