Monday, July 27, 2009

Cascade

Monday, 27 July

I've been going to the Cascade Cycling Classic longer than almost any other race. I always have a fun time in Bend. This year was no exception.

There were so many things that contributed to a great week. Best find this year was Le Cakery, where you get to pick the flavor of your cupcake and the flavor of your frosting; it's a really good thing there's not a place like that around the corner from me the rest of the year! Thump Coffee was a great place to drink super good coffee (if I can tell a difference, it must be good!), catch up on email, watch the Tour, and people-watch the who's who of the Bend cycling community (thankfully I had a guide who recognized them; I did not, for the most part). The scenery around Bend of course is marvelous, and the level and amount of competition in the bike races prove that riders in the NW will race in the summertime if you give them what they want. And having Jadine and Mike share their honeymoon with about 600 other bike racers made this year's trip to Bend unique! :)

But the thing that made the week most special for me was people:
  • The host housing friends who welcome you back year after year.
  • The teammates and support staff who work so hard together to make it all happen, even in the face of bad luck, illness, and injury.
  • The "kid" I haven't seen in years but ran into out of the blue on the crit course who now owns a bike shop in Boise.
  • The man who came up to me at the crit and said his son was at a national junior team camp (?) with the son of an old friend of my husband. His son's name is familiar in Oregon bike racing, but how did this guy know me just walking down the street in Bend?
  • Four of the Hagens Berman guys, melting into a bench outside an ice cream shop in downtown Bend. After I'd chatted with 2 of them for at least 10 minutes, one of the other 2 says "I don't think I know you"--as in, why are my friends so chatty with this old broad? The fourth was too shy to say much at all. :)
  • The commissaire from Seattle who shared a table with my team director and me during our morning coffee/Tour/email ritual and offered up a little of the officials' side of the race.
  • The OBRA official who didn't hesitate to let me register for my husband while he was stuck in a rental car nightmare. Everybody else had to show their license, but my magic words that afternoon were "I'm Mick." :) I did have to repeat them several times as I moved through registration because everyone in the process wondered why I was at packet pick-up for an event with no (amateur) women's field.
  • The woman behind me in buffet line at the meet-the-sponsors pasta feed for the women's race who had crewed for a two-person relay team at Race Across the West. She was astounded that I had even heard of the race (RAW and Cascade draw from pretty different cycling communities) much less that I knew riders and other crew at that race. I tried to get her to try the 6-hour Ring of Fire TT this September.
  • The Bend cyclist who killed the women's Firecracker TT on July 4 who was part way up the time trial course, cheering for my rider AP.
  • The race staff who always had time to say hello and answer my questions.


  • Cycling is such a small world and for the most part a close-knit, supportive community. It is fascinating to go to an event as big as Cascade and see how parts of your world are connected to each other in ways that don't involve you that you would never imagine. I stopped in to see a tandem friend at his bike shop in Bend and to thank him for advertising some other friends' used tandem on his email list. Totally coincidentally, a clothing line they rep was hanging on the wall next to the tandems in the shop.

    So much better than Facebook.

    2 comments:

    Argentius said...

    Wow, how the heck d'ya know Mr. Meridian Cycles?

    Stoked said...

    Ever met his parents?