June 23, 2008
Portland International Raceway - infield
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 BikePortland.org. Scary stuff, but as it turns out the first responders did all the right things and the fellow is going to be just fine.