Posted by Miles Arbour
The Cross-Washington (XWA) follows the Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Route, heading east from the Pacific Ocean through rainforests, dirt roads, and trails. For 2018, the route was updated with more singletrack, less pavement, and a healthy portion of diverse landscapes. Last year, riders of the grand depart faced hours upon hours of hike-a-bike sections through snow, followed by days of intense rain. In 2017, Adam Hale was the first to reach Idaho with a time of 5 days, 11 hours.
This year marked the second annual grand depart, and has so far greeted riders with fantastic weather the whole way through. Allan Knibbs (below-left) just set a new course record of 4 days, 13 hours, and 3 minutes. Following closely behind were Val and Josh Kato (below-right), aboard a tandem bike, finishing in 4 days, 14 hours, and 5 minutes. Those watching the battle between Allan and the Kato crew know that they were swapping between leading and following the entire way, but in the end Allan (who finished in third place last year) pulled away toward the end. At the time of publishing, there is still a tight battle between Ian Plagmann and Chat Mccammon with 80 miles yet to go.
According to race organizer and route contributor Troy Hopwood, “All riders are required to dip one body or bike part in the water prior to the start to ensure the full state is crossed. A 15-minute bonus is offered to any rider who jumps into the ocean (nobody has taken me up on that for some reason).”
Josh Kato put together a fun video from the ride which you can watch below.
The ride isn’t over for everyone just yet, and you can follow along below:
Photos provided by Troy Hopwood.