metro: smith rock ascent

commuting chronicles, events, gear review, outdoor

Having not participated in anything resembling an athletic competition since high school, it was exhilarating to have an opportunity to join in the energy of a race! When Danielle Lancelot Watson (D) first asked me to assist her on the ride, I was stoked because Smith is my old stomping grounds (I spent many a weekend break from the University of Oregon scaling the runout chicken heads of that massive welded ash tuft). It didn’t hurt to have Jeff Boggess cheering us on and slinging Trail Butter our way. I especially enjoyed the espresso mix during the home stretch. In addition, Todd Janssen the race promoter from Go Beyond Racing was very supportive and accommodating!

Our race was a half marathon, 13 miles. Apparently D competes in these types of races all the time, having just completed the Portland Half Marathon, and looking ahead to some in Seattle. I felt really blessed that she wanted me to join her. Although I was largely little help to her during the competition because she is totally independent, when we reached tight turn around points, I was glad I could be there to lift her bike around as her turning radius is that of Austin Powers golf cart. At least I made myself useful in some capacity.

The most epic part of the race was when when a couple wiener dogs started chasing us. Their bark was pretty ferocious and the way D was angled, she couldn’t see what they looked like. I was glad to be there to tell her they sounded way worse than they looked, and everything would definitely be alright, just keep pedaling. Competition or not, in the end that’s what friends are for right? We all need our pit crew supporting us, telling us to keep pedaling because everything is going to be alright. I am so proud of D and hope to join her on a future race.

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