Looking for a way to jump start your cycling fitness? After months of crappy rain, I know I am. My ingenious plan: to race as many of the PDX Short Track races at PIR as I possibly can. Knowing myself, I’ll probably completely break down and begin weezing after lap 3 or 4, but you have to suffer to get results right?
The Short Track course at PIR was open on Monday for practice and we were on the scene to check it out. And to ride lap after lap until my lungs were bleeding.
If you’ve never raced a short track, it is similar in format to a Cyclecross Race, but without the barriers and dismounts. Races are 3o minutes in duration on a 3 to 5 minute long course that will utilize part of the motocross track and a grassy area, with the course set with cones. The courses will change from week to week, with time to practice before the races begin.
You can race any kind of bike you want, and from what I hear, that is exactly what happens. Kris Schamp recommends a lightweight XC mountain bike as the ideal race machine, but we did see a number of cyclecross bikes on course. I’m still waiting for my Wolfhound 29er to come from the painters, but I’m thinking it should be a pretty sweet steed for this event. For the practice day I came out with my 6″ trave; Trek Remedy all mountain bike, and while it was fun, it felt pretty slow on the course, especially trying to pump through the rollers on the moto course. I was loving the 1×9 drivetrain though.
Races run about $20 for day of registration, but you can save a few bucks by signing up in advance or for the whole series.
We ran at least seven or eight laps and during that time it reminded me of riding a bmx track without any good jumps or berms, except you don’t stop, and have to run lap after lap.(been a long time since I’ve done any kind of endurance racing) Should make for a fun time.
I need to buy me some spandex! I’m kidding. I think.
POV of the course
Check out PortlandRacing.com for more info and directions to Portland International Raceway.