This month’s race article is by Guest Contributor Jim Anderson
Racing season is in full swing in Oregon, and maybe some of you were motivated this year to give racing a try for the first time. Good for you! If you discovered a love for racing, but found you could use some help with racing skills, don’t give up; there are experts out there to help you.
Every Monday night through August 25th you can head out to Portland International Raceway (PIR) where River City Bicycles and Laurelwood Brewing Company present the Monday Night Bike Race series. Races are held at PIR in North Portland on a flat, closed, car-free circuit. There are separate categories for beginners to more advanced cyclists, including Novice (any age), Women (any age), and Masters Men (ages 30+).
Upper Echelon Fitness and Let’s Race Bikes! offer free Introduction to Racing Clinics at PIR right before the Novice race begins.
The Upper Echelon Fitness clinics are organized using expert coaches and instructors. Their free, quick and concise clinics are offered at 5:45 pm every Monday night this season at PIR, and the coaches are available after the race to answer questions.
The organization Let’s Race Bikes! offers its own clinic for women who want to race. This initiative is a group of teams from all around Oregon with women riders who want to see more ladies on the road. Their free clinics are offered the 1st Monday of each month (July 7 and August 4) at 5:45 PM at PIR, and their experienced racers, coaches and members will walk you through the basic steps to get you out onto the race track. The Let’s Race Bikes! nights are also a great opportunity to meet other women riders in the community.
Even if you think you’re bold enough to jump right into racing without any training, you should still consider a clinic – if nothing else than for the safety of those around you. Clinics cover important skills to make you faster and safer on the track, including:
- Safely turning as a group
- Basic race tactics
- Race start and finish details and procedures
- Course details, laps, distance, lap board, start line
- Riding confidently and safely in a group while going fast around the track
- Basics of drafting
- Paceline basics
- How to pin on your number (left or right side, correct placement)
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the Portland-area race resources. The race series is a great opportunity for novice-level riders to learn some bike racing basics with free clinics throughout the season. Fast and fun racing for everyone – just show up with a helmet, road bike and sense of adventure! Want more, check out all the details on the Monday Night Bike Race website.
Photo Credit: 2014, Leonard Johnson/Hot Foot Photo – http://leonardjohnson.zenfolio.com/