Monday, September 15, 2008

Pain on the Peak... truth in advertising!

A fabulously sunny Saturday in September. Kind of hot, even. This was the first edition of Portland Velo's "Pain on the Peak" cyclocross race on Bald Peak in Hillsboro (Oregon).

Fantastic views all around.

My wife and son came out too-- the boy was stoked for racing and his skills have improved greatly this summer! Riding off-road is now wayyyy more fun and far less frustrating for him. Which is good.

Overall it was a fun race, and a great venue. It would have been super-rad with a little moisture, but hey-- I'll take what I can get.

Let's do a little post-race analysis:
First I load up on Nutella slathered (gluten-free) waffles a mere hour before the event. Mmmm. Oh yeah. Good stuff.

I drank one cup of water and two or so cups of tea with breakfast and a final sip of water pre-race. (When I got home and took a whiz, it looked like orange juice. Whoops! I guess I was just a teensy bit dehydrated. I wonder why? I drank like a fish the rest of the day.)

Warm-up? That's what the first lap is for.

After the first lap I feel like vomiting up my waffles. However, given how precious Nutella is to me, there is NO WAY I'm letting those go. So they keep insisting to be let free for most of the rest of the race. I also have zero go-power. Doubtless a result of the massive carbo-bomb that my gut is dealing with. My legs just have nothing to give. Zip.

So sad and pathetic.

I'm also being treated by my chiropracter for a wacky neck. So every little bump on the course I can feel amplified in my shoulder and neck. I feel better if I keep my head down so that just adds to my overall whupped appearance to spectators (and contributes to my hang-dog feeling... I suck.)

Going into the race I didn't feel especially competitive. Indeed, that morning I felt really out-of-sorts. Like this was my first race ever and I had no idea what I was doing. Bleah.

The dust was epic. Ankle deep and powdery in places. Incredible stuff. There were points where I couldn't see the gound in front of me-- I had to look way up and follow the crowd of helmets-- everything else was obscured by the billowing brown clouds! Breathing was kinda like squeezing a bottle of baby powder into your gob. Hack!

My son had fun and did quite well-- he was obviously pushing hard and didn't whine even once! (He's five.) Well... he did complain that the race was too short and wondered why he didn't get another race. (The adults were still racing... why couldn't he?) So I took that as a good sign. He's really liking the bike-- definitely a good thing. The announcer pulled my son aside and tried asking him about his race-- did he like it? Did he have fun? Did he get dirty? That sort of thing. My son got stage fright or something and only answered "yes" and "sure" and "uh huh".

In the end it was a fun time. The organizers (Portland Velo) did a great job of putting on a class-A event. the OBRA folks also have my undying admiration for all their work providing the "glue" that makes all this stuff hold together. Oregon is an awesome place to ride and race bikes! I look forward to next year's race!

Unfortunately I eventually had to wash of my dirt tattoo. I called it my "Pain on the Peak tat".

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