Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Salem Short Track XC Race Report

Last night I got a chance to race the second in the Salem Short Track XC Series put on by Buy Local Cycling team at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

I wasn't really sure I was going to be able to because of family commitments. But as luck would have it I was able to break away for an hour or so and race.

It was a nice change of pace. Lately I've been getting burned out on criteriums. Even though I really enjoy crits it was nice to do a hard solo effort in the dirt.

The course incorporates the BMX track, dirt track (For cars or motorcycles I assume), the dirt jumps (The little ones.) and the surrounding areas. All relatively flat with the technical sections being the jumps and BMX track. And man do I suck at those parts! I understand the concept of pumping over jumps and whoops (A bunch of little jumps close together.). But I could not get the hang of it. I would be going fast enough that I while I was pushing my front wheel down the backside of the jump the rear end of my bike would be bouncing over the top like a bucking bronco.

I did the Cat 3 race with my cyclocross bike. Which I had just got done putting back together just before I ran off to race. So the whole race I was hoping and praying that it wasn't going to fall apart. Which it didn't. Thank God.

When we rowed up for the start there were quite a few people (20-25 I'm guessing.) Of all shapes and sizes. I didn't get to the front row but was on the outside in the second row so I wasn't to worried about the start. When the whistle blew I was amazed at the slow(ish) start. I came around the first corner fourth or fifth wheel as we all slotted in for the first narrow technical section. Little did I know that that's the way the standings were going to stay pretty much the whole race. Had I realized that's the way it would work out I would have been more aggressive. Meh. Live and learn...

As the race continued it became pretty evident that the sorting out had occurred already and we were just pacing around at about the same distance from one another. I would gain a little on the guy ahead of me on the straight aways and he would resurrect the gap on the technical sections (Did I mention I sucked at those parts?). I had one fellow on my tail for a good portion of the race (Hey Spencer!) and somewhere in the middle of the race he passed me on the BMX track but as soon as we were back on a straight I passed him back. And he just waited there. Unfortunately I knew exactly what he was doing... And like clock work. The second to last lap he passed me on the track again. Only this time I didn't have enough poop to get by him on the straights. Kudos to him. I just didn't have it in me.

So I ended up 4-6th place. Not sure yet because results haven't been posted. But I am happy regardless. It was fun and different. And it gave me a real whiff of cross. Which I'm getting more excited for with every passing day.

Tomorrow I'm going to post an email conversation I had with a friend about helmets. Until then,

Rubber side down,

Big E  

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