Twas a brisk Saturday eve in October whence the Dark Knight came again.

What began with an ominous combination of dense clouds, cutting rain and stiff winds mellowed as the day progressed – and though the temperature never seemed to rise, it ended up being a beautiful night for a race.

The Dark Knight is quickly becoming an institution on Albertan’s cyclocross calendars and it’s easy to see why. The only race of it’s kind in these parts, the Dark Knight is a killer cyclocross race that kicks off at twilight and winds itself well into the darkness. Though warm clothing is recommended, the weather is generally kind. Combined with the hot drinks and food, you’re in for a great night.

I had arrived on scene early to sign in and get a feel for the course. After pre-riding the two things became immediately apparent:

  1. This course was solidly technical and fun – It had just about everything… Banked corners, off-camber grassy sections, a backside pump track, punishing climbs, sand, the pre-requisite in-field logs, but most importantly it had flow. Once your heart rate dropped out of the red, the course was really, really enjoyable and the laps just seemed to stream together.
  2. It had been a long time since I had raced my bicycle.

After crashing twice, overcoming a jammed chain, choosing some horrendous lines, cutting a girl off (sorry!), attempting to battle back (twice) and watching the sun set in the C group, I settled in for the real show… And the B and A groups did not disappoint. Between the costumes throughout both groups, the sheer horsepower in the legs of the A-group and the hilarious crowd heckling, it was a stellar way to spend a Saturday night.

Like spring break in Cancun, the crowd just got more and more into the racing as the night went on. There may have even been appearances by the spandex clad Niklaus Group panda and a crazy cowbell-toting Schriner monkey…

As always the Dark Knight is a night to remember and you could tell that a lot of fun was had by racers and spectators alike. Kudos to Bow Cycle and Cyclemeisters for another bang up job – and as always a huge shout out to all the volunteers that helped make this happen :-)

If you were to schedule only one race on your cyclocross calendar, this should be it.

There were a lot of spectators and photogs out there shooting, I’ve pulled together some of the shots I’ve found. Thanks to Tara Walmsley and Skot Dub for the photos in the post.

You may, or may not be able to see these since some are on Facebook

Masa Higuchi
Andrew Barron
Skot Dub
Tara Warmsley

And as usual, Bill Quinney managed to get a good shot of just about everybody out there: