17 November 2009

"Two [hundred] men enter, one man leave [the winner]."

In case you are a bit rusty on your 80's post-apocalyptic action movies, that was from "Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome", sort of.

Actually it was the theme to this year's Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) held at the Portland International Raceway on November 7th and 8th. Hundreds turned out for the event, both to compete and spectate, many dressed as citizens of the savage city of Bartertown. The costumes and rowdy fans are the norm at Cyclocross, but this time Yakima Inc. took it to the next level and made...the Thunderdome. This 1300-square-foot lattice structure became the center of attention, standing over 20 feet high. It was the Cyclocross version of the fabled arena of death, but in this case, death is the place where people heckle you as you bike through. Folks climbed all over the giant dome to watch the mayhem as riders were pelted with marshmellows by people suspended from the top of the dome.

Of all who braved the course, only two emerged triumphant. Kari Studley of Seattle took the women's division and, for the second year in a row, Drew MacKenzie of Canada won the men's. They received the coveted "golden speedo" or "golden bikini" for the women (so as not to excite the already riled and savage crowd). Studley's win moves the 2010 SSCXWC to Seattle, ending Portland's three year reign of dominance. Don't lose heart Stumptown, you'll get it back next year with a win in the Emerald City.

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