Photos by Jordan Reid
Nooooo, that means that this series is going to be coming to and end soon. There is just one more week of PDX Trophy Cup action to be had and damn it we will have it. This week was no different than the last few if only for the simple fact that there was some good, extremely hard racing to be had. There was also a few sloppy messes out there to clean up, but sometimes that is beside the point, or is it?
When I say "this week was no different than the last few" that is kind of a lie. That has been the defining praise for this series as a whole. The different courses and their impressions on the people that race them.
I was speaking with the Men's A winner Leland Gilmore (above - Game Face!) this afternoon and his praise went beyond the usual "there's course tape!" to the courses themselves. "It feels like a course that has been built by people who know what they're doing - and like to race bikes themselves." Well, I might be paraphrasing a bit there, but I'm sure he said the first part.
The other thing we spoke about was the spectatorship. Maybe it had something to do with those ups and downs that happened through the trees, that we were looping back on ourselves so often that we were confused and thought there were more people than there really were, or maybe Trusty Switchblade just brings that motherfucking ruckus?! That is entirely possible.
Whatever the case may be - heading into that section from the slippery gravel above it - where Ira Ryan and I rubbed elbows, spokes, tires and maybe butted helmets a few times - was an awesome feeling each time because there were SO many people shouting and cheering and maybe grilling meats of some sort. "Dropping in!"
Something happened in there that may have caused some extreme bruising on my inner thighs, but that just comes with the territory at this point, correct? I had fully turned the corner and was looking out through the next (maybe that was my problem) when my bike exploded from underneath me and caused a twisting, turning wreck of sorts - surprising my teammate Cole enough for him to yell "shit, are you alright?" It wasn't enough for him to stop and aid me in any way, but in those moments it is the thought that counts.
Then it was all about the chase. The cat and mouse game that generally does not end well for someone who decided to take a lie down in the middle of the course.
But, then we were back in the cheering section - and the sweat was pouring - and the tires were "hooking up" (to use a common Enduro turn of phrase) and suddenly I was right back in it. Or in it enough for me to say I was in it. Or at the very least, it felt like I was in it - and that counts for something.
It was damn fine racing out there and I'm sad to say that next Tuesday will be the final day of it.
Let's not leave before we shout out to Mr. Rubijono though. He has the SingleSpeed category all but locked up for the win. Plus, he was looking more than a little hard style with his Tiger Skinsuit and blacked out Igleheart bicycle that he has dubbed the "M16." Go Rubi Go!
Plus, he introduced us to the best recovery meal a cyclocross racer could ask for - Luchador's on Albina has Tuesday Night Tacos - a beer, a shot of tequila and two tacos for 10$. Doesn't get much better than that.