Time to shake out the cobwebs – the Monday Night PIR Series is back!
The beloved Monday-evening road race series kicks into high gear at Portland International Raceway on a flat, closed, car-free circuit. Perfect for the beginning and elite racer alike, races are held every Monday night April 11 through August 29 (no racing July 4). First time out? Read below!
TELL ME ABOUT IT!
You’ve already been on some fantastic group rides and recreational rides promoted on various local cycling event listings, but you still have an itch to drop it down a couple cogs and put your bike into high gear. Perfect! The weekly Monday-night races at PIR are a prime opportunity to gain experience and confidence, satisfy a hunger for competition, and springboard a novice racer into the larger community of other Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) events.
For beginning racers, a free Introduction to Racing clinic is held every first racing Monday of each month, May through August (May 2, June 6, July 11, and August 1) at 5:30 p.m. before the Novice Race. Here, expert coaches and instructors, from Wenzel Coaching, cover basic group-riding skills, how to prepare for your first race, and if time permits, some tactics for getting you on the winner’s podium! Get psyched for Oregon’s full schedule of fun and competitive races that will challenge your abilities and improve your fitness like nothing else.
I’M GAME! WHERE IS THE START LINE?
Motivated? Competitive? Great! Before you show up for the first race, let’s do a quick checklist of things you will need:
1. BIKE. At PIR the track is 1.9 miles of super smooth and flat road. The best bike to use on this course is undoubtedly a road bike—and helmets are required. You can race on any bike with working brakes, but a road bike is your best weapon of choice. Choose wisely and consult the experts at River City Bicycles. They have a wide selection of road bikes that will help you fly around the track. But the pedaling is all up to you!
2. FITNESS. The season is long at PIR: 20 races from April to August. You don’t have to hit your first race with flying fitness but having some base fitness will help make your first time as rewarding as possible. A few basic conditioning rides and longer fast rides will get you in solid riding shape to get you started, and every race you do after that will help hone your speed even more. The greater Portland area abounds with resources for coaching, group rides, and indoor training.
3. GROUP RIDING SKILLS. The best way to learn how to ride with a group is to meet up with a team or club. Group rides also provide an opportunity to meet a wide range of riders who learn from one another. Plus, the miles fly by a lot faster in a group! Have a look at some of the teams and group rides to find a good fit for you and your goals.
I GOT IT! WHAT ABOUT THE FINE PRINT?
The next step is to look at the calendar and find which races you want to take on. The Monday Night PIR Series runs through August 29 so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to craft your racing skills. An OBRA license is required to race. Annual or day memberships are available. You can join online at www.obra.org or at the race.
We get lots of good questions from new and excited racers all season long. Our best advice is to stop by the races and check it all out! Every month we organize an introductory racing clinic for new riders wanting to get up to speed. Come join us for a FREE quick and concise clinic at 5:30 p.m. before the start of the novice race on the first racing Monday of each month, May through August (May 2, June 6, July 11, and August 1). Clinics are organized using expert coaches and instructors from Wenzel Coaching. New riders are encouraged to stop by these clinics as they greatly ease the learning curve as you become an experienced racer. This is also an excellent opportunity to see which cycling teams are present, meet new riders, and possibly find a team to join up with. Come on out!
Want more information? Check out all of the details online at