Friday, December 21, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
With Cyclocross Nationals happening in Kansas City as I type (I’m obviously not there), I thought it would be a good time to do a recap of my 2007 racing season (look for future post: 2008 goals).
All in all, I think it was a pretty good season (road/fixed, mountain, and cross). I didn’t race as many races as I had planned and my results weren’t overly spectacular, but it was still a good season. First and foremost, I had a bunch of fun, met some great folks, and experienced some new bikes (fixed gear and 29er). I also did by best to represent those that support me in this thing called racing (Big thanks to: Cyclepath, Twin Six & Soma).
Here’s the summary of the races I competed in and the end results. I believe there is a report on each and every one of these races in the archives of this blog.
Dan’s season in review: Sorted reverse chronologically by category:
17 Cross Crusade/OBRA Championship - Hillsboro Mst Men A 11/18/07
17 Cross Crusade - Estacada Mst Men A 11/11/07
22 Cross Crusade - Clatsop County Fairgrounds Mst Men A 10/28/07
18 Cross Crusade - Horning's Hideout Sgl Spd 10/14/07
21 Cross Crusade - Alpenrose Mst Men A 10/07/07
14 Battle at Barlow CCX Mst Men A 09/30/07
Short Track Mountain Bike:
8 Portland MTB Short Track Series Singlespeed 07/30/07
8 Portland MTB Short Track Series Singlespeed 07/16/07
10 Portland MTB Short Track Series Singlespeed 07/09/07
22 Portland MTB Short Track Series Singlespeed 07/02/07
4 Mt Tabor Series Fixed Gear 07/11/07
5 Mt Tabor Series Fixed Gear 06/27/07
4 Mt Tabor Series Fixed Gear 05/30/07
Geared Mountain Bike
2 Falls City Firecracker MTB Sport Men 19-39 05/20/07
The biggest change this year was my move up from Bs to Master As. Definitely a bit of a rude awakening there, but alas it was a learning experience.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Hillsboro Stadium, OR
We asked for rain, We.Got.Rain.
The Portland area finally started getting some rain this week so the ground was fully saturated by race time. I woke up early on Sunday to the patter patter of rain on our roof and new it was going to be a race of epic proportions.
I was VERY cold after the race was over. It took me a good 30 minutes to get out of my muddy clothes, rinse my body off, rinse off my bike (sort of) and get into something warm and dry. Driving home I had the heater on full blast, and my toes and fingers weren't truly warm until I took a hot shower at home.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
November 11, 2008
I had my best race of the season this past weekend, finishing up at 17th place (broke the top 20). The results themselves don't really do my race justice as they weren't much higher than any of my other ones this season, but my style of racing, my overall strength and my in general overall attitude were all better.
The course at Estacada consisted of a couple of grass bowls, single track, pavement, a run up and a set of barriers. The total course was approximately 2.3 miles long and we (The A+ group) hammered out seven laps.
Additionally, this was the inaugural weekend of the SSCXWC (Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship) which also took place out at Estacada. I didn't race, but I did spectate. This was great fun and I recommend that any fan of 'cross, single speeds and or beer come next year (hopefully it will be in PDX again). Here's a great write up over at Cyclocross Magazine.
No one really took the SSCXWC too seriously, but it was loaded with talented riders - pro as well as local heros. The highlight was the reverse call up at the beginning of the race which put all the really fast guys at the back of the 100+ pack. As for the winner, Adam Craig (Giant) was just about to win, when he sat up to take a beer hand-up 20 feet from the finish line. He was probably thinking twice about that mandatory tattoo, since he already got one for winning the Single Speed Mountain Bike World Championship a few months ago in Scotland. Former local hero, and now national superstar Barry Wicks (Kona) came by and put his arms up in victory. His winnings include the afformentioned mandatory tattoo, a golden speedo with rainbow stripes sewn on, and a custom Vanilla single speed frame.
Local fast gal (and 2006 Women's 35-39 national cross champion) Wendy Williams (River City Bikes) won the female SS championship and for her troubles got the tattoo, the speedo and a custom Ahearne single speed frameset.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Unfortunately, I just could not get motivated. I'm not sure what it was. I woke up feeling fine, and then as the morning progressed, my enthusiam sort of waned. The kids seemed especially needy and I felt guilty about leaving Meg with the two of them. It wasn't just that though.
It was a beautiful day though and I had a good time at our park playing with the kids. Next week!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
October 28, 2007
35+ A category
The weather was sunny and mild and lots of people turned out in costume. As usual, the Halloween race feature lots of craziness, wild, silly costumes, and of course beer handups. It also included a lap of silence for Brett Jarolimek at noon. I wasn't sure if I was going to ride it or watch it. I opted to jump onto the tail end to ride it and I'm glad I did. It was a great tribute to the loss of one of 'the tribe'. Bike portland.org has a nice piece on it. Check it out.
The venue was the Clatsop County Fairgrounds in Astoria, OR. Each lap had at least ten 180s, the bulk of which were contained in a section of the course that wound through four side-by-side animal barns. There were a couple of hills, some pavement, some gravel, some soft soil, some grass, lots of turns, and very little mud. The course also weaved through the a big barn a couple of times (It's fun riding through buildings). There was but a single dismount per lap and it was through the six pack barriers up a short incline that dumped onto the finishing pavement.
