Woman and preschooler in a parking lot at a gravel quarry. Both are wearing rain gear and rubber boots. The child is riding a pedal-less scoot bike

The races we’re missing: Barton Park

Published 2020-11-15

These late season races are definitely my favorites. I love the cold, the mud, the filth, the crashes, the slogging, the suffering. I love getting dry and ordering French Fries and watching my kids and buddies in later races. I love getting back into the car. I love driving home and having a beer.

I love this race. I love that it’s in a gravel quarry (although I don’t love what gravel does to my bike’s finish). I love the industrial vibe. I loved the old course that routed through the campground and then up a muddy trail. I love the new course around a swamp and onto a gravel access road. I love the infinitely long runup that foolish riders believe they can ride up. (And a few do! But at what cost?) I love the singletrack along the top of the dike. the white-knuckle drop off the dike, that inevitably sends at least one racer to the hospital.

This was the second venue I ever raced, but I remember it better than my first. I didn’t know how to dismount or remount in motion and had to stop my bike every time.

It was Orion’s first kiddie kross. OPB was on hand filming a segment for Oregon Field Guide. This was approximately at the peak of cyclocross’ popularity in Oregon. Orion and I are briefly onscreen in this documentary around the twenty-five minute mark.

In 2013 Iris staged but did not race kiddie Kross. She had an epic hangry meltdown instead. Brad Ross bought us French Fries and gave us a bunch of stickers and a Cross Crusade cowbell. I have somehow lost all my Cross Crusade cowbells, a loss I feel very acutely now.

How are my results here? Meh. This race is not about results.

There are a few weekends this year where I have to remind myself: “oh yeah we probably would have been racing...but which race was it again?” and I have to check last year’s calendar. Not this weekend. On Sunday I knew, almost instinctively, that we’d be out at Barton Park, getting gritty.

Year Category Result
2010 Beginner Men 42/105
2011 Masters 35+ C 26/156
2013 Masters 35+ C 29/146
2018 Masters 35+ Category 3 47/78
2019 Masters 35+ Cat 3 48/52