15 April 2010Racing Action!

Sunday I took some time off from working at the market to do some mountain bike racing. This was my first time on the mountain bike since moving to Portland so I was not quite sure what to expect. After some confusion with the GPS taking us through gravel roads, we arrived at the peacock-filled Horning's Hideout.

The GPS wanted us to go though this gate. It was welded shut.

I brought all my belts and my tent set up since I made some super cool trophies for the pro class. Not many sales here, but it paid for racing at least! Plus there was free Hopworks beer and some delicious vegan chili.

It was quite the nice day!

I want to do more trophy type stuff.

Best kit ever!

After setting up it was time to get ready to race! I wandered around a bit to get warmed up and noticed the uphill start (boo!) and uphill finish (boo!) - not my strong points. It had rained the night before so the singletrack was pretty greasy, which was a possible advantage. Last year's racing was pretty much all mud!

 And I'm off!

The start of the race was a long climb up a gravel road. It led to some singletrack (still climbing) to a short flat section, then another climb. The view here was spectacular: mountains in the distance over the valley we just climbed out of. After that it was a long descent through pastures into some wooded, muddy, singletrack.

Climb to the start/finish area.

There was some ups and downs, the usual type of thing, pretty fun course. No rocks though, and only two log piles. This place would have been super fast if it was dry! Right before the climb to the finish was a rather cold water crossing.

Big wheels kept me a little drier.

The first lap was shorter than the next two, presumably to spread out the field on that initial climb. The full lap had a shorter singletrack climb to some more up and down singletrack and eventually brought you back to the bottom of the big road climb. Lap three hurt a bit. I wasn't ready for all the climbing, but I still put in a good effort at the end when I passed a guy I thought was in my class (he wasn't) on the finish line climb. Ended up 12th out of 33, pretty good for my first off road outing in many months!