Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thrills and Chills: Waiting on Summer Weather in Mayvember

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Perhaps the Central Oregon climate is one ingredient that makes its athletes tougher, both mentally and physically, in the same way that adversity builds character. Training through our winters isn't too difficult, especially if you like winter sports that provide good cross training for your primary one. However, spring is where our mettle is tested, and a fair amount of mental toughness is required to stick to any type of regimen.

Monikers like "Mayvember" and "Sprinter" are always fitting; but this year, Spring, you really take the cake. Enough is enough.

When it started snowing during the Bend Don't Brake Women's race on Saturday afternoon, I told myself it wasn't that bad. At least it was dry. Then it started hailing. And blowing. The temperature had dropped to the mid 30s.And then it rained. Cold and wet, we rode robotically to the finish line.Fortunately, many of the men's races took place earlier in the day during relatively mild weather, and the promoter did a great job of putting on a first-class race in third-rate weather. Special credit goes to the officials and course marshals who braved the elements to keep the racers safe.More than 150 hardy souls pinned on a number, racing for glory and to raise money for charity. And, to add credence to my assertion about toughness, Bend racers took home the top titles in all but one race.

I've done more mountain biking this spring than ever before, primarily as a way to avoid battling the cold and the wind on the road bike, and found myself looking forward to Sunday's Sisters Stampede. Although it was breezy and chilly, more than 400 racers showed up at Three Creeks Brewery to test their legs and skill on the Peterson Ridge trails. The course was well-marked and manned with volunteers to keep racers from taking wrong turns. The race was fun and challenging, and recent precipitation - in all its forms - rendered the trails tacky and sweet. The awards ceremony and after-party gave everyone a chance to compare wounds and swap war stories while enjoying a cold beer.

All in all, a great weekend on the bike, despite the weather. Let's hope we get summer soon, so we don't have to hear about June-uary.The silver lining of our weather cloud is that the trails are amazing. Get out and enjoy them!

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