The start was a bit sketchy. We had 50 yards (maybe) of pavement then a wide 180 lefty on grass and into the barn. I had a good start and was with the top 10 group going in. Unfortunately, that didn't quite last as long as I had hoped... I ended up doing 8 of the 1.5 mile laps, with each lap feeling like I was losing ground. I felt like I was continuously getting passed , but I think I actually was passing and then getting passed by the same guys over and over again. The course didn't really favor my strengths - the numerous 180s mentioned above required one to slow down and speed up repetitively...Basically doing short intervals. It felt like the windsprints we used to do during my wrestling days.
I ended up in 22nd place. I wish I could say that I was placing higher than that, but I'm not. It's just a blow to my ego after placing so high last year - It's a big step up going from one category to the next, and I guess this year is a 'building' year. I'm hoping to crack the top 20 (15 maybe?) before the end of the season, but I've got some serious work to do!
Friday, October 26, 2007
a) opted to do it
b) am bringing my family along.
Actually, we are all heading out on Saturday to spend (what looks to be) a beautiful fall day at the beach. The kids of course are most excited about staying at a hotel with a swimming pool...
This is a great race at a new venue. The costumes are clever, the beer flows (beer handups anyone?), the vibe is happy. I hope that the light hearted atmosphere of the race can help take the weight of this past week off of everyones shoulders.
I love to see the clever costumes - I'm dressing up as a pirate. It's always fun to see the two extremes - those that go all out on a costume and can barely even ride a bike with all their accessories, and those that cleverly create a costume that allows them to still ride (granted, we all wear 'borderline super hero costumes everyday, don't we). I always try to have a happy medium. (Hopefully) clever but not so goofy that I can't still ride ok.
So what are you dressing up as?
PS: There will apparently be a silent lap prior to the single speed race in honor/respect of Brett. I'm really glad that this is happening.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I didn't personally know Brett, nor could I pick him out of a lineup if he wasn't wearing a helmet and racing kit. That being said, this hits close to home. A fellow cyclocross racer, about the same age, doing what he loved, going for a training ride in the city at lunch. I've spoken to a few people that knew him, and he sounds like someone that I would have liked to have known. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. A smile and a sense of humor in any situation. The world is truly a darker place. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
God Speed Brett.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
the light turned green and I caught up with and passed the dude at the next light. As I passed I stated "It's super awesome how you passed me at the red, and I still was able to catch you at the next light...." I admit that it was a smart a$$ comment, but this is a pet peeve of mine. Anyway, the guy started spouting that if he had a road bike and wasn't a pro rider I would not have been able to catch him...
I was riding my fixie and riding full rain gear at the time... How unPRO is that?
What a jerk. I think that although I love the concept of bike commuters, there is a high % of them out there I don't like very much.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Single Speed Category
North Plains, Oregon
October 14, 2007
Do to an active 'social calendar' (two birthdays for two kids starting at 2:30) I wasn't able to race in my regular category (35+ A). Instead I opted to break out the 29er and ride in the single speed category. It was a beautiful fall day - warm and dry. Probably the last one of these this year.
Hornings Hideout is one of my favorite courses (at least it was last year). It was the race last year that really put me in the running for the series and gave me the confidence to really push myself the rest of the crusade. It is not a mountain bike course as some declare it to be, however it definitely suits those of us with mountain bike skills. There is no pavement and all the really fast stretches are on gravel paths and roads. the rest of the course is made up of single track, dirt trails, etc.
The start climbs out of the amphitheater bowl (they do concerts there) and joined the course after a few hundred yards. My nerves had gotten the best of me as I was waiting in the lineup and I pulled a total rookie maneuver at the start by not being able to click in to my pedal. This unfortunately cost me the good starting position going up the hill that I had.
After the initial climb, the first half of the course trended down and traversed a bumpy meadow that was slick with wet grass (it was here that I crashed for thankfully the first and only time), gravel road, buffed trail, and more bumpy meadow. At the far side of the course, the hills began. First up was the “run up,” and immediately following were three short steep terraces. Then began a series of hills interspersed with brief descents through some fairly nice trails. The final bit of climbing went up a gravel road to the top of the course. The last bit went up to the finish line went though a double set of barriers and past the officials/announcers tent.
As I mentioned earlier my first lap was pretty pitiful. I started badly and then slid out on on a corner. Each one of these missteps cost me places and required that I crawl and fight my way back towards the front. I never quite made it, but at least finished on the winners lap (7 laps). My final placing was 17th (though I think I actually placed a couple of places higher based on others I finished with...) out of 78 riders. Not to bad, but not nearly what I had been hoping for (I was really shooting for a top 10).
I've been racing fixed gear & single speed mountain bikes for the last couple of years. Often against the same group of guys (weirdos). This course really handed me my a$$ on a platter where I was really wishing for a few lower gears. Kudos to the guys that race single speed week after week.
On a side note, the following video (about 7 minutes long) is pretty cool. It was shot by racer Scott Barker with a reverse camera mounted on his helmet. It really gives some great perspective on the course (and a cross race in general). Best of all, I get some pretty good face time at the 3:12 time mark. You can see me get passed, fall back, speed up again approach from behind, chase for awhile and then pass. (I'm wearing a black & blue Cyclepath Jersey, black shorts with a blue stripe and a black helmet). Enjoy
Friday, October 12, 2007
For Immediate Release: October 10, 2007
Contact: Candi Murray
Oregon Bicycle Racing Association announces record breaking attendance at cyclocross event.
