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.
Leah and I made the drive up to Truckee with our better halves in tow to check out the Sagebrush CX scene in the Reno/Tahoe area.
It was a refreshing 35 degrees at 7:30am on Sunday before the race, but warmed up to about 60 by the time we started at 10:30. This was my first race in the new kit and my first time ever wearing a skinsuit. I gotta say it, skinsuits rule! So comfortable and you feel super fly. I’m going to call it now, in 50 years we’re going to be wearing them as our daily attire. I digress…
The course went through the BMX track! In warm ups, Leah and I cruised it a couple times and I channeled the skills I learned at the Bonny Dune Pump Track course at the Hunter Compound. There were banked turns, pump bumps, and real deal table tops! It was awesome. I made a mental note to try to not get too rad during the race, because we all know how that would turn out. There was one climb in the dirt, some long grass sections, sketch single track descent with a 180 hairpin turn at the bottom, and a long stair run up on the course too.
Since this was a USAC race, I raced at my current Cat 4 Level in hopes of getting some points to move up. I was in the right place at the right time and somehow ended up on the front row of the start grid and figured I should take advantage of that. At the sound of the whistle I went for it and took the hole shot around the first corner and into the BMX area. I knew that would be important since there were a couple points early on in the course where it would bottleneck. I held the lead through the track and into the first climb where I opened up to try to put a gap on the field.
At this point, I realize I’m in the lead and started to get a little nervous. I washed out in a loose turn and while I picked myself up, I took a deep breath and said, “stay cool dude, you got this!” I got back on and was able to hold the lead down the next section. The rest of the race went really smoothly, I had a blast riding the BMX section each time (see video below), and felt pretty strong even in the altitude. I finished first and now only need 2 more points to move to cat 3. I want to try to do some of the bigger races later this year and next year, so having a higher ranking will be help me do that.
Shout out to Leah for finishing 5th in a really strong Women’s field! She rode the BMX track like a champ and used her shredder skills on the descents to fight off her competitors.
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!
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.
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!
Photo 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!
Photo by Caroline