Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Cycling Gift Ideas: The Stocking Stuffers

To all those good little boy's and girl's out there this is a time to be developing Christmas wish list's. And while the economy has hit alot of people hard. There is no reason why we can't have a bunch of "stocking stuffers" that are super high on the awesome scale.

For this part one of the annual (I say that because I did one last year. And on top of that I love compiling lists.) cycling Christmas list I'm going to keep the gifts small (I.E. Stocking stuffable) and  affordable.

So with out further ado. Here we go....

1.  Personalized Walz Caps:

   Not only do they have unique stylish designs and patterns but you can have it personalized with just about any lettering you want. As well as the fact that they make a hat that fits my fat melon. All for less than $30.

2. Mad Alchemy embrocation:

Mad Alchemy | Medium

$20 dollars worth in a jar will last a very long time and keep your legs warm like toast.

3. Paragon Machine Works Titanium Bottle Opener

Now you may be asking why titanium and not aluminium? Because everyone knows after the first 500-600 beers an aluminium opener wears out. And steel is just soooo heavy. So if you splurge for the ti you get the best of both worlds. And no beers get hurt... $25.

4. Noise Canceling Earbuds

A good pair of earbuds can save a cyclist from a maddening winter full of boring trainer sessions and workouts. I have a pair of the old versions of these and they have served me well. They are a little spendy compaired to anything else on the list but well worth it in my opinion. $75. But you can also get much less expensive noise canceling buds for $25 +.

5. A Peloton Magazine Subscription:

Easily the best Bicycle magazine on the market right now. It dosen't delve into the mire that Bicycling and Velonews dose. They  inspire cyclists with stories, interviews, and information. A truly great periodical...

6. Defeet Woolie Boolie winter socks.

Every Christmas people need socks and underwear. So why not give some socks that they'll be excited to pull on!? And Defeet make my favorite tootsie warmers.... $15

7. Camelbak Podium Bottles

I got two of these for a Xmas a couple years ago and I haven't looked back since. They are the best bottles on the market. You never have to worry about them leaking or having to push back the mouthpeice. On top of which they don't have that nasty plastic taste that a lot of bottles have. $8

8. Back Country Research's Tulbag.

They come in mess and several different colors as well. They hold your CO2, multi-tool and a tube. And for those of us (Myself included.) that don't really like to have a saddle bag. These handy dandy little things make keeping everything together in my jersey pocket possible and easy. $11

9. Thorn Resistant Tubes

If you ride in the winter (And you should.). One of the last things that you want to do on a wet, nasty and cold day (Or night) is to pull over and fix a flat. That's where these babies come in. On top of that fact. They are heavy as hell and when spring comes along. You can put your nice wheels back on and you feel like your flying. Which is always nice. $15 each

10.Cyclocross Magazine

This is another fantastic periodical. And if you have a cyclorcross racer on your Christmas list then this is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Great articals, inspiring pictures and a very good website as well. Good stuff! $20

Well I think that is a pretty good start to a fantastic Christmas. I would be super chuffed to get any of these things. I hope this will inspire you to go and stuff someone's stockings. And then givem' a gift too....

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Pretty Exceptional Bicycle

Every time that I walk into the bike shop I take a visual inventory. It's not so much a purposeful inventory. But just to see if there is anything new or different that I can ogle over. And on just such a recent occasion I saw this bike hanging from the scale on display.

 This is a 1972 Schwinn Paramount.

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any length of time knows I'm a sucker for an old steel bike.  Paramount's in particular. And one with some lovely Campagnolo components hung on it!? Well sold and sold!

I asked Steve and Larry  where the frame came from. And Larry explained to me that it's owner use to work at the shop. His name is Kerry Montgomery (Forgive me if my spelling is wrong.) and unfortunately was very sick and could no longer use it. So he thought it would be nice to display at the shop for a while.

And I 'm so glad they did. What a truly lovely example of a Merchx era bike.

I wanted to do a photographic expose on it (Even though my camera work leaves quite a bit to be desired.)

