PORTLAND -- Local bicyclists who want to test their endurance on a track can spin their wheels at the Portland International Raceway on Monday nights.
“We get all ages and all types of bikes and different ability levels. We start at the bottom, from the person who has come out, maybe they’ve commuted, watching the Tour de France online, to the people that have been racing for 30-plus years,” said race promoter William Laubernds.
The Monday night series has been going on for a few years now, but Laubernds said they want to expand in this "bike crazy city."
“The overwhelming response is that people like it. If people come out, they usually come out again,” he said.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of racing on the flat track is that there are no cars to battle with.
“You don’t need to worry about being hit by a car. Just another racer, but hopefully not,” said cyclist Jordan Faulds.
Fellow racers agreed. That's been one of the major incentives for Kaitiln Borstelmann.
“I ride 12 miles to get here in traffic, and then I get here and I’m really, really happy. And it’s really nice to go around [the track] and not have cars,” she said.
The season runs from April through the beginning of September and is open to anyone who has that burning desire to be part of the racing community. Portland cyclist Steve Dubravac wasn’t sure at first.
“I had a friend in spinning class who said, ‘You should come out to PIR,’ so I thought I would try it one day.” And he’s been attached ever since. “It’s just kind of addictive, an adrenaline high. A chance to test myself with the people that are younger than me,” he said with a laugh.
As far as the layout goes, well that’s just perfect for these two-wheel enthusiasts. “It’s a two mile circuit. We have crossing guards, in what is a pretty safe environment. There is medical staff here if somebody were to fall off their bike, too,” said Laubernds.
New racers are always welcomed and encouraged. This series has races that range from novice to the advanced. Staying within the pack of cyclists adds an extra challenge.
“That’s one thing we try to do with the clinic, is to have a little bit of an opportunity for people to ride close to one another. But that is an acquired skill,” Laubernds added.