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!