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cyclocross Racing Team

OBRA CX Championships, This Saturday, November 5

View from the seats in the horse arena, which will house the beer garten and live band. Photo thanks to Matt Haughey
View from the seats in the horse arena, which will house the beer garten and live band. Photo thanks to Matt Haughey

Mark your calendars for a full day of cyclocross racing this coming Saturday, November 5 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series wraps up with the OBRA Championships at the Fairgrounds. Check BuyLocalCycling.com for more information. Last minute registrations are available at the venue on Saturday, and races start at 10 am.

Series Points 10 deep (15, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2)

Prizes:  $1500 min. cash payout for SR A Men and Women for the top five in the series.  Swag for top three in other categories.

Series winners and OBRA CX Champions will be recognized on Nov 7th, 2009.  The ceremony for the morning racers will follow the kiddie race.  Afternoon racers will be recognized after the A race.

Start Times/Categories/Race Length

10 am Beginner Men/Category C Men/Masters C 35+ Men (45min)

11 am Masters Category B 35+ Men/Masters 50/60+ Men/Clydesdale Men (45min)

Noon Oregon Junior Cyclocross Series

12:30 pm Kiddie Cross

Series / OBRA Champs Recognition #1

1 pm Category B Men/SS Men & Women/Unicycle (45min)

2 pm Women Category A/B/Beginners/Masters 35+ (45min)

3 pm Category A Men/Masters A 35+ Men (60min)

Series / OBRA Champs Recognition #2

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cyclocross Racing Team

Favorite Photos and Recap from Cross Crusade 6 in Astoria – Costume Day

Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race.
Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race. Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for the photo!

Forget the podium. Forget coverage in a real life publication. Forget bringing home cash or medals. I’m not sure I’ll be able to be any more proud of our team than when we rolled around the course at Astoria as DEVO, complete with booming DEVO soundtrack strapped to the back of the bike. Thankfully, there are enough ‘old folks’ still racing to know DEVO, even though I did hear someone say, “I brought it up on my phone, apparently they were a band from the 80’s.” Yes! (Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for his Flickr photo above.)

Sunday was truly out of control. A lot of fun, and a day that would end up stirring up controversy about how much fun is too much fun, especially at the expense of those who were the recipients of boos, catcalls and mass amounts of all kinds of bottled liquids flying across the gauntlet of barriers. This being my first Halloween cross race, I had no idea what to expect, and the day lived up to the hype. Hundred, and hundreds of racers dressed up in every outfit imagineable, and some you wouldn’t want to imagine. Guys making SPD compatible high heels, and some who dared to wear complete furry outfits. Team DEVO lost the costume contest to a chicken, but I’m pretty sure the photo above will warm the hearts of many, as it has mine.

Couple hundred photos from Sunday on our Flickr page – click here. And just a few of my favorite shots from the day below. And yes, there are two of the robot below…Rasca had me laughing all day long.

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Categories
cyclocross Racing Team

Spy Photo Reveals Pacific Pedaling Cyclocross Training Secrets

Pat's training for Halloween Cross Races - a wig and a bucket of doughnuts. Genius.
Pat's training for Halloween Cross Races - a wig and a bucket of doughnuts. Genius.

All this time I’ve been trying to eat better, get more exercise, and ride as much as possible, but it turns out I didn’t know the true key to cyclocross success. Over the weekend our spy photogs snagged a shot of the training tent in Camp Sherman where Pacific Pedaling rider Pat Kudszus shows that lean meats, fruits and veggies do not cut it. Apparently a big bucket of Voodoo Donuts, cheese puffs, Fritos, mystery meat, and a beer tucked under the arm are needed. Toss on a wig for recovery compression and you’ve got the magic combo! Thanks man, I’m kickin’ it up a few notches now!

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cyclocross Racing Team

Cyclocross Diaries from Washington County Fair #4 Now Available

It’s always a little moment of happiness for me when the Cyclocross Diaries come out. Heidi and Eric not only gut it out on the course each week, but then they put on their media minds and get busy cranking out the insider report for racers. Couple of glimpses of Pacific Pedaling riders in this edition too…I at least caught James while he was still alive. Enjoy!

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cyclocross Racing Team

PDXCross Cranks Out the Goods at the Washington County Fair

James, hanging on for life at the end of his race. This photo belongs to http://www.pdxcross.com/ - all rights and credits belong to them as well.
James, hanging on for life at the end of his race. This photo belongs to http://www.pdxcross.com/ - all rights and credits belong to them as well.

In the world of local cyclocross photography, PDXCross is known for being the ones to catch the great shots. Racers look forward to their gritty (no pun intended) black and white photography every week from each race. Pacific Pedaling rider James once joked, “I know I’m famous when I’ve made PDX Cross. Well, welcome to your 15 minutes of fame James. 🙂

Visit PDXCross and see the complete set of shots from this past Sunday’s muddy race. I had to miss this race, so please enjoy the photo work from the pros.

