Short-Track Monday's Are Gone For Now...

This was the first year that I raced Monday night short-track at PIR. I miss it already. 

People complain about it. Sort of. But, I don't mind, really. People like Kyle. He wants to do it, even though he says he is not in shape for it (does he care? does he think about these things in this way? I'm not sure) but he still doesn't do it because of reasons like this.

But really, I don't care. It is fun. 45 minutes of dry, dusty, trying not to wash out in every corner, unadulterated fun. Actually, that is not entirely true, because at times, people get a little adulterated (to render something poorer in quality by adding another substance) about their races, or their racing. In some cases "adults" are actually that other substance, we get in our own way.

There needs to be some more racing like this during the week. The only problem with it is the price. 20$ a week for a 45 minute race where you're dodging traffic after 2 laps. Ok, ok, that's my complaint. But, coming at it from another angle, that's the only way that it is going to happen at the PIR venue. Pay to play, so to speak. Speak to speak. Start your own fucking race. Hmmm.

What I like about Short-Track Monday's

1) I really like that I don't have to eat anything before or after the race. Dan Powell and the Portland Design Works crew & Corsa Concepts have teamed up to bring you peanut butter sandwiches. Seriously. You would think that it could not get any more Portland than that. But, it does, because they do it every time. Cross races too. I'm a fan of this type of giving back. Not only is it giving kids (because they are the majority of the ones hanging around looking for free stuff) something to eat other than bars, but it teaches them... that all peanut butter sandwiches in life are free? Nevermind.

PVB mentioned recently that there is a team in New England sponsored by Pickles. That is awesome. Do not care if you ban soda at cross races, but please don't ban the pickles. What does their kit look like? Do they carry around those little glass ornaments in the shapes of pickles that I remember from my childhood? Do those things still exist?

2) I like all the people involved. From seeing Jake and Ethan and watching them shred to Dylan who comes out once in a while in his Mapei skinsuit to say "fuck you roadies, who's laughing now!" even though no one was laughing in the first place (though they should have been). Doug was there often enough for me to shout Do it Doug! and then laugh myself to pieces. Of course Dave Hemming was there to show everyone that he's the nicest guy around. Shannon Skerritt to show everyone that no matter how we try we'll never beat him (although I heard he took a wrong turn last week in Vancouver??). Alex and Leave it to Weaver and the River City Single Speed crew. And a whole host of other characters that have yet been fully defined: A nice Guinness racer << that's possible? An Italian that will shred your face off and used to race with Absalon in his Bianchi days. They are all there.

3) It's on Monday. Nothing good is ever on Monday. There's no Monday Night Fish Fries or Taco Monday. There's Monday night football, I'm sure someone somewhere likes that. But not in the summer. There's short-track. I like that there is some awesome racing on Monday.

4) Gear. I like the gear. I got to wear no less that 23 pieces of hi-vis something or other. Oakley gloves. A Lazer Helmet. A Rapha Jersey. A Bright fucking bike. That type of stuff is fun. That's part of why we do this right? Well, it should be.

5) Finally. Why do I like short track? Because it hurts. It hurts and I can crawl back across town on a different bike than I usually ride and shove myself into bed. Because digging that grit out of the corner of my eye on Tuesday morning never felt so good. These aren't reasons — not real ones anyway.  I think I like it this much because it reminds me of cyclocross.