Just under 24lbs. That was a very competitive weight for it's time.

Clement were the tubulars of choice any race bike back in the day.

A head badge that needs no introduction. Check out the beautiful chrome lugs and fork crown too.

The paint color is a wonderful compliment to the chrome and silver bits. Especially the Campy groupo.

The Silca frame pump colored to match is a lovely touch. And something you only see on fully custom frames anymore.

A very tight cluster of gears and not near as many as now a days (True 10 speed).

Every component on this bike is near mint Campagnolo Nuovo Record. Just beautiful...

Looking at this bike, can in one breath shows how far we've come technologically. But also what we've lost in care and craftsmanship. You don't see lugs like that outside a fully custom shop anymore. You don't see a lot of things outside a custom shop anymore. They're are to busy trying to figure out which mass produced carbon frame from Taiwan or China will look the best with their logos and stickers on it (Sorry, I'm getting a little to retro grouch.). It's just a sign of the times unfortunately.

But we can have things like this bike to remind us of a simpler time. A more "hands on" time.

In a way, I think of it just like modern cars. A new car is in almost every way superior to their predecessor. But if given a choice. Would you rather have a new Mustang or a 1969 Mach 1 Mustang (The model they based the new one on.)? Yeah, me too....

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Just Makes Me Smile

I'll have a post up about this last weekend's race hopefully tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest. 

But I wanted to share this video that Brison brought to my attention.

There are many things that I love about this video. Not the least of which is that it features an awesome Jack Russell terrier named Lily.  I love dogs and Jack Russell's imparticular. My family and I have a great JR named Izzy. Even though she's getting old and I don't think there is any way that she could do this stuff now. I bet in her prime she would be giving Lily a run for her money.

Hope you enjoy it on this wet and windy Northwest day.

Rubber side down,

Big E

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 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Solutions To Non-Problems

Warning: This post is elitist and snobby. I don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings. So please read on at your own risk.

Also, I'll have a race report and pictures from the Cross Crusade race at PIR up tomorrow or Wednesday depending on how quickly I get the photos gathered up.  Thanks....

Fred's are everywhere in the cycling world. Cycling in and of itself attracts a certain type of free thinker, contrarian that most other physical activities (With the exception of Geo-cachers) don't. Not that I mind that.  I myself am a bit of all of those things. And some of my favorite people I would firmly set into that category as well. But there are a select few that have jumped the proverbial Fred shark. And this guy is one...

I mean, what the hell!?

Front view of the tandem
The article is about that very irritating phenomena of having your bar bag to high (I can't tell you how many times I've wished for a solution to this dilemma.) But the thing that caught my eye almost immediately was the double brake lever. What the hell!?

I guess this guy (I'm assuming it's a male. Because I sincerely doubt a women would ever think this was a problem in the first place.) is into redundancy.

He's got multiple bags. Which I'm sure is for a trip to the local park. Because we all know you need to take a three day supply of food and clothing for a four hour ride.

Then the lights. I can only guess this is to play night intramural Frisbee with his 12 closest friends.

But the best part is what the article was all about in the first place. Bag placement...

Rear view.

At first I was a bit alarmed by the fact that perhaps this was another Retro Grouch Fred pedalling (Haha. Get it?)  his philosophy of why a quill stem and friction shifters were far superior to anything that's been produced within the last 2 decades.

Rear view.

But I became quite relieved to see that in fact this was more of a moderate Fred. Who is more excepting of modern ways and designs. Pheww... Dodged that bullet.

Rear view.
Now the only thing that's puzzling me is where did the extra braking power of the mighty third lever go? Hmmm...  It's a mystery that may never be solved.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Really Want This Garage!

This weekend is the final Cross Crusades race of the year. And minus something big happening I will have do all of them. They are a wonderful good time and I am all ready missing them.

I also wanted to take a second and say happy Veteran's Day to all our previous and current troops. Thank you for everything that you do. XOXO.

Now on with the show!

