Monday, April 12, 2010

Horning's Hustle

A First for Hana!
Greg O'Brien

Jake, Jeff, Naiqwan and I headed out Sunday morning to Horning's Hideout for the 2010 edition of the Hustle MTB race. Jake's victory on Saturday at the Kings Valley road race had us all pumped up. We met Catherine "Hana" Cooper at the race for her Cyclisme debut mountain bike race.

There was much getting ready and squeezing of tires to get the pressure dialed in for the somewhat muddy descents.

The start was staged out by category and age. Jake, being the young, fast cat 1 dude started in one of the first groups. Jeff started in the group ahead of me, and Naiqwan and Catherine were both in groups after mine.

After a fast downhill gravel road section, the course turns uphill on a gravel road, with grades close to 20%. We then turned left onto a more primitive dirt path before topping out and a brief gravel descent before hitting the first somewhat slick downhill. Jake ran into some trouble here and went down hard at speed. He said that he straightened out the bars and kept going, but fell once more before calling it a day after the first of 4 laps. He ended up with a gnarly cut-up knee.

Jeff was having a great race, but when I saw him walking down as I was climbing on the 3rd lap I knew it was bad news. His rear derailleur got mangled and broke off the hanger, ending his race. I managed to stay upright and finished the 3 lap cat 2 45-54 field in 8th place (same placing as Echo!). I was regretting forgetting my Camelback as I was starting to cramp up about 20 minutes from the end. 1 water bottle wasn't enough for me...

Naiqwan rode a good, smart race. He crashed but didn't let it rattle his concentration. He finished in 3rd place, and looked great on the bike. The course had some steep slippery downhills with water bars, and a couple of really steep slippery climbs as well.

The story of the day was Hana, who took first in the cat 3 women 35-44 age group race! She also won a killer pair of Oakleys in the raffle. Jeff thought he won a Chris king headset, but only got some coffee and beer instead...


Photos by Hana and Oregon Velo (courtesy of Oregon Bike Shop in Portland).


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