Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oregon Super D Series #2: Bend

4th of July in Bend
After its inaugural race last year, the Bend Super D is now the second race in the Oregon Super D series, which attracts riders from not just Oregon and Washington, but over the west coast.  What better way to spend the 4th of July weekend that with some Super D racing?  GL6 racers Theresa, Jamey, Matthieu, Todd and myself joined fellow Washington DHers Pete Jelinek and sons, Kathy Malvern (of Sturdy Bitch Racing) and Greg and Janine Sutterfield for three days of Bend riding and racing.

Jamey rippin it up
After a practice run on Friday evening and couple more on Saturday, we were ready to rock the race course Sunday morning.  The course began at the Wanoga Sno-Park, when down a connector trail to Funner, then down Storm King to the finish 8 miles later.  Though I wasn't at Hood River, I've heard a lot about it, and this course was apparently the exact opposite of the HR course; smooth, sandy trails, minimal technical sections, and lots of pedaling.  Though there was only 150 feet of elevation gain, much of the course demanded constant pedaling to keep speed, and there were several dusty, sandy corners that called up riders' best cornering skills in order to maintain momentum.  There were a few rocky sections and three or so rock drops (thankfully for me, they were all rollable) and some optional skinnies, but for the most part, the course was classic Bend; smooth, dusty, flowy.  The lack of technical features and amount of pedaling frustrated some riders, but I still thought the course was fun and flowy (which makes sense considering that this was my 2nd SD other than the CF classic) even though I was treated to a...well, less than stellar time.

Matthieu off to a strong start
Though none of us saw the podium, Todd, Jamey, and Matthieu all finished within a minute of each other (despite Jamey crashing early on), and Todd was one of two people racing the course on a hardtail single speed.  Once we were shuttled back up to the top, we were treated to beer from 10 Barrel Brewing and some delicious burritos.  Even though there was no podium or awesome raffle swag in the mix for us, it was still an excellent weekend of Bend riding and hanging out with cool people!  I'll be back in Bend for the 24 hour race in September, but I hope to return before then and continue exploring the amazing riding area.

Jamey Poelker, 18th, Cat II Men 30-39
Matthieu Denuelle, 13th, Cat II Men 40+
Todd Davidson, 14th, Cat II Men 40+
Erin Roe, 13th, Cat II Women under 35
Matthew Seeman, 9th, Cat II Jr. Men 13-18