Friday night saw the happening of the Park Block Crit in downtown Portland. 'Crash' was the theme of the night and the multi turn sketch factor of racing bikes in a downtown setting was high. Check Bikeportland.org for a better recap that includes a little bit of history and the past few years results.
It is really hard to sit by and watch these things happen though. Even though I know that the propensity to lay it down would be much higher than normal I still found myself wanting to be out there being competitive. This is why I don't watch professional sports on television. Too much stress, not enough release.
Molly was the story of the night though. I know what you're thinking to yourself. When, in fact, is the M.C. not the story of the night? Going straight to the front from the get-go was the way to go. Leading the parade lap always looks good, especially when you're standing on the pedals looking back at everyone with that "aren't you guys going to do any work" look on your face. Simple and effective. Keep them guessing from the get go.
A breakaway happened and Molly wasn't in it. This was early and I wasn't worried. I wasn't worried because I'd been studying Molly's hair all week, watching the tapes, reviewing the photos...and I knew that this was going to be her power animal, her dreamcatcher. And it was.
With who knows how many laps to go (I just get plain excited in times like these) she broke away from the main field. The crowd went wild and for two laps the M.C. chased like a bat out of hell. Shannon Skerritt thought that this was a good thing and went for it too. Three laps into the her break from the main field and she had made it into the breakaway. Everyone was going apeshit, screaming and running from one side to the other. Breathing was labored.
And then she crashed on the next lap. Trust me when I say that it wasn't her fault, I saw it all happen. And then I ran to the pit to check on her. And film everything at the same time.
I'm sorry Molly, for putting a camera on you in your time of need, a time when I should have been doling out soothing words of praise and concern. When all I could do, the only thing that was running through my mind was "this is great coverage I'm getting here." What an asshole.
I also got in this guys face. So, I guess that's kind of fair. He races for the local Rapha Racing crew. I bet he was psyched that I forgot to turn off my flash as he flew by. I'm quite sure what he wanted at that moment was to be blinded into submission.
I also ran into Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan at the crit. Ira was showing off the virtues of his new iPhone. It doesn't look like an iPhone so that no one will try and steal it. It is that advanced. It has an "Opening Folder" option to it.
And Tony? Well, who really knows what Tony was up to here. All I know is that the people behind him are not happy about what is going on. And I mean not happy.
Woman: "Honey, what is that man doing?"
Man: "What man...OH, that man. He's probably doing something dastardly. And illegal to boot."
Woman: "Well, you know, it is the twilight crit."
Man: "Oh shoot, you're right again. We're such sticklers for truth and justice. We should let people have their fun every once in a while...and it is the Twilight Crit."
And then they hugged and went back to watching bike racing.
And so did I.