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.

 

Double Header (extra long) Report!

This was my first double header weekend and I think I was equal parts nervous and excited about it going into it Saturday morning.

Sierra Point at night is the most fun race all year because you’re under the lights and there are 10x more people there cheering/heckling. The course was really fast and dusty with a small mud patch and another small sand patch. Nick described the course best (see below!).

I got a 2nd row call up in the B’s based on the last BASP race result and it made all the difference. It was pretty intimidating to look back at the 80+ person field behind me…Got a good jump off the line and tried to hang with the lead group as best I could. 

The first half of the race was spent chasing the chase group. I was able to make contact and slowly move past riders 1 at a time. The Hunter bike was doing it’s job, huntin dudes down! (bad joke?) Back to it, I ended up being about 20-30 seconds behind a rider in a polkadot’ish jersy and spent the last 2 laps trying to catch him but no dice. I crossed the line in 6th and couldn’t be more stoked, my best BASP result!

imagePhoto from Pamela Palma

Waking up on Sunday was a little rough and I was not sure if I would be able to race, let alone ride my bike with how sore my legs felt. Packed up the car and cruised out to the Kitten of Vallejo.

The course was completely different from the night before - grass climbs, off camber turns, big sand pit, run ups, baseball diamond loop, and even a jump! I rode a couple pre-laps, felt good, and set out to have fun out there with my teammates Tom and NIck.

imagePhoto from Nigel Walker

I had a front row call up in the B’s and figured I might as well go for it! Got a good jump on the uphill start into the grass soul sucking climb in the holeshot. Somehow I’m smiling in the picture above, but trust me, I was hurting pushing it up that hill! 

This was the first time that I have ever led a race and as nervous as that thought made me before, it was completely awesome. I wasn’t working on chasing anyone, just riding my own race. I made it through the majority of the first lap in the lead before a rider passed me, but I got him back on the grass switchbacks. Led the start of the second lap and decided to hit the jump as hard as I could (yolo!). My left foot unclipped when I landed and the chase group went by me. Oh well, it was worth it!

imagePhoto by Caroline

I focused on trying to not make any mistakes, to ride smoothly (thanks Cam!), and keep the power going. The course was super fun, which made the laps go by quickly, and I was able to pass a couple of the riders who had gone by me earlier. I moved up to third place for the last lap and a half, but couldn’t catch #2 and Andrew from Viva La Tarte who won the race.

This was my first podium ever and I’m really happy about how the race went. Huge thanks to Travis and Rick, the team, all of our sponsors, race organizers, and all the riders. Cross is really fun!

-Brad

imagePhoto by Caroline

Double Race Weekend: Sierra Point & Kitten of Vallejo

It’s been a long time since I’ve raced twice in one weekend, but it’s hard to pass up the opportunity when both races are relatively close to home.

The Sierra Point night race is not only one of the funnest races of the year, it’s also only a twenty-minute drive from San Francisco. The course is wide, mostly flat, bone dry, and not much of a technical challenge. However, there are a couple things that can make it tricky:

- It’s night (duh) and very dusty (duh), which makes the course details difficult to see. Not the end of the world, but it is much better to get a pre-ride in while it is still light out so you can feel out the good lines before darkness covers them up. But even if you do pre-ride the course…

- …small mistakes can add up to lots of lost time. Overshooting turns, getting caught on a dirty line, and bad gear selection can easily cost you a few placings by the end if they happen often enough. Death by a thousand cuts.

Untitled

photo by JDR, thanks dude!

This was the first race of the year where I was got a good starting position and was actually able to capitalize on it. The first couple rows on the grid were reserved for call-ups, with the rest filled according to when you registered, and I ended up in the third row (I always pre-reg weeks in advance because I am paranoid.) This put me ahead of most of the traffic before the race even started, and I was able to cling on to the front(ish) group on the first few laps before things strung out and it became a drag race to the finish. The course was fun, the crowd was great, and all four teammates in the race were riding strong.

The Kitten of Vallejo was the following afternoon. This course was completely different from Sierra Point, with lots of elevation, power-sucking grass, and some particularly evil off-camber switchbacks that went up the side of a sandy hill. The field was small but motivated, and it took a few laps before my legs showed up again after the previous night’s thrashing. Murphy was also kind enough to tack on a few extra laps for us since we were the last race of the day. The Bs don’t usually get this kind of treat at other races, and I appreciate the opportunity to squeeze out a little more racing for my money. I’m definitely looking forward to what the SuperPro crew has in store for their series finale.

