First, let me start by singing super high praise for the Eugene Celebration (sort of) Stage Race. I think it's a sweet format on beautiful roads (besides the crit) in a cheap and easy town to stay in during a time of year when you can generally count on the weather. You can put your accumulated road fitness to excellent use, or hit it like a training camp heading into cross season, and either way you come out ahead!
My own personal Eugene Celebration, while far from impressive on paper, felt like a pretty big victory for the following reasons:
#1 - I did it, instead of not doing it, which would have been easier
#2 - I was not dead last in the hillclimb
#3 - I choked on a Clif bar for realsies, and survived to talk endlessly about it to anyone who would listen
#4 - I was not dropped from the field in the road race until the end of the 8th and final climb, and only lost about a minute
#5 - I spent a lot of time in a hot tub
#6 - I held wild frogs in my hands and it was, like, whoa, nature, you know?
#7 - I knocked 2 minutes off my Coburg TT time on my track bike TT hooptie and did not even barf
#8 - I wore the latest in Garmin HUD technology, born from the mind and hands of The Scientist
#9 - My guts processed Ron's Island Grill without making diarrhea out of it
#10 - I faced my fears and rode a wet, rainy crit until the end
#11 - I surely made a dent in my recently acquired fat
#12 - I finished 11th GC from 29 starters. To be fair, though, a lot of people quit
picture snatched from the Oregon Bike Racing instragram
With that new found confidence in my ability to pay for a race, show up to a race, and finish that race, it's time to charge into cross season!
David Douglas #1 is in the books, and the course was as fun as it always is, if maybe sprinkled with a bit too much broken glass*. My races were nothing worthy of a true race report, so I shall sum them up thusly: in the A race I started at the very front and moved steadily backwards, and in the single speed race I started at the very back and moved steadily forward, and in neither case was the result noteworthy in any way. I have high hopes, though, that getting started on the double-up race days early in the season will pay big dividends down the road. Getting in two races, no matter how they play out, also makes all of the peripheral effort of a cyclocross day seem much more justified. To those lucky enough to be eligible for multiple, non-overlapping categories, I really can't recommend the double enough.
I also can't recommend a good old fashioned glue high enough.
Say what you will about the benefits of tubular tape, proper tubeless, ghetto tubeless, or plain old clinchers-with-tubes, none of them will make you delightfully dizzy when you set them up in a tiny, non ventilated room. With cx rapidly winding up, it's time to get out your cans and brushes, or tubes of mastik, and get weird.
Het Meer is tomorrow, with its deep sand, slow grass, and the gravel road section that makes any SS gear feel terribly inadequate. It's fun as shit, and I hope I see some of y'all out there. We can practice finishing races together!
* I get it, though. Those David Douglas trails are just begging to be partied on. If I were a teen growing up around that park, I'd bet the farm that I would contribute personally to the glass and other trash. Party on, teens!
PS: This morning when I looked at the black gunky mess that is my hands - far too lazy to buy rubber gloves for tire gluing - a very special song started hammering about through my thoughts. This is that song:
I've long since quit paying attention to what Redman is doing in life, but I ought to correct that, because I really appreciate his whole attitude.