Monday, November 12, 2007

Timber Park Cross - 11/11/08

Timber Park near Estacada was the site for my 4th Cross Crusade race. It was also the Unofficial Official Cyclocross Single Speed World Championships (SSCXWC) - when one doesn't exist you can claim whatever title you want. Single speeders and cross means lots of crazy folks and beer. Actually, it was so cool that the national cross champion couldn't pass on showing up to this one (he beat everyone easily).

My race was a lesson on what NOT to do to prepare for a cross race - drink too many cocktails the night before. My morning mantra of "man at night, man in the morning" faded to "survive this last lap". I started out just fine. Got a great starting position (our group lines up 20 minutes prior to the start since it is the biggest class). I was hammering at a good pace. The course was fast and slippery. I fell on a corner in the 2nd lap and my shifter was jammed - stuck the big chain ring the rest of the race. The previous night activities started to take it's toll about the 25 minute mark. Survival mode kicked in and I made it through the finish. I was a bit shocked when the early results came out - 86 of 90 persons. I knew I was bad, but not that bad. Luckily, the officials reviewed the photo finish and realized they miss counted my laps. I moved to 41 of 90 on the results. Just imagine if I actually prepared for these tests of pain.

Luke competed in his 2nd Kiddie Kross. I figure it was the kids division of the Single Speed Championships since tricycles are indeed singlespeeds (however, no free beer for them). He did great. Looks like he is turning into quite the competitor. Enjoy the photos below (courtesy of Denise).

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Dream Bike

OK, I fell in love this weekend. It was at the Handmade Bike Show. I've been thinking about a custom bike for about a year now. Always "checkin' out" the figures and lines of other rigs at the cross races. Yes, it is bike ENVY and LUST.

However, I didn't really know what I wanted in my dream cross rig until this show. TITANIUM Wow, what a perfect metal for a cross bike. Stronger than steel, lustrous, corrosion resistant (good for wet and muddy), and a beautiful finish. No paint is required, so that means no paint chips when you bang it around. All you do is buff out a scratch with a brillo pad. How wonderful is that.

One builder had a frame he was passing around. It looked brand new, but it was 13 years old and had over 50,000 miles of racing on it. Amazing!!!!!

Now, I must decide who will build my dream bike. Definitely local and someone with lots of experience. Looks like either DeSalvo out of Ashland or TiCycles out of Portland.

Oh to dream, and dream big.......

Monday, November 05, 2007

Barton Park Cross Race

It was back in the saddle this weekend for cross racing. It was out at Barton Park near Estacada. A venue that I haven't raced before. Actually, it probably should be called Barton Rock Quarry since most of the course was at a quarry next to the park.

It was another sunny day for cross racing. This is actually unusual since rain and mud is typically a requirement for cross in the NW. Luckily, there was some mud on the course. There were a few run-ups, a fun quick decent (see photos below), and a mix of gravel roads and pavement. This was the first course with these longer run ups. Boy, they put me in the "red-zone". I was typically passed by a couple people on the run-up and pass them on the straight away. Looks like I need to work on those hill sprints!!!

My last lap was a great finish for me. There was about 1/2 mile of gravel road with a slight up hill to the finish. I caught the guy I was back-n-forth with most of the race and then passed a few more. It was a down to the wire sprint with another fellow to the finish. The finish line was right after a 180 turn around a tree (an odd finish line position). He lead into the corner since I slowed down since we were going way to hot. I slipped by him on the inside corner as he slid out to the outside since he was going to fast. Sometimes technique is the key in these races.

Denise and Luke will be out for the race next weekend, so look for a report next week.

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