Thursday, November 05, 2009

Astoria, oh how I love to hate you

Or is it how I hate to love you?

Yes this past weekend was the Halloween double race weekend extravaganza at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds in Astoria. After a storm late last week, Saturday’s race was a good old muddy mess. Not the epic powering through ankle deep mud, but more of the slick as snot corners and rutted wet grass kind of mud. The type of race where you are riding along at a good pace and WHAM! Your front wheel slips out and you are sliding across the ground as the guy behind you yells out “Oh-Shit” as he tries to avoid running over you (Thanks Aaron!). I wasn’t thrilled with my race. After getting caught behind a crash in the first half lap and a couple other mishaps, I found myself in a similar position, on the outside of the points looking in. Spent the rest of the race chasing guys down and trying to keep it upright to come in at 17th. Not pretty, but fun none the less.

We spent the night at a hotel in Seaside, the Inn at Seaside to be precise. Got a good deal, $55 for a king bed and a kitchenette. We decide to bring Quinn the hyper-dog with us for the weekend since the hotel allows them. After a day of trying to chase bike racers he seemed pretty chill so we left him in the room to go get some dinner. (Note: While one would think that sushi 2 blocks from the Ocean would be fresh, it aint. ‘nough said) Anyway, we get back to the room and no dog! Seriously, we have a small room with 3 bikes. It’s not easy for an 85 pound dog to hide. We’re also on the 2nd floor, window was closed. What the? I head to the front desk and as I get there, sure enough, there’s Quinn tied up behind the desk! Turns out he freaked after we left and started barking and throwing himself against the door. Luckily for us the lady at the front desk was not only the nicest person ever, but also a dog obedience trainer! Seriously, I ain’t making this up. She went up, opened the door a crack, told Quinn to sit, he did, and she brought him down to the front desk where he was an angel, hanging out greeting all the guests. What an attention whore of a dog we have. But if you're heading to the coast, I definitely recommend the Inn at Seaside.

Back to the races. In the tradition of Sunday ‘Cross racing, it was decided to make Sunday’s race the Costume day, even though it was the day after Halloween. Wouldn’t expect anything else from Brad Ross. I had had great visions of being a Great White Shark, until I ran into technical issues on Thursday night. I knew that showing up to the Halloween race without a costume would garner the wrath of the drunken fans, so I had to scramble for a costume. I checked out Margi’s costume boxes (yes boxes) and found a pink long sleeve shirt that said Snow Bunny. Just add in a bunny tail and ears, and voila, lamest costume ever is born.

Luckily it was good enough to satisfy the blood thirsty drunken masses and even garnered me some ‘go Snow Bunny’ cheering. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to get me anything more than 16th place. The only thing I will say about the race is that I was having a great start, best first 50 yards EVER! Until I blew the first corner rode out of bounds and lost a good 10-15 spots. What makes it even funnier is that before the race Mike Benno was asking me if I preferred to be a starter or behinder, meaning do I like to get out in front right away or fight from behind. I said I prefer to start ahead but seem to keep killing myself and fighting from behind. Another self full filling prophecy! At least the race was a blast with all the mayhem and costumes.

This weekend is the Oregon State Championships on Saturday where I will try to defend my title. But to be honest with all the attention it has brought I will be glad to give it up. It gets old not being able to go out in public without people asking for my autograph or women throwing themselves at me. I won’t even go into the paparazzi. It’s a heavy burden being the masters state champ. So think twice boys before you try to take it from me ;)

On Sunday we are racing at PIR, the North Course. That will be fun if for no other reason than after my race is the Single Speed CycloCross World Championships, which means I can hang out, watch some racing eat some fries and drink a beer. Should be fun. Oh that and Margi is Racing A’s after her upgrade! Nice job babe! If you get slapped on the ass while being passed, it isn’t me, promise!