Plenty of Pedro's bike care products, extra team helmets, tires and whatever else a rider might need
Could I just have one of each? Please?

This is the "home base" of the Rapha-Focus Team (The Field Manager's garage.). And you can get the full experience with pictures and words in  this article from

That being said. I haven't coveted someone else's garage and vehicle so badly in a really long time. I mean WOW!

Can I have this for Christmas? Please... Please!?

The empty slots represent the stock already in Europe with Powers and Hopper, the team's mechanic
Hardly any wheels to choose from...

Each wheel is numbered, as is each hook — everything has its place and it's apparent what's missing
I know, right!? Look at that vacuum...

The Rapha-Focus team's Mercedes Sprinter cargo van
Mercedes. Nice...

A box of used Dugasts; even Dallas 'cries a little bit' when the team flat one of these handmade tires. The team buy all of their tires from 'Uncle Stu' [Stu Thorne, who owns Dugast USA and runs Powers' former team], according to Dallas
They just couldn't quite splurge for the FMB's.

Wheel racks and tool boxes inside the Sprinter
They have a better shop in the truck than I do at home...
Color me (Inside the lines please.) with the jealous crayon.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Applecore Cross And Cross Crusade At Barton Park

I just wanted to apologize for it being so long since the last post. Life can be a huge time suck. Also, all the pictures taken in this post were done by Thomas with Adam's camera. Thanks guys!

This weekends racing kicked my ASS!

It's what I get for writing my last post. It's practically begging the cyclocross gods to knock me down.

I wrecked FIVE times this weekend. Five... I don't think I wrecked that much the whole rest of the season combined. Between Applecore Cross on Saturday and Cross Crusade at Barton Park on Sunday I am a beat and battered mess. Nothing debilitating, but certainly uncomfortable.

The odd thing is that I felt pretty good in both races. I always felt within myself. I just was that uncoordinated. I felt like a lab puppy tromping out there with paws flying everywhere.

Applecore Cross was done at EZ Orchards here in town. On fellow Capital Velo member's Mark and Sharon Zielinski's farm. It's a great place to have a cross race. But deceptively difficult.

You look at the course and think. Oh, it's flat. No problem. WRONG! That track made me work for every pedal stroke. Between the super slippery mud in the orchard to the wet grass and gravel in other areas it would bite you in the butt anytime you weren't paying attention.

The combination of grass clippings and mud made for a difficult mechanical day as well . According to Adam who was working the pit area in the afternoon. There were twelve broken derailleurs by the end of the day. That's a lot by any one's standards.

But it was still a lovely time and so nice to not have to travel and hour and half plus to a race. Along with having a lovely store that has apple cider donuts and chocolate milk for afterward took the sting out of most of my crashes (What!? Don't judge me!).

The seventh race in the Cross Crusade series was done at Barton Park just outside of Estacada (Speaking of hour and half drives...) It is most definitely not the prettiest venue you'll ever see for a cross race. A gravel pit and county truck sheds don't really add to the ambiance of a place that's for sure. But its a fun track none the less. Fast too. With a lot of open area to move in made the pace high the whole day. With speeds in 15-18 mph averages (That's high for cross.) it was  "keep the gas on" scenario the whole race.

Adam raced first and had a good time. Finishing in the upper half  and he seemed reasonably pleased.

Yutaka and Jarod did awesome! (I'm feeling the word "sandbagger's" rising in the back of my throat... )Both finishing in the top ten.

Brison and I raced next. With the race starting at the top of the hill and going straight down from there I was doing pretty well (Fat guys go down hill fast...) I was probably in the lower teens after the first half lap or so. My legs were turning well. And the two fairly large run ups on the course weren't causing me to much pain. I felt as though I might have a shot at a top ten finish. And then it happened... (Are you noticing this pattern too?)

Right after the course goes down a steep off camber hill the course takes a fast 180 degree turn, crosses a small wood bridge and then goes by the pit. Well I made it down the hill and around the turn with out much muss or fuss. And the next thing I know my face is slamming into the wood bridge.


