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Racing begins tonight out at PIR: Novice riders welcome

Posted by on April 16th, 2012 at 9:26 am

The action starts this week and it’s now open to men and women of all ages and abilities.
(Words and photos by Pat Malach/Oregon Cycling Action)

Weeknight racing is back at Portland International Raceway (PIR) beginning tonight and Tuesday, with expanded opportunities on both days for beginners and women.

Monday PIR, which has always been exclusively for Masters (ages 35+) and women racers, will open its Novice men’s category to all ages this year.

“The men’s Cat 1/2/3 and men’s Cat 4/5 field on Mondays will continue to be age 30+ only,” said race promoter Adam Edgerton of Team Oregon/Laurelwood Brewing. “But we think that allowing everyone a chance to get into the sport in a very beginner-friendly field and venue is important. This, paired with the clinics held each week immediately before the novice races, make Monday PIR the perfect place to come out and race your bike.”

Hopefully you’ll be flying too.

The flat and wide two-mile loop at PIR has excellent quality pavement and is closed to all car traffic. Racing at the venue usually emphasizes pack riding and sprinting. Clinics for beginning road racers will include basics of bike racing led by Chris Swan of Upper Echelon Fitness along with other top racers and coaches. The second Monday of each month will feature a women’s-specific clinic. Cost for the clinics is $10, or $25 total including race entry fee.

Monday PIR race distances vary each week depending on daylight, field size and weather, but will average 10-15 miles (novice), 20-30 miles (open women) and 30-55 miles (masters 1/2/3, 4/5). The exact distance each night will be announced at registration.

The PIR Tuesday Nighter, one of the longest-running race series in Oregon, added new fields for Cat 4 and Novice women this year, and there will also be separately scored races for the Cat 3/4 and Cat 1/2/3 women, who will start with their respective men’s fields.

The Cat 1/2/3 races on Tuesday night area also dependent on daylight but average about 40 miles. The Cat 3 race averages about 30 miles. The Cat 4 group will race six laps for 12 miles, and the novices will do five laps for 10 miles.

Both Monday and Tuesday night races are points races. Finish-line points are awarded 10 deep in each race, and “Hot Spot” points are awarded three deep for intermediate sprints in some races. Finish points and Hot Spot points are totaled for each rider for the night, and the winner of the race is the person with the most points. Nightly points are totaled at the end of each month and prizes awarded in each category.

Monday PIR runs through Aug. 27. The PIR Tuesday Nighter continues through Aug. 28.

Monday PIR Schedule:
6:15 — Novice Men (all ages)
6:20 — Novice Women (all ages)
6:35 — Open Women (Category 1/2/3/4, all ages)
6:40 — Masters Men 30+ (Category 1/2/3)
6:45 — Masters Men 30+ (Category 4/5)

PIR Tuesday Nighter Schedule:
6:00 — Cat 4 Women
6:05 — Novice Women
6:20 — Cat 4 Men
6:25 — Novice Men
6:40 — Cat 3/4 Men & Women
6:45 — Cat 1/2/3 Men & Women

— Contributor Pat Malach keeps a close eye on Oregon’s huge bike racing scene. Check out more of his photos and reports at Oregon Cycling Action.

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  • jeff April 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

    The Canadian geese are in town. Be sure to keep your mouth closed out there if its raining.

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    • Charles April 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      They are Canada geese, not Canadian geese. They hold no citizenship.

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  • Pat Malach April 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Wenzel Coaching is also providing free clinics for novice riders on Tuesday nights, beginning at 5:30

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