6149 SW Shattuck Rd, Portland, OR
The Little League Softball World Series. A Mock western town. A velodrome.
Alpenrose Dairy, founded in 1891 to deliver three gallon CANS of milk, is a strange place. It was also my first time out there, so I was kiiind of in awe. Lots of concrete up and downs, pavement, those classic stairs. I'm struggling to avoid cliche in this work and after this weekend, I'm not sure thats entirely possible. I'm certain I'll post the same shots as many before and concurrent; I'll tell the same tales of the mud and the off-camber yakkity sax carnage of most categories and the extreme change in weather and the infield and course re-directions and other crossings...see? It's ok though, I'm finding comfort in the sameness of our stories, our tradition. In that somewhat-mythic mindset, I couldn't help but think of Alpenrose as a race of punctuated by extremes of course and weather, Janus-faced.
Traditionally the two faces of the Roman god Janus face outward: past and future, beginnings and traditions. By nature, extreme and opposite. Most interpretations do not mention the relationship to present time, however. All three remain interdependent: the present makes the past, which makes a history to construct some kind of future. That extreme presence, that overbearing sense of now lies silently implicit in the construction of the figure of Janus. It’s the dividing line between the faces, the origin of separation. In our world It’s called race time and it’s VERY real. It is the difference of self between real and some other person who exists for 45-60 minutes. Try and shake race brain even two hours post-race…I bet you “keep moving up” the entirety of the freeway drive home. Especially you drivers with standards. Portland’s freeway average speed raises 1.3% on Sunday afternoons (not actual fact).
The start of the race then is the moment from where time diverges. You finally nail your start. You flub a barrier. You wash out. You redline too early. You remember every move, each instance effects the future and they both start at the whistle. Within, starting without... extreeeeme. And from that present race we take memory and enjoyment and possibly failure along with the future desire to progress and quicken. The start of a tradition. Then we add friends.
Oh, and to the dude that absolutely SMOKED me with a heckle on Saturday: Yes. I’d of loved to take a pit bike…even if it had much smaller wheels and pink flat bars with tassels.