River City Bicycles Cross Crusade Event Breaks Record
Portland, Oregon- The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) announced today that 1,078 cyclocross racers descended onto Alpenrose Dairy on Sunday, October 7, 2007 for the 1st race of the Cross Crusade cyclocross racing series. Breaking last year’s record of over 750 racers, the event again established itself as the largest one-day cyclocross race in North America and solidified its designation as the largest participatory cyclocross bike racing series in the world. In 2006, the first race of the series attracted over 750 riders.
The men’s elite race climaxed with battle a between Shannon Skerritt of Vanilla Bicycles-Stumptown Coffee and Erik Tonkin of Kona/YourKey.com with Shannon taking an inside line right after the last set of barriers to secure the win. On the elite women’s side, Wendy Williams of River City Bicycles took the win over Kristi Berg of Redline Bicycles.
Promoter Brad Ross said, “We are excited at the success of the race series.” Brad continued by saying, “We are also proud of that the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross has again chosen our series as the finale for the series. We have truly become one of the hotbeds of cyclocross in the world.” Kenji Sugahara, Assistant Director of OBRA, said of the series, “Brad and Club Vivo has made cyclocross accessible to everyone in the community, and have helped take Portland’s racing onto the international stage.”
The long-running success of the River City Bicycles Cross Crusade - this is its 16th year - has firmly established the Northwest as the country’s most popular region for cyclocross. Each round of the Cross Crusade offers 16 classes of competition, from elite men and women to masters and junior categories. Races vary from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the class. The series, sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, will pay out more than $20,000 in prize money and merchandise.
Cyclocross bike racing is a specialized form of cycling competition, one that requires riders to race on a closed-loop circuit, over grass, pavement, gravel, and mud, with barriers and steep run-ups mixed in for additional challenges. The pace is frenetic, with little time to rest and less opportunity for “slipstreaming,” as in road races.
The series will continue on October 14th at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon. Racing at Horning’s Hideout starts at 9 a.m. with Beginners and Masters 50+ and continues all day, with the Category A Men and Masters Category A 35+ race at 2 p.m.
Following Horning’s Hideout, the remaining River City Cross Crusade schedule is as follows: Race 3 – October 21, Rainier High School; Race 4 - October 28, Halloween Cross Festival, Clatsop County Fairgrounds; Race 5 - November 4, Barton Park; Race 6 - November 11, World Single Speed CX Championship, Estacada Timber Park; Race 7 – November 18, Hillsboro Stadium; and United States Grand Prix on Cyclocross 5&6 – December 1-2, Portland International Raceway.
The Cross Crusade is organized and promoted by Club Vivo, 4409 SW Dosch Road, Portland, OR 97201, 503-806-6943. For complete information on the River City Cross Crusade, visit www.crosscrusade.com. Learn more about the Cross Crusade and all types of bicycle racing in Oregon at www.obra.org, site of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association is the official bicycle racing organization in Oregon and is responsible for issuing permits for bicycle races. The major responsibilities of the organization are to ensure the ongoing safety and development of the sport. With a membership of over 3,000 annual members, Oregon has the highest number of racers per capita in the United States and is second only to California in the number of cycling events. In addition, Oregon was ranked 3rd in the number of amateur racers behind Colorado and California. (Velonews 2006)
Monday, October 08, 2007
Only time will tell I guess.
October 7, 2007
The 2007 Cross Crusade kicked off yesterday at Alpenrose Dairy. Apparently 1078 people raced , reportedly the largest single gathering of cross racers anywhere in world (this is total unsubstantiated rumor that I read on the internets, but I'm going with it)
After a morning of race prep that consisted of: Making pancakes, picking up groceries at the local market and playing "dragon" and "pirate" at the local playground with the kids, I was ready to race! I left the house at 12:15 for the 2:00 race and got to the venue with just enough time to register and ride around the neighborhood for a warm up.
The course was a challenging mix of bumpy downhills, tight turns, staircases, runups and other obstacles. It was also quite a bit drier than last week at Barlow which made the course waaay faster. As an example, last week in 60 minutes I clocked 8 miles on the cyclometer. This week I hit 14.
Interestingly enough, I placed 21st last year at Alpenrose in the Bs. I feel much better about this placing as opposed to how I felt about my result last year.
Next week is Hornings - one of my favorite courses. I'll be riding the single speed category on my Soma Juice 29er vs Master As.
A note on equipment - The Stans Notubes system saved my wheels again at least a couple of times, though I was running way to low of pressure for as fast of a course.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I'm tired of riding behind you with your rooster tail.
Monday, October 01, 2007
'Battle at Barlow'
Sunday September 30, 2007
Sam Barlow High School
Sunday was my first cross race of the season as well as my first “A” race (35 plus class). I was pretty anxious as this was an important race to see how I would do in this step up. Let me just say that conditions were epic. Portland got an inch or so of rain on Friday. It started raining again late on Saturday evening and continued at a steady pace all day on Sunday. By the 2:00 race after a couple hundred riders had gone through, things were sloppy and rutted. It’s over 24 hours after I completed the race and I am still picking dirt out of my eyes. It was a definite slog, and I never thought that I could actually put the pedal down and stoke the old engine up.
In typical Dan style I got a pretty poor start. At the start line, I was mid way back, wet to the core, cold and not very warmed up. That being said, at the starting gun I took off as fast as I could and managed to catch up and hang off the back end of the top 10-15 riders for the first lap. After this, it was pure survival. The mud was so deep and runny that there were times where it was almost axle deep in some of the ruts. This race was less about speed and skill and more about picking a good line. I managed to stay up right for the race – This is as much a testament to the tubeless NoTubes Michelin Muds system that I’ve been running since last season as it was to my bike handling skills. I was running about 38 PSI. I probably should have dropped it down to 30, but lesson learned I guess.