I was kind of dazed for a second or two. Making a mental check list of what just happened. It then occurred to me that I better slide out of the way or I'm going to get run over. Which I didn't, thank goodness.  But my cheek hurts. My hand hurts like a mother and so does my knee.

Once I confirm that everything can move and are in their proper places I grab my bike to make sure it still rolls. Which it seems to do just fine once I bang the shifters back into place (Sorta...). And I head back out to finish. Stupid personal rules...

As I'm rolling along I was taking it real easy. All the fight had been bashed out of me.  I just wanted to roll through and be done.  Then I see 'Bianchi Dave (Formerly Cannondale Dave)' roll up by me. It's nice to see a friendly face out there. And I ride with him or near him for the remainder of the race.

As we're getting close to the same bridge section again and I had the leader of the Cat C's pass me. In my head I figured I should be seeing Brison come flying by soon. And when I made one of the 180 turns I looked back to see if I could see him coming. But I didn't really. Hmmm...

I had the second, third, and fourth guys from the C's go bye. But still no Brison. Finally I saw him. And he looked like he was hurting (But then again he looks like that even when he's winning).

 So I start to slow down. There was a section of the course coming up that was all asphalt and I was consistently flying by everyone there. So I figured I would wait for Brison. Pace him through that section and give him a bit of a pep talk and guide him as long as I could.  I honestly didn't know if it would do any good. But I figured I might as well try.

As he started to roll up to me I was yelling at him to get on my wheel. His said his legs were cold and he just couldn't get going. I told him to catch his breath sitting behind me. And I put the hammer down. Or small brad nailer... Since I don't really know if I have what anyone would call a hammer.  Anyway...

I gave it the beans and kept encouraging him through that section. Up the long run up. Then down the other side and up the gravel road on the back side of the course. By then I think I had done any good that I was going to do.  And by the time I was down the other side of the gravel road Brison had shot off into the distance.

I kept as fast a pace as I could through the finish.  I even had to pull a little bit of a sly move to make sure no one past me right at the finish line. Hey, all's fair in love and war.

Once I rolled through the finish and stopped I took a real inventory of everything on my body.  I was bleeding from my leg. Again. On the exact same spot as the last time. Again. There is a 3 inch patch of my knee that has seen more action than a loose chick in Cancun on spring break.  My hand was really starting to swell. And as it turned out I have a bruise the size of a silver dollar in the middle of my palm. That's a first... The rest of the patches were just some scrapes and scratches (Although there was one on my left nipple. Again, a first for me. I usually use the safety word before things get that rough.).

It felt good to be done. I finished in 27th place. Not to terrible considering everything.

Brison did much better even though he was not feeling great. 8th place was his number for the day.

So a very action packed weekend all said and told. 

There are only two more races for me this year. And only one more Cross Crusade race. I think I may end up doing all of the series this year. Which is a first for me (A lot of firsts lately...) Its been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to them both.

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cycling Is Elemental

There are a few things that have been floating around in my head lately. Among the many things is, at least in part. Is the different compartments of what I like about biking.

I think physical exercise as well as competition can bring us all back to something that we have lost as humans (At least for those of us lucky enough to have been born in a first world country.). Something truly elemental in nature. Not just survival of the fittest. Although I think that has something to do with it too. But it teaches us to focus on just a few specific things. And in a world filled with interwebs, boob tube, cellphone/toasters, and all other manner of distractions. Those moments where all you are concerned about is what's right in front of you. And how your body and mind can be on the knifes edge of that. THAT is a lot of what makes cycling so great to me.

When I get on my bike I'm no longer worrying about work, family, friend's or even whats going to happen later that day.

It's my breathing, my muscles, my brain and my machine. Acting in force with one another to move all towards a common goal.

Weather that's a group ride or the finish line of a race or even getting to work on time. It doesn't matter. It's all those things and none of them.

