Thursday, November 23, 2006

Big Time Cross in Portland - 11/19/06

The "big dogs" came to Portland for the USGP series final race. The race was out at Hillsboro stadium and the weather was PERFECT for a cross race (rain and ALOT of mud).

I was recovering from a cold I had all week, so no racing for me. However, I couldn't miss a chance to see the big boys and girls ride. My cross buddies Neal and Evan did brave the elements and survived the slug through the mud.

It was amazing how much better these national guys/gals were. They opened up some serious gaps between them and the top riders from Oregon.

Chris Horner (raced in the Tour de France, lives in Bend OR, rides Specialized like me - however, a nicer bike) was there. I actually got to chat with him after he pulled up next to me as I was watching at the start line. He made a point that he was just doing this for "fun". How cool is that!!! Here he is slugging in the mud.

Barry Wicks is a fellow that grew up in Corvallis and is now racing the national mountain bike and cross scene. I chatted with him while he was warming up on the trainer about Cornvalley. I think he likes the sunny weather in CA now ("big time" must be going to his head). His teammate, Ryan Trebon, and him are called the twin towers because they are about 6'-5" and skinny as a rail. They also kicked butt (Ryan won the series).

Here's a article in Velonews about the race (note the hot tub photo - only in PDX - way cool): VeloNews

Way cool awards party afterwards. Congrats to my buddy Evan who placed with the A crew.

Until next September - cheers to CrossCrusade.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Estacada Cross (Cross Crusade #6) - 11/12/06

Luke and Denise joined me again as I traveled to the fine town of Estacada for the Cross Crusade .

It's kinda off the beaten path, but that's probably a necessary thing for a cross race.

Weather turned out great. The rain and the big predicted storm held back. However, it's been raining the past week, so the course was nice, muddy, and slick.

The course wined through the park. There weren't any hill climbs or steep nasty sections to run up. They set out a section of 4 smaller logs which were great for a bunny hop (took a couple laps to nail down the technique). There was a nasty off-camber turn that required a dismounted run otherwise you'd slide down the hill. Overall, a nice fast muddy "stroll" through the park.

I did have one slippery corner close encounter with the mud. Went in alittle to fast. Luckily, it was a nice soft landing. Did scrape my scabbing knee (that was finally healing from the 1st race). Noticed a couple holes in my favorite $150 bike shorts when I got home - another LESSON LEARNED.

Wow, this photo makes me look really fast. I think it's my favorite.

No "computer enhancement", of course.

Well, this is probably the final cross race for me this year. It's so sad that it's coming to an end. Good thing the Crusade Party next week has free beer and a raffle for free cool stuff - can't miss that.