Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bend Rocks, Junior Racing, and Cross Natz Recon

Last post I promise. Waiting for my red-eye here at the Redmond airport where after meticulous weight-reducing packing to get the double bike bag to 58 lbs (still 8lbs over - tough when the double Pika weighs in at 22...) and even a trip to Fed-Ex my bags didn't even get weighed! First to the Deschutes River with its trails and volcanic rocks, then we went to Bend's Old Mill District to watch the Junior Nationals crits and scout the 2009 Cross Nationals Course. As if the $8000 bikes ridden by 12-year-olds in Friday's time trial were not enough to turn me off on junior racing, holy cow - I could have made tip-top mockumentary a la Best in Show of the ridiculous parents at the course today. The pushiness, the screaming, the excess, the competitiveness - it was revolting. I could not understand how the officials could tolerate this! I compare this admittedly snapshot image of junior racing with collegiate racing and it just does not compare. The comraderie and spirit of collegiate, with people racing junker bikes and with time trials run "cannibal" style to minimize the ability to buy time trial speed - now that is the purity of cycling. That said, it was fun watching the 13-14 year old races (shutting out parental shouting, or laughing at it). One interesting aspect was that some riders are literally twice as big as others in the same field! Most importantly, the venue was the same as the 2009 cross nationals venue. Hard to say much given that we might have snow or icy ruts or mud but the venue looks awesome, with less elevation gain than in Kansas, though I am sure it can be found. The crit course could form the basis of the paved start-finish stretch. Some photos included.


Kerry said...

"One interesting aspect was that some riders are literally twice as big as others in the same field!"

Welcome to my world.

tiffp said...

hey look what i found! fun! GREAT posts! and I hadn't seen that great shot of our team! hope all is well in your hood. take care and talk soon.