Saturday, September 19, 2009

Starcrossed in Redmond

Big time cyclocross racing hit Redmond tonight with the annual Starcrossed event, now in its 8th year. Son Ian and I have attended for the past 3 or 4 years - I think. At this point, it's all a blur - like life itself.

Starcrossed is great spectator event with the course winding around Marymoor Park, including the velodrome. Add in a beer garden, food, music and official race announcers - and you have yourself a little scene. A bigger crowd then the usual bike race anyway. We're not talking NASCAR here, but a slightly larger collection of sub-culture bike freaks usually found at a 'cross race.

If you're looking for a blow-by-blow race report, you've come to the wrong place - try Velonews a few doors down. I do know some dude from Switzerland won the men's elite race, and Alison Dunlap (of mountain bike fame) came in 2nd or 3rd in the women's elite race. I know, I know - try not choke down all the details at once.

What I can offer are some lame photos with actual comments.....

We arrived at the "tail end" of the CAT3 race - just in time to spot this guy racing in a homemade robot costume. As spectacular the aluminum foil covered shorts and cape are, wish I grabbed a front shot instead - to fully capture the foil covered, cardboard box head. It was a work of art. How you can breathe and/or see with a box on your head, during a 'cross race - that is the true work of art.

Nothing says "pro photography" like getting porta-potties in the shot.

Unidentified racer glances at NOS banner and considers a frame mounted nitrous oxide bottle for the next 'cross race.

Just follow the tape. It's so easy, a cave man could do it.

The finish line, complete with Starcrossed banner to remind you what race you're in. Some of these guys sprint so fast for the line - if they continued straight into the velodrome banking as a ramp - could probably clear 13 buses, just like Evel Knievel.

It's like a freight train of pain. Hey, the race announcers could have used that line.

The beer garden - strangely the most popular area of the course.

Blurry racers chew up the course. My little Canon camera is useless for action photography, especially in low light. One day Santa or the Easter Bunny will bring me a digital SLR. Maybe some photography skills will be included in the box, right next to the warranty card and wrist strap. Oh, I hope so.

Ian practices his podium salute. Who knows, maybe in a few years I'll capture this for real - with my shiny new digital SLR camera.

I have no idea why I included this shot. Besides people milling about, there's nothing going on. Please ignore.

Barrier section next to beer garden. It's amazing how fast and smooth these racers dismount, run, and jump back on. Very impressive. Even the plastered people in beer garden think so.

It poured for most of the men's elite race. Super wet, super slippery, super sketchy - like 'cross is supposed to be.

Well, there you go - another highly detailed race report, filled with insightful interviews, insider information, and award winning photography.

Tune in again next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.


  1. I raced cross back in 98-99 and it was nothing like that.Looks like fun! But I live in the heart of NASCAR...glad cross is in a park so you don't get run over! We have a few cross races coming up here in OCT. I hope to race one, if not go and watch.

  2. Starcross is one of the bigger events here in the Northwest. Even so, the Pacific Northwest is hot spot for 'cross - lots of events in the Seattle and Portland areas. A few different race series that overlap each other, with plenty of people involved. It's a cool scene.

    I watched a few 'cross races over the years, but never entered one until last weekend. Check out my earlier post for goofy details. I plan to enter another soon. I'm still debating on using my old Ibis 'cross bike (set up as commuter bike) or my mountain bike. I think with some 1.5" tires, I'd be faster on my mountain bike. Maybe not.

    In any case, "faster" is a relative term - it's all for fun and officially fast I am not.

  3. I raced my Bonty back in the day.It was still underground here during that time. Maybe 20-30 people. I had good luck with WTB All Terrainasaurus 1.95 and if you can find Bontrager Connection 1.6 in 26"