Thursday, August 2, 2012

PIR Short Track

Raced over to the Portland International Raceway on Marine Drive Monday night to spectate and cheer on Team Slow short track racers.  The headwind made me terrifically late, but I did get to see some of our team race, while enjoying a delicious sandwich from one of sponsors, People's.

This last short track race of the season featured a special team relay, as a fundraiser for Mat Barton, with teams of nine riders racing one lap each.  The announcer called out the teams and they queued up, filling the start area to the brim with colorfully-kitted riders.

The thing that struck me about the team relay was the inclusiveness.  This was not a girls only event.  Nor was it guys only.  All ages, all categories, all genders, all sizes, all abilities and all sorts of bikes were out there - together, riding and racing.  And falling.

I saw several people wipe out during the "tag your teammate" transition.  A few people slid out and fell in a sharp turn with loose gravel.  At least two of my teammates wiped out.  Another friend ate it and is covered in road rash.  Yet another friend ate it and broke a finger. 

Everywhere I looked racers donned white bandages or were just plain bloody.  So, I'll admit that although I vowed to at least pre-ride the course next year, my fear hackles are way up.

At the end of the evening, after the sun set, they started calling up winners from each category.  Each winner took their place on the red, white and blue podium steps and received beer and other prizes, and best of all, a big metal chainring medal on a ribbon necklace. 

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