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.

 

A Place to Play!

I woke up Sunday to a cold, foggy morning and thought that we finally are getting some proper cross weather! Too bad Santa Rosa didn’t get the memo and the fog burned off before noon. Oh well! Bike Monkey did a great job setting up the course and I was excited to have my parents there watching. 

The course was on a bumpy field that required you to shift up a gear or two to keep from spinning too much to keep the power consistent. Lots of tape to tape turns, long straights, some sand, quick barrier section, fun off-camber area, and start/finish on the concrete. After a couple warm up laps with teammates and advice from Tom after his race, I felt ready to suffer for 60 minutes.

We lined up and even though I was on the 2nd row, I got swallowed at the start and got into a bit of traffic (note to self- work on starts this week). I could see the lead group in the distance and the chase group not far behind them, but there was a solid gap between my position and them.  I settled in behind some guys and told myself to look for opportunities to pass them so I could try grab a wheel in the chase group.

I’ve been doing a lot more cx specific workouts during the week (thanks Coach Caroline!) and I felt them working as soon as I stepped on it to pass people. My legs were there and I felt the best I’ve felt all season. After a couple laps, I had moved up a handful of spots and could see my teammate Cameron about 100ft ahead of me. Seeing him gave me extra motivation and I dug as deep as I could to try to catch his wheel.

We played a bit of a cat & mouse game for the last 5 laps or so, me chasing him and him putting the hurt on me! Whenever I would get close to him, he would say “C’mon Brad, come catch me!” Then he would step on the gas! It was rad, I had a lot of fun trying to hang onto his wheel. He opened it up on the last lap and I didn’t have much left, so I tried to pushed it but he got a good gap on me. I finished 10th, my best finish so far in the A’s. I learned a lot from the race and am really looking forward to the next one.

When are you going to teach a bunny hopping clinic Cam? I want in on that action!

Truckee Bike Park CX!

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. 

-Brad

Race Report! Vallejo Cougar

Strong start in the A’s this race. After one lap, i’m switchin it up with Chas (TCB) and one turn behind local hero Cam Falconer. Not much changes second lap, except that the heats starting to get to me. Andrew (Vive La Tarte) comes around me looking strong. I want to follow him, but don’t. I know he’s gunning for more places. I keep telling myself to sit in and hold on, but know its bad when i’m not sweating much. A quick quench in the feed zone starts lap 3. I’m grateful for my good friend Geoff (Chica Sexy), but the water seems ineffective and my eyes go into stars after two run ups in a row. Sure enough, I low side into some broken asphault through a loose hairpin. My ears are ringing as Kell (Broakland) checks to see if i’m okay. I limp off the course and sit for a minute. Another rider crashes in the same corner. He gets right back up, but I call it quits…

I get patched up at the medical tent and Geoff convinces me to race again. 30 minutes later, I’m front row at the B’s start. I try to start strong, but knee pains drop me back mid pack. I’m gaining places slowly, but loose a couple to chain drops. In the end, I squeezed in a top 10 spot, and happy I didn’t leave with a DNF. Learned alot this race, like carry a bottle when its 100 degrees out! Also, i think i need some pre-race sugar, i.e. Gu / blocks. Here’s a couple photos by Ted K. of our badass team members out there on the course.

Results

A Men: 27th /29 (DNF)

B Men: 9th /44

by K. NG

Cantis are still cool #huntercycles #freshairhunter #rickistall

Cantis are still cool #huntercycles #freshairhunter #rickistall

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.

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