Although I think a lot of other endurance sports have it as well, suffering, is a common attribute.  I don't know why suffering has such a bad rap. It can teach us all so much. Not only what we can and can't do ( At least not yet.). But it also gives us confidence in ourselves and our ability to make it through something.

Maybe your terrible at hills. A hill may be really steep and long. And you may not be able to get over it with the fastest people (Or maybe you can. It doesn't really matter either way.) but if you put your mind in the proper place. You WILL get over it. Even if it means pushing your bike. You can get over it.

And in doing so confidence is made. The understanding that regardless of how bad it gets. With the right preparation and attitude we can get through anything that life throws our way. What a wonderful lesson to learn!

I think that is one of the most important tools that any of us can have in life. The understanding and faith that we can make it through whatever is in front of us. It's invaluable knowledge.

I've often said before what my main goals for racing are.

1. Always finish if I'm physically able.
2. Don't wreck.
3. Finish in as high a placing as I can.

It's so easy to quit. But why?

What can we learn from quiting? Other than what it feels like to quit. I don't really see any other benefit.

But staying in the game/race/ride. That's where all the experience comes from.  Otherwise why would we be out there.

I want to see what happens next! I want to have that memory locked in my head until some other peace of knowledge (useful, hopefully) pushes it out.

These are basic life skills. But they are also things that aren't as readily accessible in today's society. And just like many other life skills I think that we should remind ourselves of them frequently. Because you never know when they will be called upon. And some of us, like me. Need way more practice than others.

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cross Crusade Old Mill District In Bend

Quit staring at my teats! Perv...
What a roller coaster of a weekend. We laughed, we cried. There was exceptional performances and some mediocre ones (Mostly by me.). It was loud and jubilant. As well as quiet and serene. There was dust (Did I mention the dust?) Hell, there were even cows...

We packed up the Grizwald family truckster ( aka The Team Van)  with the whole family in tow Friday afternoon and headed east. To a very rural sleepy town called, Bend. Maybe you heard of it.

Adam scaling the log barriers.

I may have said it before but I believe it maybe some sort of requirement by law that when you live in Bend you are either to own a Subaru or an Audi (Or both.). Perhaps they give you one when you sign for your house papers. Or as a lovely parting gift after leaving California. Which ever way it is there are a ton of them out there.

We staid at the Seventh Mountain Resort. Which was nice. Although small for our needs. If there were two people that knew each other pretty well. Or four people that knew each other VERY well. Or a clown with all their co-workers it would work out well. But since we were only five people that knew each other VERY VERY well I figured we would be "okay". But it was still a little squeezy.

The resort was about five miles away from the race course. Which isn't to bad if we were only going there once a day. But we went back and forth two to three times a day and it got a bit old. For all involved. But since I was staying there because I did some work for a friend's friend in trade. Pickers can't be choosers of their own friend's boogers.  Or something like that.

Anyway, on to the races!

Holy crap it was dusty (Did I mention that already?)!

Luckily our races were in the morning. Which I think helped. But not a lot.

We met up with Adam and Jenni Saturday morning at the course after my poor lovely wife spent the better portion of two hours trying to heard all the kids (Myself included.) out the door on time.  As we went to get registered the rest headed off to get coffee and other legal stimulants.

Brison and I re conned the course. It was a true all-arounder course. Down hills, steep run ups, loose corners, lots of dirt (Did I mention the dust?), grass, a bunch of barriers and fly over to boot. In other words this track had a little bit of everything.

Adam, Jarod and David were all in the Beginners race. I could tell from the looks on their faces that the elevation was also playing a factor. And as predicted. Almost all the races were won by Bend people (Benders?, Bendites?). Us low landers just didn't seem to have the lung capacity to hang. At the front of the pack at least. Well, except for Brison.

Brison and I raced at the same time. He did great! Got second, and looked good the whole time.  Brison has acquired enough points now to get a call up to the front of the pack before the start. Which will make a huge difference the rest of the series.

Dusty and Dave working it in the B race.

