Photography by Andy Bokanev
The ATHL Racing Squad covered more ground this weekend than every thought humanly possible. However, when it comes to racing bicycles, we know that there is ground, muddy, wet, filthy ground to be covered. The high desert saw Cross Crusade racing happen in Bend, Oregon. Our MFG brethren from the North invaded Tacoma and it's surrounding woods for a little a messy scenario all to its own. Thankfully, our man Bokanev was on hand to capture the action.
The Squad returned with a few highlights from the race, and coupled with the photos from the day and you can see why we're stoked on Seattle racing. It just works. Knock down that hateful Seattle v. Portland wall, let's get to the racing. And I urge you people, if you're interested in testing the waters as to how racing happens elsewhere dip your toes into the Seattle scene.
The Registration Process!
Can you believe that a race promoter could be as advanced as Zac Daab and Co? Not only can you sign up for their races day of (and receive your timing chip) but you can do it with...wait for it...YOUR CREDIT CARD. How crazy is that? They had actual computers on hand and when you punched in your information...bingo! Registration Complete!
Somehow, the promoters of the MFG series got the rain to hold off before the elite race. Even the sun came out and warmed everyone before liftoff. Then, just to make things dramatic it started raining in the middle of the race. (See photo of Cole above). How cool is that? That's guys!
He took a couple weeks off the bike. Then returned... with a 12th place finish in the elite race. No big deal really. Well, kind of a big deal if you're the type of racer that looks up to a hardcore working man racer like the Wilcox. Because we do. This was also his first race on his new Trek Boone 9 Disc Frameset in the hot yellow colorway. If new bike day doesn't give you wings, I don't know what does. When asked he said "oh, it's great alright!" Plus, his kit setup looked good with the new Ekiden socks that we launched last week.
Computer chips mean that you can have your lap time recorded. No big deal. What is a big deal are the small numbers that are given out upon registration. One small number that fits on your jersey and doesn't cover up any of those precious sponsors.
Your Own Race!
Can you imagine what it would be like to have your own race? Sure, it might get lonely at times when you're sort of off the back of the main group and have yet to be swallowed by the people behind you. But, you'll get used to it. No more pushing through crowds to get to the finish line! However, it does mean that there is also no more of that adrenaline and excitement associated with coming up behind racers in other categories and wondering whether or not they're going to either block or chop you on your way past.
The only time I've ridden this course was last year. I'm a fan of any course that, not unlike the junkyard Philly races of yore, uses the natural (and unnatural) surroundings of the venue to incorporate features into the races. Features like run ups and ride ups and slippery little turns that are sometimes hard to navigate. Force people off their bikes and onto their toes! Both Abby and David returned with rave reviews on this course. Plus, the sure sign into whether or not you've pulled together a route that impresses lies in the fact that these two riders could drive all the way back from Tacoma talking about it the entire time.
Abby landed herself atop the podium once again. She won the Washougal CX race a few weeks back and this time the third step of the podium was hers. She doesn't like to brag, but that's ok we can do it for her! She said that she has been attributing all her success to the slick Bontrager tubulars that they provided for us this season. Because, how sweet are tubulars?! (Answer? Super sweet!)
Pretty stoked to see this rad lady crushing it during cross. She totally ascribes to our training philosophies - drink when you want, ride when you want, run when you want - and if it hurts - don't do it. And she really did come back from the race beaming and excited to tell the tales of the rain, the course and all the cool people they saw up in Seattle.
So, that's what we've got. All wrapped up in a nice little Bokanev package for you. So, if this should be a statement to anything, it's that we need to get out more and make sure that we're supporting all the races that are happening in the PNW.