Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oregon State Cyclocross Championship

Cross Crusade #6
Oregon State Cyclo-cross Championship
November 12, 2006
Estacada Timber Park

Short & Sweet - This race was an important race for a variety of reasons:
1) Series Finale
2) Double Points
3) Oregon State Championship
4) I was going into the race @ 3rd place in the series (based on points)

I pre-rode the course, warmed up on my wind trainer and was ready. The start of the race was on a wide hard packed dirt trail. I was called up again so I got to start on the front of the line. At the gun I took off as fast as I could as we hit the mud & grass and slippery corners. Through out the first lap I lead most of it and came through at the end of the first & second laps at the lead. I started to fade a bit by the third lap but managed to hang on and again traded between 1st & 2nd on the final 2 laps.

I finished up in second place, stood on the podium, and got myself a medal.

better yet, with the double points I received for placing high, I believe I won the series... I'll find out for sure this weekend at the awards ceremony/party. Regardless, my wife & kids stepped up and baked me a cake!

what's up with my hair?

Guess I'll be racing A next year.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Barton Park

Cross Crusade #5
Barton Park
Clackamas, Oregon
November 5th, 2006

Remember, Remember the 5th of November (V For Vendetta)

Barton Park (actually a Clackamas County gravel quarry) welcomed the 5th Cross Crusade race in the Cross Crusade Series (this coming weekend is the 6th & Final in the series). After 3 days of HEAVY rain, Barton Park was an absolute mess (perfect 'cross weather).

This was an interesting race as it was the first race of the series that had callups (basically they call the top 10 racers in the series and put them out in front) I was called up in the 4th position, so at least going into the season I was in 4th place)

Start of the race - that's me, 4th from the lead

So, that at least started me in a good position, unfortunately, I pulled a total rookie and couldn't get my foot clipped in (a problem that plagued me through out the race). When I finally clipped in, I was down in about 12th place. I quickly sprinted as close to the front as I could and entering the tricky bits I was in around 5th place. Through out the first two laps I managed to move up to about 3rd place and was hoping to move up further - Unfortunately after a runup, I (once again) had problems clipping in. As I struggled I took a wide corner and hit a hub deep puddle of mud, went over the bars and managed to jam a ton of soupy mud/dirt into my right side STI shifter. After frantically picking out mud (to disengage my rear brake) I was back in the race - now holding about 5th place. Unfortunately, the dirt in my STI prevented me from shifting out of the low gear I had been in, so the anytime there was a long straightaway, I was spinning like mad to keep up.

I held on as much as possible and finished the race in 7th place. Not bad all things considered.

btw: All of you out there that have kids, my wonderful wife Megan is an RD - Check out her new website: www.dietakids.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Cross Festival at the Flying M Ranch

Flying M Ranch
Sunday, October 29 2006
Yamhill Oregon

Coffins, Kegs & Costumes, Oh My!
Sunday, the Cross Crusade Series continued its march toward mayhem with it's annual 'cross race & Halloween festival out at the Flying M Ranch in Yamhill. This is the most fun race to spectate and participate in of the year. So much, that I felt I couldn't miss it even after the "incident". The beer handups flowed (I didn't partake, but probably should have to ease the pain) and the goofy costumes showed that Portland’s ‘cross scene is really all about having fun.

Check out the bike...

After last weeks win at Hornings I felt that I had something to prove, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to race even though I wasn't yet healed (see the write up of "incident" that occurred on Wednesday), plus, this event is just so much fun racing against Bees, skeletons, Batman, naked guy, etc. So with a newly purchased helmet, a bunch of ibuprofen and a costume, I headed out to Flying M to partake in the festivities!

The start of the Bs

I warmed up on my wind trainer for awhile (Once again I neglected to preride) before the race then headed to the start area. The race had been pushed back by 30 minutes, but that didn't start the Bs from lining up anyhow, so there I was faced with the decision to quit warming up or line up. I wisely chose to line up and got a first line spot (which as the time progressed got more and more squeezed). Finally, the race started and I took off - as much like a rocket as a shirtless injured man on a cool October day can. I was in the lead group of about 5 guys as we powered through the first lap of the 1.4 mile course which included such features as a coffin to jump, the 6 pack barriers, tight loamy single track switch backs, a really long gravel road climb and two brutal bumpy downhills. Those downhills did something to me to break my spirit. My damaged body started dreading them with each subsequent lap… My right wrist (taped up) and shoulder (3 ibuprofens & 1/2 a vicadin) screamed at me with each and every bump.

