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!

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