Team News: March 2014 Chainrings

Echo's Red 2 Red trails

Echo’s Red 2 Red trails

The Sunset team is back from Eastern Oregon’s Red 2 Red mountain bike race, and their results were impressive!

225 riders finished the race. Here’s how our team fared:

  • Paul G. — Cat 2  40-49  — 20th
  • John W. — Cat 1  40+  — 3rd
  • Terry R. — Cat 1  40+  — 23rd
  • Michael K. — Cat 2  19-39  — 10th
  • Dan L. — Clydesdale  — 10th

And here’s the entertaining race report, courtesy of Dan L.:

Things are not always what they seem. That sums up the 2014 Echo Red to Red. The team had expressed concerns about Interstate closures and the Arctic mass that hit the area the week before that race. Race day promised a 19 degree low for the day of the race. A couple members even wondered if they could get their entry refunded. After some back and forth,  Michael K, Paul G. and I found ourselves meeting at Starbucks 5:50 am Saturday morning, fueling up for the 3+ hour drive out to Echo. Everything went smoothly right up until just past Arlington, where “same direction” radar got me good. After stuffing the ticket in my wallet, we arrived in a very cold 26 degree Echo and began the painful ritualistic process of choosing how many layers to put on. The announcer was warning about exposed skin which added to our worry. Every one of us put on our race getups with different style face coverings. Went out for a warm up ride (that is irony at its best) and all came back and put more clothes on. Got what we felt was right as far as clothing and started lining up. I am not really sure how everyone else did but here is what I know.  John (took 3rd) went out with Cat 1 with Terry (took 23rd)  riding a Cat up so he could get the extra 5 miles the cat 1 course provided. I never saw them again as the Cat 2 men left 30 minutes later. That was Paul (who took 20th with a leaking tire he had to constantly pump up) and Michael (took 10th on his first mt bike race in many years) had a very strong showing although he wasn’t sure he liked the course as much as a forest course. The Clyde’s (I took 10th) and the Cat 2 women left 10 min later. Clyde’s started behind the Cat 2 women and there was the usual ribbing of the men of larger carriage. We were told 1st place Clyde would get a 2 lb Rice Crispy treat, 2nd place a 7 lb. bag of chips, and 3rd place a bucket of red licorice. We rolled out with the lead out truck out of town and down the highway until the 2.5-mile  gravel section. I was feeling like I always do, trying to keep my effort just below blowing up, but felt fast. Ended up leading a group of three Clyde’s and two cat 2 ladies enjoying the Clyde draft. I lowered my effort to be able to defend my position once we hit the singletrack. Once there I gave a hard effort and pulled away on the downhill section but the ladies caught up on one of the steeper climbs. We rode together up and down in the rolling hills and managed to gap the other Clyde’s by 6 min or so. Once we hit the downhill again, I gapped the cat 2’s. Never having lead out a group before, I got to the cutoff for the long course and the short course and zigged when I should have zagged. At first I couldn’t believe the lead I was building…and then started to realize my mistake. I was having such a great race for me. All cylinders were firing and I felt fast and smooth. I considered Terry’s thoughts on getting in some extra miles as we both have 100 mile races coming up and I really enjoyed the ride. I caught a couple of Cat 1 women I assumed were having a hard day and two other guys in the same situation. The extra 5 miles added a little more than an hour to my time–but no regrets–I need the miles. Once I looped back on the main course I was coming up on a lot of cat 3’s. My tubeless tire with the extra sealant did very well and I had no tire issues.  I went off trail to pass at least 25 times and I had a couple visible thorns in my tire at the end but no noticeable loss of air. Hit the gravel and was able to big gear it all the way back other than a short gravel climb that still went pretty good for me. Finished in a little under 3 hours, but was very happy with my effort and the training I have done up to this point. Felt I had a little more in the tank. Very cold race–it seemed I was very hot in the covered areas but cold on the exposed areas. There was a very real threat of freezing rain, so we skipped the complementary lunch and quickly headed out. After some freezing rain excitement in the Gorge, we made it home with no injuries ready for the next race. Big thanks to Michael and Paul who made the drive much more entertaining.

Click HERE for the next article in this month’s Chainrings: Survey


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

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