The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Racers tackle Rose Garden Circuit race in Washington Park

Posted by on April 12th, 2013 at 9:24 am

(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.

This is the second year of the race, which is sponsored by West End Bikes (1111 SW Stark) and put on by Steven Beardsley and Tony Kic of Giro Events. Their race brings the spring season of road racing right into Portland proper. The 1.6 mile circuit loops around the International Test Rose Garden and Washington Park reservoir for a fast sweeping downhill with a nearly 8 percent uphill climb to the top of each lap. Mr. Beardsley describes this course as being even more challenging than the legendary Mt. Tabor Circuit race held in Mt. Tabor Park. (And Beardsley should know, he’s won his fair share of races at Tabor.)

Race promoters Steven Beardsley (L) and Tony Kic.

So far this year, participation numbers are slightly up at the Rose Garden Circuit Race and more people are showing up each week. Last week’s field had a total of 75 racers with the largest majority in the Men’s 4/5 category and several categories of Master’s 4/5 added to that. The time limits on the course range from 20 minutes for Women’s 4/5 to 30 minutes for Men’s 4/5 and Women’s 1/2/3 with Senior Men riding for 50 minutes.

Riding the loop course (check out the route here via RideWithGPS) is like doing repeat sprint intervals both sitting and out of the saddle, a high pedaling cadence, and attempts at recovery. In short, it’s a great workout that gives you a taste of race speed and chances to work on strategy. It has all the ingredients for prepping riders, both new and experienced, for the upcoming race season.

Team Sorella Forte dominated the Women’s 4/5 field.
(Photo: Judd Eustice)

Jeff Condry was all smiles after his second race ever. Last week, he finished third in the Men’s 4/5. Last night, he finished second.
(Photo: Judd Eustice)

There are two more weeks left in the series (4/18 and 4/25). You can register at the event for $15. Learn more at

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  • Eric Nagle April 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I demand a stop to this!

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  • takeaspin22 April 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Last night’s race was as fun and challenging as it usually is. I love the combination of high speeds, tight corners, and a tough climb. It would be hard to find a race in a more beautiful setting than Washington Park in the spring.

    Non-racers – for a great after work activity, bring a picnic up to the rose garden and watch some high-intensity racing!

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  • Joe April 12, 2013 at 10:28 am

    sweet thats a hard good section to do laps on, closed to cars during race? didn’t hear about this but total awesome!

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    • SB April 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Joe, the whole loop is completely closed to cars during the races. I’m guessing it’s the only time during the year that riders can ride around the Rose Garden without auto traffic.

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  • GlowBoy April 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Oh yes, the course is closed to cars. It is also closed to non-racers on bikes — as I discovered on my ride home last night. There are “detour” signs posted, but they are primarily intended for cars and dump you onto upper Burnside, NOT a bike-friendly place.

    The race course intercepts the primary bike commute route from Beaverton to Portland. There’s a good, safe way around (Kingston/Tichner/Wright/WA Way) but it may not be obvious to everyone. How about signing the bike detour during future races?

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    • SB April 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. We will look into it. Glad you were able to find a good way around.

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  • Joe April 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I ride thru there too but didnt yesterday. I wish it was closed for cars all the time * grin * 🙂

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  • Brad Ross April 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Steven and Tony are such a cute couple.

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