Portland Cross Crusade invades Wilsonville

I didn't use the term invasion lightly. When 1200 riders plus supporting family and 'infantry' disembark from landing craft and establish a beach head for a cross race, what else would you call it. Sunday I joined the legions christening a hilly Villebois circuit for race two of the ORBA Cross Crusade Series. Slate had done his best to talk me into riding (next year) but I decided to stick to the sidelines and cover the course with my Canon. Londoners Simon, Rupert and Graeme visiting from Rapha HQ were game though, and with borrowed bikes and new cross kit they enthusiastically took the plunge. Well done lads.

After scouting the 1.6-mile circuit as it wound its way through a two-tiered landscape of berms and basins I decided to set up shop on the high ground. Since I wasn't prepared for slop, I was happy the dry, fast conditions allowed me to move freely over the earthworks looking for the right angles. Over the next six-and-a-half hours I'd shoot more than 2000 raw frames.

It's difficult to sum up the atmosphere. Supporters shouted encouragement at every turn when they weren't jangling their cowbells. For lunch I enjoyed a delicious poke of Fries from a family-operated stand offering a race special – cowbell and chips for $20. The massive fields bantered with each other and the spectators. They raced hard and clean; complimented each other on smooth turns and recoveries; and heaped good-natured abuse when someone they knew screwed up.

Many of the Oregon Manifest builders were representing; racing their own bikes even after two long days of standing and talking. I saw Max of 333Fab pronounced Triple Three Fab, Sean from Vertigo, Chris King's Chris DiStefano and Vanilla's Sacha White on course. Max, Chris and Sacha had ridden Rapha's boisterous Roller Cross the night before too.Chris King himself was manning the CK race tent first thing and he'd been a quiet supportive, presence throughout the weekend celebration. Cool.

Enough talk then. I've broken the photography into two galleries. My picks, a small gallery of the images that tell the story of the day and the BIG BIN (an enormous catalog of everything else). If you raced you're likely to find your image in the BIG BIN, if you've got the patience to look.

Best of Cross Crusade 2008 Gallery

The BIG BIN Gallery - all 97 pages

7 Responses to Portland Cross Crusade invades Wilsonville

  1. Great photos! Your arm must have been tired holding up that Cannon for that long. Glad to see that you had a blast while spectating, shooting, and enjoying the debauchery. Are you coming out to Rainier? It’s looking like another weekend of sun, which makes for some great photos. There’s nothing quite like natural light.

    You took an amazing amount of amazing photos. Props to you for a job well done!

  2. Jose,

    Wish I was coming up. Lots of catching up to do with the pipeline of posts for the blog and more importantly some fences to mend around the house. I’m been pushing my luck, this weekend I’m going to get out for a ride with my wife. Maybe we’ll mount and dismount our bikes a few extra times as a show of solidarity. Go Portland.

  3. merlin says:

    Nice work on the photo’s and the amount is truly astounding. Wow! Seriously, WOW! It was nice to race in the dry but I am looking forward to the slop that is surely coming.

  4. I’ll blame the 9fps for the sheer number of images. Next time I’d concentrate more on the entire race experience (families, the pit, spectators etc). I’ve a ways to go to catch up to pdxcross… beautiful stuff.

  5. Scott says:

    Coming from Australia, which does not host cross races at all, I love your photos. Just feel like I am there experiencing the day, the race and the experience. Awesome.

    Thanks, Scott

  6. Jake Rosenfeld says:

    WOW! thanks for posting all those wonderful shots, it’s like I got to go racing again at 6am thursday morning before I had go to work. If you make it back up, say for the SSCXWC be sure you stop by the fry stand for a complimentary set of cowbell and fries ! cheers, Jake

  7. Fries and Cowbell. That might just do it Jake. The fries were awesome and really hit the spot. On a cold wet cross day the line must be as long as the race course.

    ::M