The most revered of American traditions — tailgating before a track & field meet on July 4th. I hope Uncle Sam would be proud. â€œWe crack open some oversized bottles of beer,â€ wrote Colby, my former college roommate in the blue cycling cap. â€œThe bottles have a picture of a track spike on the label. We make a loud, boisterous toast as passersbys look on with curious envy at our feast, wondering if they’re at the correct sporting event.â€
FROM EUGENE BACK TO THE CASCADES
The Olympic Track Trials conclusion didn’t mean an end to sport spectacles in Oregon. The six stage, five day Cascade Cycling Classic kicked off in Bend, my new adopted home the next day. Every morning felt like a rolling circus was following me around town. I’d finish bounding intervals up Pilot Butte as former world champion Santiago Botero of Columbia powered away from the field up the same summit finish. Criterium watching atop the Bend Fire Hall made up my Friday night entertainment. As I rolled down the Mt. Bachelor access road following an uphill skate rollerski time trial, the peloton headed up those same Cascade Mountains for its penultimate stage.
Chris Horner lends a lift to Billy Demong following a crash three miles from finish that left the 2007 Nordic Combined World Silver medalist with a bike in disrepair. â€œFor just one moment I had a lapse of concentration and touched wheels. My bike was looking bad, man; tacoed wheel, broken components. The support vehicles were up the road, at the finish. So I picked up my bike and started to run. Horner pulled up, asked me what I was doing, what went down and told me to hop on with him. So I did.â€ For those of us who know Mr. Demong we instantly added this to our collection of quintessential Billy D stories. Even if you don’t you still get the sense of the guy, don’t you?
AU REVOIR AMERICA. HELLO NEW ZEALAND.
Andy Newell, followed by Chris Cook, coach Justin Wadsworth and Aussie Paul Murray stride it out on a 2.5 hour morning distance session.
Torin Koos is a member of the National A Team for the United States. A World Cup, World Championship and Olympic competitor, Koos brings this experience to the FasterSkier sportscasting arena for the 2007/2008 season.
Equipment: Rossignol Skis, Boots and Bindings, Toko gloves and wax, Marwe, Exel poles, Rudy Project Eyewear, Rossignol Softgoods
Home Ski Club: Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (www.skileavenworth.com)
Headgear Sponsor: USA Pears (www.usapears.com)
Best Western Icicle Inn (www.icicleinn.com)
BioSports NorthWest Physical Therapy (www.biosports.net)