Sunday, July 12, 2009

Indie Series Race # 6. Is this July?

Race # 6 of the Indie Series today at Lake Padden in Bellingham, Washington.  This is one of the longest, if not the longest, continuos running mountain bike race in the Pacific Northwest - this year is the 17th edition.  That's a lot of years and for a good reason - great trails and location.  Lake Padden is a sweet park that includes a nice sized lake, trails to hike and ride, dog area and playground.  Looks like a popular place for nearby folk.  It's about an 1.5 hour drive for us, not exactly around the corner.

We missed race # 4 due to a schedule conflict and race # 5 due to the Funhouse Festivities.  Looking at the results afterwards, if Ian had just entered and finished both races - he'd be in 1st place overall for the series.  He's currently in 3rd place for his class - really cool for him.

Yesterday the weather was 80+ degrees and sunny, officially hot for around here.  Today, woke up to cool temps and rain.  With the rainy weather, the female half of the Dan O Clan - wife and daughter, decided to stay home.  Ian and I plowed ahead, who cares about a little rain?  We're talking about mountain bike racing, weather adds to the fun.  With half the clan voting to sleep in, I did get the pleasure of de-loading the larger family hauler, then re-loading all into my car - in the rain.  That doesn't add to the fun.

By the time we hit Bellingham, rain had stopped - replaced with a cold wind and occasional sprinkle.  Strangely cold for July or maybe normal for Bellingham.  Great racing weather, but not so comfy hanging around race course weather.  Still, a pretty good sized crowd milling about and racing.

Ian did battle in the Beginner Boys 10 and Under Class once again.  I followed behind to watch and offer assistance if needed.  The Lake Padden event gets a larger kid crowd then most races, which is cool and a bit strange, since this course is pretty tough for kids.  Lots of pushing up steep singletrack and walking, sliding, crashing bikes down steep singletrack.  There was about 10 kids in Ian's class and he finished in 3rd place - a great showing.  This is not his favorite course. A bit of grumbling, two small crashes - one riding, one walking bike down a hairy section - one thrown chain added to challenge.  He did put a mad sprint in at the end, that was fun to watch.  The 3rd place finish also cheered him up.

I've been riding a lot and was looking forward to racing myself in the 45+ Sport class.  Was not to be - with mom and sis at home, and no one we know at the race, meaning Ian wandering around for 2 hours alone - while I thrash myself in the woods.  I'm sure he'd be fine, but that would be on my mind while racing.  I also thought we'd head home after his race to shorten the day.  We wound up waiting around for the 5:00 PM awards, since Ian scored the 3rd place.  I should have just raced, even Ian said so.  Being a responsible parent wins out over racing.  I'll get something in before the season ends.  I hope.

To kill some time in the afternoon, we cruised a few trails and watched the Expert and Open classes race - the officially fast folks.  Not a bad afternoon at all.

A few pictures.....

The actual Lake Padden.

Unknown Racer (says so right on his jersey) wonders how traffic cones grow in the woods.

LeMans style start for most classes.  Others had standard start with a $25 prime for the holeshot.  Great idea with potential pile up viewing for spectators - that never happened.

Spotted this dude on old school, Tomac style Yeti - complete with drop bars.  Cool bike and colorful rider.  Later, saw him ride on a flat during his race - to his car to repair - then rejoin the race.  Admirable, but maybe carrying a spare tube would be easier - no?

First carbon hardtail Ibis Tranny I've seen for real.  This one set up as super sano single speed.

A few Expert class racers blur the woods with speed.

Ian eyes up the future competition.  With the cloud cover, it was incredibly dark in the woods.

Ian's patented monkey imitation.

Our bikes rest in the woods, illuminated by flash.  Yup, it's dark in there.

Ian on the podium for 3rd place.  Kids who scored 1st and 2nd place nowhere to be found - probably bailed hours earlier - we waited (and waited....and waited).  Smiles on people in background from Ian falling off wet, slippery podium - directly on his butt.  He jumped right up with arms raised TDF style salute.  Pretty funny and he took it well.

The race winnings proudly displayed.  T-shirt, water bottle, blinky light, and.....

Dog tag medal for 3rd place.

See?  We don't make any of this up - official proof.

After the festivities were over, loaded up the car and hit I-5 South towards home.  After getting up insanely early, racing and being outside all day - Ian passed out in the car and woke up as I pulled in the driveway.  I then got to unload the car (again) in the pouring rain. Joy.  I'm not complaining.  I'm sure Ian and I will remember this stuff years down the road.

Next stop on the Indie Series is Roslyn.  We've never ridden there and we're looking forward to it.  Let's add a few more memories to the mix.


  1. Dan,

    that guy with the YETI is cool!
    i just love to see guys that still use bikes like that

    and your boy is going to be a star! ;)



  2. Bas,

    Yeah - the Yeti replica was pretty cool.

    My son is digging the racing and does okay. It's all been fun so far.