Myself on the other hand. I was starting mid to back pack the whole weekend. Meh. Nothing to be done about it. Except maybe place well enough to get a call up too (Sorry, I just spit up a little.) I could feel the elevation acutely within about half a lap. But I kept within myself for a reasonable 18th place.

The 2011 Dust Bowl...

The impressive thing the whole weekend was the starts. When the mass of riders hit the dirt for the first time. Before there was really any separation within the group. You couldn't see anything. I mean the wheel in front of you was it. You just hoped and prayed that they didn't stack it right in front of you. Lucky for me that didn't happen in my races. But I don't think everyone was as fortunate.

It's kind of like driving right behind someone on a super foggy night on a curvy road. And knowing that if they miss a corner your going right with them.

The mornings were cold. But as soon as the sun peeked over the horizon it warmed up pretty quickly. Both mornings I felt over dressed by the time my race was done. But it sure was nice to soak up just a few more rays of sunshine before the weather really shifts off to crap for the next 7-9 months.

I had convinced Brison that he should do the Juniors race as well. Which turned out not to be the start time that I thought it was. So he was under fed and watered and bonked about half way through. He toughed it out. But it wasn't very good for his morale. He ended up somewhere in the twenties. Which was pretty good considering. But I don't think he was going to listen to that at the time.

We went back to the hotel. Enjoyed some lunch that Hollie prepared for us. It was awesome as usual. And spent the rest of the afternoon going to a skate park (For Andrew.) horsing around on the play structure with Luke. And then taking a swim and a hot tub back at the hotel.

We ate dinner and then headed back (again) to the course for the...


Which were at 8:30 at night with a bunch of drunk, cheering, costume wearing fans. I didn't know it was a  costume race. So I got heckled quite a bit. My bad... But it was still a lot of fun. They only had it around the building and not off in the dusty dirt. It was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed having such a huge crowd cheering me on. As well as two beer and three donut hand ups. Awesome!  Now I'm not one to brag. But you are looking at literally one of the top teensish Clydesdale racers in the universe. You may bow now....

Sunday is the fun race. Costumes!

Most everyone doesn't take the racing to serious. Well except maybe the top 6 or so.  Everyone works hard. But it's all about the parade of different characters. I saw a lot of Wizard of Oz characters. As well as a lot of Crusaders. Which I suppose is to be expected.

But the numbers were a lot lower in the morning because of the massive party that was happening at Deschutes Brewery after the Clydesdale race on Saturday night. I think everyone got well oiled. And were a little to crispy to handle getting up early. So we were about half of what we were the morning before.

Adam was a maid. And I'd have thought all that dust would have driven his maidly was made. But it didn't seem to.

J gets the "Big E Best Costume" award (Don't get excited. Its just a used copy of Cyclocross Magazine and a half used pack of wet ones. Enjoy!). He went as Kick-Ass. Which is awesome. Because he feels no pain. And I would think that would come in real handy at a cross race.

I obviously went as a cow. I would tell all the kids to drink milk. And generally try to make it a positive cow message. Just because that's how I roll. I was amazed at how many little kids really did like to come up to me and stare. Or point and yell "cow!". It was pretty cool.

Yutaka and David

Yutaka was a masked top hat fella.

Brison was an adorable little fairy princess. Which seems fitting...

The entire Buy Local team had a feathers theme going on. Very impressive. I'd still like to know how they got all those feathers to stick...

All said in told it was much the same as Saturday as far as racing goes. Except that poor Brison got a flat front tire and ended up having to run 3/4 of a lap unnecessarily because of some bad information given to him by one of the pit crew. He seems to have more bad luck with those guys...

So he ended up going from 3rd to 26th by the end of the race. I was real proud of him for sticking it out. And was really impressed that he kept his loses so small. Just goes to show how far ahead of everyone else he already was. Regardless, I was glad to see him work through it and finish strong (And on Adam's bike.)

So we got cleaned up and got the heck out of Dodge...

It was a fun weekend race wise. But I think the whole family can attest to the fact that it was "relaxing". But I guess that's what the work week is for right?

Rubber side down,

Big E