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Just when you thought you'd seen it all! Cyclocross is a super specific type of bicycle racing, and Seattle had it's very own event this past weekend (November 19, 2017). Racers participated in the off-road/on-road course, which sometimes included pavement, sometimes grass, and sometimes - mud! (Image: Sy Bean / Seattle Refined) 

Bike racing gets *dirty* at Cyclocross 2017

Around our Seattle Refined offices, video editor Dan Liberator is known as a nice guy, and a team player. But when the weekend rolls around, he takes team player to another level.

Jersey? Check.
Helmet? Check.
Shades? Check

Mild-mannered Dan transforms into a road warrior for a two-wheeled sport that's part bike race, part circus and part obstacle course.

It's called Cyclocross.

"I just really love competition!" he laughs.

Cyclocross is a sport that combines road racing and mountain biking.

"So you have a bike that looks like a road bike - but you run it on a small course," said Dan. "And you run over barriers, you carry it up hills, it's oftentimes muddy and it's very high intensity."

We followed him out to a 1.8 mile loop at Woodland Park Zoo, where grass, pavement and gravel collide with a healthy dose of chaos and costumes....and of course, lots of cowbell.

Dan started out in a fierce pack, but that intensity soon turned downright kooky as they careened toward the first obstacle: the "Slip and Slide".

This is not your typical race - riders actually get off their bikes and glide down the soapy plastic path before hopping back on! And don't even get us started on the heckling. One woman was yelling (and handing out) "OREOS" almost nonstop.

"I've gone through most of the pack of Oreos and two pounds of bacon!" she said. "It's fun and they need energy."

While the event is equal parts goofy and grueling, strenuous and silly - everyone is welcome to be part of the fun.

"It's all inclusive," said racer Chris Soelling. "Young people do it, kids do it, women do it, men do it, old men do it - everyone can do it and can really have fun."

For Dan, Cyclocross is a metaphor for his time off the bike too.

"You know, you have barriers in life - you have barriers in cyclocross," he said. "You have climbs in life that you need to get through - and same thing in cyclocross. You suffer on your bike, you suffer in life and sometimes you feel really good on the bike and sometimes you feel really good in life."

Wise, wise words Dan.