Back in issue #006 of grit.cx, Robert Grunau wrote about a unique cyclocross series happening in in and around the Seattle area.
From the beginning, the pair knew that the series would be unsanctioned, that is, outside the regulations of USA Cycling. “We had the conversation [about running the race as a sanctioned series], but we knew that we really wanted to lower the barrier to entry,” Buchanan told me. Foregoing the need for a license was the best way to do that. “We wanted someone who was seeing the race for the first time be able to race, and it worked. At that first race we had a spontaneous bike racer: A woman and her kid happened across the race and registered her kid on the spot,” Buchanan recalled.
A second requirement for Buchanan and Daab was that the series be customer-focused. They wanted to start the series from the standpoint of racing as a standard business transaction. That is, MFG offers a product (racing) and the customers (racers) pay to have racing delivered to them. MFG employs a staff to run registration and timing, as opposed to asking for volunteers, and every detail of the racing experience is considered, from the racing, to how and where the various vendors and sponsors are placed, all the way down to the music that will be played. “We’re not going to play Led Zepplin and old rock music from the seventies because that’s what we listen to. We’re going to try and keep it youthful,” explained Buchanan.
The series is back for another round this autumn, and the dates are as such:
11 Sept – Lake Sammamish GP – Issaquah, WA
25 Sept – Moor Cross – Redmond, WA
02 Oct – The Katie Blincoe Prestige – Everett, WA
16 Oct – Magnuson Park Cross – Seattle, WA
30 Oct – North 40 CX – Tacoma, WA
13 Nov – Woodland Park GP – Seattle, WA
Additionally, the organizers have announced that Subaru will become the title sponsor for the series, presumably now making it the “Subaru MFG Cyclocross Series” The series, now in its eighth season, offers some great competition for beginner men and women, as well as a “clydesdale” category for those racers weighing in at over 200lbs. Another cool thing about the series is that elite men and women receive equal pay.
More information can be found at www.mfgcyclocross.com.