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.

 

Paul Components Moon Units. Stage Two. Chico, California.

Paul Components Moon Units. Stage Two. Chico, California.

Una Pizza Anthony out on a ATB Monday ripper.

Una Pizza Anthony out on a ATB Monday ripper.

New powder coating on the ole Hunter. Expert installation of an upgraded drive train by Fresh Air. Now it’s time to make her dirty.

First Mountain Bike Race!

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On Friday at 4:45pm I found out about the first race in Bike Monkey’s 3 part series at Lake Sonoma. Since I didn’t have any other plans and have been wanting to get my feet wet with some Mountain Bike racing, I figured why not hop in? 

Caroline and I packed up the car early Saturday morning and drove north. Neither one of us had ridden there before and really had no idea what to expect. Since I goofed and set my alarm wrong, we got there a little too late to get any kind of pre-riding in….doh! All good. Lined up in the Men’s Expert Class (I wanted to do 4 laps even if it meant getting last place) and went for it. 

The race started an uphill road section, the only pavement in the entire course, and dropped into some sweet single track after a couple hundred yards. “Holy crap this is awesome!” I remember saying after the first couple turns. I found my rhythm and was cruising along with a group of riders through the first half of the course feeling pretty good until I felt the thump thump thump of my rear tire deflating…nooooo!

I pulled over and watched everyone go by me, the sport class, beginning class, and kids while I fixed my flat. Oh well! From there, I figured I was just out on a nice Saturday ride and was going to enjoy the new terrain. The course was really challenging and did not let you relax one bit, it was 90% singletrack and the only time you could “rest” was on the brief fire road climbs between trails. I had a blast and can’t wait to do another mountain bike race.

Bike Monkey put on another rad event, they never disappoint. Can’t wait to do the next!

Huge thanks to Travis and FreshAir Bikes for the support and love! 
-Brad

   End of Cross Season team dinner at Una Pizza Napoletana. Huge thanks to our partners in crime this year! Hunter Cycles, Una Pizza Napoletana, SimWorks, Pacenti Rims, Thunderbird Energetica, Epic Bar, Vans, Paul Components, and DeLaPaz Coffee, and Fresh Air Bicycles. 
   Just because the season is over, doesn’t mean we quit riding! Look for us out on our various bikes on the trails, roads, Grasshoppers, and some mountain bike races like Boggs. THE SHRED ZONE IS INFINITE.

   End of Cross Season team dinner at Una Pizza Napoletana. Huge thanks to our partners in crime this year! Hunter Cycles, Una Pizza Napoletana, SimWorks, Pacenti Rims, Thunderbird Energetica, Epic Bar, Vans, Paul Components, and DeLaPaz Coffee, and Fresh Air Bicycles.

   Just because the season is over, doesn’t mean we quit riding! Look for us out on our various bikes on the trails, roads, Grasshoppers, and some mountain bike races like Boggs. THE SHRED ZONE IS INFINITE.

More pics from the last Norcal race of the year. Man-made mud and long sand sections made for a truly epic course!

Sacramento Cyclocross #6 Laguna Del Sol

   Cameron and I caught a ride with Andrew from the Vive La Tarte/Cykel team in their cream and orange team Vanagon. I guess it felt a bit more authentic heading to a cross race through some farmland in a noisy, slow, and cold VW van. Rumor was that we’d be racing at a nudist resort, so I was curious to see what lie ahead.

   Sure enough, when we pulled in, it was a pretty nice venue with real bathrooms, showers, and a little lake, in the middle of nowhere outside Sacramento. There were only a couple of naked guys hanging around, one of whom was paddling around on a little raft in the lake. A quick pre-ride of the course confirmed it to be “boring” by comparison to Surf City or NCCX standards, but nevertheless fun because it was such a flat grass crit where you had to pedal the entire time (no technical spots or downhills to recover during), very grippy grass corners, a sweet little off-camber section, and a mini hay-maze. It was nice and sunny enough to wear just shorts and a jersey.
   The Sacramento Gheto Cross crew set up quite a party tent zone on the backstretch of the course, with AstroTurf, a DJ, two bullhorns, a chicken lady, Santa, and LOTS of beer.
   The A’s race was cooking! I hung on to the main group through the first lap, thinking “Cameron’s right there!”. I may have been hallucinating, but I swore I saw Cody Kaiser bunnyhop the preeeetty tall barriers. As the laps progressed, things got strung out, and I found myself dangling behind the second little group, then in a bit of a no-man’s land battling it out with some guy named Sam. I knew his name was Sam because every time we rode by people, they would yell, “Go Sam!”. I was thinking “I’m coming for you Sam!”, “You’re fading Sam!” and other silly stuff. I passed him and got a good gap, but he came back, passed me back, and finally got a bit of a gap on me. Waaaiit for meeee Saaaam!