Back to the race. Each lap was a challenge – the grassy field, the river of mud flowing down and around the corners of the single track, the rutted out trail that changed with each lap, the rail road tie climb, the blackberry brambles and the mud. The ooey, gooey, sloppy mud. This race was a battle between me the course and less about me and any of the other guys I was racing against. That being said, I completed 6 laps in the hour giving me a 14th place finish out of a field of 35 guys. My placing surprised me a bit, gives me some confidence and let’s me know that I am ‘in the game’.
We forgot the camera, so if you want to see me in the mud, you’ll have to look here.
See you next week at Alpenrose!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I rode home from work via Forest Park (Thurman Gate to Lief to Ridge to St Johns, etc.). The minor gear change was PAINFUL. I think my experiment failed. Granted, it could be that it was my 4th hard ride in 4 days or that I had a pint at lunch today... Either way, my legs felt the gear modification. It is worth another test, but I think I am going to be converting back before Hornings (my first SS cross race)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Which makes me wonder if I should plan on racing SS this year? Here is what my schedule is looking like right now.
Sept 30th: Battle at Barlow - Master As
Oct 4th: Alpenrose (Cross Crusade #1) – Master A’s
Oct 14th: Horning’s Hideout*: Single Speed
Oct 21st: Rainer High School: undecided. May take a by
Oct 28th: Astoria Fairgrounds: undecided: May take a by unless the family wants to make a weekend out of it…
November 4th: Barton Park: Master As
November 11th Estacada/ World Single Speed CX championships…: Undecided on which to race. SS might be more fun to watch
November 18th: Hillsboro Stadium: Master As
December 1st: PIR/ USGP of Cyclocross #5: Single Speed?
December 2nd: PIR/ USGP of Cyclocross #6: Single Speed?
* I won at Hornings last year in the Bs. Supposedly the course will be mixed up a bit from last year, but still, there is no pavement, so definitely a mtn SS course.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I'm excited to start but very nervous about the whole prospect of racing with the As. I feel like I am in pretty good shape, but pretty good just doesn't cut it with the big guys...
Also been thinking about what I should do about a pit bike. I'd love to have another bike to keep in the pit (and to use as a road bike the rest of the year). I go back and forth on whether or not I should get another standard 'cross bike or whether it should be a disc brake cross bike. I'd love to have a disc brake bike...
Monday, August 13, 2007
Portland International Raceway
Per my earlier post, I'm way late on my post. So late, that I can't really remember all the details of the last race in the Portland Short Track series other than as usual it was a great race (as usual) and I'm sad (but also glad) that the series is over. To make a potentially long story short, I took 8th place (another top 10!). On a related note, Mr. Cross National Champ showed up for the first time of the year raced and took first...
Anyway, sweet race, sweet series.
Cross starts in 2 months...
Friday, August 10, 2007
I'll followup with a separate post on the last short track race, but will mention a couple of the other events here. First and foremost, the the Summit 2 Surf (S2S). Megan and I rode on the WebMD 'team' which consisted of a coed group of hardy souls that opted to spend a beautiful Saturday going up and over Mt Hood from Welches to Hood River (a couple of us also extended the ride by going to Timberline Lodge (where the outside scenes of the first 'The Shining' was filmed. The one with Jack's famous line: 'Heeeeeeres Johnnnnnny').
Let me back up a bit though.
A week before S2S I did a ride with a visiting coworker from out Boston office. I took him on an early morning road ride in the hills above Portland. It rained HEAVILY. Anyway, my Paul cantilevers on my cross bike are usually bombproof, but on this particular ride they were just not working very well so I stopped periodically to adjust them. In the process, I managed to strip the cable holding bolt on my rear brake which forced me to remove it and bring the brake into Cyclepath. There, Bill did a helio coil fix (rethreading the threads) and I was back in business. 3 days before S2S, I had my bike up on the rack and I was putting the brake back on. I got it on and decided to oil my chain. Unfortunately, I had hung my bike on the rack via the top tube and when I adjusted the frame position I did the following...
Total rookie maneuver... Note to self - in the future only clamp bike stand to seat post...
Any, return to story. I had just catastrophically damaged my bike in a single maneuver... I freaked out, went online and found out that others have had the same issue (I love the Internets). I went ahead and JB welded the piece back on, let it set for 24 hours, added more JB Weld, let that cure and then went on a test ride the day before S2S! SUCCESS!
I was very close to riding the 68 miles with 6200 feet of gain and 7K of decline on my fixed gear (I really need to get a 'real' road bike... anyone out there have any connections????). Although that would have been a great story, I think I would be needing knee surgery...
Anyway, back to the story. On Saturday July 28th a group of WebMD employees, spouses and friends earned some cash for the ADA. Good times, extremely well organized and well worth it.
The more beautiful half of team Porter
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Portland International Raceway
I'm tardy in publishing this race report as I've had a ton going on with a really busy work schedule, our kitchen remodel and of course the recent trip we (the Porter clan) just took to Disneyland!!! (tons of fun, but word to the wise - Thunder mountain railroad is not the most appropriate ride for a 3 & 6 year old. I think both kids may have almost had heart attacks and Megan & I had to build up their trust again for the next 2 days!)
