Back in the Day: Cyclocross in 74

As Cyclocross races go off across the States, Europe, and Asia too, it wasn’t that long ago the sport looked like this…


CX in 74

It was 1974 in Portland. The bike in the center was a “Clunker” made from an old beach cruiser with motorcycle handlebars and drivetrain swapped off a road bike, crafted by the likes of Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, and the names you know. Seven years later, in 81, racing in the Portland Metro Cyclo-Cross series cost $2.00 and the prizes were ribbons and bragging rights. While the sport in the US doesn’t draw as big an audience or sponsor money like Europe, it’s come a long way baby from Clunkers in the fields and two buck entry fees.


A $2.00 entry fee for ribbons

The “Rut,” as we call Tim Rutledge, shared the archival photos and dropped the knowledge on us as he always does, going into another season. He’s prouder than ever of the 14 Redlines and our demo Conquest will get ridden after Interbike and CrossVegas next week.

Last night, after Mark V drunk texted me indicating he may have lost an eye riding in a crusty dustbowl from the last position in the starting grid, he updated his status

I can smell dirt in the air I’m exhaling from my lungs and I had to dig the contact out of my right eye. A dry weather Starcrossed CX race is its own flavor of brutal. The dust, churned up by several thousand tires, permeates you in ways mud cannot.

and his race report will follow with photos from Mathowie too, one his vision is restored.

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