First Race of the Year

As my family and close friends know the further away from population centers I get the happier I am.  Therefore the chance to make what is becoming an annual pilgrimage out to Echo, OR for the Echo Red 2 Red mountain bike race was just what I needed.  A drive out to eastern Oregon and spend some time in the desert racing my bike.  Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday.

Every now and again I race the “normal” bike

Echo is a haul from home.  It’s a little over 200 miles each way from home to “downtown” Echo.  Other than the bs of dealing with PDX traffic though it’s a straight shot east on I-84 the whole way.  This race is not one that plays to my strengths.  It’s got a lot of short, punchy, power climbs where I would much rather have some sustained and lengthy climbs.  Coming this early in the season it is always a shock to the system to go from workouts/rides to race pace too.  It is a good chance to blow some cobwebs out of the system and get in a hard effort.

Post race cookie from Buttercreek Coffee & Mercantile in Echo, OR
I love hidden gems like this

As is typical I will not give the dorky blow by blow race commentary.  All I will say is that it wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great.  Just like last year there were some total sandbaggers racing the sport category.  I did not fade the last 30 minutes like last year and, in fact, felt pretty decent the whole time.  Just need to work on those punchy climbs.

Sunday – Finally spend time with Mia

It was nice to finally get home last night though.  Being gone for work stuff from Sunday-Wednesday (I did still get to have some fun though) and then leaving for a race on Friday after work left me feeling like I needed to put in some quality time with my better half. Lucky for me Mia ditched her planned long run and we went on a nice 25 mile road ride instead.

Out for a little jaunt

Mia and I have some pretty dialed in routes from the old house.  Moving to Forest Grove has shifted things a bit and forced us to reevaluate some of our options.  Just getting out to FG from Hillsboro was a 26 mile roundtrip affair.  A 36 mile loop from the old house is now 12 miles.  So yeah, we need to find a groove again and tweak a couple things.  The best part now is that in about 1-2 miles we are in rural farmland.  Even from our old location in Hillsboro it was 5-7 miles to get out into the wilds.

Today’s ride was blessedly flat

All in all though things are working out.  I’ve already shown Mia some new roads and we’ve patched together some previous routes to make a couple new options.  No complaints here.

Give us rural rides any day!

Thanks for reading,





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