Thursday, May 21, 2009

Racing, goodwill meet up over Memorial Day weekend

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend will offer the Oregon racing community a chance to test its power on and off the bike.

Saturday's Rehearsal Road Race will give people a chance to try out their legs on the same 16-mile Rainier loop used for the May 30 OBRA Road Race Championships. The course offers a long climb and corresponding descent, plus a short uphill finish at the Rainier school complex.

But the biggest test of the Oregon peloton's power will be Sunday with two opportunities to lend a helping hand to the community.

The Ironclad Performance Wear Cycling Team's Heavy Cans Ride will collect canned food for The Oregon Food Bank. And the Land Rover-ORBEA UCI Contintental Men's Cycling Team is throwing its Laurelwood Brewery Block Party and Fun Ride to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation's cancer fight.

The Heavy Cans ride will start at the Vera Katz statue under the Hawthorne Bridge at 1 p.m. Registration is from 12-1 at that location. Participants will gather canned food from six pre-determined grocers on a route that will be announced at the start. Every entrant who collects at least one can from each stop is eligible to win a host of cool prizes ponied up by the event sponsors.

Winners in two categories, "bags" and "trailers," will be decided by total weight gathered at the stops and will be awarded special custom homemade underpants. There will be a post-ride party at Roots Brewing Co. at 1520 SE 7th with awards at 6 p.m.

Land Rover-ORBEA's block party and fun ride also combines bikes and charity, this time to fight cancer.

The team is partnering with Laurelwood Brewery to present a fun afternoon of bikes, BBQ and award-winning beer all while raising funds to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation fight cancer.

The $20 event starts at noon in the Laurelwood Brewery & Public House parking lot on Sandy Boulevard. Bring the bike and a helmet, and get ready to work up an appetite.

All 10 members of the UCI Continental Men's Cycling Team will be on hand to participate in the ride, meet everyone, shake hands, sign autographs, flex their quads and enjoy the festivities. Team Manager Norrene Godfrey said this will be the first time all the team's riders -- who hail from New Zealand, Canada, Oregon, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California -- will be in Oregon.

The day kicks off with a scenic 20-mile ride that will offer a bit of challenging terrain but reward participants with some of the best viewpoints of the city. Stick around after the ride for BBQ, beer, live music, a bike expo and more in the Laurelwood Brewery parking lot. All proceeds will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support cancer prevention and survivorship.

John Ohnstad, LIVESTRONG Challenge Region 8 Mentor, will be on hand to answer any questions about the Lance Armstrong Foundation and how people can get involved with the Seattle LIVESTRONG Challenge.

If you're not up for the ride, you can support the effort by paying $10 for the BBQ, a beer, live music and the expo.