By the third lap I was uncomfortable, by the 6th lap I was barely surviving. After crossing the finish line at the completion of the 6th lap, I heard final lap which seemed to give me a bit more energy ("I'm almost done"). And I rode the last lap as fast as I possibly could. I finished in 14th place - Not overly spectacular considering the previoius weeks finish, but I'll take it.

All in all a fun experience - but man, it was hard! 1.4 mile course which included such features as a coffin to jump, the 6 pack barriers, tight loamy single track switch backs, a really long gravel road climb and two brutal bumpy downhills.

The end of the race

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Well, it happened... I avoided the chaos and crashes at Hornings Hideout (including the guy that got lifeflighted..) only to crash hard on a training ride this morning.

I was riding at Mt Tabor with my training buddy Tim on a pre work 'cross specific workout. We were finishing up our 3rd and final circuit so I decided to really push it. I think I must have been stand/sprinting, cause the next thing I knew, I was on the ground watching my bike sail over my head and down a shallow ravine. I sat up, felt immediate and intense pain in my shoulder and thought "Oh Shit, I pulled a Jonathon Page"(one of the U.S. ofAs top cross racers that is currently out for the rest of the season after crashing and seperating his shoulder).

A walk/stumble out of the park and to the road (with multiple stops for the prevention of fainting) and with Tim lending me a hand. I tried to call to my wife, failed (fyi - if you are going to carry a cellphone, make sure it is charged!), borrowed Tim's phone, called Megan and asked her to pick me up on her way to work... She was conveniently scheduled to work at Portland Providence at 9:00AM...

Long story short, she picked me up and dropped me off at the ER. I got X-rayed and discharged (no permanent damage!) with a script for Vicadin. I got Megan to take me home for a shower and a ride (by car) to work where I spent the afternoon telling everyone that I was ok. It's 10:30 PM and I'm doing ok. We'll see how I feel in the morning (let alone Sunday for the race).

BTW: I just checked out my helmet - 3 deep cracks... I guess it is time for a replacement - stat!
Kids at home, wear your helmet!

BTW: The bike is no worse for wear... A couple of adjustments and it is back to normal.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rockin it at Hornings Hideout

Cross Crusade #3
October 22 2006
Hornings Hideout

After a pretty hard early part of the week training since the last race (Hillsboro Stadium) as well as trying as my hardest to overcome a cold, I took a couple of easy days (Thursday off and Friday as purely a recovery ride). After a good night sleep on Friday I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good. Unfortunately I spent the majority of Saturday afternoon fighting some sort of nasty lower intestinal bug as I am sure my poor family can attest (Thanks Leo…). Anyway, I went to bed Saturday evening hoping that I would feel a few degrees better on Sunday which I fortunately did. I woke up, ate some breakfast, drank some coffee popped some tums, loaded up the Eurovan with the bike and family and headed out to Hornings Hideout.

Pre race

Talk about a cool place. About 35 minutes outside of Portland on some private land (Horning Maybe?) a secret little oasis down in a canyon with cabins, two playgrounds, a stocked trout lake, and of course some sweet trails whipping around the facility and in and out of the woods. I got a half-assed pre-ride on the course but at least was able to check out the major tricky parts of the course - the massive runup, the twisty ribbon of downhill single track and the off camber slippery corner that seemed to create a victim every few minutes. This course was tailor made for someone comfortable on the dirt as there wasn't a stitch of pavement on the entire course!

