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Race Report -- Memorial Park, Wilsonville, OR(3 posts)

Race Report -- Memorial Park, Wilsonville, ORGripped
Nov 17, 2003 12:48 PM
After three weeks of alternating rest and recovery rides, I finally figured it was time to see if I had my legs back. The latest installment of the Portland, OR was held in the burbs at Memorial park in Wilsonville, OR. After a week of lovely weather, the rain started Friday night. Race time weather on Sunday morning: temps around 50, 20 mph SE wind, steady rain. Perfect cross weather.

When I got the the parking lot, I saw a bunch of the 40+ and beginer riders packing up and they were covered with mud. If conditions were already that sloppy for the first race, I wondered what the course would be like for the B race after the C's and Juniors churned it up some more. I bundled up with shorts, leg warmers, arm warmers, a Patagonia silk weight long sleeve t-shirt, jersey, rain jacket, and hat. I decided that instead of pre-riding the course, I would walk/jog beside the course to inspect it. That would allow me to stage in my favorite spot (second row, inside for the first turn).

The course would have been fine had conditions been dry. However, much of the "backside" went through the woods and the slop meant that only a very narrow track was particularly stable so passing was difficult. There was one set of barriers (four or five) up a small hill and a log over the trail at two other spots. If not for the slop, all of the course except for the barriers and the logs would have been ridable. The slop made two more hills mandatory run-ups. Also, there was a ridiculously low angled hill that was much faster to run up that to ride.

Before staging, I changed out my hat for a headband that covered my ears. I snagged my preferred slot and jumped up and down to keep warm. A couple of minutes before race time, I stripped off my leg warmers and my jacket and tossed them aside. I got a good start and tried to hammer the first lap -- of course hammer is a relative term in the slop.

The start cruised on a sweeping turn on pavement for 1/16 mile to a packed gravel section for 1/16 mile to a mud transition immediately to a right turn onto a paved pedestrian path. That went 100 feet to another mud (formerly grass) section that quickly turned right down a small hill and immediatly back 180 degrees to the four (or five) barrier hill. In general, the mud in the formerly grass sections was 1-3 inches deep. After the hill crest there was a short mud section to a hard left onto the pedestrian path. Almost immediately there was a hard right down into the woods on a snot slick trail that wound through some trees and popped out 1/8 mile later back on the pedestrian path, crossed it to a packed gravel transition and then back down a small hill to more mud then right back up to the right to the first mud dictated run up. After the remount, there was a 90 degree left down a nice grade and through a puddle (soup, or maybe stew) and into the woods again. Through the woods, there was lots of quick up (one run-up) and down and twists. At the end of that woods section there was a tree barrier. After the remount, it opened into a field with a couple hundred feet to the ridiculously low angled soupy run up then right back into the woods for a couple more turns and twists. The course opened back up into the field along a heavily rutted (car/truck tires) track. In the field there was another low angle hill that was barely ridable and then went swooping around a fairly long and almost fast flat section. Just when you were pushing some big gears, there was a curving downhill transition to slipperly snot and then up to the last log barrier. After the barrier, it was the finishing straightaway on the packed gravel back to the first mud transition.

The trial through the woods was very slippery and tires tended to slip down into the bottom of the bead. Consequently, passing in the woods was difficult. Eventually, my woods strategy evolved into: 1) When I wanted to pass, I would wait until the guy in front of me slipped down and then I would go around
Race Report -- Memorial Park, Wilsonville, OR Part 2Gripped
Nov 17, 2003 12:49 PM
The trail through the woods was very slippery and tires tended to slip down into the bottom of the bead. Consequently, passing in the woods was difficult. Eventually, my woods strategy evolved into: 1) When I wanted to pass, I would wait until the guy in front of me slipped down and then I would go around, and 2) On the hills (even if they were 10 feet), if anyone started to slip, I would dismount and run around them. In one short section of trail, the guy in front of me went down and I got around him. Right after that, I went down and he got around me and said "Right back at you." I got around him again not too much later.

Near the end of the bell lap, I half-heartedly tried to catch a guy a few hundred feet in front of me. Coming off the final log barrier, I noticed that he was just limping to the line so I sprinted the best I could. I caught him right at the line but I don't know how the judges scored it.

I felt pretty good for the race and I'm sure that I finished in my usual "middle of the pack" place. I just hope that it was in the 20's rather than in the 30's.

Random Thoughts:

During the second to last lap, the slop jammed my front deraileur. That was the second time this season so I am seriously considering doing 1x9 next year. I am running Tufo tubular clinchers and they performed well in the mud -- I saw guys running Muds who were slipping around at least as much as I was. Shoot, guys riding mountain bikes with knobbies were sliding all over the place. I ran the Tufos at 45 psi front and 55 psi rear (I'm 185) and they felt pretty good.
link to photos here...KonaMan
Nov 18, 2003 11:31 AM
sorry I missed out on that one, woke up with the mind wanting to race, but the body put it's foot down. had a bit of a stomach bug, which pissed me off. I can't imagine what the conditions were like for Cat A.

what's the scoop on Estacada? how's that course run?