The 2006 Mt. Tabor series began with an exciting start as the fixed gear field kicked the competition off. The Mt. Tabor race series is a Portland institution that goes back over 50 years. It is one of the best and most popular weekly series in the state. It consists of a 1.3 mile technical, hilly, rollercoaster like loop around the upper reservoir of Mt. Tabor Park in SE Portland.
I left work at 5:15 and rode the 5 miles from downtown Portland to Mt Tabor arriving at around 5:45 (traffic). The ride there makes a good warmup for the race as most of the way there is uphill.
The course starts & finishes on a straight away that is mid way up the uphill portion of the course.
With a bang the fixed gear riders were off. A contingent of about 5-6 riders (including myself) sprinted off the front to get the first climb out of the way before hitting the long downhill with speeds of about 34MPH (really fast on a fixie). At the bottom of the hill the course takes a sharp right hand turn and the riders are 'treated' to about a 1/4 mile straight away that cruises between 2 of the reservoirs before starting the climb back up to the completion of the first lap. At this point I was hanging on to the lead group at about 6th place. The front 2 riders did a breakway and were not seen from again. The next 3 riders followed suite. I tried to hang on and bridge the gap as much as I could. I managed to close the gap in the 3rd lap. Unfortunately my 42 x 17 gearing wasn't enough to keep up on the downhill and straight away and I could not maintain my speed. I ended the 4th & final lap in the 6th place I had maintained the whole race. Not as spectacular as the 2nd and 3rd place finishes last season, however I'm not particularly upset as the field was larger and alot more competitive.