Knowing my weakness of poor starts and taking a page from the Patrick Wilder playbook, I lined up early and started at the front line. The starting gun went off and I took off at full throttle making it out of the mass of riders early on (75 starters). I was with the front group going over the 6 pack of barriers and I managed to push/elbow my way up to the top 5 guys going into the first double track climb and subsequent downhill. At the massive runup I pushed my way to the front of the pack. At the top of runup the trail turned into a small sliver of single track that whipped down the hill. I was out at the front of the pack and thus was able to avoid what I am sure was a bottleneck. Down the hill, around the corner (and through the cheering crowd, who like a bunch of NASCAR fans were drunk and hoping for a crash (Thankfully, I didn't oblige). The course continued to wind around the facility with the lap completing at the start area. I came in first and won the first lap prime (a bottle of wine)

Leading coming out of the barriers, note guy crashing on my right

Am I taking this seriously?

My 'cross fans

I managed to increase my lead over the rest of the top guys by about 30 seconds going into the second lap. Actually, I was able to stay in front of the pack for the next 5 laps and finished a total of 6 winning my first B race of the season.

At the finish line

Congrats Dad!

Next up is the Halloween Cross festival which is also going to be mountain bike skill friendly. I'm looking forward to it!

As for "the system", the system (Stans Notubes rims and tubeless tires) worked flawlessly - I was able to run the tires at 38 psi and had plenty of traction and stability.

A few members of Team Cyclepath

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Moving on up, to the top, to a deluxe apartment in the sky

Sunday, October 15
Cross Crusade #2
Hillsboro Stadium

Hillsboro Stadium hosted the 2nd cross race in the 'Cross Crusade' Series out in a suburb of Portland - Hillsboro. I woke up on Sunday with the rain coming down pretty good, I was excited about this, because it would be my first cross race of the season with rain and mud. (Coincidentally, the Crusade race at Hillsboro last year was also pouring rain). I actually like the inclement weather as I seem to do better at these events when the weather is really bad. Incidentally, it rained the whole time I warmed up and through out most of the race. As soon as the Bs were done, the sun started peaking through the clouds and the As had a partially sunny race (still equally as sloppy though).

The course consisted of a pavement start, which degraded into a dirt/gravel road which then turned into some really bumpy double track which then turned into some really slippery single track. This continued for awhile with some more gravelly road and long flat paved straight-aways along with prerequisite '6-pack' barriers and runups over logs and a few grass stretches for good measure. The course is really one that is oriented to the roadies in the group (something that I am really not) because of the aforementioned long flat gravel and pavement sections that really favor putting it into the big ring and sprinting. I actually did pretty good during these stretches. Also, the inclement weather provided an 'anti roadie' remedy - the rain turned the off-camber mud sections to the most slippery snot like mud you can imagine. I witnessed so many slow and high speed crashes that bikes & bodies became barriers to avoid and overcome as much as the natural and man made ones! I went down once around a corner when my rear tire slid out and tried to pass my front - thankfully, it was slow speed and didn't really make me lose any places (and neither the bike or myself were hurt).

I had a pretty good start this week - not quite on the front line, but pretty close, so when the start bell went off I was able to attack. As I've stated before, no matter how hard I try, I am not a good starter, so a good 20 or so guys were in front of me during the first part of the race. On the first corner someone went down and I narrowly avoided missing him. I stayed with the front pack into the dirt and began to slowly work my way up. Each lap I worked my way of further occasionally losing a place to some rider that came from behind. Thankfully this has a tendency to serve as a huge motivator which got me to 'givr' a bit more, thus moving me further up in the group. I battled one particular guy for a couple of laps- the two of us trading position before finally dropping him in what was probably the 5th lap.

Results: Each lap was just under 2 miles long. We did 6 laps in the 45 minute timeframe - thus just over 11 miles. I finished at 5th place (out of 89 riders). The best cross result this year and if memory serves me, better than my best results from last year. Hopefully race #1 was just a fluke and I'll continue to compete at this level.

Joshua & Dan after the race

Until next week!

At the Pumpkin Patch

So, this post isn't about bike racing, or bikes, or anything bike related other than the fact that the corn maze at the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvies Island would be an epic place for a cross race...

We went to the Pumpkin Patch with the Malkin's on Saturday. Here are some pictures of the cousins enjoying themselves...

Oh, Amazingly enough, there are a few non family members reading this site - The Malkins are my sisters family. They were down for the weekend from Seattle. The two little(r) kids are mine and the two older boys are my sisters. Thus this sequence is really of the cousins having a good time together down.