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cyclocross Racing Team

Battle Creek Golf Course – Favorite Pics and Report

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I had high hopes that Battle Creek might bring about some sort of magic for me. I’d played many a round of golf there in my younger days, it was my first cross event to witness, and hey..it’s the home course, right? Well, no such luck…Battle Creek was damp, squishy, and slow…at least for me. A beautiful day on the course, just not a fast one. Much of the Pacific Pedaling team was unavailable this week, so Martha and I had to rep the team.

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There are no hills at Battle Creek, so promoters had to get creative with sand bunkers as ways to try to force riders off their bikes. At first this seemed like a bonus – no Sherwood-esque hills to suck the life out of me. However, the downside of a flat course is that there is no place to really recover. It’s an all out mash fest for the entire time. I later explained to my wife that it felt like I was riding as hard as I could for 45 minutes, and getting nowhere fast. That being said, here are some favorite photos of the day.

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The sand trap vertical ledges provided for some crowd pleasing entertainment as well, and great photo opportunities.

Complete set at Flickr page. Many thanks to Dave Rasca who shot all the photos from the 10 a.m. races for me while I was on the bike.

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cyclocross News Racing Team

Battle Creek Race This Saturday in Salem, Oregon

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Mark your calendars for our next local cyclocross race right here in Salem, Oregon at the old Battle Creek Golf Course on Commercial. The fellas over at BuyLocalCycling.com are working hard to put on a cool and fun event here in the Capital City. According to the site:

The Battlecreek golf course in Salem, OR sets the stage for race #2, Saturday Oct 24th, of the WVC series.  The golf isn’t manicured any longer but the picture below should give racers a general idea about the terrain and course layout. We’ve run the course over every tee box to provide some hills! Online registration ($20) will be open until 5 pm on Friday.  Day of race registration ($25) is open 15 minutes before your race.

Entrance/Parking:  The entrance to the course is tricky.  It’s a very quick turn off of Commercial through the gate.  The entrance is located off of Madras.

Be sure to hop over to their site to see a map of the course, register, and find out more information from the promoters. Last years Battle Creek race was the first cross race I ever even attended, and I made the following video from my day as a spectator. Y’all should come out!

Battlecreek Cross from nwduffer on Vimeo.

Categories
cyclocross Racing Team

Race Report and Favorite Pics From Sherwood – Cross Crusade 3

The first muddy barriers of the season, with a creek for added fun.
The first muddy barriers of the season, with a creek for added fun.

(Note: Some of my favorite shots mixed in with my report. Full set of photos on my Flickr page. Click here.)

Brutal. Sherwood kicked my butt. And the butts of many other races from what I could tell. Easily the toughest 40+ minutes of racing I’ve endured so far, but now that I’m on this side of it…it was kind of cool.

I arrived at the venue EARLY, apparently too early, as they hadn’t opened up the big party lot yet as it was too soupy, and said it would only be open to 4WD vehicles if they did. Turns out the rains never really hit hard, and everyone ended up parking up there, while we were hid away in the back lot with the other early morning refugees. I dropped the 1963 vintage team travel trailer, affectionately known as “The Commodore,” got prepped and headed out to walk the course.

Heading down the slick track towards the first pit on the course.
Heading down the slick track towards the first pit on the course.

On my course pre-walk, I realized our first mud, and some big hills were going to kick my butt. I also picked up a blister on each heel due to some poor sock/boot implementation. Got back to the Commodore, changed into my gear and went out to pre-ride the course. I went at a slower pace, just checking out what I was in for — down the muddy hill, up the muddy climb, long runs down the bumpy, slick single track, back up the muddy hill, down into the ditch for the barriers, then holy crap…the hill.

James. Either really into his ride, or singing Katy Perry.
James. Either really into his ride, or singing Katy Perry.

On my pre-ride, I made it all the way up the top of the hill..putting everything I had into my cranks. At this point I was rethinking my single ring up front…or at least the gearing combo I’d thrown together. At the top of the hill one thought came to mind, I had just shot my legs. Having had a low fevery feeling the last few days, and not much sleep, I was waxed already, and the race hadn’t even started. I climbed the second part of the hill, snagged a sip of some hot water from the Chris King tent, and headed to the start.

Lazy T's, still rockin' it at Sherwood.
Lazy T's, still rockin' it at Sherwood.

My number was drawn second or third to last, so I started somewhere near the back of the 100+ riders for the day. For the first couple hundred yards I couldn’t clear a pedal of mud and dinked around with that until almost the first turn into the off camber switchback section. Between those two, and my general lack of speed, I found myself almost completely at the back of the big bottleneck heading into the woods. We lined up and cruiser paced it down the muddy track.

Somewhere after I wiped out and before I flatted out. This photo credit and copyright Oregon Velo - http://photos.oregonvelo.com/p/cc0903r1/cc0903smy0035_12_22_2
Somewhere after I wiped out and before I flatted out. This photo credit and copyright Oregon Velo - http://photos.oregonvelo.com/p/cc0903r1/cc0903smy0035_12_22_2

Somewhere around the back of the course I made up a few spots, passing in the bumpier (if you can believe it) sections along the single muddy track. I felt great over the barriers, avoiding the dip just before them, clearing the creek after them without any slipping, and getting back up and on at the bottom of the hill. However, within just a short amount of the start of the climb, it dawned on me. I had no legs left.

