CX Nation

Ah yes…the 49ers old home is being reduced to a rubble pile.  However, the former World War 2 rubble pile is still going strong.  Candlestick Point Recreation area, the old military dump site, is still hosting races on its sandy courses.  It was billed as Tom Simpson’s last weekend of racing before Murphy Mack takes over the Superprestige.  A legacy was ending.  Great job by Tom and his crew for all these years.

With the 49ers gone it seems like there is a little less broken glass on the course and in the parking lot.  the weeds are getting bigger and I met some of them first hand while racing.  It was a small field for the 35+ A’s, since there was SS Worlds and CXLA the same weekend.  I was hoping for a podium spot….hoping.  I got a second row start and was fast off the line.  I settled into a group chasing Murray usual.  Henry Kramer was leading the charge, but going very unHenrylike, i.e. slow.  I finally made a risky pass on four riders in front of me right before the steep hill.  Problem was I went a little too fast, clipped the inside pole and lost momentum going up the hill.  Everybody stacked up behind me.  I feel bad. Henry cured me out.  I got going again…a little embarrassed.

Once again my legs gave out trying to chase Murray.  I got dropped by Eric Hill and then tried to settle in with Mundelius – bye,bye John.  Finally got in with a group of 4 and was just trying to hang on.  One thing that happened as the race wore on was I was getting stronger and stronger.  Maybe those 60 minute races in Sac were doing some good.  Problem is the race was winding down and I had limited time left.  I accelerated around 2 of the guys in the group and sat on another…waiting for the sprint finish.  maybe I should have attacked earlier.  4th and 5th were sitting right in front of us.

Oh well…the sprint came and I caught him looking over the wrong shoulder.  I went left and he swung into me to block.  I went right and he did the same thing.  Left again and he chopped my wheel.  I sat up.  In a professional race it would have been erratic sprinting and he would have been relegated.  I chatted with him at the finish about it and the 5th place finisher stated, “Anything goes in cross so just shut the f–k up”.  Hmmm…that didn’t sit well with me.  I looked him up and he is a strong rider and just coming out of the B’s to the A’s.  I am sure I will see him again and see if his “theory” holds true when it is him going into the tape.  Hehe…  I’m really not that type of racer and may be one of the reasons I don’t win a lot.  You really have to be aggressive out there.

No photos that I could find. I ended up 7th and was happy to be racing.  Next year should be interesting….


Santa Rosa Cup

CX Nation

This last weekend was a big one from myself and CX Nation.  Carlos, Bike Monkey, and I decided to try 3 days of racing in a row this season.  The first two were going to be at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and due to lack of terrain, the last day was going to be at Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa.  This made for a logistical nightmare, since there would be racing on Saturday and we would have to be setting up for Sunday that day,,,plus two separate venues.  I was immediately regretting our decision.  But Carlos assured me that we could pull it off.   He threw a lot of money and staff at the races and they turned out pretty awesome.

FRIDAY:  Our own “Friday Night Light” and it was legit because it was truly on Friday.  We set up the course all day and made it just in time for the start of the racing.  I did a quick kids clinic at 4.  It was free and only one child participated.  I was a little bummed about that.  I want to try and get more kids involved.  On that note we are offering juniors to race for free this season and from here on out.  We got a fair number, but nothing staggering.  We will continue with this program and see what happens next season.

Carlos really threw a lot of people at this event, but even with all this help it really came down to the wire.  But like everything at Bike Monkey we pulled it off.  The course was fast and being nighttime I kept the whole race to flat sections of grass, so the course could be illuminated by the lights.  Racing started at 5 pm, so everybody had a chance to race at night.  Carlos and crew had a 90 degree ramp set up, which I had never seen before.  Then, you dropped into a maze of empty Lagunitas kegs.  I was surprised to hear that a lot of the elite riders were jumping over the kegs.  I just went around in my race. Not sure my legs were long enough for that.

A little video of the Elite A’s getting on it….

I usually like to get into the last race of the day, even though I am totally exhausted from setting up the course.  Usually it is the Elite A’s, but this time I converted my Rock Lobster bike to single speed using a White Industries ENO hub and a Praxis front ring.  I kept the rear derailleur on it so I could convert it back to a geared bike.  It was my inaugural race, so I didn’t have too many expectations.

Right out of the gate this MASH beast just crushes the long drag on the road.  I basically resided myself then and there to just hope for 2nd.  But with an hour of racing….you never know.  I just rode my race and as I got lapped by the front group of Elites I saw that guy falling backward.  It appeared he was waiting for his teammates that were in the Elite race…sure enough he was.  He went straight to the front and pushed the pace so two riders of four got dropped.  Then he blew up and rolled right back to me.  I blew right passed him and went on to take the win.  Crazy!!!



