Monday, 23 April
Yesterday I went to a great new race in Rainier, Oregon (it's just west of Longview, so it's closer than Portland), the Three Rivers road race. It's a 16-mile circuit through mostly rural farmland. Here are some observations about the course from the riders: There's maybe 200 meters of flat road on the entire course. It's pretty. The climbs are gradual. The steepest section is a descent (with a hairy 90-degree left turn at the bottom). It's like a roller coaster because you're either going up or down.
It was an unrace because three cat 1-2-3 women turned up. When they realized the anemic size of our field, the first one started with the cat 3 men and the second with the masters men. I was engaged in a conversation with an official and wasn't ready to go when the masters left. What to do? I rode backward on the course until the masters came along, hopped in with them (the other woman was gone) until I got dropped, hopped in with the 1-2s on the next lap, and then on the last lap I did a few miles with the cat 3s. In the long spell while I was hoping the 1-2s would catch me, I came across a motorcyclist who had gone too hot into a bend and then lost control of his bike as it went off the pavement. He got into the really soft dirt and gravel on the shoulder, and his bike eventually endoed so that it was upside down and facing backward. Amazingly, he didn't seem to be seriously hurt. His biggest concern was that his wife was going to find out. And it took me a minute to realize that he was a moto official with the race. Oops.
Anyway, great course and a well-run race. Rumor has it that Oregon state road championships might be here in 2008. Not a course for the pure climber OR sprinter.