Back row: Jennifer (sis), Harold (brother-in law), Megan (wife) Next row: Kendall (daughter), Leo (nephew), Max (nephew), Little Simon (son)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Battle at Barlow

October 8th, 2006
Sam Barlow High School
Gresham, Oregon

This past weekend was a break in the Crusade schedule, but a cross race at an old Crusade location----dubbed the 'Battle at Barlow'. It was a really nicely put on race by Veloce Bicycles albeit not quite as large as some of the Cross Crusade races have become.

I started the race out on the wrong foot so to speak. I was at the finish line watching the Master Bs come in and trying to get warmed up. I had assumed that the start line was there and I would just jump into the line whenever they announced the B line up. At about 10 minutes to race start I started getting nervous since I seemed to be the only "B" racer that was around, I finally asked a couple of juniors where the start was and they directed me to a spot way far away...

Anyway, I got to the start/staging area and of course got a horrible start location (no first or second line up for Dan). I tried to wiggle my way in as much as I could (though I always feel like a jerk about doing it). Luckily, the guys at the back are not all that serious so it wasn't that big of a deal to weasel in.

The race started quick as possible. Each lap consisted of a stretch alongside an athletic field, a couple of switch backs, a long paved downhill with a sharp 90 degree turn to an uphill and then some artificial switch backs before the first barrier (Joy - dismounting on pavement at speed is fun, isn't it). From there, we went around another athletic field and dropped down into some actual single track which then led to the biggest challenge of the day... a barrier, bridge run up combo (see pic below). I tried the stairs once and used the dirt trail to the right from there on out.

The organizers let you pick whether to go left or right (wasn't that nice?)

After the run up was some more single track weaving in through the trees, another pair of barriers and the lap was completed. I clocked my first lap at 5.7 minutes, so this was a FAST course. At the end of the 45 minute race (which actually turned out to be around 50 minutes, I had completed 8 laps and 11 miles. (so for those of you with out calculators at home, each lap was 1.37 miles long).

The first 2 or so laps were dryish. The ground was moist and the pavement dry. It started raining on the 2nd lap and got progressively wetter and more slippery as the race progressed. The stretches through the parking lots were the most sketchy.

I finished the race at 12 place - I'm much happier about this finish then my previous weeks finish, granted, the field was smaller (60 or so guys instead of 87). Regardless, I raced smarter, faster and stronger and I can't wait until the next one at Hillsboro Stadium (Oct 15th).

On a side note, this was my first race on my rebuilt race wheels - I'm running Chris King Hubs built on Stan's ZTR 355 29'r rim and Michelin Mud Tires. This is a tubeless NoTubes system and it works great. The rims wheels are actually lighter than my previous build of King hubs, DT RR rims and Hutchinson Clinchers. Gotta love the Stans. I really think this is going to be the wave of the future - All the advantages of tubulars without the cost and maintenance - and you can run whatever tire you want. I'm gonna be converting my mountain bike the first chance I get.

No iPod change this week: Early Man, Audioslave, NIN... However on a side note, if you spend time in front of a computer and you like music - check out Pandora. This free site builds you a personalized radio station based on music that you like - sort of a personal DJ. I wish I could take it on the go.

It's late and I need to sleep!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cross Crusade #1: Alpenrose

Portland Oregon
Alpenrose Dairy
October 1, 2006

Alpenrose Dairy hosted the season opener for the Crosscrusade series. Something like 798 guys and girls faced a sunny and dry palm bruising, dust inhaling, opener to the most attended cyclocross series in the US (and possibly the world). Plenty of spectators, plenty of fun. The course was bumpy (going through a pasture) with lots of run ups, lots of asphalt and some stairs thrown in for good measure. Alpenrose is a unique course as it is one of the few cross courses out there that actually incorporate a velodrome. As usual, the crusaders set up a challenging course.

The start of the "B" race

Feeling the pain
There were 87 guys in the B class. I started 'close' to the front and had a decent start. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to pre-ride, but that is pretty regular for me.


I raced a hard race, completed 6 laps and finished in 21st place. I'm not disappointed in my ride, however I am surprised at how far back I ended up (last year I was consistently placed top 10) I thought I was prepared as I have been training harder than usual. Apparently so had the rest of the B's. We'll see how future races go...