Kiddie Kross racers lined up to take on the equestrian course.
Kiddie Kross racers lined up to take on the equestrian course.

As much as I did not want to hop off an push my bike up the gravel road, my legs would literally not go any more, and I gave in. My effort at running up while I pushed was also lame, and I essentially leaned into my bike to push-walk it up the hill. At the top I was able to get back on for the descent and make the second part of the climb as we turned towards the finish line, but I was feeling the pain. Many of the faces the rest of the day at that same spot, would tell me they knew the same pain.

Captain Ron, who seemed to be EVERYWHERE on the course throughout the day...including giving me a push when I needed it!
Captain Ron, who seemed to be EVERYWHERE on the course throughout the day...including giving me a push when I needed it!

As I started into the 3rd lap, after another unsuccessful attempt at climbing that hill, I slid out in the first muddy climb, and a lady standing at that corner said something along the lines of, “it just sucks the life out of you, don’t it?!” Amen. In fact, in the next muddy section, I was shot and shouldered my bike to just run up the hill rather than try to mash it out. The spikes of my shoe caught the ground, and I threw my body and bike right back down to the ground. A photographer was at the top of said hill, and I thought, “you’re welcome…for the great shot.”

A future Men's A racer gutting it out on the corner.
A future Men's A racer gutting it out on the corner.

I made my way back to the hill, walked it again, thinking about how I could easily just be the team owner/mascot/cheerleader and NOT feel like my head was going to explode ever again, but eventually crossed the line as someone said “last lap,” and I realized I was on the verge of ending the pain. I headed through the switchbacks, and into the trees for the first muddy section. Made it down into the bottom and started back up the other side, where I had just wiped out on the last lap. My rear end started sliding out, but I cranked harder and kept the bike vertical, but felt something wonky in that last moment. Sure enough, I had rolled the tire, caught the tube, and was quickly getting to just a ride on the rim. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill by the first pit, all the air was gone, and a guy in the pit said “last lap, you might as well ride it out.” Then he changed his mind and said, “but be careful you don’t rip that tire up.” Since we were just about to ride some mixed rocky/muddy/bumpy path, I opted out of riding the rim, hoisted the bike and started jogging.

These tats are probably going to show up in a million photos this cross season.
These tats are probably going to show up in a million photos this cross season.

A few yards into the run, someone said “man, keep it up, I ran from that same spot last lap.” I remembered him when I passed him on my bike the last lap. Several thoughts crossed my mind. Walk off the course, there are at least 3/4’s of the 2 mile track left. Get on and ride, so what if you trash the tire. Run faster. Run slower. Walk. And then the blisters I put on my heels earlier in the day started kicking in to make it all the more enjoyable. I ran into the Crusade guys changing up the course for the C’s when one asked if I was the last rider, and they called ahead to let them know I was still coming.

Ellen, with a great start in the Women's A race.
Ellen, with a great start in the Women's A race.

I jogged/walked the rest of the way. Over the barriers, up both hills, around the corner, and when I reached the finish line, I leaned over to make it easier for the cameras to record my number…since I was moving so fast. Then I put the bike down and walked off the course, once I made sure they marked me down for completing my 4th lap. Sucked to have to cover all that distance on foot, but felt good to stick with it ’til the end of the lap.

At the top of the nasty, wicked, miserable hill.
At the top of the nasty, wicked, miserable hill.

I was really wiped the rest of the day, but had a great time cheering on the rest of the Pacific Pedaling team. Pat, Ellen, James, Tyler and Martha all worked hard and continued to represent with solid performances. James even came within 1 place of top ten in Men’s A. Soon grasshopper, soon. Between races we grilled up some burgers and sausages and left them to warm on the grill until after the races where we threw a little party with other racing buddies, and shut down the Equestrian Center. Dave proudly proclaimed that the race had cost him his breakfast, and we met a cool dude named Mike from Kansas City who was on a bike tour through the Northwest and had stopped in to race the Crusade for a bit. All in all, a great day of racing in Sherwood Forest.

2009 Pacific Pedaling riders after a tough course. Seriously, the best team a sponsor could ask for.
2009 Pacific Pedaling riders after a tough course. Seriously, the best team a sponsor could ask for.

How was your race at Sherwood? Feel free to give a report in the comments!

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cyclocross Racing Team

Pacific Pedaling Riders Make the Cyclocross Diaries

Wend Magazine, through the skillful hands of Heidi Swift and Eric Keeney have produced Volume 2 of this years Cyclocross Diaries, and both Tyler and James make quick appearances. Tyler in a quick pan shot with Peyton, and James gets a quick interview. Check it out.

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cyclocross Racing Team

Rainier Wrap Up – Cross Crusade #2

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Although a series of unfortunate events the morning of the race kept me from making it to my race on time, it was a great day for racing for the rest of the Pacific Pedaling team, and the hundreds of other racers that turned out. The course was dry and dusty, adding to the fun of the epic hill climbing. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day (click for full size.)

You can find all of the nearly 300 shots from the day on our Flickr page.

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