It’s the second weekend of October and if this were a normal year we would be inaugurating the world’s largest race series — Cross Crusade at the storied Alpenrose Dairy Velodrome, only miles (a short bike ride!) from my home. This is historically one of the biggest bike races in history and one of the funnest! I have spectated here at least three times.
I hate it. I only raced here once and it was a miserable experience. In my categories — middle-aged men of middling ability — there might be 200 or more racers. If you aren’t lucky enough to stage in the top third, it’s almost statistically impossible to place. On top of which, in most years the conditions are still warm and dry. It is the worst kind of “Man vs. Man” race. All elbows and collisions and mechanicals. (So many mechanicals!)
Burk Webb excellently captured the frustration of this race in 2012 (coincidentally the year I actually raced here):
2012 Cross Crusade Race #1 Alpenrose Dairy from Burk Webb on Vimeo.
There is a reason I have been to this race three times even if I’ve only ever raced here once. It is fun. The Kiddie Kross is always tight. The venue is easy to get to and great to spectate. Lighter fields (women, juniors) have a great time on the course. Last year both Iris and Orion raced Juniors, and Ada had a blast on Kiddie Kross. And in my Only Good Race Year (2013), the fact that I (would have) had last-row staging at Alpenrose meant I had front-row staging the following week at Rainier High School (...about which more next week!)
This year I would give a stupid amount of money to be able to race at Alpenrose. I regret every race I ever declined.
|2012||Master’s C 35+||188/224|
Cross Crusade Race #1 Alpenrose from Burk Webb on Vimeo.
Cross Crusade 2011 Race #1 Alpenrose from Burk Webb on Vimeo.
Cyclocross Crusade - #1 and #2 Alpenrose from Kevin Dickson on Vimeo.
Cyclocross Crusade - Alpenrose 2018 from Kevin Dickson on Vimeo.
Cyclocross Crusade - Alpenrose 2019 from Kevin Dickson on Vimeo.