For more on the race, this is a great video interview by Dan Kaufman of "Crank my Chain" of Brad Ross the promoter of the Cross Crusade.


Oh yeah, this week on the Ipod: Early Man

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Worst Training Ride Ever

I have this weekday 'cross training ride that I like to do whereas I ride the cross bike up from downtown Portland up through the hills to Skyline. I then ride North for a mile or so and drop into Forest Park via Firelane three - From there I ride Lief Erickson trail (dirt road) back into town. This 14 -15 mile ride takes me about 50 minutes which makes it a great lunch time ride. On this particular day I had 90 minutes between meetings...

Well this Thursday I met my friend Matt at the base of Lovejoy (the road up to Skyline). He was on his mountain bike as he has not yet been indocternated into all that is 'cross. (Poor Neophyte).

Anyway, all went well until we dropped into Firelane three. This is a pretty fast 2 mile descent that I think drops 800 feet or so. On a mountain bike it is pretty tame however on a rigid skinny tired cross bike it is kind of hair ball.

I hit something pretty hard with my front wheel and it started skipping when I used the brakes... Shortly after the front tire went out. Luckily I was carrying a spare and a pump. I rapidly fixed it and Matt and I were on our way. We got on Lief Erickson and I got my 2nd flat. This time in the rear. With no spare tubes (and Matt riding a mountain bike ) I had no choice but to try to patch it. At this point it was about 12:55 (my meeting was at 1:30), and Matt decided to bail on me due to his own work schedule. I patched the tube, pumped up the tire and immediately it failed. Ugh... I pull out the inner tube, and pull out my other holy inner tube (from the front wheel). It only had a small hole so I patched it with my remaining tube. I pumped up the tire. Eureka! It held air and I was on my way. At about the 2 mile mark (2 miles from the exit to the park and about 5 miles from my office) the tire failed again. I rode it for a bit and then decided to run it. I called in to the office using my cellphone and said I would be late (it was about 1:25 by this point).

I ran for about 2.5 miles until I reached the Fat Tire Farm (local bike shop) where I begged for a tube in exchanged for my good word and my roadid as collateral. Luckily they took pity on me and let me have the tube. I fixed the tire and made it back to the office by 1:55 (the call had been rescheduled for 2:00). I downed some water and called into the conference number to talk about my Treatment Cost Estimator product line with a client.

I returned to FTF on my way home that evening and paid for the tube (and bought another one).

3 flats, 1 ruined rim (my nice Chris King wheels) and a 2.5 mile run in bike shoes carrying my bike... Matt emailed me later to tell me he made it back to his downtown office by 1:20...


My Kelly featured on Plus One lap

Check it out - my Kelly is on the handbuilt gallery @ the popular cyclocross blog: plusonelap.blogspot.com


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Spy photos - new Twin Six duds

Ryan shared with me the new Twin Six Jersey line up (still waiting to see the t-shirts...hint, hint guys). Anyway, they look great. I especially like the updated "Speedster" & "The Deluxe" (which I believe takes the place of "The Standard".

The great thing about Twin Six, is that each year they come up with new designs and the previous years designs aren't recreated. Always fresh, always delicious... The only problem with this model is that it forces me to buy unnecessary bike jerseys ;). Hopefully the women's line will also be out soon as well.

The '07 Speedster (or Speedy)

The Deluxe ('07)

Watch for them at your favorite bike retailers, or as Ryan & Brent say "Ride with Pride"

Rock it.

Cross on the Mind part deux

I took the essay 'Cross on the Mind" that I wrote for Twin Six and modified it a bit and then submitted it to cyclocrosselements.com. I think it turned out pretty good. It's fun to get published and wants me to do more of it. I'm actually enjoying writing for the first time in my life. Mom would be proud (Hi Mom).

Here's a direct link to the article.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Riders eye

I don't take a camera on rides very often though I wish I did. Granted, I never have time to take pictures. Anyway, I went riding this past weekend up at Knebal Springs/8-mile/15 mile (Mt Hood Area) with my pal Bryan. It was an absolutely beautiful fall day. Anyway, at one point in the ride I took this shot to see/show what 'my perspective' is. Granted, I'm going slow and I'm looking way to close to my wheel and not where I should be looking...

