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Portland Short Track Race 6

The Portland Short Track Series is coming to an end with just two more races to go. Meanwhile it's really starting to feel like summer out here in Portland, Oregon and cyclocross season is just around the corner. As much as I love coming out to PIR for racing on Monday nights it's kinda messed up that we have to pedal all the way out to North Portland to enjoy riding bikes on dirt. Will Portland ever give Mountain Bikers trail access? I shot some video of my Cat 2 race which will hopefully be up in the next day or two. Josh Kelly found his legs in the Elite race holding off a super fast field for the win. There was finally beer for sale at the venue and post race peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the bomb.

P.S. I won't be mad if you just head on over to Yung Pine's photo gallery right now because his documentation of the race is just insane!

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Portland Short Track Race 4

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Race number 4 of the Portland Short Track is a wrap. It was hot hot hot. I mean seriously it was hot as hell out there. The organizers did another great job of designing the course this week. It was technical and loose. I took the hole shot in the U35 Cat 2 field which I held for no more than a quarter of a lap. Its the little things right. Below are some photos from the Elite men + Elite women's race. It's inspiring to watch these men and women race and I am looking forward to the next one.

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Andrew Coe rode flawlessly in the last couple of laps leaving the rest of the field to try and chase him down.

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Josh Kelley putting in some work coming off an injury.

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The Elite + Cat 1 women were killing it on this loose course laying down smooth lines and showing some true grit.

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Andrew Coe securing first.

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Portland Short Track is sponsored by : Hopworks Urban Brewery, Cyclepath PDX, Yakima, Bike Gallery, PDW, Lumberyard, Icebreaker, Shower Pass, Nossa Familia Coffee, Chris King , Dave's Killer Bread, Larabar, Bob's Red Mill and Blaqpaks.

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I think we can all agree that Ten Speed Hero makes some of the best kits in the cycling industry.

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I am sure Josh Kelley is not happy settling for third. Looking forward to seeing how this guy shreds in the next couple of races. Heal up man!

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Craig has been holding it down for Velo Cult leading group rides and providing a tent for everyone at the races.

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I am sorry but you can't have my peanut butter sandwich.

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Recovery.

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Oregon Bike Shop bringing it home in the Elite + Cat 1 women's race.

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We're going to miss these two.

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Moments like these....

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Until next time.

Portland Short Track Race 3

Race 3 of the Portland Short Track was amazing. Here is a quick photoset from the Men + Women Elite Fields. Share and enjoy.

Mountain Biking and Bushwhacking Gales Creek

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Winter is just around the corner and the Pacific Northwest has been getting hammered with rain. Many of our weekends have been spent on the road bikes, looking at the weather and praying for a day to hit the trails. Just when it starts to get you down a window opens and your sitting in the back seat on your way to the trails. I am staring out the window. My eyes fixate on the clouds above. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been on the Mountain bike. The separation is sobering. I know next to nothing about where we are headed. It’s better that way.

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We’re in the Tillamook Forest at the Gale Creek trail head. It’s really cold out and we’re all trying to figure out how much gear to wear. The creek is a river and the it rose during the storm is incredible. From here things just kept getting more interesting.

We make our way to the trail head. The dirt is good and I am tripping out on how fucking beautiful the forest is. Trees are down on the trail. One after another; yet we push forward. There are some runners off in the distance. We’re not alone. As they pull into focus we learn that they ran into a avalanche up ahead and turned around. The trail is gone and theres no way around it. Still, we pedal forward determined to see this wash out ourselves.

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The creek is a river and we need to cross it. It’s cold out and no one wants to get there feet wet. I am indifferent and accept my wet fate. Michael on the other hand…. was determined to keep his feet dry. Soon after we find ourselves confronted with the washed out trail. Theres only one way around it and that way is up. This is the part of the ride where mountain biking turns into bushwhacking. Every mountain bike ride should be this awesome!

The bushwhack worked and we’re back on the trail. The rest of the ride was made up of incredible single track with dozens of water crossings. Too many to count. Jeff led the effort in clearing the trail with a packable saw and together we took care most of the down trees. I learned an important lesson on being a good trail steward and definitely have plans to start carrying a hand saw on future rides.

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You can download information and the trail map to Gales Creek here : http://tillamookforestcenter.org/resources/Gales_Creek_Trail.pdf

Velo Cult Team Ride : Rocky Point Road

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[sliderpro id="10"] Let’s face it. It’s been that kind of winter. The weather has been pretty rough. Even for the most hearty of cyclists who chant death before trainers…….. But what can usually coax anyone into the cold and onto the wet roads of the west hills? A great group of people who actually relish in the exact elements that will drive most folks to a spin class or a trainer (myself included). Thanks to Andy who was the organizer of Sunday’s ride and his choice was Rocky Pt. Road. Logistically we decided it best to car shuttle out of town as opposed to schlepping the sloppy dirty 30. Since it was a day where no amount of gear, no more how high tech or water proof, you were going to be soaked through.

This was a great choice, but it did mean we were in the ride the moment we shoved off and up the average 8% gradient for the first 5 or so miles, eventually reaching the gravel accompanied by steady rain with huge drops making visibility an issue. Everyone had their own pace and seemed to get out of the ride what they wanted. AS per usual with this group, there was no man or woman left behind. This is why I truly enjoy this group and everyone who rides for Velo Cult. It’s about being out there! Being on two wheels and just riding!

Finally at the top of our climbing, we stared down the barrel of a big descent. And once we did descend down the backside of Rocky Pont Rd, streaking by small piles of snow hanging for dear life, the rain cleared up and warmed up a bit making for a super-fast drop to the bottom…where we realized we had to now turnaround and climb up what we just bombed down. Well, some us didn’t realize it was an out and back. OOPS! So, with the same cheer and bravado we had at the start, we made the U-y and headed up.

At this point, I do think a bit of a “ok I’m super soaked and cold. Let’s get back to the cars” mentality set in. So the climb back up and over seemed to be at a quicker pace and we all found a pace that made the turn around feel a bit shorter in length. Maybe it was the cold and wet. Maybe it was a bit of suffering. Perhaps I was woozy from my own effort, but the return trip was a bit fuzzy….unmemorable even. And just like that another great ride was in the books. The hot shower lasted a bit longer than usual, my gigantic robe was oh so welcoming and the soup was steaming hot! SO! Thank you Andy, Adam, Jeremiah, Craig, Chris, Lee and (Bethany?). I cannot wait for the next ride!

Words : Matthew Barney Photos : Christopher San Agustin

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