The race as usual was great. I completed 7 quick laps along with the rest of the race leaders and managed to hang on for a series best of 8th place. One thing really exciting, is the number of riders from "Team Cyclepath" in the top 10!
Order Plate Name Team
1 90 Andy McKerrow Bike Gallery
2 141 Ryan Weaver (prime) River City Bicycles
3 30 Patrick Wilder Cyclepath
4 114 Martin Baker bicycleattorney.com
5 64 Jacob Furniss Eddy Merkin
6 11 Pete Zlatnik Bike Gallery
7 31 Nelson Snyder Cyclepath
8 13 Daniel Porter Cyclepath
9 353 Michael Gallagher River City Bicycles
10 240 Matt Hall Ira Ryan Cycles/Veloshop
34 single speeders started the race which was a decent sized group. The course was more like a cyclocross race than a mtn bike race, though it did not contain any dismounts.
I missed this past weeks race (July 23) as we were still traveling, but I am anxious for the series final on July 30th. Stay tuned!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Kendall saw Mom & Simon jump on her bike and decided that she too wanted to ride in. I was already running late, so I quickly grabbed the bike and connected her trail a bike to it. I locked up the house, closed the garage, got the two of us situated and we were off.
We made it about 3 blocks from the house when the worst possible scenario happened. I felt my bike suddenly lighten, I heard a scraping sound and looked behind me to see my poor sweet daughter skidding along he pavement tangled in her bike. I pulled to the side of the road, ran back to get her and pull her to the safety of my arms. I checked her out for broken bones and calmed her down. I cleaned her up and bandaided her scrapes as much as I could. She was a trooper and let me load her back on the bike to get her home where I did some more extensive first aid.
I eventually got her to camp (we drove) and she was ultimately ok (and I think she likes the attention she has gotten from all of her various bandaids). However I shudder to think how bad this could have been.
BTW: the trail a bike detached due to my error. In my haste, I didn't push the connector in far enough to get the pin to engage... I just hope I can get her to get back on the bike again..
July 11, 2007
It's funny writing race reports about a race that has the same course each week. I could really shorten the report by saying, that we went around and around a bunch of times, my heart and lungs almost exploded and I ended up in XYZ place... Thankfully, I hopefully can add a bit more spice to the report than that.
This was the last race of the series so I had a bit to prove. My previous results weren't as spectacular as I would have like, plus this race brought out the largest field of the series (22 freaks on fixed gear bikes!). As mentioned in previous reports, this is was the fixed gear category - We go around the circuit 4 times and the majority of the strategy surrounds the following elements:
1) Gearing choice (over the years I've settled on 42x15)
Like a normal crit, unless you are super strong, you don't want to totally take off from the gun. Instead, you want to go as fast as you can to tire out your opponents without totally blowing yourself up. There are always a few guys that try the break off the first lap and it is almost never successful - especially with a big field. I try to hang with the guys that I know will be tough to beat. In this particular race, there at least 2 guys that I knew I wouldn't be able to beat on a normal race (ie I've never beaten them before). When they took off I would chase, when they slowed down I'd slow down... In the end this strategy worked as well as I could have hoped. I took 4th - my best result of the series.
Now it's time to do some necessary maintenance on the bike.
Until next year.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I should have published this photo last week, as it was during last weeks race that I crashed, almost lost my front wheel (had to stop and tighten the skewer) and got off course requiring a reride of a section I already completed. I'm not a superstitious person, and this week the #13 worked just fine. I moved up 12 spots from last week to finish in the top 10 (10th place to be exact). The race was course was a little more technical and longer than the week before and although it was a hot night, we had a nice summer breeze that kept the temps in check.
Single speeders finished 6 laps in the 30 minute race. Each lap was about 1 mile long. I'll let you do the math on how fast that is. As mentioned earlier, the course was a bit more technical and quite a bit longer (though strangely we did the same number of laps). I managed to keep the rubber side down this week, however the same could not be said for everyone. Lots of guys were going down on the course. I removed the bar ends (that although I like) caused me problems in the last race. Also, I lowered my wheel pressure down a bit which gave me a tad more traction. Next week I might try making my gear ratio bigger (or is it smaller?) Anyway, easier.... Currently riding 36 x 18 which is a great forest park gear range. Not so great for slow flats where I need to have quick etup & go. I think.... If I have a 20 tooth rear cog I might try that instead.
Totally unrelated to bike racing, but just curious if you know what stress is. Here is a picture of stress:
Saturday, July 07, 2007
In the past month that I've had them installed, I've ridden them on quite a few rides - mostly in Forest Park and I really like them as they did help pad my hands - providing just enough to take the edge off as well as take away unnecessary pressure.
The exception to this, is I had them on my bike for the first Short Track Race. If you read that report, you'll notice that it really wasn't my best showing. I kind of blame the crash on the grips. At the start I was neck and neck with the front of the pack. The bar ends seemed to have gotten caught a couple of times on other riders and I think ultimately resulted in me losing control.
So, in summary, these are great grips, just don't to a tight fast race with them.
July 2nd, 2007
Portland International Raceway (PIR)
Like the Mount Tabor Series, Portland Short Track is another week day (after work) racing series that happens every year here in Portland.
I missed the first one as it happened to land on my wife's birthday, so I was quite anxious at the start of this weeks race.
I rode out to Portland International Raceway (about a 6-7 mile ride from downtown) to revel in the whoops, turns and twists of the popular MTB Short Track course. (200+ racers showed up this week (for all categories).
