Last year, Short Track was my first foray into both mountain biking and bike racing. I didn't do too bad for a first-timer and one of the things I figured out pretty quick was that getting to the event early and pre-riding is always a good idea. Except for when 'early' is actually 'too early'. Too early is, for example, when the course isn't totally finished because there was a crazy motocross mud-fest a few days previous that left giant tire-swallowing mud pits to bake in the sun and turn into either inescapable rock-hard ruts, or things that look suspiciously like rock-hard ruts until you try to cross perpendicular over one and it it crumbles into dust, sending you quickly to the ground, on your side, still clipped in and all.
|Pre-riding the Ruts of Doom (and not the worst of them by far).|
After nursing my abraded leg and snapping some quick photos, I headed back out to see if the course had changed at all. Pre-ride lap number two was much better as the combination of shovels and a few hundred pre-riders had leveled out most of the crusty ruts, leaving just enough to keep it interesting but still rideable for the beginners who were up first.
|Cat 3 (beginner) Men, Women, and Juniors lining up at the start.|
And now, because typing is for suckers, on to the highlights of what awaits should you choose to come out to Short Track at PIR.
-A spectator friendly venue:
-Free PB&Js courtesy of Portland Design Works:
|Ask Dan Powell about the gluten free option.|
-Fast people going fast:
-Classy facial hair:
|Matt Case "re-hydrating".|
-Crazy people racing their single speeds against people with gears:
|Daniel Evans - Ruckus Test Team|
-The Hart family laying the hammer down in every category they can:
All-in-all it was a pretty awesome season opener, though unlike last year, Team Metropolis didn't have a very good showing. Some of them were too busy racing boring-ass road bikes, or doing something equally as lame, like working. Oh well, maybe next week.
All the details pertinent to getting in on the action - schedule, cost, rules, awesomeness - can be found at Portland Racing. And if you make it out, say 'hi'. I'll be the crazy one in the Metropolis shirt racing my single speed against people with gears.