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Riding, Racing and Otto Miller Wednesday
We have been putting on Gentlemen's Races for quite some time now. On the East Coast we will head into year two, while the West will see the third running of the race this September. Slate jokes that he is just waiting for the day when USA Cycling calls him up to let him know that he is through. I have suggested that it might come in the form of a sniper on the roof across the way. One never knows how far reaching they are these days. But one thing is for sure, and that is how much fun everyone is having participating in these races.
Bicycling Magazine just did a feature on the most recent iteration of the Gentlemen's Race that happened here in Portland, Oregon last September. You may recognize the author as Matt Card who has written a few pieces on food for this web based journal. We rode together that day and he accurately describes the pain and suffering that we endured. Included at the end of the article is a list that outlines ten non-races to participate in around the country. Some are "alley cats" like Cranksgiving and some, like the Cyclocross Single Speed World Championships, are straight up cyclocross festivals of mud and fun.
Legendary Burton Snowboard photographer, Jeff Curtes, shot the photos for the Bicycling article from a bike. He has done a few little shoots for Rapha now, including our Friday morning ride with Tim Johnson. Hopefully we will get to see more of his photography in the future.
One ride/race that happened most recently here in Portland was an organized affair called the King Kong Classic. The mysterious email that started circulating about three weeks before the date was a call to arms of sorts. It stated that, even though we do like to race, we also like the camaraderie that is associated with the group ride. And if there was a way to combine the two, this would be it. See the whole email on Tracko.
We try to promote this type of riding as much as we can around here. Why? Well, mainly because we like to ride bicycles and it helps to get us out the door. But the main reason is because these rides are fun and it does the trick of providing actual race pace training for people who are not as comfortable in a race setting. Maybe you do not have the upgrade points but still want to ride with your pals (looking at you Joe Staples) well, this way everyone gets to ride together. The people with more experience can, in this way, help out the newer cyclists.
Another ride is a monthly occurrence that we have been doing out of the office here in Portland - Otto Miller Wednesdays. Get everyone together and just ride bikes. Ride fast if you want. Talk to your pals and meet some new people or just make an effort to improve your mid-pack riding skills. And at the same time, you will get to ride the 6 mile gravel hill that is Otto Miller.
The casual appeal to this type of riding and racing is starting to take off in a big way. While there are ten of these races listed in Bicycling, there are more than you can count on both hands and toes being pasted around on blogs every day. Keep an eye on Trackosaurus for an accurate list, especially as the weather starts to get warmer.
All riding images from Otto Miller Ride, February 17th.
Next ride will be March 17th leaving the office at 12:30 pm. Be there.
And if you are looking for something more on the subject of riding well with others read Bill Strickland's most recent Sitting In piece titled The Passion of the Twerps.
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