   One of the obstacles was Santa riding the course slow and downing beers. He got in my way both times I lapped him. At one point I stuffed him in a corner and heard him mumble something about “…..coal in your stocking…”. The Gheto Cross tent was raging and it was pretty intense going by every lap with a bunch of people screaming and 3 people shoving beers in your face at once. Pretty fun atmosphere!
   Ryan Rinn came up and joined me from the single speed race that started behind us, and it was fun riding with him for a little while for once. He was in 2nd place in his race, and the gap to 3rd looked huge, so when I attacked him, he let me go and started taking beer handups.
   I finished 16th, and it would be awhile before the naked race, so we decided to bounce. We stopped at Phil Mooney’s secret taco spot in Davis, and the long (slow) drive home yet again turned a one hour race into an all day affair.
   The Sacramento races may be flat and grassy, but they have a really good vibe, are seamlessly organized, with timing chips and prompt results, and a progressively more entertaining party scene. I definitely look forward to hitting a few again next year. Next up: Central Coast, Toro Park…..
-Travis

Saturday was the 5th and final race in the new Norcal CX series in San Jose. Going into the race I was in 2nd place overall in the B’s and with this race being worth double points, there was a chance I could take it.
The course was fantastic- sand, climbs, grassy circle of doom, and a technical tree section. They did a great job of using everything that the park had and even flooded the back section to create a giant mud puddle. Stoked! 
Tom and I both got front row call ups for the race and gave each other pep talks beforehand (Thanks buddy!). A SuperPro rider on a mountain bike jumped off the start and I got behind him in 2nd. He was jamming through the initial long grass section, the pavement, and to the first climb around the stairs.
We got to the top and he seemed to slow down, so I went around him and took the lead before the first sand section. The field was stacked with some really strong riders and I knew I had to beat Dave from Mudfoot since he was 1st in the overall standings, so I hit the gas hard!
The course suited my riding style and I was having a blast finally getting to ride through some mud in a race. My Hunter bike and Paul MiniMotos were not phased by the mud or sand! It couldn’t have run better. The Pacenti wheels with WTB Crosswolf tubeless tires performed flawlessly again as well. Such a good set up!
I was able to hold onto the lead through the race and am very happy to have crossed the finish line in first! See ya later B’s, it’s been fun. Heading to the A’s for good now.
They tallied the overall points and Dave from Mudfood ended up on top. He raced strong all year and I’m stoked to finish 2nd in the overall behind him!
As always, great vibes from my teammates and cx buddies at the race. Cross rules!
-Brad

Saturday was the 5th and final race in the new Norcal CX series in San Jose. Going into the race I was in 2nd place overall in the B’s and with this race being worth double points, there was a chance I could take it.

The course was fantastic- sand, climbs, grassy circle of doom, and a technical tree section. They did a great job of using everything that the park had and even flooded the back section to create a giant mud puddle. Stoked! 

Tom and I both got front row call ups for the race and gave each other pep talks beforehand (Thanks buddy!). A SuperPro rider on a mountain bike jumped off the start and I got behind him in 2nd. He was jamming through the initial long grass section, the pavement, and to the first climb around the stairs.

We got to the top and he seemed to slow down, so I went around him and took the lead before the first sand section. The field was stacked with some really strong riders and I knew I had to beat Dave from Mudfoot since he was 1st in the overall standings, so I hit the gas hard!

The course suited my riding style and I was having a blast finally getting to ride through some mud in a race. My Hunter bike and Paul MiniMotos were not phased by the mud or sand! It couldn’t have run better. The Pacenti wheels with WTB Crosswolf tubeless tires performed flawlessly again as well. Such a good set up!

I was able to hold onto the lead through the race and am very happy to have crossed the finish line in first! See ya later B’s, it’s been fun. Heading to the A’s for good now.

They tallied the overall points and Dave from Mudfood ended up on top. He raced strong all year and I’m stoked to finish 2nd in the overall behind him!

As always, great vibes from my teammates and cx buddies at the race. Cross rules!

-Brad

NorcalCx flavor number 5 in SJ

Fun day out with Leah, Brad, and Jon in Cunningham Park in SJ. I was excited to test my bike skills on a very varied course. I pre-rode most of the course, opting out of putting my bike through the foot thick mud. The mud came as a surprise since we are recording the driest calendar year since 1849. Anyway, rode the long deep sand sections and the steep descent to get a feel for the rhythm of the course. I didn’t find that rhythm on the first two laps, making some poor decisions to stay on the bike too long in the sand. I thought that all my running practice was going to be wasted this year but in this race it helped me pull back half a dozen riders. Murphy had us racing for 55 minutes. That helped too. In the end great racing on a well designed course. Now if only the progressive city of SF would lighten up and support bike racing. RIP GGP.

Tom