Last year at Astoria, we needed some tunes for our bikes. We were rolling out as Team Devo and wanted a soundtrack to go along with our smashing costumes. Normally if I’m listening to any kind of music riding, it’s with an ear bud in my right ear, turned down, so I can still hear traffic with my left ear. I don’t do that all the time, but occasionally I will to help keep a rhythm. However, for the Astoria race, we needed tunes we could share with everyone, so I had to hobble something together that could withstand the terrain of the course, be loud enough to blast out, and not keep me from being able to dismount for barriers. Here’s what I came up with:
Needless to say, it’s a little on the ghetto side, but it worked. (Thanks Ira for a beautiful matching rack for my bike!) Anyway, if you don’t want to bungie your tunes to your bike, you can check out this review in the NY Times of sound systems made specifically for bikes. Thanks to Jonathan Maus for tweeting it this morning. (PS – my makeshift system ROCKED! Crack that whip!)
2009 was such a great year for PacificPedaling.com and for the Pacific Pedaling team! I’m still working on an end of the year wrap up, but there’s so much to go through that I need a bit more time. However, I did want to post a few notes and photos from the Pacific Pedaling end of year wrap up and Christmas party. First off…click on that photo above. I mean, yeah, every team can try to go out and get some sweet kits, but how many have custom ceramic coffee (or other beverage of choice) team MUGS made?! Go on, click on the picture to see it in all it’s glory. Our very own Martha Paulus made those for all the riders on the team…so stinking cool. One of my favorite moments of the night came when I said something like, “wow Martha…you MADE these??” Martha says, “well, yeah…I *am* a potter,” matter of factly. Guess you had to be there, but my wife and I are still laughing about it. Sorry, these aren’t for sale.
Another favorite moment came when the team showed off their presentation of the Pacific Pedaling team edition framed jersey and photo art. Click on that baby too and take a gander…it really is an impressive work, and I was overwhelmed by such a cool gesture and gift from the team. I also left the night with a sweet Tissot jersey (Tyler knows my watch brand all to well) and super cool leather and canvas bike bag…perfect for the Ira. Again, way too generous guys…a million thanks!
I swear I say this about every other post, but I don’t know how we could have asked for a better group of riders for our inaugural season. In addition to the amazing times riding and racing together, I just flat out dig hanging with these folks, their spouses and their families. It’s a good thing we actually ride sometimes, or I’d spend way too much time eating and laughing with them, and growing exponentially. Martha, Tyler, Ellen, Pat, James, Dave….you are just good folk, and you give cycling a good name. I’m looking forward to us all representing in 2010!
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from PacificPedaling.com!
Note: a few of my favorite shots down through this post, the full 200+ on the Flickr page.Be sure to check out PDXCross.com too, Ellen and Peyton (Tyler’s son) both made it this week.
I’d been dreading Barton just a little…ok, maybe a lot, ever since I saw it would be the last race of the my first Crusade series. Mention Barton and get a plethora of responses:
“Oh, the Maneater.” “I hate that course.” “I love that course.” “We called the ambulance 3 times last year.” “Wear a mouthpiece.” “I’m skipping that one.” “Good luck, you’ll need it.”
I’d heard the stories, seen the photos, and watched the videos of people descending that big ol’ hill, and crashing on the way down, at the bottom, and even up into the rock pit. As a newbie, I figured I’d be eating dirt along with many others, but was hoping to avoid being someone who’d need medical assistance. Thankfully I can say I made it through the final race of the series, and lived to tell about it.
I didn’t get to experience the course before this year, but knew that they had taken out The Hill that ate so many riders before and turned it the other way into a big, rocky run up. A different off-camber trick hill replaced it, and I couldn’t have been more proud than when I saw Martha, without a preride (as far as I know) cut across both lines and take it on a straight shot when she came down around the corner. I had a blast watching all the Pacific Pedaling riders and appreciating what a great series we had as a team! It was also fun to have David Rasca donning the big green P kit and ride with the crew!
Tyler had a great holeshot off the line in the Clydes race, and finished with a 5 finish to wrap up a nice series. Martha rode a strong ride, railing the off camber section. Pat and Ellen both did the single speed race, swapped out bikes and jumped into their A races, and James, coming off his rib injury, put his bike down again on the slick pavement corner, and got back on the beast to finish out his race.
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)
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.
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!
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!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!