KEEN proudly supported the annual “Pain on the Peak” cyclocross meet in Hillsboro, OR on 9/12. This annual event, presented by Portland Velo, is the unofficial kickoff of Portland’s hugely popular and growing cyclocross scene.
Most riders see weekend bike rides as an antidote for the accumulated stresses of the work week. For cyclocross devotees, autumn weekends are the perfect excuse to test the bounds of two wheeled suffering. Described alternately as “the most fun you can have on two wheels” and “an hour in hell”, the sport was invented a century ago by Belgian cyclists as a way to stay fit and motivated to train during the cold and wet winter months. In a nutshell, riders pedal modified road bikes with knobby mountain bike style tires over a lap course that combines pavement, dirt, grass, sand, and gravel. Sounds tough, right? Not hard enough for these hardy souls. They also have to negotiate steep hills, off camber grades, and obstacles that require the riders to dismount, carry, and then remount their bikes while still moving! Throw in Mother Nature’s worst (rain, wind, mud, etc.) and you have one very challenging sport. The rider that completes the most laps during the hour long race is declared the victor.
Now before you begin to think of cyclocross as just another intense endeavor for weekend warriors, the sport is also known for its laid back atmosphere and a very welcoming vibe, especially for newcomers. Throw in some cowbells and the ever present aroma of beer and frites (it is a Belgian invention after all) and you have a great way to spend a fall afternoon whether racing or spectating.
Want to learn more about cyclocross? Check out the short video linked below.
Check out our slideshow.