Spandex, Speed, and Squirrels

Sal raced in the weekly circuit race out at the Portland International Raceway on Monday night. This was his second go at the circuit race and it always makes me nervous. Circuit races are fast. And scary. And in the Cat 4 field it’s kind of hard to tell when you’re going to get because you’re mixed in with all the Cat 5 guys, who are super new. Not that there’s anything wrong with being new, but when it has to do with knowing how to hold a line at 30mph in a really tight pack of riders, you want all the experience out there that you can get.

I’ve made friends with the wife of one of Sal’s teammates and it’s making me feel really house-wifey. We’re both photographers, which helps, so we scout out new vantage points and good angles. Meanwhile, we also get so nervous that we’re sick to our stomachs.

You could call us worry-worts but our concern is well-founded. On Monday a major crash at the finish took down at least 10 riders, 3 of whom still weren’t moving when the ambulances finally rolled in 15 minutes later. This is the real deal. There are consequences.

Luckily for me, (strange luck but whatever) Sal flatted on lap two, forcing him to abandon so I wasn’t worried about looking for him in the pile of mangled bodies that hit the concrete in the finishing sprint. My friend was not so lucky and we rushed out to the scene to find her husband and make sure he was among the standing.

It was an ugly day for cycling and a somber day, too, but I was out with my new lens and I cleaned up with a few true winners as well as 50-60 “good” shots of the boys on the team. Here are the highlights (and a shot of the crash aftermath):

 

 

 

 

 

This guy is not on Sam’s team but I love the shot:

 

Crash aftermath. There were two groups riding on the course at the same time and the crash happened as the first group was finishing. The second group came barrelling around the corner moments later for their finish. Here officials and other riders are directing them to neutralize and move to the right:

 

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