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

This was my first time racing at Stafford Lake and despite the absence of the cesspool, I had a blast.
They replaced the pool with a new movable barrier section that was hard to tell if it was faster to ride or run, had to go with your gut each lap. Other than that, everyone said the course was very similar.
Heather, Nick, Tom, Jon, and Daryl swapped stories from last year and we talked about the best lines through the loose off-camber sections before the race. I got a good warm up in and felt ready for the late start of the B’s. 
I placed well at the last race and got the last spot on the front row, stoked. GO! Charged the start down the long fireroad, across the bridge, and around to the run up. I made it to the singletrack in about 8th place and started to chase the lead group as best I could (trying to use what I’ve been learning from #svenness).
My legs felt good and I was able to keep a pretty good pace throughout the race. Geoffrey from Chica Sexy and I had a good battle back and forth going throughout the race, he really helped keep the effort high and made the race a ton of fun. I got lucky and moved in front of him on the last lap at the run up and was able to hold on.
I crossed the line in 6th place, my best finish so far this year. Huge thanks to the team for all the support and good vibes at the race.
I also can’t say enough about how great my bike is riding - the Hunter frame is so fast and lightweight (thank you Rick!), Simworks stem/handlebars are the jam, Paul mini-motos are fantastic, and the Pacenti SL23 w/tubeless tires feel incredible.
-Brad
*Thank you Laurel for the photo!

This was my first time racing at Stafford Lake and despite the absence of the cesspool, I had a blast.

They replaced the pool with a new movable barrier section that was hard to tell if it was faster to ride or run, had to go with your gut each lap. Other than that, everyone said the course was very similar.

Heather, Nick, Tom, Jon, and Daryl swapped stories from last year and we talked about the best lines through the loose off-camber sections before the race. I got a good warm up in and felt ready for the late start of the B’s. 

I placed well at the last race and got the last spot on the front row, stoked. GO! Charged the start down the long fireroad, across the bridge, and around to the run up. I made it to the singletrack in about 8th place and started to chase the lead group as best I could (trying to use what I’ve been learning from #svenness).

My legs felt good and I was able to keep a pretty good pace throughout the race. Geoffrey from Chica Sexy and I had a good battle back and forth going throughout the race, he really helped keep the effort high and made the race a ton of fun. I got lucky and moved in front of him on the last lap at the run up and was able to hold on.

I crossed the line in 6th place, my best finish so far this year. Huge thanks to the team for all the support and good vibes at the race.

I also can’t say enough about how great my bike is riding - the Hunter frame is so fast and lightweight (thank you Rick!), Simworks stem/handlebars are the jam, Paul mini-motos are fantastic, and the Pacenti SL23 w/tubeless tires feel incredible.

-Brad

*Thank you Laurel for the photo!

Surf City #2 was loads of fun!
We drove down the night before and stayed at the Hunter compound. Rode Rick’s front yard pumptrack, hit some trails in Bonny Dune, and cooked a nice dinner. Needless to say, stoke levels were high before the race!
Rode a couple pre-laps and my new Hunter Team Bike was feeling fantastic on the course - super lightweight, quick, and responsive. The course was a good mix of challenging/fun sections, Surf City does a great job.
I lined up with Travis and Kyle in the Men’s B’s race and got a pretty good start. I made some mistakes and ended up in a couple pile ups. Whoops! I tried to bring it back as much as I could and finished somewhere around midpack. Congrats to Travis on finishing in the top 5! 
Thanks to Cycle Masters of Turlock for the photo and to Heather for finding it!
-Brad

Surf City #2 was loads of fun!

We drove down the night before and stayed at the Hunter compound. Rode Rick’s front yard pumptrack, hit some trails in Bonny Dune, and cooked a nice dinner. Needless to say, stoke levels were high before the race!

Rode a couple pre-laps and my new Hunter Team Bike was feeling fantastic on the course - super lightweight, quick, and responsive. The course was a good mix of challenging/fun sections, Surf City does a great job.

I lined up with Travis and Kyle in the Men’s B’s race and got a pretty good start. I made some mistakes and ended up in a couple pile ups. Whoops! I tried to bring it back as much as I could and finished somewhere around midpack. Congrats to Travis on finishing in the top 5! 

Thanks to Cycle Masters of Turlock for the photo and to Heather for finding it!

-Brad