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Dispatch from Paris: ‘La Course by Le Tour’ was much more than just a race

Monday, July 28th, 2014
lacourse_podiumgirls
In Paris on Sunday there were women on the podium, not mere “podium girls.”
(Photo: Luc Revel)

— We’re excited to share a report from a major bike race in Paris — and we’re not talking about the Tour de France. Author and former Portland resident Anna Brones witnessed the first ever “La Course,” a women’s race put on by the organizers of the Tour, and she filed this report for BikePortland. (Photos by Luc Revel)
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With ‘PBLRB’, Let’s Race Bikes aims for top of women’s road racing

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
pblrb-team
These six aspiring bike racers (five of whom live in Portland) are competing on the national stage this week thanks to a community-wide effort led by Let’s Race Bikes.
Top (L to R): Beth Ann Orton, Sydney Running, Megan Gray.
Bottom (L to R):Brenna Wrye-Simpson, Alexandra Burton, Lelah O’ Shaughnessy.)
(All photos courtesy Let’s Race Bikes)

What happens when you take a group of women who are passionate about bike racing, combine it with supportive local businesses, and throw in a community that wants them to succeed?

PBLRB.
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In Portland, there’s a local bike race every night of the week

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Short Track Racing at PIR-3
The racing season has arrived in Portland.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s national reputation for cycling has more to do with commuting than any other type of riding (with naked riding a close second).

But what many people don’t fully appreciate is the local racing scene. With the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) providing a dedicated and competent backbone, Portland is full of race promoters and volunteers who put on a variety of excellent events. Add in a local business community eager to sponsor and support them and you’ve got the makings of a healthy racing scene.

In fact, starting this week, it’s possible to join an organized race event within a few miles of downtown Portland Monday through Friday. And on some nights there’s more than one option!

Scroll down to learn more about all the weeknight racing action available in this city… (more…)

1967 National Road Championships were ‘Portland’s Finest Hour’

Friday, May 24th, 2013
Cover of October 1967 American Cycling magazine
shows the nation’s top racers at Alpenrose Velodrome.
(Photos by Peter Hoffman)

While many people think of only bike commuters and naked rides when the topic of cycling in Portland comes up, our city also has a proud tradition when it comes to racing. We shared a glimpse of that legacy back in 2011 through James Mason’s amazing photographs of the local racing scene in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Now we’ve come across another interesting artifact of our racing past: The 1967 issue of American Cycling magazine that featured Portland on its cover.

Portland earned this cover spot for hosting the 1967 U.S. National Road Racing Championships. The competition took place over two days at the newly opened Alpenrose Velodrome and the infamous 1.7 mile circuit in Mt. Tabor Park.

The man who wrote and photographed that story for American Cycling is Peter Hoffman. Hoffman is 76-years old now and he lives in Beaverton (just over the hill from Portland). After seeing our story on James Mason’s racing images, Hoffman scanned his old issue of American Cycling and posted it online. Hoffman was publisher and editor of American Cycling for six years. It became Bicycling magazine in 1968 and Hoffman was its editor for that first year. (Read more about the history of American Cycling here.)
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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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Youth racing program ‘PDX Devo’ off to a fast start

Friday, April 12th, 2013

The PDX Devo Junior Cycling Team isn’t even one year old; but it’s already showing very promising signs of life. While its overarching goal is to find and develop tomorrow’s racing superstars, PDX Devo’s more immediate mission to “create lifelong cyclists and good citizens through competitive cycling.”

PDX Devo was founded as a nonprofit last spring by Portlanders Russell Cree and Brian Gerow, two men with deep connections to the local bike industry and racing scene. “I started racing bikes in high school and it’s given me so much in life,” says Cree, who’s now 37, still racing, and is the owner of Upper Echelon Fitness in northwest Portland. “It’s a lifestyle and culture that in incredible. It has literally been the driving force in my life from my teenage years to now.” (more…)

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…)

PSU Cycling Team poised for first-ever conference title

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Portland State University Cycling Team is rolling toward their best year ever. With a potent mix of talent, sheer numbers, and team chemistry, they sit atop the rankings of the Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference — ahead of such powerhouse programs like University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Oregon State.

I caught up with the team last Friday as they loaded their team trailer and vans to head to North Bend, Washington for a trio of races hosted by the University of Washington.
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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.
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