2014 Cascade Cross #1 Bellingham BMX #1 Race Report

Last year when I raced at the Bellingham BMX venue it was a fairly miserable experience. The saturated ground created a particular kind of mud that loves to eat derailleurs. Fortunately I made it through that day without major mechanicals, but there were many who were not so lucky.

It left an impression on me.

I’m committed to supporting and racing the local Cascade Cross Series so it was with a little bit of trepidation that I signed up for the first race of the series that was going to be held at the same venue. The upshot is that it had been really dry in the weeks (months?) before the race.

There had been a little rain the week before the race date (October 4th) which actually made the course conditions ideal. I went out the night before to help the crew set up course tape and got my first look at the stair run up. The intention was to have them in the flavor of “Belgian” type stairs and I think it worked out pretty well.

The "Bellingham" Belgian Stairs
The “Bellingham” Belgian Stairs

Ryan Rickerts, the Cascade Cross promoter/builder/course designer, also had some sand trucked it so we could have a proper sand section this year.

The course additions plus the “seasoning” between last year and this one definitely made for some improvement.

Race day stayed dry and relatively warm, making for a pretty fast course. I started out hanging with the group (Master Men B 40+), but as the race went on I started drifting further back. I like having the opportunity for more race time but I’m going to have to improve my engine and bike handling to make the most of it.

Staci May of Earl's Bike Shop running the sand section.
Staci May of Earl’s Bike Shop running the sand section.

Overall it was a good time and Ryan had many requests to have another race there this season. He moved some venues around on the calendar and made it happen.

That second race was a totally different experience after it had been moistened from some steady rains in the days leading up to the race. That will be coming up in another report.