Monday, September 8, 2008

Gentlemens Race

"How can it be true" and " How did the Vigilantes, take 3rd place from Portland's top 12 handpicked cycle teams", "134miles at race pace is tour de france material"...I hear you say.

Yes, it's true. A crew of Bike vigilantes, set out to conquer the Gentlemen's ride that happened this weekend from Hood River to Portland. Six riders Dylan, Dave, James, Nick, Tony and Joe meet up at the ungodly hour of 6:15am sat morn, to head out to Hood River where the slaughter started.
The race kicked off at just after 10:15am, each vigilante with a belly full of breakfast stashed 4 cliff bars, 5 gels, tubes, tyres and a water bottle in the back pockets of their jersey. Along with 2 full bottles on the bike and thighs full of winning. These chappies embarked on an awesome race, which netted the team a juicy 3rd, after being beat to second place by a hair of professional long distance roadies.

With no rest for the wicked, a few miles in we had already started the climb and by mile 27 we had gained 3200ft in elevation, say goodbye to the warm-up chaps, settle in pass a few teams, get on with it, was the motto. A massive 2000ft decent and another massive climb of almost 2000ft up gravel and loose sand followed before breaking out to some of the most beautiful roads around Lolo Pass and Lost lake. Gorgeous scenery was all around us, while we were digging deep to find the energy to pull us up the rest of the hill.

For the route, click here for a google map.

Checkpoint charlies awaited us along the way, to make sure we were not cheating and cutting course. This also gave us a good idea of our teams positioning and how hard we had to work to climb the ranks to get a shot at the podium.
The final checkpoint was one to top things off. In the West hills of Portland, charlie was at the top of Saltzman Rd and Skyline, imagine if you will after the amount of climbing and merciless grinding down Marine drive in headwind to then be confronted with riding up Germantown road to reach checkpoint charlie #3 at 125miles.

Not only did we finish in third position but we also got to ride the most miles of any team, 132 to the winners 118. If we would have taken the detailed route some others took gold may have been in sight. Looks like the roadies got out played by the randonneuring cats. Until next year...

Here's some proof in the pudding.

Well wicked pictures to come - hang tight.

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