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On local backroads, getting lost is part of the fun

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Aaron Leritz checks a map on his phone somewhere
in the hills west of Scappoose.
(Photos: Judd Eustice)

Semi-organized, unsanctioned rides on a mix of gravel and paved roads are increasingly popular these days. There were three in the Portland area last weekend alone. One of the reasons people love these rides is the sense of adventure they afford. There are no markings or course officials. Riders are on their own except for the friends they bring or make. BikePortland contributor Judd Eustice tackled the Scappoose Soul Slaughterer yesterday and ended up getting lost. In the process, he had more fun than he ever expected. When he got home (after a shower and some food of course) he typed up a stream-of-consciousness recap in an email to me. He planned to clean it up before I posted it; but I thought it was fun to read in its original form. Hope you do too. — Jonathan

It was a bit of a mess from the start.

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Racers tackle Rose Garden Circuit race in Washington Park

Friday, April 12th, 2013
(Photo: Pat Malach/Oregon Cycle Action)

The rain came into play once again last night at the Rose Garden Circuit Race, which held in Portland’s Washington Park. Thus, the streak for wet weather over the past two seasons of the series is still without end. The wet road made for some slippery turns, but this week’s race had more upright bikes at the finish and few if any injuries to riders. This is in contrast to last week’s opening event, which saw its fair share of crashes. (more…)

A report from the Mudslinger mountain bike race

Monday, April 8th, 2013
Mielle Blomberg smiling through the muck.
(Photo: Shane Young/Oregon Velo)

Mielle Blomberg, blogger and team member of Les Femmes de S+M, and sent in this race report from yesterday’s Mudslinger cross-country mountain bike race. — Judd Eustice

As race promoter Mike Ripley blew the starting whistle for the rain-soaked racers, we sounded like a flock of angry geese in the middle of the gravel road as our disc brakes sounded off in unison. 325 of my closest mountain bike racing friends took part in yesterday’s wet adventure, also known as the the Mudslinger, held in Blodgett, Oregon for its 25th year.

Ripley reported that of the 325 total racers, 50 were beginners and, in a sign of the mountain biking’s general health in Oregon, 25% of the entire turnout where first-time riders or juniors. (more…)

Racers hunt for fast times at Sunday’s Crank Time Trial

Monday, April 1st, 2013
This racer relied on his spidey-sense.
(Photos: Judd Eustice)

Portland’s racing season has gotten off to a great start. Yesterday, 160 riders put off their Easter festivities to test their fitness at the first event in the Crank Time Trial series at Portland International Raceway. The field doubled in size since its inception two years ago, and promoters Chad Smeltzer and Justin Tutor anticipate even larger fields in the next race on Memorial Day, May 27th.

The race, once again blessed with pleasant weather, provided an ideal setting for fast competition. The 12-mile closed course (6 laps x 2 miles) with light winds and no impediments to avoid, enabled everyone to push the pace and some blistering times were recorded.

The fastest leg on Sunday belonged to Colby Wait-Molyneux (Pro 1/2), who completed the course in 22:50.43 (that’s a sustained speed of about 30 mph!). This beat his previous record time of 23:29 that he put down two years ago. His next fastest competitor was William O’Donnell (Pro 1/2) who cruised in at 23:44.82.
(more…)

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