Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cross Crusade Race #8 PIR

This last weekends race can be summed up in one word: FUN.
Dave going after it. SQUIRREL!!!!
The weather has finally changed. Ironically just in time for cyclocross season to be over. Well, almost over anyway.  There had been several days of rain and cool temperatures which was making things feel a little more in line for cross racing.

Jarod somewhere towards the front. Not enough O's in smoooooth...

Jarod not having enough O's. More of a smoth...
 I have never done this course before. It is on the in-field at PIR (Portland International Raceway for those of you not in the know.)  in Portland proper. And I 'm glad to report I think it may be my new favorite (I'm sorry Bend. I'm fickle...). With a myriad of twists, turns, peanut butter mud and some pretty technical riding. It made for a rockus good time!

Thomas taking it very serious at first.
Both Adam and Thomas raced first. Giving Brison and I a chance to study some of the tricky parts of the course as spectators first.

Adam with his game face on.

Thomas had a very good first lap and a half (I'd estimate he was in the top teens somewhere.). Before I think fatigue and a week off the bike from a work injury. Started to catch up to him.

There is no smiling in a race! Only pain and grimacing allowed...

Adam in the sea of people...

Adam had a good race as well. Until... (Did you notice there always seems to be one of those in cross racing? Me too.) He snapped his derailleur hanger with one lap to go. But to his credit and determination he ran that bastard all the way in. In fact, because he was the last guy on the course. When he crossed the finish line with the bike on his shoulder he got a standing cheer from everyone around the start/finish line. It was pretty cool...

Through the trees to cyclocross we go.

Brison with his awesome call up and rad bike handling skills did very well on this course. In fact, he passed me on the last lap. Little bugger...  But honestly I couldn't have been more proud. He did a great race and kept the pressure on with the leaders the entire race. And considering we were having tire/wheel problems before the start.  I think he handled it all with grace and style to finish a very styly stylish 4th. Good on him.

I on the other hand couldn't have gotten a worse call up if I tried. Dead last in the starting grid. So right away I had to change me mind set. I was going to pass as many people as I could. And pick the best lines as possible.  Generally, I think I did both. I finished the race a little forward of the middle (27th place) and all except one spot (The run up in the woods) I think I got the lines dialed in. Now if only I could go through them with about 5 more mph I think I might have a shot at the big times...

I really do have freakish calf muscles. Look at those things!
That is the last of the Cross Crusade series (Sniff...). It was a lot of fun. I miss it already. Like a good friend that's going on a long trip. Or having your childhood dog go off to live at that farm in the country... (Wait, what!?)

The only race left on this calendar year (Versus the Mayan one. They have an awesome series. The only problem is that they sacrifice the winner... Not much of a motivator to be anything other than pack fodder.) is the OBRA Cyclocross Championship down in Eugene this Saturday.

And with the weather being what it is. It looks like it's going to be a true hard man's race. Cold as shit and muddy as hell. Should be fun!

Only weird thing is that it appears that they are going to have the Master B's race with the Beginner's and the Clydesdale's. That will make for a (ahem..) interesting race. I'll be curious to see how they deal with the start. Or if it's going to be a mass free for all.  There will be a lot of pissed off B's with all the lapped traffic. I guess we'll all see soon enough.

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E 

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