Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Portland Short Track Racing #1

June 23, 2008
Portland International Raceway - infield
Single Speed

I knew it must finally be summer as I rode my mountain bike from downtown in the summer evening sun out to the race track. A beautiful evening with sun shining and the crowds of cyclists all around (roadies on the race track, mtn bikers on the infield). This is my 3rd season racing SS STX and I definitely have something to prove. Last year I did a couple top tens, but for the most part I had a pretty mediocre season. My first race in the series last year resulted in a crash.

If I've learned anything from 'cross, it's that a good crash is critical to a good finish. I took that to heart and got a good starting position on the right side and after the starting bell I took off and took the hole shot. Next thing I knew, I'm with the lead rider - Weaver - the series winner for the past 2 years. Although he was going fast, it didn't fell like I couldn't at least hang on, so I went for it.

A lap later I'm still sitting in 2nd when another guy comes screaming around me. I wasn't sure who it was so I returned the favor on the whoop dees and went around him. We did this a few times until he (ended up being Butler) put the hammer down and him and Weaver started pulling away.

I kept up my pace and ended up the race in 3rd place. My best result in a short track race in 3rd place our of 48 riders. (Big Group!)

Update: Video of Monday's race. All Categories including Kiddies

2008 Short Track Series - RACE 1 from Scott Barker on Vimeo.

On a more somber note, mid way through the race a fellow racer (30 yrs old) collapsed from a cardiac arrest. More info on this at Scary stuff, but as it turns out the first responders did all the right things and the fellow is going to be just fine.

Lucky Tabor #3

June 18th
Mt Tabor
Portland, Oregon

I missed the previous weeks race due to travel issues, thus I was fired up to race this week again. I noticed in the last weeks race that the same kid won the 1st and 2nd race so I planned my strategy... At all costs stick with Walton...

Anyway, the fixed gear category had ~23 starters. One of the larger of the fixed gear races I've been to.

Back to race - race started as normal - quick as all hell sprinting up the hill and around the first corner to the downhill. I was hanging with lead group of about 5-6 guys going down the hill. As opposed to race #1, I opted to not try for a lead out and instead held back and let the other guys do the work. This paid off by allowing me to save energy - while at the same time tiring the guys leading out. By the end of the 2nd lap I was sitting in 3rd place in a group of 4 guys.

Going into the final stretch of the 4th lap I made my move and pulled to the front. The other 3 guys had the same idea, and 2 of them pulled in front of me. The 3rd tried and I held him off until the end. Ended up taking 3rd and bringing home the bacon. (Cash payout for the top 3!)

I'm missing the race on the 25th (tonight), but I should be back for #5 next week. Let's go for the win!

PS - first race in the new kit. Hotness!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tabor #2

Didn't race. I got back home from Texas (work related) an hour later than I had hoped and didn't make it back to my house until after 4. I still planned to make it until I walked in the door and found that my daughter was feeling under the weather. I opted instead to go to the playground with the boy.

Anyway, I hope the race went well. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Until next week.

PS - Driving in Dallas is awful. The city is like a spiderweb of freeways with the city like a cocooned fly with all of it's blood sucked out.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mt Tabor #1

The first in this summers series of 6 races occurred on June 4th 2008 at Mount Tabor. For those of you that have not read my past years race reports, Mt Tabor is a dormant volcano in SE Portland. Each summer there is a mid week race series. It's basically a crit with multiple laps that are either climbing up or going down. All in all a pretty hard race.

I raced in the fixed category. There was a pretty sizeable group of 19 riders. The group basically stayed together vs. there being any major breakaway by any riders. I felt strong and pulled the group for the first and final lap. Unfortunately, I dug a bit to deep and couldn't maintain my pace for the final climb to the finish. I ended up in the lead group taking a solid 5th. Not great as I have a goal of a top 3, but acceptable especially after racing just 3 days ago.

I finished the race and tasted lunch (blech) before doing a recovery ride home.

Until next week!

Falls City Firecracker Presented by Cyclepath

Sunday June 1 2008
Falls City Oregon
Single Speed

The promoters were serving pain by the cup and I was drinking it by the pitcher. This is a great mountain bike race and one of my favorite of the year. Half Fast Velo (another local team) puts on the race and Cyclepath is the primary sponsor. It takes place in Falls City at the Black Rock Freeride area.

I awoke in the AM to pouring rain and the sinking feeling that it was going to be an utter slopfest. As I loaded the car and headed to the pick up point for the carpool down I was really feeling a sense of dread about the weather. Thankfully, as we drove south, it dried out and by the time we were in Falls City it was perfect.

The race was billed as 80% single track which in my opinion was pretty accurate. The course itself was a multi-lap format where each lap was about 4.5 miles with 1400 feet of elevation gain per lap. Basically, each lap consisted of a prolonged uphill grind up single track and fireroad 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. It also pushed my rigid single speed to it's limit.

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 from the very back of the pack. I spent the first part of the climb working through a mass of bodies and was towards the front by the time we hit the first single track section.

By the time I made it to the top and the beginning of the downhill there were about 4-6 guys ahead of me. I picked a couple of them off on the descent and all but one on the next climb/descent combo.

Ended up finishing the race in 2nd place. The 'other' guy was Nelson Snyder. A Cyclepath Teamie and my copilot on the drive down to the race. I can't say I am disappointed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cyclepath Racing Press Release

Cyclepath, the premier custom bike shop in Portland, is proud to announce the launch of Cyclepath Racing. Proprietors Bill Larson and Joshua Hutchens are excited to have a group of dedicated local riders racing together under the Cyclepath Racing banner. While the shop will continue its tradition of support for other OBRA teams and riders, the new squad will represent the shop directly at OBRA events and beyond. With a range of talents and focuses, the team will be competitive across a range of different races.

Cyclepath Racing is:

John Acevedo
John Bravard
John Browning
David Diviney
Gant Enderle
Grant Folske
Ian Leitheiser
Dan Porter
Aaron Sander
Nelson Snyder
Christian Tresser
Patrick Wilder