Kermesse Does Not Equal Cyclocross…


… but it does equal awesome.

Kruger’s Farm is a hoe-down worthy wonderland complete with corn on the cob, big sodium rockets and a whole passel of fresh farm produce waiting to jump in your basket. It’s the type of place where you can snuggle up under some impossibly idyllic tree and get down with an honest-to-goodness picnic.

It’s also the site of Portland’s sorta-kinda unofficial annual cyclocross season kickoff. See, we have to be fair here and remember that riding in circles over bumpy grass and dusty lanes is only a little like ‘cross – there’s still that pesky jumping on and off the bike thing that’s missing. That’s ok though, because Kruger’s Kermesse isn’t trying to be a ‘cross race, it’s just seems to be the race every year that reminds us to lower our tyre pressure and remember how to corner at high speed in loose gravel. (Something my friend Matt apparently forgot. Click for carnage! Ouch! Don’t worry, he’s ok – just a little hamburger-legged.)

I used to hate this race for three main reasons:

  1. Dusty
  2. Hot
  3. Not enough jumping on and off the bike to give me a chance in hell at putting up any kind of a mediocre result.

This hole shot sponsored by Mack truck. Photo by Matt LaSala. Thansk for shooting, Matt!!

I have since come to terms with dusty and hot – and I’ve gotten a little better at pedaling, too.

I came into this race with a few personal goals: get the first race of the season in the books (big psychological win), take the hole shot, and ride clean and smooth. Success on all counts! I felt a little like a Mack Truck out there (and looked a little like one, too) but I kept the watts rolling, attacked out of turns, and threw down a pretty fun battle with a girl named Kate.

Way more awesome than any bullshit personal stuff? The Ladies Auxiliary came out with some gusto with 2 podiums for the day: Lindsay Kandra 2nd in the A race and Amanda Gilchrist 3rd in Beginners. Watching Gilchrist come out of her skin with surprise and excitement was probably my favorite part of the day, although seeing Kandra exchange blows with the mega-fast Susan P and Alex B of Upper Echelon Fitness wasn’t bad either.

Another bonus? Running into Byron from Bike Hugger and then heckling him to pieces while he suffered at the hands of the singlespeed field. Who knew screaming “HUGGGGGERRRRR!” in my best softball voice would be so fun?

In sadder news, we learned that our lovely crusher, Ms. Rempe, will be out for most of the season with a torn thumb ligament (not a race injury – she was crushed by her own cargo bike!) Having a hand surgeon in the team family is suddenly paying dividends! We casted her up with a rad little team-themed number. Heal up quick, Remps!

Remps will be back to fight again! Photo by Austin Ramsland

 

Gilchrist with the hardware. Winning beer is NEVER a bad thing!

Podium Kandra looking stoked while holding a baby that isn't hers (the adorable Wills child!!) Photo by the amazing Pat Malach!

 

 

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