The gun went off, I tore into the first turn hot, and bam next thing I knew, I was on the ground along with a couple of other guys. I picked myself and my bike out of the dirt and jump back on the saddle. Unfortunately, the damage was done and I lost my chance at a good placing. I played the rest of the race trying to catch up. I had a few more problems over the next 6 laps - my front skewer was loose (due to the crash) and I opted to stop and fix it over the chance of losing teeth in the event of my front wheel coming off. Then, I got lost on the course (how does one get lost on a STX course?).
Monday, July 02, 2007
June 27, 2007
By Daniel Porter
I missed Tabor 2,3 & 4 for a variety of reasons (injury, work, etc.), but was back in the saddle on June 27th for the 5th and second to last race in the 2007 'Velo on the Volcano' series.
Started out a bit nervous as I had basically been off the bike for 3-4 weeks. I rode hard on Monday and Tuesday (the 25th & 26th) to try to get back into shape.
The racers were basically the same cast of characters as previous weeks with only a couple notable exceptions (JV?, Jackson?). Still a good turn out of 15 riders (which is pretty high for a fixed gear ride.
The first lap was pretty mellow with no one wanting to attack to soon. The group stayed pretty much bunched up making it feel like a real race. SUbsequent laps got progressively faster and faster with different guys trading off at the front (me included) until the final lap where a few guys attacked and took off from the front. I tried to get on the wheel of the top guys and only remotely did so coming out of the flat (prior to the climbing finish) in 6th place. On the climb, I dug a little deeper and passed a guy resulting in a 5th place finish. Yippee, I'm number 5, I'm number 5...
Actually, it was a good race and it proved that I didn't 'fall out of shape' as fast or as hard as I had thought.
Next & final Tabor is on July 11th.
BTW: I absolutely love the Rush. It is a truly great bike with a really nice feel. Funny thing - there was another guy with an identical red frame as I in the race. (I beat him)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
I rode my bike to work today for the first time in over a week. In the process I missed 2 Tabor races and lots of training rides. That being said, the ride in this morning was relatively uneventful (ie no nagging pain). There is still some lingering 'uncomfort', however for the most part I am (almost) good as new.
For whatever reason, the only thing that hurt was riding, so I opted to stay in shape by running. There is very little to like about running. It's slow, it hurts, and my legs hurt for days after each run. On the plus side, my office backs up to Forest Park, so I was able to run in the woods on Trails I'm not allowed to ride on. Also, one can get a quick workout in and still get a workout in.
I'm going to be taking it easy for the next week (I'll be in Vegas for a conference) and I'll probably miss the first Short Track race (It occurs on my wife's Birthday), but I should be good to go for Tabor #5! (and hopefully 6).
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I somehow hurt myself last Thursday while on a night mountain bike ride (at least that is where I noticed it). I won't go into the details, but the pain is in a sensitive 'guy' area. Although I have been trying to ride since the incident (still not sure what it is that I did), I don't think I can concentrate on both racing hard and on the weird way I need to sit to avoid the pain. I can see catastrophic results. I have an appt with a doc tomorrow to see what is going on.
I'm bummed. I love Tabor and I looked forward to improving my result this week. Also, next week is my anniversary (9 years!) of marriage to my wonderful wife thus I am unsure of whether I can race then or not and the following weekend I'll be in Lost Wages, NV for a conference at work.
I keep thinking that I should be able to just tough it out, but is it really worth the pain?
Monday, June 04, 2007
Mt Tabor Park: Portland OR
May 30th 2007
Category: Fixed Gear
Temp: about a gazillion degrees
First Tabor race of the year. Turnout in the fixed gear category (the sideshow) was the biggest ever. We took off, raced around the park multiple times and I was beat by a 15 year old... (he then raced again and one the men's cat 3 race, so I *think* he'll be someone to watch) Made me feel old.
This was my first race on the Soma Rush, though I have been riding it alot since I built it up. The ride performed as expected. I absolutely love the bike. I also received a few compliments on "my fancy new bike" from the usual suspects.
I am going to try to race again this wednesday, unfortunately I pulled something the next evening on a mountain bike ride and may be out of commission. :(
Thursday, May 24, 2007
New York City gets more trails
New York City and mountain biking are two words not often occurring in the same sentence, but New Yorkers will soon have a new place to practice dirt jumping at Inwood on Manhattan, a new three-mile trail system.
"On the face of it, it sounds preposterous," admitted city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to the New York Daily News. "But we really do have it, and it takes advantage of the terrain that was always there. It's probably the only mountain-bike course in the country you can get to by subway."
The trails are result of 18 months of work and a US$100,000 state grant. They are aimed at BMX jumpers, casual riders, and hard-core experts. The Parks Department was looking for an area appropriate for cyclists.
"It's pretty impressive for mountain biking in the middle of New York City," said Jamie Bogner of the New York City Mountain Bike Association to the New York Daily News. The club helped plan and build the paths and will host a cross-country race Sunday after the trails open Saturday. "We look for the longest way from point A to point B, with every technical obstacle we can find."
The Fort George Hill Trails twist and turn through a section of Highbridge Park once considered unsafe by park goers and littered with stolen cars.
