My cyclocross season has just started here in Portland.
National cyclocross competition usually starts at the first week in September, but since the forest fire impacted the life in Portland, Oregon…so that some season opening games were canceled. However, finally long-awaited opening game has just stared last week.
I entered myself into Portland Trophy Cup sponsored by The Athletic Community, which is held in Tuesday through September and October. This race is the newest in Portland, but you can see the latest trends at this competition. Why Tuesday? Because 24th year of Cross Crusade awaits on the weekend, which is well known for the most entrants and audiences at the game.
We use the same ‘number’ for the whole season, so that after you register and receive the number, what you need to do is only going online and pay the entry fee then you come to the game place and line up for the start. It is a rational way of how to register.
Since it’s held in weekdays, a race time is between 5pm ~ 8pm, a very short schedule. In order to make this short time table happen, they mix men and women for category 3 and 4, 2 and 1, Junior, beginner, single speed,
For category 3 or under, you register yourself at your will, and for category 2 or above, the rank will be decided according to the accumulated points you earn for higher ranking winners. The points are adjusted exquisitely so that one spot winner cannot get raised him or herself in higher rank. Even though you don’t win the victory at a race, but if you earn the points constantly then, there is a chance awaiting you to get yourself in a higher rank. This is the American rule.
I saw many of Chris King staffs rode their bikes after work directly the game and enjoyed the race. It seems like cyclocross is just a part of their lives.
I also saw a lot of women riders as well. Women entrants are 1/4 of the whole competitors.
This is the start of single speed category. More than half of competitors use flat bar.
A race venue is at Portland International Speedway. It was dry, not a lot of technical places, instead of those, there are continuous small corners on the course. Your ranking will be decided how you ride at the corner and afterward.
Thank you photo by Makihara Nanako
My first oversea’s race started from Category 3 and 4. Because of the short schedule, category 3 and 4 will be mixed, so that I could not even see my ranking while I was riding and finished without knowing. Because the sun went down while the race was happening, the award ceremony for each race won’t be held and the result was up on the website next day. My rank was 17th place out of 44.
I feel deeply that it is very much important that you need to be recognized as a good and fast cyclist in order to run a bike business in the U.S. Luckily, I am in a middle of cyclocross season here, so I am going to enter myself into as many competitions as I could.
I am going to aim higher rank next time.
Yusuke Yamagishi / SimWorks