The further I get behind on my race reports for the season, the more I come to realize there’s not always a story in a race report. People like stories. At least they’d prefer them I’d guess. So conflicted about writing race reports when my hearts not in it, or I don’t have anything interesting to say. Ah fuck it, here’s for posterity…
Friends, enemies, frenimies,
Cyclocross is coming to Golden Gate Park on November 28th, 2010. Possibly for the last (sanctioned) time in the foreseeable future. What does this mean for you? Come enjoy the show:
If you know someone who’s racing, show up and cheer on your friends. They suck and/or are sandbaggers. Their race is probably kind of early, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink and/or provide beer/bacon hand-ups. Furthermore, the dollar grab is a great way to incentivise Cat C racers to crash. Be a philanthropist. If they’re actually sucking it up and upgrading, they’re about to get demoralized. They will need a support network. Bring a shoulder for them to cry on, or if that doesn’t work out, the least you can do is talk some shit.
How can you prepare? Well, in the spirit of cyclocross, you’ll want to do some heckling intervals. Heckle as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 30, repeat. You’ll feel exhausted, but your heckling will be top notch by race time. Suggestions: why are you running?, watch out for that tree (stand near a tree), there’s no smiling in cyclocross!, just shift into your granny gear, or my personal favorite – is that a touring bike? There’s lots of options. Be creative.
Cross is hard work and it’s really about pacing your effort. Grill, drink, heckle, and celebrate in moderation, but always save something for that last push to the finish. You won’t regret it.
Last year’s Cross Crusade #5 was my first ever cyclocross race, and despite a strong desire to line up in the Clydesdale category, I rode as a Beginner. Thanks to the wonder of cyclocross, I still felt like I was about to die. So when preparing for this year’s cross season and our trip to Oregon, I was determined to race as a Clydesdale and actually put together a top half finish. If only it were that easy…
you just got faced (photo via @itsdanno)
A couple months back, a good group of riders (mostly Mission Cycling folks) made our way to Dogtown ready for a hot day of mixed terrain riding. The second half of our intended ride up Bolinas Ridge was a well established route, but the trail for the first half of our ride was a bit more of an adventure. It took a brief bit of searching, followed by asking a local before we were onto the Olema Valley Trail. All we knew was it was “sometimes a bit overgrown”. The first section of “trail” was basically a field of chest high grass they’d attacked with an industrial lawn mower to clear a 6′ wide path. This led to interesting conditions: the tops of the grass were pretty even, but they underlying earth varied quite a bit, with all sorts of divits and ruts hidden underneath. This left me wishing I had some sort of suspension, or at least something besides the carbon fork that seems to transmit all the unexpected terrain back to my upper body.
A lot of cyclists think the headlands are closed. Not true – you just can’t use the road. Be creative.
Departing from a trailhead at the saddle of Hawk Hill, there’s all sorts of trails for mountain/cross riding. Since ‘cross season is only a few months away, better start getting in shape now. The trails that run through the Headlands (and beyond) connect a series of valleys. For us that means lots of climbing and descending. With @itsdanno as my guide, we headed across the bridge to do some damage off-road.
At my friend Alex’s going away party last weekend, too far into the night, we decided that one last ride together needed to happen. Originally, this was going to be a morning ride of Mt Tam, but evolved into a ride from Stanford where he formerly worked. Without much thought (or knowledge of the rides throughout the peninsula), I agreed to his proposed loop including Page Mill and Tunitas Creek. With the simple description “it will kill us. i promise”, how could I say no? Read the rest of this entry »