After taking this shot, I turned and took a picture of Bryan coming up the hill.

On another subject, I thought that I would start posting music to ride your bike to.

This week in the Ipod:
I picked up the new Audioslave album: "Revelations". It's not bad, still not Soundgarden, but alas, you take what you get.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Running Commentary

This is a very, very funny article on 'running' for cyclocross... This is exactly how I feel as I do my requisite 1 day a week running regimen... So painful and unfullfilling. Check it out:

Cyclocross News

Rider Opinion Of The Month (ROOTM)

Brent & Ryan of Twin Six asked me to do this month's ROOTM, I happily obliged and wrote up a little essay on 'cross. Here is a link.

TWIN SIX: Alternative Cycling Apparel

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

www.usacycling.org -- New cyclo-cross categories

So, it looks like USA cycling has decided to reform their cross categories from the traditional A, B & C... This is going to wreak havoc on those of us that race cross as our primary discipline (or those of us that race fixed road (no cat), single speed mountain (again no cat), and geared cross... What's a boy to do?

The new breakdown looks something like this:
Cat 1 CX = Cat 1 road and pro MTB
Cat 2 CX = Cat 2 road and semi-pro MTB
Cat 3 CX = Cat 3 road and expert MTB
Cat 4 CX = Cat 4 or 5 road, and beginner or sport MTB

Which would put me as either a Cat 3 or 4... (I used to race expert mountain, but never made it past cat 4 on the road and now race the 'freak' categories.

More info: attached -

http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=2221: "change was made to acknowledge the tremendous growth and specialization in cyclo-cross, and the fact that road categories are often not indicative of CX ability. Given this possible discrepancy, if you feel that your USCF road or NORBA XC category did not translate "

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cross Crusade Schedule Posted

Yippee - Only 6 weeks till 'cross!
Time to whip out the knobbies & add running into my training routine!

The cross crusade schedule has been published:

October 1
Crusade Series Race 1
Alpenrose Dairy

October 15
Crusade Series Race 2
Hillsboro Stadium

October 22
Crusade Series Race 3
Horning's Hideout

October 29
Crusade Series Race 4
Flying M Ranch

November 5
Crusade Series Race 5
Barton Park

November 12
Crusade Series Race 6
Estacada Timber Park

November 19
USGP Finale at Hillsboro StadiumRacing for all but not a Cross Crusade Series Race
Hillsboro Stadium

November 19
USGP & Cross Crusade Awards Party

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Portland Short Track #4

Portland International Raceway (PIR)
Motocross coursePortland, OR
July 31, 2006


I didn't realize I was a jumper, but apparently I think I am based on this picture and this one.

I raced the 4th race in the Portland Short Track Series on Monday night. Due do vacation plans, this will be my final race in the series so this report will also act as a summary 'thus far'.

As usual, the Single Speed race started at 6:30. Again the course was modified. Again I had a relatively slow start and played 'catch up' for the rest of the race. Fortunately, I was pretty fast, unfortunately I got off track (how do you 'get off track' in a short track race???) and had to back track back into the switch backs and thus lost a few places.

End result, I took 9th place - pretty much the same place as the past 3 0f 4 weeks (last week I didn't finish due to a mechanical). I'm actually pretty excited about the top 10 finishes.

I'll be on vacation next Monday for the 5th race and the 6th race (series final), so my short track season is over. All in all it was a fun series. It was fun to be doing a mountain bike race after so many years and it was fun to race Single Speed - actually, I think for this particular series, gears would have been a disadvantage. I can almost guarantee that I'll do the series again next year, if for the only reason that it was a great primer for 'cross!

Series summary:
#1 - 9th
#2 - 8th
#3 - DNF
#4 - 9th

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mechanicals Suck

I was tired, sore, it was around 97 degrees and I was cranky. BUT

I raced a great fast race and was in 5th place and gaining until my chain fell off midway through the race. I put it back on, and it fell off again. I gave up after my 3rd attempt. My second DNF ever. Both related to mechanicals. I've always prided myself in finishing races and now I have another 'Did Not Finish". Pisses me off and bums me out at the same time.

