SSCXWCPDX16: Mud, Pizza and Beers



By embedded journalist Parker “Ham & Pineapple” Bloom


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Portland played host to the 10th iteration of the world’s best party-disguised-as-a-bike-race  last weekend, and a wave of jean vests, flannel & a smattering of Gore-Tex flooded the Pacific Northwest.

Having led the festivities last year, Victoria was well versed in the chaos of this event, and keen to rip it up, stress free, in 2016.


Our crew of BC-based bike riders, miscreants and rabble rousers descended on Portland in a bid to take on the world’s most dedicated & drunk single speeders.

Based in a charming, and far too well-decorated Air B&B in Portland’s NE neighbourhood, our gang spent most of the weekend casing pizza joints, scoping Griswoldian Christmas light displays and getting lost on circuitous rips through the city. We also raced bikes. Kinda.


Friday night’s promised alleycat devolved into a cross-Portland pub crawl, with charming hosts showing off the best dive bars on offer.

After a healthy 4 hours of sleep, the gang more or less mobilized and rolled, some on 2 wheels, some on 4, out to Sauvie Island- the venue for both Saturday & Sunday’s events.


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Waiting for us was a sprawling farm, full of desiccating decorative gourds, peanut-butter mud, and features. The course this year boasted some outrageous road straightaways, shoe-sucking muck, a minor lake & a mud-covered ball pit. The Saturday afternoon qualifiers seeded hungover racers into either the 150 person-strong main race, or the 350-deep consolation event. “Feats of Strength” were performed to dubiously sort racers based on pedaling speed over a hot lap, holeshot or dual slalom competition. While most of the Pizza Boys qualified, some relied on back room dealing to obtain a coveted qualifier wristband, truly engaging in the spirit of the event.

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Saturday night’s pre-race party set us up nicely for a nauseous ride to the race course on Sunday, where a day of tramping through cow shit & slinging back Rainier awaited. We made sure to casually stalk Sven Nys on his course recon, and smack-talk all of the really nice SSCX’ers that traveled from the far reaches of North America for the event.

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As far as the race itself? Equal parts alleycat & depraved group ride, our gang threw down on both a hyper serious and hyper casual scale. Parker managed to gut himself chasing some speedy pros around the case, while still getting in some high-priced hand ups. Terry spent the afternoon riding features only otherwise cleaned by Sven, while CURBWIZARD boosted jumps like a boss. Clay, Meat & Aidan shredded around, showing Californians how to ride mud, and heckle from inside the tape. Basically we won the whole event, and should allllll have gotten tattoos.