- Nick

BASP Candlestick #2

Cameron ripping to a podium spot, pros climbing and hitting the deck, Hunter stomping on dudes, kicked back tent views…

Daryl

Bay Area Super Prestige #2

I really wanted to see how well I stacked up in the Elite B’s field without a flat tire being part of the equation. I had been riding pretty kamikaze previous to my flats, and now found myself a little shellshocked, riding more carefully, and…….slower. WTB was kind enough to send me a pair of their new tubeless compatible Cross Wolf tires to try out, and when they mounted super tight on the rim, my confidence started to grow. A quick session in the park the day before the race at really low pressures confirmed a good seal, and I felt ready to shreddy.

The weather was perfectly sunny, not too warm or cold. We had a nice big squad at the tent, and the vibe was right. A couple pre-ride laps behind Cameron and Rick opened my eyes to some good lines, and our team lined up 6 deep in the B’s field! Lining up right where I wanted to ended up being less than ideal, as a surge and merge left me stuck behind a big group on the first long section of the start, and I had to get crafty to find an open spot to move up before the dirt, putting me around 8th place. I picked off a few guys, and found myself in a long drawn out battle between 4th and 5th.

The bike was riding good, and the tires were really hooking up nice, but there’s some fast guys in the B’s and I got picked off near the finish, landing me a 6th place. YAY NO FLATS! I had a really fun race, and have to say the ride-up/drop-in/baymud/flyover stuff was pretty good times. Big thanks to Bryce at WTB, everybody on our team for all the help, and you guys out on the course yelling encouragement!

-Travis

BASP 5—CCCP
Two lessons learned; racing won’t keep me in shape, and pay attention to the basics. I got my new Hunter this week, and Travis and Cam built it up Saturday—epic and thank you both! In the hub-bub of new bike joy, bedding in rotors, and 49ers game day traffic, by the time we got to the race, all I could think about was trail time. The front wheel pushed everywhere, I crashed on lap one, and struggled with cornering all day. When I checked my pressure Sunday night it was in the 70s—smooooooth. I also spent more time in traffic this past week than I did on the trail, so my race fitness was pretty garbage. Its not all bad though, I know what to do to prepare for Sunday and plan on putting on a better show in Santa Cruz with the team. Props to Brad for taking the Fritos hand-up and passing me on the last lap.
-Jon B.

BASP 5—CCCP

Two lessons learned; racing won’t keep me in shape, and pay attention to the basics. I got my new Hunter this week, and Travis and Cam built it up Saturday—epic and thank you both! In the hub-bub of new bike joy, bedding in rotors, and 49ers game day traffic, by the time we got to the race, all I could think about was trail time. The front wheel pushed everywhere, I crashed on lap one, and struggled with cornering all day. When I checked my pressure Sunday night it was in the 70s—smooooooth. I also spent more time in traffic this past week than I did on the trail, so my race fitness was pretty garbage. Its not all bad though, I know what to do to prepare for Sunday and plan on putting on a better show in Santa Cruz with the team. Props to Brad for taking the Fritos hand-up and passing me on the last lap.

-Jon B.

BASP #3—Sierra Point Night Race
What a difference a few hours, and teammates can make. In the past, Sierra Point was a lunch time race, and it felt pretty much like a remix of Candlestick. Cue Mens B at 5PM, twilight, a well-defined race line, and the ability to relax with everyone, and everything gets better. I had a lot of fun, kept it on two wheels, passed some dudes and got some of that earlier confidence back. Brad and I got pretty good starts on the third row, with Alex M. and Nick behind us. Alex went by and I held his wheel for the first lap and a half which was epic. Nick came around me once, I got him back and then kept him at bay for a few laps. He motored by on lap 4, and went on to crush some more. It was a great race, another one where on the last lap you learn something that could have meant a position or two if you had realized it on lap 1. Thanks to everyone on the team, it was good to see you all. 32 out of 72 riders, and I’m stoked.

BASP #3—Sierra Point Night Race

What a difference a few hours, and teammates can make. In the past, Sierra Point was a lunch time race, and it felt pretty much like a remix of Candlestick. Cue Mens B at 5PM, twilight, a well-defined race line, and the ability to relax with everyone, and everything gets better. I had a lot of fun, kept it on two wheels, passed some dudes and got some of that earlier confidence back. Brad and I got pretty good starts on the third row, with Alex M. and Nick behind us. Alex went by and I held his wheel for the first lap and a half which was epic. Nick came around me once, I got him back and then kept him at bay for a few laps. He motored by on lap 4, and went on to crush some more. It was a great race, another one where on the last lap you learn something that could have meant a position or two if you had realized it on lap 1. Thanks to everyone on the team, it was good to see you all. 32 out of 72 riders, and I’m stoked.