On a side note, they had sprinklers going on the course today so i ended up looking like I had done a cross race. It was funny that I actually had to hose off & scrub my bike on a 97 degree evening.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Day by day

Rode to work, road to PIR, raced, rode home

Rode to work, did Fairmont loop at lunch, rode home
Landis in the Yellow

Rode to work, "rest day" (went to the gym), rode home
Landis total cracks...

Rode to work, did the lawyer ride at lunch and inspired by Landis pushed myself up both climbs. I was 2nd up 53rd/Thompson & 2nd up Greenleaf (to two different guys), rode home

Road to work via Mt Tabor, did a few laps and road in for morning meetings.

Landis back in Yellow!
Rode mtn bikes in Scappoose with Megan

Landis takes the Tour. The third American to ever win it.
Rode mtn bike (solo) out at Gales Creek
btw: it was like 101 degrees today...

I'm tired and sore. I wonder how the race will go tomorrow... Ugh.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Portland Mountain Bike Short Track Series #2

Portland International Raceway (PIR) / Motocross course
Portland, OR

July 17, 2006

pre race jitters

Monday night's Portland Short Track single speed race again started under sunny summer evening skies at 6:30. Unbeknownst to me, the course promotor mixes up the course each week so it had a totally different layout than what I expected. (Note to self: Get to venue early enough to preride at least one time...) This week's course consisted of more single track weaving in and out of a grove of trees and less on the moto cross course. I'm fine with the change, however I wished there were more places to pass in the trees as I was often bogged down by inexperienced riders slowly weaving between the tight trees. Most were good about letting you pass, however as you were waiting to do so you watched the race leaders increase their lead.

Coming around the corner onto the moto track

For whatever reason (most likely field size & logistics), the Single Speeders race at the same time as the sport women (vs the sport or expert men). Being that the bulk of the SS riders lapped most of the women's field 2x this resulted in repetitive problems in passing. You could basically win or lose the race based upon whether or not you got in front of a field of slower racers and your competitors did not.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun night. I did 9 laps & placed 8th (one place better than last week), so at least I am consistent. I know now that my strategy has got to be to get out in front of the group at the start of the race vs. my current 'strategy' of starting slow, picking up speed and spending the race picking off slower riders during the course of the race. I'm one of those racers that take a few laps to get up to 'race speed', and unfortunately, with just 30 minutes of racing you need to be firing on all cylinders from the get go. All in all, I think that Short Track is going to be a great primer for cross this year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Portland Mountain Bike Short Track Series #1

Monday July 10th, 2006
Portland International Raceway(PIR)
Motocross course

Personalized number plates. Nice Touch Portland Racing!

Mountain Bike Short Track: A mountain bike race similar to a criterium where riders do multiple laps on a short 3-5 min course.

PIR hosted the 1st in the PDX short track series on Monday night. Straying from the fixed gear road scene, but remaining with only one gear, I raced my first mountain bike race in years, and my first single speed race ever. The race series takes place at Portland International Raceway (PIR) on a track that consisted of the motocross track as well as some single track weaving through the trees in the infield of the racetrack. Coincidentally, the weekly PIR road bike race was happening on the main (paved) raceway at the same time, so there were cyclists & fans everywhere.

Single speeders line up

The single speed races started @ 6:30 under warm summer skies with the 25+ SS riders jockeying for position after the starting gun to get a lead up to the first big set of whoop dee doos.

The race weaved around the track and I tried to get a good position before a steep 'run up' (which was actually totally rideable as long as there was no one slower in your way). Because of poor position on my part and the people jamming onto the runup, I was forced to do a cross style dismount and carry. This happened for the next couple of laps until the crowd of riders were spreadout enough to allow me to ride the hill (which I was able to do the last 4 laps).

Out on the moto track

I slowly picked of riders and had fun doing the course - riding the whoopdees, jumping the berms, riding the log barriers they layout on the course and trying to catch as much air on the big bumps. It was fun and fast. Each lap took about 3 minutes to do and I managed to complete 9 of them in the 30 minute race to finish with the leaders in 9th place.

