Monday, October 29, 2007

Astoria Halloween Cross Race

The Cross Crusade Halloween race had a new venue this year: The Astoria Fairgrounds. Excellent place...hope we are invited back. The festivities were a bit muted with Brett still on our minds, but much fun was had. Before the singlespeed race we did a silent lap of the course in Brett's honor. It was a very moving experience: about 150 people quietly circling the course behind Matt Hall (riding Brett's bike) and the Bike Gallery team. Once the memorial lap was over, Brad Ross called up the top 15 racers to the line including Brett who was 8th. The race was a bit of Halloween fun, a bit of tribute and a bit of hard-core racing. Tim and Tommy duked it out while a big group of Brett's friends stuck together and had some mellow fun. I was kitted out in a Motocross costume and rode my old schwinn "BMX" bike. Good times. It was a beautiful day and a great release after such an emotional week.

Photos here:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brett Jarolimek RIP

Friend and fellow singlespeed cyclocross racer Brett Jarolimek was killed while riding his bicycle on Monday. The first season I raced cross here in Portland, Brett was the guy that I always ended up "racing." Those of you who race have probably had a similar experience: that same guy who is always just ahead or just behind you. That first year, when I didn't know anyone at the races, I looked forward to duking it out with Brett because I knew at the end of race he would flash that great smile and give me a friendly "great race." In subsequent years he got faster and I got slower, but he became a friend that I looked forward to seeing each week.

Sunday Brett had his best cyclocross finish ever, getting thrid in the tough ss class. Monday was a gorgeous day and I'd bet that he had an excellent last ride.

We miss you Brett.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

24 Hours of Moab, take Four

So it's been over a week since I arrived in Utah and I'm just barely starting to feel normal. Moab is a tough place. The trails are rocky and technical (in a rocky, I'm-gonna-kick-your-ass sorta way), it is brutally dry and dusty and the partying in our camp is hardcore.

This was the first year that I've had custom team jerseys for the race and they looked sharp and abundant with 4 teams (17 riders) out there. Thanks to everyone who came out to join Pereira Cycles. We had a huge crew of helpers that made the whole thing much easier.

We rolled out of Salt Lake on Thursday a few hours later than we planned, so it was dark when we arrived. Got our tents set up and had dinner before crashing for the night. Friday morning we set up the pop-ups and had a little breakfast before heading our for a half-lap. Damn, I love that course! It's got a nice grade for singlespeed, but the rocks are stepped enough that it's a real challenge to clear everything. The descents are fast and sandy with a couple of fun, banked sections where you can pass the timid at high speed, heavy on the throttle!

Friday is the day to party...we had a few kegs from our brewer who will remain anonymous (I don't think it's really legal for him to give us kegs or I'd be giving him a plug). The beer was fantastic and plentiful. Thanks bro!

Saturday morning we drag ourselves up, make lots of coffee and get ready for the noon start. The weather was perfect: Partly sunny with highs in the 70s.

I rode second for our team. My first lap was fastest. After Patrick got back and I was heading out for my second lap we were in third, but the guy blew past me after about 2 miles. They pretty much stayed ahead of us until the end. We ended up fourth, just about 9 minutes behind. The guys that won the SS class got 2nd overall. Time to move up to the Pro class, know you can win money there? Might be better than a janky pair of Truvativ handlebars...just a thought.

The Pereira Cycles Clydesdale-class team was the hero of the day. They won their class, beating the guys that topped them last year. Nice work fellas!

24 hour racing is an amazing experience. There is a wonderful camaraderie among all the racers. After four years there are lots of familiar faces and it is great to get reunited again. I also get to have a bunch of really strong riders pound the crap out of my bikes. No problems at all. Even the Roaring 29er held up to some high speed, night time surprise pounding on the rocks.
What great fun. See you next year!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Cross Crusade Begins!

Yesterday's opening of the Cross Crusade cyclocross series was the largest ever. With 1078 racers some are saying that it is the largest field of any cyclocross race in the world. OBRA does an amazing job keeping everything going with zero delays and a great course.

There were lots of familiar faces in the crowd and it was great to see many folks that I haven't seen since last year's series. My girlfriend Lucy did her first bike race ever and premiered the Pereira Cycles team! I think she's hooked. Mike Hilbrandt and I were in the Singlespeed category representing for Pereira Cycles among 87 singlespeeders! Can't wait for the rest of the races.

Photos here