Monday, October 20, 2008

My almost top 10

Cross Crusade #3
Rainier Oregon
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well I thought I did it... As of last night, the results from the race showed me in 10th place (my best ever in an A race (cross crusade or otherwise). As of one day later, the results have been revised and it looks like I've been bumped down to 12th. Oh well, still my best placing in a cross crusade race. Just not as impressive as a top 10.

Enough of that, on to the race. It was out in Rainer Oregon, a small town about 45-60 miles west of Portland. For yet another weekend, we enjoyed freakishly sunny weather for race #3 of the Cross Crusade series. It was another big day - over 1100 competitors for the event.

It started out cold and then got rapidly warmer as the 2:50 race approached. I couldn't figure out what to wear - long sleeve skin suit or short sleeve jersey. I finally went with the jersey and was glad that I did as it was warm and there was a huge climb.

More about the course (and the climb). It was a really fast course and long by 'cross standards 2.3 miles per lap. I did 8 laps which equaled abit over 18 miles in 1:07. Most cross races are in the neighborhood of 12-14.

I had a pretty good start (no call up but still relatively close to the front). Race start and we are off. All 70 or so of us struggling to get pole position as we take a sharp left turn up the hill and onto the 'real' course. Up the hill to the top, a sharp left into the single track: bunny hop, skip, jump, barely holding on over the bumps and jumps. Then down the hill fast past the tent and into the meadow. Over the first barrier, through the woods and back on to the school grounds where we hit the 6 pack. After that it is a quick downhill which leads to the bottom of the the hill.

The hill is the game changer. The race is won or lost based on this hill. It starts at the lowest point of the course and goes all the way to the top. Fans on both sides, screaming, clanging cowbells. A wall of sound and encouragement. I pick the less traveled line and pass a couple of riders and power up to the top past the OBRA tent. This trend continues on each lap (my hill training apparently has been paying off) and I gain position as the race continues.

I feel my pace pick up on each lap, but on lap 7 I start feeling the tell tale signs of my legs cramping up. I start using all my mental & physical tricks to keep my mind (and quads) from cramping into a massive charlie horse. I go past he OBRA tent and hear 1 more lap. I can do one more lap...

I throw down the hammer and push through the last lap blowing through a couple more guys and getting passed by a couple. I finish in what apparently is 12th place, my best crusade A+ race so far.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So I offended some zoobombers...

with my last post.

Guys & Gals, I'm man enough to admit I made a mistake. The first one being, I tried to be funny, the second one, is that I didn't actually realize anyone read this thing. Now my post has been put up on the Zoobombers forum. The sad thing, is that it makes me and my team seem like a bunch of dicks, and we really aren't. We are all nice guys and girls (and we come in all sizes). The whole event (the roller race) was such a hilarious and over the top spectacle (but admittedly fun), that it warranted humor to describe it... Alas, like the maligned governor from our 49th state, you didn't find my attempt at humor particularly humorous. I thought the time line was funny (as did some of you based on your comments on your own site), but I offended a couple of you, so I went ahead and edited the 'offensive' parts out.

I like bikes, you like bikes, let's leave it at that and I'll see you at the next roller race. Maybe I'll wear the spandex 'bro' next time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rapha Roller Race

Can this picture be any more ridiculous? "New Kids On the Bike"... Embarrassing to say the least.

Last weekend, Cyclepath Racing was invited to participate in the Rapha Roller Race as part of the Oregon Manifest festivities.

More info on the race over at bikeportland

I was one of the guys on the team that opted to do the race. Gant, one of the other guys did a great write up that I am going to paraphrase below.

5:34 p.m. We get a late scratch. So we're down to Folske, Porter and Endo, but a quick call to the shop and Hutchins is on board. The guys a gamer. Love it. But all he's got to race in are jeans and a Cyclepath Racing wind vest. Turns out he is the best dressed in our group. Damn, where's Herr when you need him? We will appoint Herr creative director next year in charge of getting our team some proper costumes.

5:52 p.m. The organizers give us an orientation, which some teams, like the ones who have been drinking since noon, need more than others. We are sized for bikes and given
the general format from the organizer. It's also our only chance to spin the little gear on the bike and get an idea of what we've gotten ourselves into.

6:18 p.m. We get the last beer at the beer tent across the street at the Manifest show. The four of us share it and head up Broadway to 7-11 for a six pack.

