Fret not, my eager CXhildren. Cascade Cross is alive and well, and our 2017 race schedule has been laid out masterfully by Kip and the various local cycling teams for your maximum autumn-to-winter sporting pleasure! See the links at right for a rough layout as far as venues and sponsoring teams - nothing too radically different except for a few refreshing switches.
For one, we've got the new Hannegan Speedway venue scheduled for an alternate experience compared to last January at our Season X finale race. It should be fun when it's (mostly) dry in early November, as we can make better use of all the interesting terrain out there! A working partnership with the motorcycle club is great for us -- another private venue where we can do our thing and not upset anyone about their precious (domesticated, abundant, persistent) grass!
November may feel like a long ways off, or even October, but now is the time to starting putting on base miles for another big season ahead! Your eyes will likely drift down the calendar to December where you will see the return of Camp Lutherwood! In case you lost track, we've not been out there since 2014. It will be good to be back on that hilly, challenging course! Look for some possible enhancements to that event that have been on the wishlist for a while - extra trails, overnight camping & festivities... Of course, you can volunteer to help, but the main thing is to keep yourself in shape through the holidays and just show up!
To help you with your commitment to this season, on sale now for Season XI, A New Beginning, are the 2017 Series Passes! You get an entry into all 6 series races for the price of 5 at the pre-reg rate of $30 (only $10 for Junior racers). Make an investment in yourself (motivation, fitness) and to the local ‘cross scene. This seed money helps get Kip off the ground for his first season as Series Director. Funds were raised by Queens of Dirt at the finale party last year in the Kona Bike Shop by feeding & watering people in this same spirit, but your up-front contribution towards the season ahead is what makes this sport possible. We have no major sponsors, which for most grassroots events in unheard of! We rely almost exclusively on registration fees to pay for chip timing, venue fees, insurance, equipment, etc. We have not raised our prices in years. It always was and still is a fantastic deal, especially with no license fees!
Speaking of “other series” and licenses, you may have noticed the lack of Oak Harbor on our schedule. That's because it has drifted across to the new NW CX Cup Series, spearheaded by the crew at MFG. While their main series is still unsanctioned, this collaborative concept across multiple series promoters is a way for PNW riders to build up their USA Cycling points standing in anticipation of Nationals returning to the Left Coast (is the Best Coast) in 2019 and 2020. More on that later, but for now we are happy that the hard working crew down there - (papa) Brad Nelson and the Whidbey Island Bicycle Club - got their just desserts for that excellent venue, which is a grand finale in that series PLUS another run at the WA State Championships! What a send off to cyclocross in 2017 that will be! Until Bandit Cross in January, that is. Maybe it is worth getting your license this year!
Back to the all important local scene... keep your ears & ears peeled for work parties at Bellingham BMX as usual. There's always opportunity for enhancement out there, and we're praying for some moisture in September to help soften the hard clay surface that has established itself there now. We may have the opportunity to drop in some bridges to connect the woods out to the new field section for crossing the creek in any weather. We'd love to have some folks out for digging & riding to get tuned up for the start of our series. That is, if you're not off eating dust in one of the other series that start way too early!
Also, keep your eyes peeled for a brand spanking new website coming soon. We've had a good run with this one during Ryan's tenure, but he promised to build Kip a simpler one, not only for a fresh new look but also for ease of maintenance. We will be dropping the complicated results engine as well. The back-end technology has marched rapidly forward, and we fell behind while we were focused on providing awesome courses, great parties, plus accurate and timely results (with key help from Red Tent). We will continue to focus on those things and worry a little less about the website. You know where to find us!
Enjoy your summer,