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 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.

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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

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 4—Candlestick Trippel
Man I’m tired! 6 races in 6 weeks. Two years ago I raced 4 times and called it a season. Last year I made it out 7 times including Sea Otter which didn’t take place until April. So I’m pretty happy with the number of races, finishes and overall effort  to date. But anyways, this was the BASP weekend, and the course, as everyone has said, was awesome. It was a good substitute for a cancelled Golden Gate race. I got my first call-up in Bs, and went out as best I could. Had an awesome race with Travis for a lap or so and then he was gone, leaving me in the dust. Stoked Brad came around once, and him and I hung the entire race which was cool to be not be utterly alone out there. Laurel said I looked a little mad, which I’m stoked about. I have a hard time being physically pumped up for the races. I really wish I could be 100% fire and brimstone off the line, I need to work on that. I did put an awesome pass on a guy from the outside going into a right hand turn. I realized I didn’t have as much room down the straight as I thought and had to shut the door on him hard. I felt his tire on my leg and he said something about me being nuts. So after the race I found him and apologized for the move, and dude said he was impressed. At the end of the race I had nothing left but I managed to sprint a guy to the line for a position, and even beat a roaring mouse guy who has been beating me all season, so a lot of firsts this weekend. Laurel, Cam, Daryl and the team thanks for the motivation, you guys never let me quit.
*Photo from Tim Westmore

BASP 4—Candlestick Trippel

Man I’m tired! 6 races in 6 weeks. Two years ago I raced 4 times and called it a season. Last year I made it out 7 times including Sea Otter which didn’t take place until April. So I’m pretty happy with the number of races, finishes and overall effort  to date. But anyways, this was the BASP weekend, and the course, as everyone has said, was awesome. It was a good substitute for a cancelled Golden Gate race. I got my first call-up in Bs, and went out as best I could. Had an awesome race with Travis for a lap or so and then he was gone, leaving me in the dust. Stoked Brad came around once, and him and I hung the entire race which was cool to be not be utterly alone out there. Laurel said I looked a little mad, which I’m stoked about. I have a hard time being physically pumped up for the races. I really wish I could be 100% fire and brimstone off the line, I need to work on that. I did put an awesome pass on a guy from the outside going into a right hand turn. I realized I didn’t have as much room down the straight as I thought and had to shut the door on him hard. I felt his tire on my leg and he said something about me being nuts. So after the race I found him and apologized for the move, and dude said he was impressed. At the end of the race I had nothing left but I managed to sprint a guy to the line for a position, and even beat a roaring mouse guy who has been beating me all season, so a lot of firsts this weekend. Laurel, Cam, Daryl and the team thanks for the motivation, you guys never let me quit.

*Photo from Tim Westmore

Action-packed weekend coming up with races on both Saturday and Sunday. The team will be representing at both, so come out and say hi. To find us, just look for the coolest tent in the pits.