Photo essay: scenes from Durango's wild Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship

Photographer and writer Jennaye Derge dives into the deep-end to experience the SSCXWC in full

The SSCXWVC 2022 in Durango, Colorado
(Image credit: Jennaye Derge)

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) are crazy. They are mayhem and they are anarchy, so when my friend asked me to sign up to race with her, there was a small moment of hesitation followed by an emphatic “yes.” 

The hesitation, I think, was justified because I had no experience cyclocross riding, I didn’t own a single speed bicycle and I’d never really partaken in a race, so, true to SSCXWC form, I dove into the deep-end hoping I’d make it out alive. 

I’m happy to say, after three days of riding around in a costume, consuming much alcohol, and pushing myself harder on a bike than I have in awhile, I am indeed alive; bruised knees, hips, elbows, and a bruised rib bone, but alive nonetheless. 

My Weapon of Choice: a 1980’s racing Peugeot

(Image credit: Jennaye Derge)

I started the weekend riding a bike that I owned but didn’t feel like my own because I’d actually never ridden it. 

A few summers back, I found a great deal on an old 1980’s racing Peugeot that had a broken derailleur, a rusty chain and frayed cables. I fixed the chain and the derailleur, rode it around the block to make sure everything worked, and then I let it sit in my garage until this last week before taking it into the bike shop and having them take off the derailleur, change the chain and turn it into a single speed.