This week kicked off the first series of races happening within Portland. Aren't we lucky to have the opportunity to play bikes in our own backyards almost every night of the week in the summertime? Sure we are, but it's only because we are hearty enough to survive the Portland winters. I feel that I have some authority to claim that Northwest winters are tough, since I come from the land of frost bite and blizzards, and I rode my bike in all weather in Minnesota. In fact, I even trained for a marathon (yes, the running kind) in bitter Fargo, North Dakota during my freshman year of college. I only escaped to the indoor gym when the wind chill dipped below -10 degrees F. And still I say that Portland is more challenging. Winter where it freezes is predictable. If it's snowing, it's dry, not wet. If it's not snowing, it's cold as hell but sunny. In the Northwest, it gets as cold as it can possibly be without freezing, and then it rains. ALL THE TIME. And then we ride our bikes in it. ALL THE TIME. For example, it is not uncommon in the spring for Portland to be like this:

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