You know those days when it is cold and rainy outside, but you’ve managed to pull off exactly the right combination of layering so that you stay dry and never get too cold or warm on your ride? Those magical days when you’re not shivering, but you don’t end your ride with a back pocket full of arm warmers, extra gloves, rain jacket and a wool jersey wrapped around your waist Kurt Cobain-style? Today was like that. My trip to Bend for the USGP last weekend was, sadly, not.
It is difficult to prepare for the amount of awesomeness that was about to go down in addition to the forecast of rain and sub-freezing temperatures all weekend. Two 28 degree, 8:45 am ‘cross races in Bend in what was supposed to be pouring rain would’ve been enough, but there was also the matter of a quick pit stop in PDX for The Sword on Saturday night. So on Friday morning I threw all of my rain gear into a bag with my Sorel boots and most metal-est t-shirt and headed to work with a giant fucking bag on my carbon ‘cross bike.
We got down to Portland early enough on Friday evening to stand around in a Fred Meyer parking lot and drink a few beers with Case, Jason Britton, and some guys from PDW. Eventually a security guard came by and said “I don’t mind if you guys hang out, but keep the profanity down, okay?” No problem, officer.
Sometimes I really love Portland. Wait… I mean… FPDX!
And then we saw The motherfucking Sword!
We also ran into Cheever, but I wasn’t able to get a photo because he was too busy jumping onto people’s backs and grabbing strangers asses. He was definitely edging into Stan Beaver territory.
If you live on the West Coast and you didn’t go see The Sword last week then you’re doing it wrong.
– begin metal tangent –
Did you guys see that Metallica is now on Spotify? I mean… there are a lot of things going against Metallica and lots of people have lots of reasons for hating them now. There’s all of the Napster stuff, the fence he built on his property to keep mountain bikers out, the existence of this photo, etc. Not to mention all of the music after 1988 (or 1991, depending on how indignant you want to get). But c’mon, Metallica made some pretty fucking rad albums. Remember Garage Days? A very inebriated friend even recently tried to convince a few of us that Metallica was the best metal band of all time by saying “How many really great albums does Sabbath have? 2? Metallica’s got at least 3.5!”. (Let’s not talk about the other friend who advocated for AC/DC by going on and on about how Back in Black is by far their worst album. F you Joe.) Anyway, you can now go listen to Master of Puppets without having to directly give Metallica any money. If that’s the sort of thing that you’re into.
– end metal tangent –
Where was I? Oh! So we got out of Portland late enough that we didn’t arrive in Bend until about 4.5 hours before our race. What is the USGP thinking when the single speed race goes off at 8:45 am? Ugh. I get up early on the regular, but that doesn’t give anyone nearly enough time to recover from the previous nights drinks, have a cup of coffee, take a crap, and maybe, just maybe, get a lap in before the start of their race. I might’ve bitched about MFG having single speeds as the last race of the day, but this is not an alternative I’m okay with. I’ve got a new found respect for all of the Cat 4 and Masters racers who are out there at the crack of dawn all season. Fortunately, some of us are made of hardier stuff than I am and Greg raced to 5th place on Saturday despite the same drinks, metal, and lack of sleep that I had. Craig took second and still managed to find time to film Hot Laps With Craig.
Afterwards, Randy came through with some Apple Pie Moonshine from someone’s Mom and it made me forget about how bad at racing I am.
He’s really been strengthening his heckling muscles while recovering from shoulder surgery and I thought he was going to make some of the pros cry during their race. Its no surprise but Hodala continues to kinda be dicks to Chris Jones. Ah well. It’s just jokes. It might be the apple pie, but for some reason I can’t remember the best heckles. Maybe DR will put ‘em in the comments.
Sally had to “work” that night so a few of us went to a few bars for a few drinks and few games of pool and one girl with rad chest tattoos.
Sunday morning brought more of the same. No rain, but a frozen course and at least one Hodala rider who was too hungover/not awake enough to complete more than a few laps. Craig again brought home a 2nd place finish that secured him as the overall single speed winner for the USGP series. I mostly just hope this doesn’t mean an end to the Hot Laps season. Maybe he’ll make one in Louisville.
We all got our heckle on during the pro races, but we’re not complete pricks – Joey bought Katerina Nash a cake and we all sang her happy birthday on the finish line.
Also, Ben Berdon was rocking the World Famous Wizarm Warmers during his races this weekend.
And that’s all that I’ve got for you this week. Special thanks to .ca for being our Canadian Sherpa this weekend. It was also great to see all of the kittens down in Bend. Though we’ll be seeing a lot more of them at the SS Cup party when they don bikinis to wash bikes. It should be a fun party that promises to look something like this:
One last thing: I sent out the second round of Hodala/Philly shirts a couple of days ago, but am still waiting on more XLs. If you’ve ordered a shirt but haven’t received it, I promise it’ll be there soon.