Thursday, July 15, 2010

Portland recap

We arrived home late Monday night, but I'm only now starting to feel half-way human again. I felt like I was racing the entire time while we were gone-whether it was trying to beat Scott up the climbs, short track, or the Creampuff. Needless to say, I came home very, very tired. So tired that I didn't look or think about riding my bike for 3 days! And that's a long time for me people :-)

Anyways, back to our trip. Portland was awesome. It's easy to see why so many people commute there. The city makes it really, really easy to do so.

From what I hear most of the good mountain biking is outside of the city, so we stuck to the roads after our day at Mount Saint Helens. However, I still managed to get my bike plenty dirty while racing short track.

The portland short track scene is pretty cool. There were a few hundred people who showed up, which isn't bad for a Monday night training race. I wish we had something like this at home because I would do it every week. Sue Butler took off right away in my field and the rest of us were left chasing. I rode at an uncomfortably-comfortable pace...does that make sense? My legs were already a little flat, and I didn't want to waste myself anymore for the rest of the week. I kept going back and forth with another girl throughout the race, and couldn't figure out when to attack. Finally she pulled over and started puking, which was my cue to push the pace :-) I ended up finishing in 6th place and had a blast. And the fact that I had a blast is proof that I didn't ride nearly hard enough!!!

We spent the rest of the week walking around the city, riding, eating and drinking coffee. Portland seems to have a taco truck, coffee shop, and brewery on every corner. Scott was in beer heaven all week!

Eating with my helmet cool looking....

Eventually we had to pack up again and headed over to Eugene, which is about 40 minutes away from the Creampuff course. I wish that we could have spent a little more time in Eugene because it looked really cool. I've heard that it has some really great trail there too.

The Cascade Creampuff started at 5 a.m., which meant that we had to wake up at 3 a.m. to get to the start and have time to prepare. I didn't feel that tired, but that's probably because I never really went to sleep.

Our start was truly a neutral one, and we rolled out just as it was getting light out. My legs felt pretty poopy from the get-go, but there was nothing that I could do about it. I was still hoping for the best.

Normally I like climbing, but not on creampuff race day. In fact, I was pretty sure that my climbing legs were still somewhere on Mt. Tam. To make matters worse, I realized that my fork was blown. Ouch. It wasn't bad on the climbs, but I felt like I was riding with a rigid fork anytime I hit singletrack. By mile 40 I felt like my shoulders were coming through my head.

It was a loooong day in the saddle. Trust me when I say that I felt like absolute POO the entire time. However, the Creampuff course was amazing. I can't think of another course that has more beautiful views. And the singletrack was simply amazing...rigid fork and all :-) It was hard keeping my eyes on the course because I kept wanting to look all around me.

To make a really long race report short, I ended up in 6th place. A race volunteer accidentally sent me the wrong way, which cost me 5th place. At first I was so steaming mad climbing back up that I am quite positive that there were flames coming out of my eyes. However, I managed to check myself. First of all, it was someone volunteering. Spending their own free time to help out. Second of all, I figured it was better to be sent the wrong way on a bad day, then on a good day when I was a contender.

Eventually I made it to the finish line! I think Scott thought that I had stopped and taken a nap, because I was out there for so long...ha ha!
My legs were DONE!
It's funny (or NOT funny) how wrecked I felt after the race. And mostly in my arms (from riding with a blown fork) and my calf muscles (I'm not used to riding downhills for such a long time). I could barely lift my carry-on in the airport the next day.

I would go back to this race in a heartbeat, tough day and all. It's definitely a race you have to experience for yourself, because words don't do it justice. Every year the course changes, but know one thing. You will basically be climbing the entire time :-)

And that's a wrap on our vacation/training/racing trip. Thanks to our friend Bernie for letting us crash in his place for an entire week. Between Scott sleeping on the floor, and me on the couch we occupied his entire living room.

To show our appreciation I left him a little gift for his apartment...

PS. To any of our friends out West who might be getting married next year....can you please arrange it so that it's right after the Creampuff? That way I can do the race first! Thanks in advance :-)


Emily said...

Oh man! If I'd known you were going to Eugene I would have told you some places to go! I lived there for two years and still miss it. It is a town of great breakfasts and great beer. Also some lovely edge-of-town trails there... ah Oregon, I miss it.

Danielle Musto said...

Emily- I definitely want to go back. I think it would be fun to spend a week around that area, hitting all of the good trails. It's too bad it's so far away!!!!

jeek said...

Brilliant, sounded like fun! Good luck in your racing from Scotland (mountainbike heaven!)

Richard said...

Portland ROCKS! Great post.

Carey said...

Way to make a positives out of a bunch of negatives.