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!)
Editors Note: This is the second of our Pacific Pedaling lady racers reports from the past weekend. Thanks to Ellen Miller for contributing this wrap up report. Be sure to also check out Martha’s report just before this one too! Thanks ladies!Some of my favorite shots here, and the full couple hundred on our Flickr page here.
To start off my inaugural blog/race report I would like to give huge ‘props’ to our team owner/director sportif, Paul Lopez. He has been the most amazing support this entire year. The beauty of this team is that it is a gift from Paul, his business, and his family for some local Salem racers to have fun. There is no need for glory or payback, just have fun. Also, big kudos to Pacific Pedaling rider, Tyler Jackson for his 2nd place finish Sunday in the Clydes…way to go Tyler!
This last weekend with the rain, mud, and wind Paul was there with his trailer, heaters, delicious hot pork rib sandwiches, and even a handmade Roland keyboard to complete my SSCXWC Devo costume! Paul, thank you for everything!
Transitions are always a challenge in my life. On Sunday at PIR I assumed that many racers would be participating in the A race and the SSCXWC, so I planned on making it work. “Staging for SSCXWC at 345” they announced, but our race didn’t even start until 315. This was going to be interesting.
As we waited for our whistle, we chatted among ourselves to see who was in for both races. Kari from Velo Bella rolled up next to me and mentioned that she planned on doing the SS race but was sad that her pink sparkle boots didn’t pass the run-up test. I later found out she won the women’s SSCXWC. Congrats Kari, hopefully you will find an occasion to wear your new yellow sparkle bikini with your pink sparkle boots.
I was having a ball racing the Cross Crusade course. The course was a perfect combination of fast stretches, deep mud, greasy corners and silly, slippery off camber sections that even made the fastest A’s humble. When I began my fourth lap I glanced at my watch, 350pm, yikes! I b-lined it back to the van and with Pat and Paul’s help got taped into my Devo kit and I was off to the SSCXWC staging area.
I made it just in time to throw my bike in the pile and find the ladies lined up in a pretty little row. For some reason the women were staged off to the side away from the circle of men. It kind of made me feel second class. The start was a Le Mans start where everyone had to run to their bikes and then jump on the course. We were given the wave by Potestio’s magic wand and the race was on.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that chaotic to get onto the course. We were definitely in a traffic jam, but it was a fun kind of jam full of heckling and laughing. After the first barriers, run-up and off camber section we were already spreading out. Much to my delight, I realized I was riding next to Trebon. Much to my dismay, as soon as I noticed him I hit the fence and rode it like a cheese grater. I am a total star struck kind of girl. After I recovered, I was determined to stalk him for the first lap. He was obviously taking a joy ride approach to this race. I followed him, listened to others heckle him and even saw him put his foot down on an easy corner. Then I got distracted by a bacon hand-up, mmmm bacon. It was fresh off the skillet and delicious. Thank you bacon hand-up boy! I got back on track to chasing Trebon and then quickly lost him to the stripper bus. I was very torn about this short cut. Although I do not wish to condone behavior that leads to misogyny, I also have a serious case of FOMS (fear of missing something). I forgot my dollars. I had no choice.
The course was completely annihilated by the rain and the thousand racers earlier. It was a blast just playing around with different lines and heckling each other. There was never a good line for the run-up after the off-camber section and the cheese grater fence. I felt like every time I was on that run-up I was looking up some guys skirt in front of me or some mud stain up someone’s briefs. Fortunately, the Lanimal was at the top of this section with some refreshments.
On every lap the crowd was awesome, setting up jumps, making noise in any way possible, yelling encouraging words and yelling discouraging words. The energy in the Thunderdome was pretty cool. You couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the whole lap after going through there. If you could bottle that, I would never need a Hammer product again.
Just as soon as I noticed that it was getting dark, the race was over. Even though my Devo pants had become Devo chaps at that point, I wanted to keep going. The next lap I was going to try to ride the high ridge versus the low puddle, I was going to try to get air on the jumps, I was going to find a dollar in the mud and see what was in that bus! I guess the moral of my story racing cross this year is you never know when your last lap is going to be. Ride every lap like it is your last.
Thanks to everyone who made Sunday at PIR such a fabulous day. A special thanks to Dani Dance and crew for hosting SSCXWC.
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.