Boulder vs. Portland's single speed category

For awhile I thought single speed racing in Colorado was gaining popularity but last week's results and comparing it to Portland's number makes me wonder what is going on. When comparing participation numbers of the single speed category between Portland's Cross Crusade Series and the Boulder Series the numbers are dramatically different.

Oct 5, 2008, Cross Crusade #1 = 103 finishers!
Sep 26, 2009, Boulder Series #1 = 5 finishers

What are your thoughts?

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i've heard they call their more serious races in the PacNW - "Colorado Cross". Meaning, we all take it all WAY too seriously! I would totally do a single speed race but the guys that do it here would rip the legs off me. I noticed one of the upcoming races is breaking from the ACA format with an 8 mile course, and a "B" ss category. If more had that I bet over time more racers would show.

Why is SS even a catagory?

Why is SS even a catagory? If you want choose to race on a lessor bike so be it, but why have a catagory? What is next do we need catagories for guys only running 1 chain ring? What about guys who run carbon wheels? What about guys running 8 speed versus campy 11 speed? It is just stupid and even more so that only 5 guys enter the race.

As for Portlant the culture is different. Boulder is more of a high end race culture, Portlant is more of alternative culture. Guys out there are more into fixie's and singles (IMO), where as guys here want performance (just like the Performance video you had on your site).

Damn how vain. Boulder is

Damn how vain.

Boulder is more of a high end race culture? I've been to "local" races all over the country including Nor Cal and the "alternative culture" of Portland; and to be honest, the level of racing is not nearly as deep in Boulder as in those "other" places. Less fans to come out and watch too.

My guess is you're one of

My guess is you're one of the off the back 3's that gives up a 1 minute head start and gets dropped by some dude with a 22lb steel bike with one gear- the same bike the guy puts fenders on and rides to work. That would be tough for me to swallow too.

Big spread in SS category

"rip the legs off me" I feel honored since I won Saturday but seriously, when I race in my respectful categories (men's open and 35+ open) I get my ass handed to me. I'd like to say in the SS category it's not about winning but that would be calling the kettle black. SS is serious and SS is casual. I do take is seriously but at the same time if I was really serious I probably would be racing in the men's open.

And as for, do we need a separate category just for 5 guys... no... but hopefully more will see the fun in SS machines and their simplicity and a more casual culture to racing. Are we all just too serious to race for fun sometimes? That is assuming racing a bike with 1 gear can be called "fun"

SS is a good cat to have around

I've noticed an increase in SS popularity out here. Racing 30 seconds after the 3's doesn't inconvenience anyone, because it does not require an entire new 45-minute time slot. While fields are small, I still think more people are becoming interested in this cat. A number of racers I know just bought SS cross bikes this year and race their single speed bikes in their "normal" categories, simply because they can race earlier in the day instead of waiting till 3:45pm. There is no reason for concern and no reason to eliminate the SS category as long as they share a time slot with another race (such as the 3's). Keep SS racing around and it will grow!

...also a lot larger set of

...also a lot larger set of cross racers in Oregon.
Portland Cross - 1200+ Racers. Some 150 person fields!
Boulder Cross - Less then 400 (Largest cross race so far this year in Colorado)

*Looks like cross might be getting smaller in Colorado? Is the fad over? Or do we just need some real cross weather?


I was in Portland a few years ago and decided to go watch a local Cyclocross race. I dont remember exaclty where is was but it was crazy. There were tons of people. We had to park about a mile away. The weather was not great but there were tons of people there just watching. There must have been at least a dozen BBQs going. Imagine the best attended Colorado CX race and thats what this race was like and I think every weekend is like in Portland.

Apples to Oranges??

Portland has roughly 600,000 people living there. Boulder and the surrounding metropolitan areas have roughly 300,000. I don't think it's fair to compare head to head how many participants or fans you get at a cycling event when one city is double in size and has 300,000 more people to pull from.