Airborne! Coming in to the finish gate

I'd obviously love to have had a better result, however I am still pretty thrilled to have gotten a top 10 - especially since it was my first SS race. I'll definately be trying to improve my placing next Monday!

Future Racers

July 10, 2006
Kid's Short Track Racing
Portland International Raceway

Monday evening the organizers of the PDX short track series put on a Kiddie race. Kendall & Simon both decided to try it out and had their first race (and (non)competitive event for that matter). I guess they had seen Daddy race enough times to get the bug. Granted, training wheels & dirt tracks don't work so well, so Daddy & Mommy did some assisting. Both were great sports and had a great time each 'winning' a bag of fruit snacks for their effort.

Lining up at the start

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mt Tabor Race Series - Race #5

July 5, 2006
Mt Tabor Park
Portland, OR

A quick recap of last nights race as the race played out pretty much the same as my previous 2 reports.

The Race started and a few guys took off up the hill for the initial lap. At the top of the hill, we took a hairpin corner to the right and down, down, down, we go - this time reaching speeds of 36MPH+ (again, really, really fast when your legs are spinning as fast as your wheels). The first lap had a prime/preem of a Surly Jethro Tool. I unfortunately missed out on it by a hair, but oh well, I already have one (Ironically, the guy that won the preem/prime (and ultimately the race) does not use track bolts on his bike.

After the first lap, David & Dan (not me) started putting distance on the pack. JV, Jackson & I took the bait and tried to chase them down while leaving the rest of the field in our dust. We got closer, but alas, they were the stronger riders on Wednesday night. With them 'out of the picture' so to speak, the race became a battle for 3rd place (3rd place has a cash payout as well as 1st & 2nd). I'd lead up the hill, Jackson would pull in front of me on the downhill (he's heavier & running a bigger gear), I'd draft behind him and JV would draft behind me. On the straightaway prior to the start of the next climb, I'd pass and start my sprint to the top. This went on for 3 lapsÂ… Unfortunately, JV passed me on the final lap prior to the hill. I took off after him and started to close the distance.Unfortunatelyy, the old afterburners ran out of gas and I was not able to maintain the power up the second half of the hill. JV took 3rd & I cruised in a few bike lengths behind him at 4th place.

It looks like this will be may be my last Tabor race of the series due to family constraints next week (the final one is next Wednesday), so out of the 5 races (so far), I've done 3 with the respectable finishes of 6th place, 2nd place (!) and last nights 4th place.

Mt bike short track racing is up next, so stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My family, the poster children of bike fun...

A friend of ours sent us this link:


We had no idea that this picture was even taken at last year's Bridge Pedal. I wonder if I should ask for free entry into this year's event. Only bummer is that you can't see Simon as he is on the seat behind Megan. You can kind of make out his red helmet behind my arm though...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mt Tabor Series - Race #3

Going into the final lap

It was a beautiful Wednesday evening for racing at Portland's Mt Tabor. The format of the race and description is listed in my previous post (Fixed Gear, 4 laps, up and down the mountain). To spice my post up a bit, I wrote a little Haiku to try to describe what the race was all about...

Race Tabor Fixed

Mash up, spin down, can't shift
or breathe

The race itself went great. I tried out a new gear combination (42 x15 vs. 42 x17 from 2 weeks ago). I was a bit nervous about the bigger gear, but it paid off. The bigger gear was definately harder on the climbs, but allowed me to sail down the downhills with out nearly as much 'out of control' spinning. At one point I noted my speed on the computer at 36MPH (which is a pretty fast rate on a fixed gear). In addition, I have been working on my form a bit and decended in my drops (I am more comfortable on the hoods). This made me a bit more aero and seemed to give me more control and speed.

Going into the second lap

Anyway, the combo worked. I placed 2nd in the race tonight, a full 4 places better than I did last time. I lead or was in the lead for most of the race on both the climbs and the descents.

The guy that beat me was a fellow that consistently beat me last year (He didn't race 2 weeks ago). Fortunately, he only beat me by about 2 bike lengths. Last year he beat me by half a lap...

Oh - Top 3 fixed finishers win cash (so for second place, I brought home a bit of money!) Always appreciated!

The best part of Racing at Tabor is that the course goes right by a playground:

My kids - Future bike racers