The third race of the 2013 'Cross Crusade took place on October 20th at the Heron Lakes course north of Portland International Raceway. Once again, the day started off foggy and cool, before breaking out into brilliant sunshine. Team Metropolis had a sizable group in the "C"/Clydesdale field and several racers were caught up in a nasty pileup at the start of the first lap where the course took a turn through a long stretch of loose gravel. Young Adriel was one of the casualties.
|Lots of loose gravel on this course. photo courtesy of K Nash.|
This was also the driest a PIR course has been in anyone's memory, and it was fast and fun, if a bit sketchy in spots.
|Action on the runup.|
|The Schwartz making a move.|
|Loose corner under the bleachers.|
We set up camp near the Vault, a large concrete platform about 16 inches high and 8 or 10 feet square. The fiendish minds that design the Crusade courses have long since determined that this makes a perfect barrier, and it has been featured in many races at this course. It's always a great place to spectate, especially since some of the more skilled racers don't dismount at all, but simply ride up and over the impediment.
|The infamous Vault. Sadly, I don't have any photos of the racers who just rode over it.|
The other main terrain features are a couple of stretches of off camber terrain on the backside of the only hill on the course. Otherwise, it's mostly flat. Most years, when it's wet, these provide a serious challenge; forcing many riders to dismount. But when it's dry, they are quite rideable.
|Digging into a corner.|
|Off camber on the backside of the big hill.|
|More off camber.|
All in all, another great day of racing!