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Bike Vigilante
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Do it!

I did it last year. Yes it's competitive, and yes it's accessible whatever level you're at. The leaders are racing to score while the mid and back pack people are racing against whovever is closest to them. One really good thing is that the course is short and you race for a fixed amount of time. No matter where you are in the group, there is always someone near you to race against. The fastest guys typically end up lapping the slowest guys. The scene is pretty mellow and people are friendly.

I used it as practice for cyclocross in the fall which is fun in the same way, but even more so. I expect there to be more people racing the short track this year since it had such good reviews last year. It's the easiest, funnest way to try racing, so you should give it a try.
 

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just like a speeder-bike
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Hey, are any of those jumps doubles? [Translation: the course looks fun and I like the idea of some air off the rolling jumps, but do you have to clear any gaps -- because I suck at that?]

I think I'm going to give it a try, see you there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The race is on the motocross track so any doubles are like 20'+. On mountain bikes I doubt anyone would be clearing them on a mountain bike unless they have quads the size of garbage cans. :)
 

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just like a speeder-bike
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329 Posts
pdx short track racing report (for other newbies)

I went last night and had a great time at my first short track race -- what a rush. I'll be back for more. It's a great course, but it was a lot different that I was expecting. So here's a few thoughts for any other short-track newbies who are thinking of trying it out for the first time:

(1) That motorcross track is pretty chewed up! But it's not like you can't get up a lot of speed. Be prepared for some potential drifting/front-tire grabbing if you're not careful to pick the most hard-packed dirt line.

(2) Pre-ride the course!!! I showed up early (5:20pm or so, for the 6pm beginner race) and was pleasantly surprised that people were allowed to ride / check out the course until the 5:45pm kiddie races started. That gave me a chance to check out where the best lines were, and to get used to some of the rollers where it's easy to catch air if you want to. (If you're going fast enough, be careful about pulling too much air in the far side of the course. It would be easy to nose-dive into the next jump, because it's such a fast section. I just pumped through those rollers, catching minimal air and passing many people who were trying to pedal constantly and catch more air.)

(3) There's a short section of the course that goes through a grassy tree area: the "single track" section. Be prepared for a few surprises there, like narrow passages between trees and even a 10-inch log to clear (many just stepped over it). The pre-ride I did was really helpful here, too.

(4) Finally, there's a very steep, short (14-foot?) berm that the race announcer said "don't even try to ride up it." I, er, actually made it up -- just once, after several unsuccessful tries (it takes all the speed you can find). Most people dismounted and ran up, or rode 1/2 way up and ran the rest. So be prepared to feel like a cyclocross racer.

I thought the event was ran really, really well. Thanks to the sponsors/volunteers for a great time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, that was a fun race! Unfortunately for me I showed up a 1/2 hour late (got lost in St. Johns) and had to sign up for the mens sport class. Me and one other guy out of the class of 40+ racers were the only ones on platforms. I ended up spending a lot of time getting lapped, and riding with that many people on track took a bit of getting used to. I will have to make sure to leave extra early next time so I can get some practice time in and sign up for the proper beginner class.
 
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