The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Slideshow: At the track for Zak

Posted by on July 7th, 2008 at 10:35 am

A Friday at the Velodrome-20.jpg

Racers in repose between heats.
More images
Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

On Friday, the local racing community came together to support an injured friend.

Zak Kovalcik (pictured here at the event) broke his collarbone while racing at Alpenrose Velodrome a few weeks ago and, without insurance and being unable to work (he is a bike messenger), he needed help with his hospital bills.

The community answered the call and has already raised over $2,000 for the cause.

On Friday, a weekly track racing event that was turned into a Zak Kovalcik benefit raised $1,700. All race entry fees were donated to Kovalcik and funds also came from a raffle of prizes donated by local businesses and bike companies.

I toted my camera gear up and over the beautiful hills west of downtown Portland to capture the action and bring you the slideshow below.

Sit back and enjoy the colorful people, the bikes, and the racing action that makes track racing such a fun and exciting part of our community.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • anonymous July 7, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I don\’t understand why Zak is unable to work. Are there no other jobs available?

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  • Ethan July 7, 2008 at 11:03 am

    What happened to the BP forum?

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  • SkidMark July 7, 2008 at 11:15 am

    anon: it\’s really difficult to ride a bike with a broken collarbone. If you mean find another job, if you have any leads please pass them on…

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  • erin g. July 7, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Amazing photos, Jonathan! Thank you for attending and supporting this great day of high-spirits and community fun. The pictures capture the people, action, and sense of camaraderie in a unique and beautiful way. My mind was also on art as I watched: the eloquence of the athletes (*especially Sharky; he\’s a Michelangelo work in motion*) made me want to dig out my long forgotten art supplies and draw: such athletes, movement, and grace amidst the toughness of the sport. This was my version of watching fireworks on the 4th. It couldn’t have been better, and the fun was all for a great cause.

    The day was not all about giving or receiving: it was about exchange on many levels. It\’s nice that people in this day and age will come together to give a friend a little boost and a lot of smiles when life\’s potholes get in the way (*we all experience them sometimes*). Anyone who knows Zak knows that he’d be first in line to extend some help and good cheer if he ever had a friend in need. Listening to him cheer, encourage, and informally coach less-experienced racers was really fun. Thanks to all who worked so hard to organize the event, raffle, and post-race picnic, and thank you, Jonathan, for your great energy and photos!

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  • Zaphod July 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I don\’t understand why anonymous is unable to care. Are there no other souls available?

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  • Grimm July 7, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    What a bunch of jerks. Riding their bikes. Having fun. Helping someone out in the process. They should all be throw in jail obviously.

    But no really, it was a good day out and a fun way to spend the 4th. Get well soon Zak.

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  • Aka July 10, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Maybe he should think about getting an insurance and going back to school to obtain a real job before racing again… just saying.

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  • josh m July 12, 2008 at 6:16 am

    and maybe you can go back to the school of life and not be a douchebag?

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