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So yesterday was likely my last bike race ever. I hate to say it, but I am fragile. I often get in unfortunate situations and just have some unfortunate luck, as much as I try to ignore that fact and to have a positive attitude.
Six races down, one to go, and I have not managed to squeeze out a single race report. So this will be a mish mash of highlights from the last six weeks.
The most exciting part of dirt racing for me this year, is being joined by my awesome partner Jess, who has been ripping it up every week in the beginner field, dodging junior racers and keeping the rubber down (which is more than I can say).
I mentioned this past winter that I was thinking of going to one of the women's Dirt Series clinic weekends and before I knew it, she had bought a mountain bike and decided to come along!
As a result I usually warm up for my race by running around the course taking pictures of Jess and cheering her on. It doesn't make for the best starts, but my superpower is that I (usually) get better as the race goes on.
The first time I went to Mountain Bike Oregon two years ago, I didn't really have a good idea what great single track was or why I should be excited about it. Thanks to a team demo day a few years ago and a truckload of awesome bikes from Specialized, I knew just enough that I'd gone out and bought a full suspnsion bike--now I just needed to know what to do with it.
MBO is held in Oakridge, OR and while they have amazing trails, they're not for the beginner or the faint of heart. Fortunately, what I lacked in skills, I made up for in confidence (this is still true).
After almost 7 weeks off the bike due to viral illness, bad sinus infection, and allergies not allowing sinuses to clear, I had a weekend of fun on my bike! Saturday was a short 20 mile jaunt up Rocky Butte, Sunday was a 33 mile loop from NoPo, out Lombard to 205 to Springwater, across Sellwood, up cemetery, down Terwilliger, east side Esplanade, then home. And today was my first ever bike race even though I have been riding my bike relatively seriously since I was 10 years old (mostly long road rides)!
Not a race report - but Zan, Sage, Katy, Elaine and I (plus a friend of Sage's and Katy's pup Stella) all headed out to Syncline today for a day of mountain biking in the sunshine. Fantastic riding, scenery, and company... Props to Elaine and Sage who clearly brought their climbing legs for the long climb to the ridge (a phantom ridge that seemed to move higher every time we finished a switchback). And to Stella for successfully completing her first mtb trek...
The scenery was spectacular - phenomenal views of the gorge, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River, meadows of wildflowers and a pretty little forest section. The trail was a mix of dirt, scree, and rocks, moderately technical but open singletrack, with a few ride-able stream crossings. There seemed to be quite a few loops to explore and lots of friendly bikers out there to show us the way (although I swear each one of them told us the next trail was just up the ridge!)
I'd definitely recommend checking this area out if you're looking for a drier/sunnier ride that will challenge your legs and lungs.
Thanks everyone for a great day!