USGP – Portland – Day 1
This was an awesome race!
Christian and I got to PIR at the crack of dawn (litterally) to participate in our first USGP race. I had forgotten what it felt like to warm up for a race early in the morning. The icy wind made things even more interesting.
Luckily we were able to pre-ride the course the day before, so we only had to concern ourselves with waking up and getting warm. We set up our trainers next to my car in hopes of shielding some of the wind, and before we knew it, it was time to get over to the starting line. Bundled up in more layers than I’ve ever raced in, I waiting in the starting chute with the other Single Speeders, and Christian waited in the Men’s B group right in front of us.
The whistle blew and the B’s shot off the line, then two minutes later we followed. The course was on the pavement to start, so we got up to speed with everyone spinning out their single gears until we hit the flypaper-like mud. The entire lap was lined with tape, so you just weaved your way through the course, perfectly guided by the tape flapping in the wind. It was a cool sensation, sort of like bumper bowling, except we were the balls and the pins were the other riders, obstacles, mud, roots, and everything else that jostled us.
The course seemed fast because of some of the straight paved sections, yet the overwhelming amount of tight weaving corners negated the speed, as well as mud that was completely unridable. While there was plenty of classic mud-that-used-to-be-grass sections, the motorcross area at PIR was like good Dennison’s chili; “chili so think you can stand a fork in it,” execept this chili could stand an entire bike up. I actually dismounted and my bike was suctioned in place in the mud. Overall, the it was a fun course that rewarded efficient cornering and quick burst accelerations in between the corners.
When all four laps (yes, only 4) were said and done, Christian finished 19th in the B’s, and I finished 13th in the Single Speeds. We were both happy with the results, especially considering the talent at the front of each of the races.