Thursday, 20 July
I just finished a bike race and I'm watching the Tour and eating chocolate. And I'm not at home, so I can't feel guilty about not mopping the kitchen floor. Life is good.
Tonight was the prologue of the Co-Motion tandem stage race in Eugene. It's a 1-mile uphill time trial on Skinner Butte, home to many a prologue in Eugene bike racing. You've heard of decreasing radius turns; well, this is an increasing gradient climb. The first part of the course is mostly flat, then you hang a sharp left turn and go over the bottom shoulder of the butte (this hill was used in a Eugene Celebration crit!), and then keep winding your way to the top. Our race was complicated at this point by a handful of bikes that had started before us coming back DOWN the hill, straight at us. I was really surprised to hear Martin say something, then jerk the bike to the right to get out of their path. Then I saw the other bikes. The last 200 meters are quite steep, and Martin was pleased that we didn't bog down there in our big chain ring this year. In fact, he had time and energy and breath to keep calling for more and telling me we were almost there. That much I knew, thanks!
One good thing about small races is that results don't take very long. We were the third fastest bike and beat all but one of the male-male teams. We are currently 9 seconds behind first place.
There's a great friendly atmosphere at this race, for the most part. The couple who bought Martin's old tandem frame are here, racing on "his" bike. There are some folks from Seattle, but also from California and Massachusetts. The folks from MA come here every year for their summer vacation. The only other race they do on their tandem is the Mt. Washington Hillclimb. Ouch! Nicole and Craig and their little one stopped by the parking lot before our start and it was fun to see them. Craig was riding Nicole's old 800.com bike with baby trailer in tow, and Nicole was riding Craig's fixed gear bike. That's Eugene!
Tomorrow is some huge number of laps around a reservoir. The course rolls a little bit, but there are more laps than interesting road. Weather reports range from 95 to 105 degrees, so it's sure to be toasty. I'm packing my swimsuit in my race bag!
Martin's race report is here.