The autumnal equinox has happened, and that means it is officially cyclocross season, the season for dropbars, tiny treads, and skinsuits, of frites, cowbells, and some deeply cold and painful moments of racing. While we welcome this change and the tight-knit exhilaration of racing elbow-to-elbow in axle deep mud we weren’t quite ready to give up the dappled-light loam-filled trails of a mountain bike summer.
At the end of September, in conjunction with the last stop of the North American Enduro Tour that was being hosted by the Oregon Enduro Series, we threw a send off party for summer. Over 150 pinned racers were in attendance to push their limits over two days of gravity infused anaerobic exertion. Lets just say there was a lot of cry breathing happening as racers came through the pneumatic Shimano finish line arch.
As anyone knows, a party isn’t proper without the right snacks. We put together a tasty Asian style steak sandwich for the racers and staff, packaged with some savory homemade potato salad and a refreshing Wunderbier Kolsch from our friends at Ninkasi. The meal made a worthy offering to what has been a beautiful and extended summer here in the Pacific Northwest.
With a week of sporadic rain leading up to the race the trails were in great shape, despite a summer of serious thrashing. At the end of the weekend it was a nice party gift for us that Chris King Buzz riders Charlie Sponsel and Alex McGuinness took the top two spots on the podium. These two Oregon-based shredders faced some serious competition from top national riders and it was a combination of local knowledge and a season of results trending upwards that ultimately put them ahead of the competition. We think that our excellent components had something to do with it as well.
With the MTB race season coming to a close it’s time to slap on some mud spikes, find some quality wet weather gear, and prepare to be wet, cold, and miserable for the next 6 months. Keeping in mind that whether you are riding 27.5” mud spikes with 6” of travel, 32cc file treads with a 3” saddle to bar drop, or you have piled base-layer on top of base-layer in hopes of accruing those critical base-miles the important thing is that as long as you’re smiling at the end of the day then it was all worth it, at least this is what we keep telling ourselves.