Bay Area based cyclocross squad representing Fresh Air Bicycles in San Francisco and Hunter Cycles from the mountains of Santa Cruz County.
Besides our title sponsors, we are fortunate enough to have the support of some fantastic folks: San Francisco based companies like De La Paz Coffee Roasters and Una Pizza Napoletana, in addition to Thunderbird Energetica & EpicBar, Vans, Pacenti, Sim-Works and Paul Components.
See you in the dirt.
Travis did a great job with the race report below, so see his for full details on the Men’s B race. Here is my side of the story.
Arrived at the Cal Fire training center in Bonny Doon not really knowing what to expect of the course. I saddled up and hopped onto the course for a couple pre-laps. It had lots of switchbacks in real fluffy loose dirt that created a cloud behind you as you rode. The next thing I knew, I was on a piece of singletrack in the forest with no sign of course markers…did I just get lost? I kept going forward for a couple hundred feet of awesomeness before finding the next course marker. Rad. This is going to be fun.
Spirits were high at the starting line in the 3rd row next to Travis, Scott, and Nick. Homies Walter and Garrett were in the mix, as well as a bunch of other familiar faces from the basp and norcal races.
The whistle blew and I started to pedal. I got a good jump off the line and no joke, a ray of light came down from the heavens and opened up a hole to the front of the pack. I floored it and was able to grab the holeshot before the first gravel turn. I was able to hold onto it until the loose uphill right hand turn before you left the woods. I bobbled a bit and the usual race leaders went by me along with Travis. My legs weren’t feeling too hot at that point, tired from going a little too hard in the first lap.
I could see Travis ahead of me in the switchbacks and I mentally put a target on his back. The rest of the race was focused on riding the parts I felt good in well and not making mistakes in the challenging sections. I caught up to Travis’ wheel on the last lap and thought I could take him in final sprint. Boy was I wrong!
He saw me behind him and took off securing his well deserved 3rd place finish! Stoked. The Surf City crew throws really awesome and fun races. Glad we made it down there and I am looking forward to the next.
Going for another double header this weekend!
I took a couple weeks off cross racing to do the Rapha Gentleman’s Race, and while I got a couple good long road rides in, I was missing some intensity, and feeling rusty with the dirt handling skills. Luckily the course wasn’t super technical. It was kind of flat with a lot of turns like the Sacramento race I did, but instead of grass, is was deep, fluffy, powdery dirt, getting deeper every lap. There was one fluffy run-up, but with some pre-race experimenting, I found the line, and was able to ride it every lap. The dust clouds were coating everything at the tent.
I lined up front row, on the side I wanted, hoping to get a good start, and then they decided to do call-ups, and having only done one Surf City, I didn’t get one, and had to start 3rd row, less than ideal for the sketchy gravel corner we would go sprinting into. I played it safe during the start, and found myself back a lot farther than I wanted to be, and with all the loose dust corners, I had to really work to move up, and saw the lead group of 5 or 6 building a nice gap on the rest of us. Brad was up in it though, so that was cool. I got stuck behind somebody on the singletrack section though the woods, where there was no room to pass, and finally got past everybody I was stuck behind once we came out of the woods, and focused on closing the now even bigger gap up to the lead group.
Luckily they were falling apart a little in front of me. I worked my way up to Brad, who was being blocked hard in a un-classy way by another racer. I passed Brad, and finally forced my way past “Mr. Speed-up-&-cut-you-off”. I caught another rider, and settled in to 3rd. Daryl was giving me gap times and the two leaders were smoking, getting a bigger gap every lap, so I settled into a pace to defend my 3rd. I only crashed once, in a thick dust corner, with the bike somehow landing backwards, and got back up and on it pretty quick.
Brad clawed his way up to me, and actually gave me a run for my money, and we came across the line in a sprint finish together, dude is on fire!
Andrew from Vive-Le-Tart won, and earned himself his final victory before upgrading to the A’s. I plan on trying the A’s myself this coming weekend, and look forward to some serious challenge!
Yet again my Pacenti rims with WTB tires were flawless and fast, and my Hunter frame to seems to yawn at me, asking “Is that all you’ve got? We can go faster.” My Paul MiniMotos are super light, stop better than most of the cross disc brakes I’ve tried, and are made in my hometown Chico, so of course they work great!
Everyone should go check out a Cross Crusade. It’s unlike any cross race I’ve ever done - for one thing, men and women elites race together (along with 35+As) for a whole hour. For another, it’s huge - CC races are the biggest cross events anywhere, as far as I know. Getting beginners to try the sport is a big deal to the promoters, so there are a lot of different categories to handle all the racers and to help people feel comfortable.
Oh yeah, and there is actually mud in Portland. I really am jealous of all the mud. Besides being super fun to ride, mud = no dust.
I got to the venue a bit later than planned, and didn’t have time for much warmup or course inspection. After riding a bit of the course I was pretty excited for the conditions - muddy but super tacky thanks to the sun making a rare appearance. Pretty much ideal for ripping around corners. I scoped out the heckling spots including a sort of hairball off camber descent and a run-up to a hard left to the finish line - genius. I’d already heard stories about how that feature has made for dramatic finishes in the past.
I got a crap start thanks to no call-up (by the time they were done with call-ups, there were only five of us left!) and many rows of ladies, but I started moving up pretty fast. The longer race was tough in many ways, but it somehow felt easier because I was really pacing myself differently. I know I’m not fit enough to go balls out for an hour, so I kept it at a level I knew I could handle. The course was really straightforward with a lot of gravel road flats into the wind (roadie tactics were the deal), two sort of heinous run-ups, a noteworthy absence of barriers and a couple of fun single track sections. My tubulars hooked up great and I didn’t have to dab once, pretty awesome.
7 laps later, I ran the run-up for the last time to finish 14th out of 30 ladies with a huge smile on my face. Of course, my first thought was…it sure would be fun to do a few of these and get a call-up next time! Maybe next year…
Thank you Daryl for the borrowed bike box and Steven for the heated van and VIP bike treatment!