Pat Malach owns this photo, but I own me, so the way I see it we're each in like 50/50 on this one, and thus I feel OK using it without explicit permission. That's how the law works - on feelings - right?
The official article headline for the race this past Saturday was Beardsley, Walle Win Hammer Velo Crit, but in my head I prefer to think of it as Gentle Lovers Come First at Swan Island. Doesn't that have a better ring to it? I sure think so. Anyway, click the link thing if you want to read a few more details and maybe also read something else about rap.
By the way, is it a total waste of time for me to talk about rap here? I worry that it is, but I'm so starved for rap bonding in my day-to-day that I need some arena in which to spill my thoughts. My girlfriend cares little for the lyrical detailing of the nuances of selling drugs and having awesome rap sex, and my coworkers think that knowing some of the words to the Beastie Boys' Paul Revere a rap expert makes, so I'm stuck with all this excitement for a thing and very few people to share it with. It's hard being me. Anyway, yell at me in the comments if you never want to hear the word "rap" here again, or else prepare yourself for sweet sweet rap links in the "ps:" section every time!
BACK TO THE RACE, TINY.
So... What can a dude really say about a crit that ends in a sprint? There were attacks, some of which had much promise, but I think that, this being the first Portland crit of the year, and on a course with tons of visibility and no technical sections, the field never had any intentions of letting anybody stay away. There was even a point where the field was almost evenly split in two with the front half moving at a really solid clip, with maybe a 200 - 300m gap, but that closed back up in just a few laps. All in all, it was my favorite kind of race; one where everybody seemed awake, and one that kept a steady enough flow for safe riding and a minimal threat to collar bones.
For my part, I was just happy to make it to the start line with two mostly functioning shoulders and a good excuse to get on top of some race wheels. I tried, as I planned, to get away early, but after "attack" number two it was pretty obvious I had neither the pop nor the motor I needed to really be taken seriously. In a way, that's a liberating spot to be in though, because once you admit to yourself that racing for yourself is off the table, it's really fun to just turn it inside out for a teammate. So I did what I could to help folks keep things together, and at about 40 minutes, when I stopped feeling stable and in total control of my bike, I pulled the plug and watched the rest. Finishing would have been awesome, but I knew it was a pipe dream going in. Overall, I'd rate the Hammer Velo Criterium a total blast!
Pat took some really awesome pictures, and you should check out his gallery. I'm going to stick a couple of my favorite shots right here though:
I know it's kind of a brag, but I really dig our white jerseys
Darly is easily one of the best wheels in Oregon. If you can snag a spot behind him or Coker, never pass it up.
Glover and Shepard on the road! This is a pretty common sighting out at the track.
Joe, I'm sorry, but I had to point out this picture. It almost looks like a shake-face.
It's my post, so I get to put as many pictures of me up as I want. Them's the rules.
Steve! It's tough to tell, but he has one of those stems that has abs. It helps us win races, probably.
See y'all at Tabor!
The Tiniest Sprinter
PS: The Vanilla crew ain't the only ones who overhear funny/juvenile things. Just this morning I heard my boss declare "We still haven't determined the nipple thickness" in a very authoritative voice into a telephone. That he didn't even smirk leaves me suspicious that he is too grown up.
PPS: I love racing steel bikes.
PPPS: Afroman - Because I Got High. An oldie but a goody. Jay and Silent Bob? Check. Animals made to look like they're "dancing" by playing video clips forward and backward? Check. A dude-nun buying a bud-sicle? Check.