Zombies race in cyclocross championships

So many sports events neglect the walking dead - the cycling dead too. Leave it to the Contagious Mountain Bike Club to right this grave injustice. (Pardon the expression.

So many sports events neglect the walking dead – the cycling dead too. Leave it to the Contagious Mountain Bike Club to right this grave injustice. (Pardon the expression.)

Undead cyclists were on the hunt for both good riding and brains at Dawn of the Tread, a zombie-themed cyclocross race in Riverdale on Saturday. Thirty-two cyclists, most of whom were in zombie get-ups, participated in the event, which was the club’s season closer.

“This was the first I know of (in the Yukon),” said president Sierra van der Meer of the cyclocross. “We did it because (Skagway’s) Sockeye Cycle contacted us and asked if we wanted to do a weekend-and-weekend series. So they had one last weekend and we agreed to have one this weekend.”

As van der Meer pointed out before the race, the event would double as the Zombie Cyclocross World Championships, if such a thing existed.

Whitehorse’s Jonah Clark was the top male finisher. He completed 13 laps of the 1.65-kilometre course, made up of trails, paved sections and obstacles.

“It was fun; it was a good time,” said Clark. “It’s fun to race around the loop and jump over stuff.

“This was a good way to end (the season) off, for sure.”

Clark stood out for being fast and out of costume, arriving just before the start of the race and not having time to do makeup.

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“It was motivating,” said Clark. “I was like a live person running away from zombies.”

The top female rider was Whitehorse’s Crystal Adams, completing three laps in the race’s 50-minute time limit. Adams, who is a new member of the Yukon Roller Girls, is also new to competitive cycling, zombie-themed or otherwise.

“This is my first time competing and first time, apparently, winning in a zombie bicycle themed event,” said Adams. “It was phenomenal. (It was) fun, challenging – especially on a three-speed road bike – but totally worth it.

“I guess my closing statement would be: Brains!”

Both cyclocross and zombie themes are new to the Contagious Mountain Bike Club, but this past season contained many of the club’s mainstays, including the 24 Hours of Light Mountain Bike Festival, the King of the Canyon, and weekly “toonie races.”

“I think we’re starting to find our groove and finding out what kind of events people like, and we’re adjusting our schedule accordingly,” said van der Meer. “Right now we’re planning a similar season next year. But we’re always open to anyone who has new ideas – come join the board, come put on events, and we’ll help.”

Clark had another productive season on his mountain bike. He won his second consecutive Yukon Mountain Bike Championships title in the King of the Canyon race on Aug. 19. So now he’s king of the canyon and king of the zombies.

Clark was the Yukon’s top finisher at the B.C. Bike Race in July. He came 14th out of 119 riders in the Epic division of the seven-day, seven-stage mountain bike race in southern B.C.

Clark has twice won the solo division in the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay and also won the 2007 Tour de Whitehorse.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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