Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 28th, 2011 at 1:33 pm
circa 1995 bib shorts to muster
up my glory days.
(Photo: Tomas/Team Slow)
Portland is lucky to have such a great facility like PIR so close to the city, and to have such a healthy racing scene.
PIR was full of bikes, racers, families, and fans. Not only was the dirt track and infield buzzing with mountain bikes but there was also a criterium race going on at the main track.
irony of my number plate.
I raced in the "Sport" category and had a heck of a time weaving through the course — which was part slaloms and small climbs through a wooded area and part whoops and bumps on the motorcross track. I didn't have my best outing, but it was enough to catch the bug again and I'm already planning to race more this year.
Big thanks to Bill at CyclePath bike shop (2436 NE MLK Blvd) for setting me up with a super-sweet bike. I'm so out of touch with the latest gear these days that I had no idea how amazing it was until everyone started gawking at it during warm-ups. Apparently it's a big deal (Carbon Scott Scale 29er with lockout fork)...
How'd it ride? Very nice. Never missed a beat and it snapped around corners and floated over bumps like an obedient race machine should (just wish my legs were as finely tuned).
If you've never been, PIR is just a few tenths of a mile north of Kenton in North Portland (head north at the Paul Bunyan statue and you're there). It's a breeze via the bike lanes on Interstate and Denver (which have thankfully been widened recently). There's even a Yellow Line MAX stop right at the main entrance.
One last thing; if you've got kids who love bikes and might be curious about racing, Short Track is tailor-made. They do a free kids race each week at 5:40 and all ages are welcome. I brought my 5 1/2 year old out and — while she's not quite into racing just yet — she tried out the course after the last races were over. It was a blast and a big breakthrough for my girl in getting comfortable on her bike. Check out this photo below by Oregon Velo of a recent kids race:
After a break for the 4th of July, Short Track continues through August 1st. Plenty of time left to give it a try! Learn more at PortlandRacing.com.