Off the rails
WHAT: Woolley Cross
WHEN: 9:30am-3pm Sat., Oct. 19
WHERE: Northern State Recreation Area, 25588 Helmick Rd.
WHAT: Chuckanut Chainless
WHEN: 9am Sat., Oct. 19
WHERE: Chuckanut Mt.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
If a flat ride through bucolic farmland is what you think of when you picture taking your bicycle on an autumn excursion, it might be time to stop reading.
On the other hand, if what excites you is challenging trails and bringing a sense of adventure to your weekends, it’s not too late to sign up for a couple of events taking place Sat., Oct. 19 that are designed to get your adrenaline flowing and your conveyance dirty.
For those who’d like to join Cascade Cross for its “Woolley Cross” event at Sedro-Woolley’s Northern State Recreation Area, please be aware that even though you’ll be joining other cyclocross enthusiasts near the grounds of a former mental hospital, you’re not totally crazy for taking part in the event.
“Sweeping views of rugged, forested mountains; quiet, wide open fields and dilapidated barns are the backdrop for some intense racing,” organizers say. “Prepare yourself for slippery gravel paths, boggy switchbacks, a massive Belgian-style run uphill, rewarding downhills and defeating climbs.”
Cyclocross racers need to be able to adapt to the terrain and the weather and ground conditions, but they’ll be doing that with their bikes (hopefully) intact. On the other hand, those who sign up for Intrinsic Flow’s inaugural “Chuckanut Chainless” event taking place that same morning will be doing so without an important piece of their bike’s machinery.
“A chainless race is a mountain bike race where all riders remove the chain from their bikes before starting the run,” event planners say, pointing out that since they won’t be able to pedal, gravity and the judicious use of brakes will keep entrants rolling from the top of Chuckanut Mountain down courses on the Double Black Diamond and Double Down trails. At 1,700 feet of elevation and two-and-a-half miles for the total run, it isn’t for the faint of heart.
That said, the Chuckanut Chainless will be divided up into four categories with options for both men and women. If you’re uncertain about racing at Chuckanut or about racing in general, the “Don’t Know About This” choice will likely be a good one to go with. “Faster Than You, Bro” is next, and whether you’re a guy or a gal, you’re going to want to go quicker than anyone else in your category. “Ludicris Speed” entrants will race on both trail systems at high speeds.
Finally, “Caped Crusader” will see riders don costumes as they hit the trails. They’ll still be scored on the speed of their run, but can earn bonuses based on the quality and novelty of their attire. Much like the race itself, it’s designed for fun, yet will still feature plenty of excitement.
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