Laaste Ronde – Bay Area Superprestige

CX Nation

The last round of the Bay Area Superprestige took place last Sunday at Coyote Point Park in Burlingame.  This is a classic course and since Golden Gate Park was taken out of the series, it is my favorite.  Like all good cross courses it has a little of everything – ups, downs, sand, off camber and some very fast sections.  The key to this race has always been the hill and it comes into play immediately after the start, so separation comes very quickly.

Race #5 in the series was my tire disaster, so my start position for this one was horrible – 3rd row.  I managed a good start, but just wasn’t aggressive enough on the hill and ended up behind a couple riders who weren’t on good days.  They added a very deep sand trap on the upper part of the course this year.  In warm-ups it was unrideable, but after a few races a line formed and it made for a powerful, yet makeable section…for some.  The hill and sand forced a gap to form between the lead group and myself.  And just like that, they were gone.

The Long Line BASP 2014

The line in the sand (not really that much sand) on Lap 1

But the race wasn’t over by any means.  The inner grumbling and coaxing your body to go faster was just beginning.  All racers must go through this…yelling at yourself, whether out loud or in your mind, trying to make yourself go faster.  It works, right?  I ended up hooking up with Sage and we rode a cyclocross, 2-man team time trial for the rest of the race.  But drafting doesn’t really work that well in cross, as we didn’t catch many people.  Sage has been running good all year, but he wasn’t hitting on all cylinders for this race.  Isn’t it annoying when a fellow riders says “I’m not riding well today” or “I’m sick” or “I just got off the couch, eating bonbons and haven’t been training”…and then they beat you.  That’s exactly what happened.  Sage ended up 8th and I was 9th….and I was completely healthy and running on all cylinders.  Some riders are just better than others. haha

Brian and Myrah BASP 2014

Ahead of the World Champ?  Not for long…

Sage and Brian BASP 2014

Sage and I hooked up for a cross paceline

The rest of the CX Nation crew also had a good day…with a mix of bad luck.  Kristin finished up 6th, just off the podium again, in the Elite women’s race.  Brij had a great result finishing 4th, just behind the Cal Giant Berry train that was 1,2,3.  Miles was sitting in 3rd on the first lap in Men’s B’s when he flatted.  A run to the pits cost him some places and he wound up 14th.  Double sided pits would be helpful. Yes, they have two neutral service areas on the course, but imagine how much faster it would be for a racer to just grab a bike rather than waiting for a wheel change.  My only gripe about this awesome venue.

Miles BASP 2014

Miles coming out of the sand

Kristin BASP 2014 2

Kristin on the downhill – on her way to 6th

Brij BASP 2014

Brij on his way to 4th….

So that’s it for the biggest racing series the SF Bay Area has to offer.  They tried some new things this year.  Some I liked – the separate days of racing, and some I didn’t like…3 days at the Candlestick bump fest and two days at the dust bowl.  Till next year BASP….

 

Brush-X

I used to have a neighbor, who will go nameless, that would bring his mountain bike over for some minor repairs.  I didn’t mind.  I have a full repair shop in my garage and I enjoy working on bikes, other than my own.  The thing that I did mind is that he never cleaned his bike.  It was so bad that I don’t think he took his seat post out in 5 years and then when it sheared off he had to buy a new frame…or so he told his wife.   Nothing is more aggregating to a bike mechanic than bringing a dirty bike to the shop.  People, at the very least, hose your bike down after your muddy ride and put some lubrication on the chain.  It takes all of 5 minutes and will probably save you hundreds of dollars in the long run…or the cost of a new frame for my neighbor.

Being a cyclocross rider means that cleaning bikes is just part of racing.  Now in Northern California we don’t get that much foul weather.  But towards the end of the season a couple of Alaskan whoppers will come in a dump copious amounts of the wet stuff for days.  Cross riders love racing in mud, but when it comes to cleaning the bike….not so much.  Enter the Brush-X.  Founded by some passionate innovators in Sacramento, CA; Brush-X takes cleaning to a whole new level and for you lazy bike washers, makes washing your bike much easier.

The Brush-X design is pretty simple.  It is essentially a 6 foot piece of flexible tubing that attaches to your garden hose and on the end is a stiff bristle brush in which the water flows through.  So as you are washing your bike you are scrubbing the dirt off as you go.

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The Brush-X design taken from their website

I had a chance to really put it to the test last weekend when we had our first major storm of 2014 roll through NorCal – StormWatch 2014 as the news people call it.  We had some really sticky mud and my bikes got covered.  I got home and immediately went to work on cleaning.  Keep point – don’t wait till the next day or the next week.  I hooked up the Brush-X and we were off…or should I say the mud came flying off.  I initially used the Brush-X to get the thick mud off the frame and wheels.  A quick pass was all it took.  This thing is powerful.  Then I sprayed some WD-40 foam bike spray, along with some soap in a bucket, scrubbed everything down and then hit the bike again with the Brush-X.  After a quick towel off and quick lube of the chain it was all over….5 minutes in all.

One thing that I did use was a shut-off valve at my hose.  This allowed me to use the Brush-X, turn the water off, set the Brush-X down and do some more scrubbing.  If you don’t have a shut-off valve the water will continue to run and you will have to go back to the hose bib at the house in order to turn the water off.  Might be a nice addition to the Brush-X to have a shut off built in.  Otherwise the Brush-X does the job.  The bristles seem like they will last a long time and it is gentle on all moving parts.  The days of power washing bikes needs to be left to the pros.  They get free parts so they don’t need to worry about hitting bearings with 100 psi of straight stream H2O.  Not so for us amateurs.  Brush-X offers a nice medium.

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Simple packaging

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The Brush-X giving the Lobster some love

Brush-X

You can use it to wash up after a race too. Who says bikes are the only ones to get cleaned?

Brush-X: www.brush-x.com

Price: $24.99