New York City Parks Department officials are also looking at trail opportunities at Cunningham Park in Queens and at capped landfills in the Bronx's Pelham Bay and Staten Island's Fresh Kills.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sung to the tune of 'Kung Fu Fighting'
Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing
There was lots of single track in this built up ewok town
They were riding it up and they were riding it down
It's an ancient Marin art and everybody knew their part
From a hucking a gap, and sprinting from the start
Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing
There was spandex clad dudes and baggy shorts too
The downhill singletrack came round, smoking fast, cool
We took a jump and made a stand, started sliding down the trail
The sudden motion made me skip now we're on a downhill rail
Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing
(repeat)..make sure you have expert styling
Mountain Biking, had to be fast as lightning
Falls City Firecracker Presented by Cyclepath
- May 20th, 2007
- Falls City, Oregon - Black Rock Freeride area
- First Race of the year
- My First Mountain bike race in over 5 years(excluding Short track)
- 2nd place finish (Sport class)
This past weekends race took place at the Black Rock Freeride 'park' - Basically an area outside of Salem, OR (Falls City) owned by the Oregon Department of Forestry that has been designated as a recreation area. The Black Rock Mountain Biking Association has been busy building up a really nice freeride area there (lots of ladders, jumps, skinnies, gaps, drops, as well as lots of trails) for the past couple of years. The course itself was a multi-lap format where each lap was about 4.5 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain per lap. Basically, each lap consisted of a prolonged uphill grind up a combo fire road & single track and then a bombing single track & fire road descent. The promoter of the race did incorporate some routes that had ladders and drops into the course which did add to the excitement and made me glad I was riding my 5 inch travel full suspension Titus Motolite. (The Motolite was probably the least cross country oriented bike to make a showing though).
Cyclepath has been the title sponsor of the race for the past couple of years. I missed it last year, so I made a point to race it this year even though I had really low expectations. My main goal was to be there to support the shop as they have been so great for me. The race itself was good fun and the Cyclepath team was out in force (A Cyclepath rider took 1st in the SS), though it was quite wet and muddy which did make some of the ladders slippery. I did admittedly race pretty conservatively though.
The race start & finish was midway up the fire road climb which resulted in both the start and the finish being on a hill (nice...). At the starting gun, I took off with the pack and proceeded to pick off a few riders here and there, about .5 miles into the climb I was at the front with 2 other guys (on Single Speeds!). 2 other guys - another SSer and another geared rider were close on my tail.
By the top of the climb, I was still hanging in with the top 5 guys (3 single speeders and the one guy in my class). I managed to stick with them for the descent and much of the start of the 2nd lap, however at that point they began to pull away (a bit) and we basically stayed in this position until the end of the race. I pretty much raced solo for the remainder of the race, lapping the occasional slow rider here and there. I finished about 1 minute behind the leader and at least 3-4 minutes ahead of #3.
Sorry, no pictures this time as my photog had prior commitments with the family.
Monday - Lunch time Fairmont Loop road ride
Tuesday - Gym at lunch, evening mountain bike ride (night)
Wednesday - Gym at lunch
Thursday - Lunch time Flat road Fixed Gear out to Sauvies Island from work
Friday - AM Forest Park ride
Love the spring.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Monday - Lunch time road ride
Tuesday - Lunch time SS mtn ride in FP
Wednesday - Gym
Thursday - Fixed gear - up Lovejoy to Skyline to the Cemetary and back
Friday - AM SS mtn ride in FP prior to work.
Firecracker is next weekend.
Monday, May 07, 2007
I still like the name "Axles of Evil". I thought of it soon after the infamous Axis of Evil speech by our "fearless" leader. Unfortunately, alot of others also thought about it, including a bike polo team here in Portland.
I then changed the name to "Two Wheels Only" (or TWO). I liked it, but it never really fit.
"The Lunch Time Grind" came to me on a lunch time ride this afternoon. As a full time working parent I do most of my training rides in during the week - My regular commute to and from work, lunch time rides and either long rides in or long rides home. Weekend rides are few and far between, so they are a luxury (Especially mtn bike rides!). I do however get out with the family (trail-a-bike in tow) on a regular basis, so I can't complain about that.
I *think* some people might be interested in a working dads racing and riding experiences, right?
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday April 29th was Titus Demo Days - presented by Cyclepath - out in Scappoose. There was a road ride on Saturday that I had to miss, so I'm not going to write about that.
Anyway, the Titus rep was out with tons of bikes - MotoLite, RacerX, RacerX 29er, El Guappo... I really wanted to ride the El Guappo or the 29er, but my primary reason for going out there was to get Megan out on a sweet ride. Once she was setup to go on a small Moto, we were off (I actually just rode my own bike)
I have written about Scappoose in the past, so I'm not going to delve into that, except to note that the trails were in awesome shape, there is new signage (Thanks John Joy!), and some new trails.
A group of us went out - Megan, John, Jonathan, Bill and I - and instantly hit the trails starting with Dead Dog. I was excited to see Meg nail the teeter totter on her first attempt! After that, we hit North Shore where Bill, Jonathan and I tried out the gap ju mp. This was personal first for me, and something I have been wanting to try for quite some time. After Bill did it, I had to try it. It was so fun I did it 3 more times. Props to Jonathan for doing it multiple times - even though he was super nervous.
Anyway, it was all in all a great day riding with good people. I wish the pictures did it justice.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My name is Megan and I am a registered dietitian, freelance writer, mother of two children--3yo boy and 5yo girl, cheerleader to my husband’s amateur bike racing career--as well as a former top 5 placing Sport class mountain bike racer and general bike lover. I live in Portland, OR that is known for being “Bike city USA”. A very bike friendly town with some great road rides and trails to ride within the city limits.
