Sactown Grass

Surrounded by grasslands, fertile food homes and genuinely  flat country definitely gives the city of Sacramento a leg up when it comes to having great city parks.  The Sac CX series has been exploring these parks for years.  With the overpopulation of the SF Bay Area and the hatred for cyclists, Sacramento seems poised to take local cyclocross to a new level.  No matter how often I tell people how great the series is very few from the Bay believe me.  Or is it they spend so much time commuting during the week that they don’t want o drive all the way to Sacramento.  Who knows?  I don’t really care, other than it would be nice to support a great series. Don’t they get bored with the same old courses, the same old competitors and the same old result? Oh well, I will have it all to myself then.

Round 2 of the Sac CX series did not disappoint.  Sure they didn’t have a two way pit and if you flatted on the back side of the course you would have a mile slog with bike to the said pit, but these are only minor details.  Typical Sac weather saw temps in the area of “hot”.  Not as hot as it could have been but it certainly wasn’t cross weather.  The course was a fast grass course with some rolling hills, lots of turns and a sand pit.  In talking with Chris Mcgovern before the race he was psyched to use some file treads and kind of looked at my knobbies with disbelief.  Man I wish I had that many wheel sets.  This whole disc thing has screwed me when trying to come up with tire options.  I’m on a shoestring budget, not a Rapha budget.  Reluctantly I took my slow and sticky tires to the start line.

I got a front row start and took a side by side hole shot with Robert of Reno Wheelman, who would be the eventual winner.  Ok I just gave away the end of the book.  I don’t win this race, but it wasn’t for the lack of utterly imploding myself and then coming back to life until I utterly imploded again….and again.  I lead the first lap after Robert bobbled a corner and tried to drill it in order to drop a few people.  That did’t work.  It only made me more tired.  So I let some others do some work and we had quite a strung out peloton for the first few laps.  Then I let one too many gaps go and was off the back.  I kept the gas on throughout the 60 minute ordeal.  Back screaming, crusties on the corners of the mouth and choking on dust, I rolled in for 5th.  Not really what I wanted, but what to do….Chalk it up to training and experience and utter joy of riding my bike.  Big take away from this race was that one of my athletes, William Youngman, won the 45+ A’s and moved into first place in the series.  Way to go William!

SAC #2 2013

Commence drooling

SAC1 #2 2013

Followed by dry mouth

photo

William – top step!

In the Thick of it….

The official start of the season for me has never been when I actually start racing, but when I get so far behind in this blog that I lose track of which race was when and how it went for me.  It is useless to promise better results in this.  New Year’s Resolutions don’t work either, so I just have to deal with the fact that I get a little flaky when we “get in the thick of it.”  “It” meaning the hectic, but short cyclocross season.

 

After a muddy start to the season and a surprising change of shifter cables due to the mud (how do people in Portland deal with this every week?), we were back on track with the usual dry, California fall.  Round 1 of the Bay Area Superprestige Race Series kicked off from the venerable Candlestick park, home of the SF 49ers.  Next year the stadium will be a rubble pile as the 49ers move south to Santa Clara.  So it is going to be the last year to have that concrete monolith in the background of all the pics from the race.  Tom and his people at Pilarcitos always put on a big show.  It’s like being at a circus with bikes.

BASP B's start

Nick Nesbitt of Buy/Cell Ibis and a CX Nation athlete readies for the start of the Killer B’s

I managed to get a front row call up, not because I did well in the last race held last year (I was in Bend for the USGP) but because I got online and registered pretty quickly.  I am usually not a huge fan of this system because it has nothing to do with bike skills.  This time I wasn’t going to complain.  I got a tremendous start, got the so called “hole shot”, but then sat up a little because I didn’t see anyone else around me….until a Cal Giant Berry came around me like he was shot out of a cannon.  That was the last time any of us saw Brian Finnerty who has been on fire this year so far.

I got in a group with Brock Dickie and another Berry, Alan Coates.  Now Brock is a great mountain biker and Alan is just a great all around rider.  My plan was to just sit on and follow wheels the best I could and hope for a good result.  I lost my race though on a turn midway through lap 2.  Instead of following Alan, I took Brock’s line, which was more of a sharp mtb line with a slide at the end.  Brock pulled it off…I didn’t and crashed hard.  Several guys passed me as I tried to clear the cobwebs.  It took me a while to get the big diesel engine going again.  I settled for 7th, which is the place that I finished in the past 3 out of 4 BASP races.  Guess I like that number.  Top 5 would be better.

Brian BASP

There’s your proverbial stadium shot in the background

Zac BASP

Zac Stanley, CX Nation athlete, over the barriers. Same shoes as above.

Benoit BASP

Benoit Dubuisson, another CX Nation athlete. Different shoes.