"When the racers are competing, they stay on their bikes, right?" I asked.
"Yeah...well, mostly. Except for when they're carrying them," she said.
That was my introduction to Cyclocross, the edgy, intense-yet-approachably-quirky side of USA Cycling's family of competitions. Next week, the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Sunday, Dec. 15 at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, and it's an event worth breaking out the mittens to see.
What is Cyclocross, Anyway?
Tell Me About the National Championship
The event week will showcase vendors from across the country, two beer gardens, three food trucks, two coffee vendors, and the opportunity to watch daily podium presentations. Tuesday through Sunday the main beer garden will be open near the sand pit. A satellite beer garden will be operated at Descent One / Run-Up Two on Saturday and Sunday.
The Fort Steilacoom Park course opens daily at 8 a.m. for the competition, with racing and awards concluding 4-4:30 p.m. (check schedule online; all times Pacific Daylight). Wristband admission is $20 per person including tax, which is good for the entire event week. Free vehicle parking will be available (see below).