I would love this opportunity, because while my husband is off having his daily affair with one of his many bikes, I would love to have the excuse; 'Sorry dear, I need to take all day Saturday to go for a test ride!' Just the thought brings a wonderful sense of payback that has been long overdue. But that’s not entirely true. I also would love to share some of my wisdom, and try out new products. But, mostly have a voice in making bikes more approachable and less intimidating for women. I’ve owned and or ridden a variety of bikes over the years – Hand me downs from my husband, as well as my own collection of Mtn, road, hybrid, cruiser, clunker, etc, so I have a unique perspective on different riding styles and the appropriateness of different bikes for different terrain.
I believe this has been a topic of discussion when riding trails with other women I have met. A place where real women can learn from every ones experiences, and a place to know you’re being understood from a gals point of view. Whether I’m chosen or not, it will make our sport more welcoming.
Riding most of the time with ‘the guys’; I quickly learned all of the bike terminology, and how to correctly dissect one. This is really handy when guys overlook me when talking about a new component they’d recently bought, and I always love how I amaze them when I can add to the conversation.
My background started in mt. biking. My husband bought me my first bike as an undergrad graduation present so that I could ride with him. That led me to a love of cycling and now I’m pulling kids in tow either in bike seats, the Burley, or the Trail-A-Bike. Though, I do get out to ride without the kids. By the way, I rode through both pregnancies, w/o the blessings of my OBGYN. And I believe I lost all of my pregnancy weight [30, 32lbs] w/in 2 months because cycling prior to pregnancy had increased my fitness level.
Since children, I have to admit, I am not loading up the truck with bikes and gear to hit Moab as I had in the pre-kids era of my life. And I'm up for a ride on my favorite Rim trail if filming just happens to be in the Moab area. Looking back, my first trip to Moab was done on my Bridgestone MB4 with a brand new second generation Rock Shox. I remember the exhilaration I felt trying out the first trail and my first experience with using a front shock. And in hindsight, I could have saved myself a lot of grief if I only had realized what a difference it makes to your bike handling skills when you actually have a bike that fits your body. [Although afterwards, I had to search high and low to find a bike w/o a top tube that had me spread out like I was rowing a kayak].
Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting forum!
Megan XXXXX, RD, LD
Friday, March 30, 2007
The new Soma Juice I mentioned way back here. is finally done. Actually, it has actually been completed for a month or so. Thus far it has been mostly ridden around town and with the family 'trailer bike in tow', though it has also been on a couple Forest Park rides (Forest park is a huge urban park here in Portland. The trailhead is about 1 mile from my new office, so hitting the trails at lunch will become a sweet summer time activity). The first time in "The Park", I basically stayed on the dirt road that leads through it cause everything was pretty mucky. Today however I rode with a coworker (on a geared bike no less) and we hit the firelanes - Up firelane 1 to Skyline, down
I love the way it rides - I'm really not seeing much in the way of rear wheel drag (some people complain about 29er bikes feeling like boat anchors when you get them going). The thing climbs like a monkey on crack! I opted for a rigid carbon fork on the bike, so that definately makes it feel different, climbing is much much nicer...
Anyway, I'm stoked on the bike. A shout out to Stan @ Soma and to the guys at Cyclepath for helping me pull together all the missing components.
- Soma 29er Juice Frame
- Black Chris King Headset
- Pace Carbon 29er fork
- Easton Seatpost
- IRD Seatpost clamp
- WTB Speed V titanium rails
- RaceFace AlloyAir bars
- RaceFace Prodigy stem
- ODI Lock on Grips
- SRAM 9.0 levers
- Avid BB.7 Mechanical Disc Brakes & Rotors
- Avid Full Metal Jacket Brake Cable System
- RaceFace Turbine (old school) cranks
- RaceFace 36T Chainring
- Time Z Atac petals
- Shimano Square Taper Ultegra BB
- BBG Bashguard
- Avid 8 spd chain
- Bontrager Race Disc wheels with ‘Gusset’ single speed converter
- IRC Mythos F&R 2.1 29er tires
- Zefal Bottle Cage
- Specialized ‘Turbo’ Odometer
- Jand Mountaineering seat wedge
- 2 Spot Brand ‘rocket’ chain tensioners
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Heavy metal 'a comfort for the bright child'
By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 21/03/2007
Intelligent teenagers often listen to heavy metal music to cope with the pressures associated with being talented, according to research.
The results of a study of more than 1,000 of the brightest 5% of young people will come as relief to parents whose offspring, usually long-haired, are devotees of Iron Maiden, AC/DC and their musical descendants.http://tinyurl.com/3yu77k
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Anyway: The highlights: Lots of fun in the snow. A couple days of phat snowboarding (it snowed 3 feet while we were there) and we got Kendall up on ski's for the first time. Pictures coming soon!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Much of the bike was transferred from my old fixed gear. New stuff includes frame, chain, tires, bar tape...
Here are the stats
55 cm Soma Rush
Forte Carbon Fork
Shimano brakes hoods (the left is a dummy)
Shimano 105 front brake
Surly fixed/fixed hubs with 15/17 cogs laced to black velocity aerohead rims
Soma extra thick tires
Hurricane components cranks with a 42 tooth downhill RaceFace chain ring
Time ATAC pedals
black seatpost (forgot the brand)
Surly Tuggnut Chain Tensioner/keeper
One Less Car sticker...