Yes, I took a little vacation – and for a bit, it was good for me to be away.
But there's all this stuff I should be sharing with you! ...and I know how important that's become for all of us.
For the last month and change I've been racing a bit, training as much as I can, working a bunch and refocusing for the most important stretch of the year: short track mountain bike racing, show season and cyclocross.
I raced a few of the last Mt. Tabor Series road circuit races -- which were fun, but more importantly a powerful kickoff (and compliment) to Portland's Short Track XC Mountain Bike series. The series started about six weeks ago and will end this evening, 8/3. Right now I'm holding fifth in the series for the Single Speed category, which feels awesome. As demanding as it can be to get everything together week after week, I'm consistently rewarded with the company of some of my favorite racing peers and increasingly challenged to ride even faster this 'cross season. One more race. And if I'm lucky, I might just take fourth for the season, right behind everybody's favorite, Ryan Weaver. And let me take a second to give props to Peter Zlatnic and Jacob Furniss, who will take first and second, respectively, in both the weekly races and series points. Bravo guys! Keep making me faster.
I'm kicking off show season this (first) Thursday in the Pearl at StepChange: 500 NW 9th (and Glisan). The show runs from 6 to 9 pm. Join me for beers, a DJ (maybe some dancing?!) and bicycles by Belladonna, Cascadia, Courage, Metrofeits, Palmares and Sprout. More of my show season attention is going toward releasing Owen and Erik's 'cross bikes, as well as my entries to the Oregon Manifest Constructor's Challenge and Constructor's Race. Hopefully there'll be just enough time for a new 'cross bike for me, too!
THIS IS REALLY COOL! The Oregon Manifest has a whole new format this year which will feature a retail/gallery space near downtown to showcase builders and their work with front line exposure for winners of the Constructors Race. With any luck you'll be able to find a Sprout in that front window. Builders will unveil our entries on the night of Friday, October 2nd at the Manifest opening party and race them – or have them raced by a proxy rider – across a 77 mile epic on-off road race that ends in downtown Portland. The bike must be able to carry a bottled sixer, post race party outfit and some light party snacks but still be nimble.
Cyclocross! Soon! Mark your calenders for October 4th for the season opener at Alpenrose dairy. This is as close to a 'home court game' as I ever get and can be one of the most challenging (and fun) races of the Cross Crusade. In fact, just plan to make that a bike weekend...two parties and a cross race?!
I'm hoping also to show at the Oregon Handmade Bike Show, which happens four weeks after the Manifest, but am torn since it's the weekend of the Halloween Cross Crusade two day race. Terrible planning in my opinion. What I'm wondering is why anybody would decide to throw a bike show in Portland (the city with the most bike builders per capita) on the same weekend as arguably the biggest party of the biggest cyclocross series in North America. I'm thinking I need to be at the Halloween race in Astoria, which means I need to find friends to volunteer at my booth. With fingers crossed and blessings from friends I should be able to make that happen. Call me if you can help out!