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After a pandemic year off, a Sellwood merchant's 'Cyclocross' competition returned to Oaks Park

DAVID F. ASHTON - Bikers of all ages, including families, took to the track - for the 2021 Bridge City Cyclocross two-day competition in October at Oaks Park. After the COVID-19 pandemic kept it from being held in 2020, the Bridge City Cyclocross and the Oregon State Cyclocross Championships returned to the south parking lot, and the Willamette River beach area, of Oaks Amusement park Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10.

DAVID F. ASHTON - During the 2021 Bridge City Cyclocross two-day event, as in a steeplechase, riders had to hoist their bikes over obstacles placed in the course.   "'Cyclocross' is a bicycle-riding event – an off-road discipline of cycling that takes place on a closed circuit as a timed event – in which riders complete as many laps of the course as they can within the allotted time," is how the organizer, Erik Tonkin, owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair, described it.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Facing deep sand on the Willamette Rivers bank, these riders in the 2021 Bridge City Cyclocross focused on staying upright, and not so much on the scenery. Unlike velodrome racing, held in an arena for track cycling, cyclocross riders traverse varied terrain, from dirt to grass to pavement – and, even a stretch of the sandy bank of the Willamette River. They have to hoist their bike over a hurdle along the way.

DAVID F. ASHTON - The organizer of the 2021 Bridge City Cyclocross, Sellwoods own Erik Tonkin, talks with participants. "Because 2019 was our last cyclocross, everybody looks happy to be back here; we have 1,000 participants here for the weekend, which makes this a large cycling event," remarked Tonkin. "We have people from all over the Oregon and Washington, a few from California – and we have one participant visiting from Colorado.

DAVID F. ASHTON - The 2021 Bridge City Cyclocross featured various riding events, including this young persons race. "I like seeing everyone enjoying themselves, and enjoying the sport of cycling," Tonkin reflected. "And, it's important because this event showcases the City of Portland, and our Sellwood neighborhood, in particular." }He expects to host it there again next year.


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