7:01 Back in the riders holding pen, know also as the "Green Room" and it's all nervous energy now. Teams are huddled together, sizing each other up, trying to look deep in
each others eyes to see if one among us knows the secret to flailing their legs the fastest over 500 meters. Actually, it's more like a Portland cycling frat party, which is to say a really weird frat house.

Team Zoobomb is clearly (acting) the drunkest and exposing more skin than some of us might like to see. The de facto leader sports a badge, police hat, fanny pack, sparkly, blue short shorts and a matching sports bra. "Hottie Patrol" is scrawled on his bare shoulder.

A Veloshop rider sports white underwear over her cycling bibs, a white wig and a riding crop which she is not afraid to use on anyone passing by.

There's also Team Sabotage in full Beastie's period outfits, The River City chicks... hair everywhere. Team Beer is there of course. They seem to be communicating mostly in mono syllables and hand gestures. They cheer loudly at the slightest provocation. Many other good costumes but this is a good representative sample.

7:16 I can't handle the anticipation so I hit the massage table for a quick rub down. Seriously, they had two massage therapists there for the riders.

7:42 A rider from one of the teams seems to be taking a "nap".

8:12 It's go time and Porter is up in the first round. He gives it the gas on the blue bike, but it's not enough to fend off sudden death.

8:35 I'm up and just get my ass handed to me. I'm also on the blue bike, so Porter and I are pretty sure the blue bike is shite.

9:07 Xterra National Champ Folske rocks the helmet cam and fights the good fight. The best Cyclepath showing so far, but alas, second place isn't enough to advance.

9:29 Hutchins, a self-proclaimed expert at races under a minute, shows he isn't bluffing and takes round 16 with ease. A great ride and restores Cyclepath racing street cred.

Joshua moves on to the Semi's and is knocked out. Bummer...

Megan and I leave to get some beers and dinner at 5th Quadrant and call it a night.

One of the team Sabotage riders from Seattle won the Signal Cycles frames. Nice work... Those frames are sweet.

For anyone reading this, this is satirical... No offense intended.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Alpenrose: Cross Crusade #1

Thanks Kalin for the picture (I'm in the middle)

The first Cross Crusade race came and went in 'perfect' cross conditions. Rain, mud, puddles. Excellent! The forecast called for it to be partly sunny, thankfully, we never saw it.

But first... The day began with normal weekend duties - breakfast, nagging my daughter to do her homework, house cleaning, etc. My daughter had a classmate's birthday party at the SW Community Center which is very convenient since it was only a bit more than a mile from Alpenrose. So, after 'dropping the kids off at the pool' (literally, not figuratively), I rode off to Alpenrose to get registered and warmed up.

When I got there, it wasn't raining, but the course still looked slick but not to bad. I warmed up for a bit and tried to get the skinny on the course from my team members that were done racing. The course turned out to be very similar to the ones in years past.

At about 2:30 I decided to head to the starting area. Big mistake, there was already a huge group lined up. I typical Dan fashion I took my space at the back and waited. It was about this time when the rain started coming down.

The starting whistle went off and I was off with the group. I managed to pick up quite a few places until I hit the single track when my wheel went one way and my handlebars went the other (loose stem). I banged it back in place and was back. As I rode by the Cyclepath tent I called out for some tools for the pit. Bill obliged and met me there on the next lap. (Thanks Bill)

The rest of the race consisted of me trying my hardest to move up from pretty much dead last as the conditions degraded more and more. Each lap getting more slippery than the previous. I crashed once (slow motion going around a corner). I ended up completing 7 laps and seemed to be getting faster with each lap. I managed to pick off some riders that wanted to beat but definitely did not end up where I wanted to be. I finished at 30th place (out of 78 guys). Not bad, but not fantastic. Definately some work to do for next week (such as getting a better starting place).

The race was way more fun than the race last weekend. The race last week was so hot and dry. The weather was definately a fun factor this week.

On a side note, this race broke last season's record. 1,267 racers showed up to compete. Awesome. This could be a national record I would think.

PS - if you click on my name in the OBRA results, it is not me... There is another Dan Porter out in OBRA land...I wish I could see his picture.

Not Me: (the two results: Alpenrose & Barlow are mine though)


Friday, October 03, 2008

Looks like some good weather for cross!

Weather as of 9:30 this morning. Alpenrose should be nice and 'soft'. I hope my bike is fixed!