I got an early start and was on course by 5am in order to start changing the course.  Carlos and I decided to reverse it and add some terrain on the hillside.  The keg jump was gone and the course was lengthened a little, but lap times were still pretty fast.  Around 10am I took off and went to start marking the course at Spring Lake.  This was where the day got insane.  Putting on a race at one venue and starting to set up a race at another venue = dumb.  We had the crew, but it was so much hard work.  I eventually left Spring Lake around 1 and blazed back down to the Fairgrounds.  I threw my stuff on and jumped into single speed Round 2.  Again I rode away from the competition and claimed numero uno.  What a weekend!

SR Cup Brian 2015 (5)

Pushing a SS where I would have been riding a geared bike

Sage SR Cup 2015 (5)

Sage won Day 1 at night, then came up second to Finnerty on day 2

Sage SR Cup 2015 (6)

Sage up the ramp


If you can believe it….it rained throughout the night and into the morning.  I got up at 430 and had to ride my bike into Spring Lake since it was closed.  I had stayed till 7pm the previous night, setting up the course in the dark.  Saw some wild animals, hoped it wasn’t a mountain lion; the usual stuff.  In the pouring rain I finished marking the course.  Just as predicted the rain stopped at 6am.  It was a first – the weather people were right!  We barely got the course set up.  It was a huge course.  We had run it 3 years ago, but didn’t use the north side of the dam.  It is steep, but rideable.  However, the rain had made that section really greasy, so most of the earlier racers were running it.  In the last few races it was rideable.

We had some hiccups with the first few races, but got things together by the first couple races.  By the time the kids race rolled around at noon the course was tacking up nicely.  We had about 30 kids do the kids race and it was really cool.  Addie was a little scared with all the kids, but she decided to do it.  I was thinking that she would only do a 100 feet or so, but low and behold she did the whole thing.  I was so proud of her.


Addie ripping around the course, training and all…with mom pushing

 The last race of the weekend was the last race for me.  I lined up in the Single speed A’s and was off on course…feeling very, very tired.  The elevation in this course made for a tough time with my gearing.  I was grinding up a couple hills and after clipping a pedal on one hill I lost contact with 2nd place and had to settle for 3rd.  Vive La Tarte ride Ed Dorsey had the impressive double, winning the B’s and A’son his single speed.  Krisitn wrapped up 2nd in the overall with a 3rd place to Rachel Llyod and Caroline Dezendorf.  Sage took the win on the hilly par course as race leader Brian Finnerty (Cal-Giant) flatted.  Sage secured the overall with this win.  A great weekend for CX Nation and the Santa Rosa Cup.  And now rest….. ahhhhh.

SR Cup 2015 West (1)

Sage’s son, West, entered the juniors race on this bike. 6 years old and charging

SR Cup Kristin (2)

Kristin through the rock garden

SR Cup Brian 2015

On the dam…

Sage SR Cup 2015 (4)

Sage on the dam…

The Night Life

What turned out to be Round 1 and 2 of the Bay Area Superprestige race was last weekend.  After the cancellation of the first race due to permit problems, this was going to be our first chance to mix it up with the big boys.  Most of the time the “fringe” races in places like Sacramento and Monterey just bring out a handful of the top riders.  The BASP usually brings them all together for one big battle royale.  Sierra Point is called “Friday Night Lights” in honor of all those high school football teams that play at the end of the week.  Well, turns out this race is on Saturday, but we will give the organizers a little leeway with this one.  The course changed a little this year.  It is usually held on an old building site, well a site where a building was going to go.  Now it is just weeds and dirt.  Some of it is piled up around the course and they refer to that section at “the Alps”.  Well, some off wheelers got hold of the muddy field and forced the owners to put a fence around the Alps.  Not much elevation after this was done.  The dust was still there though.  HEPA mask optional.

The 35+ A’s went off at 6pm.  It was completely dark at that point which was nice.  No battling the setting sun.  They did call ups from last years race and I got on the front row, right next to Murray Swanson, who is a tremendously fast starter and the favorite in this race.  I got off to my usual fast start and slotted in right behind Murray.  In a split second he was gone.  I couldn’t believe it.  I hooked up with another guy that I didn’t recognize and we tried to catch up to Murray.  After one lap the guy was playing games, like weaving back and forth on the paved section.  He must have just watched a round of the Tour de France.  Just ride bro….  After another lap I was passed by Mundelius, Sage, Coates and a Tarte.  I tried to hang on and just got blown off.  We all went into the blender again and when I came out I had dropped National/World Champion Henry Kramer and sprinted to the line with Steve Oz.  7th place…not bad.  I haven’t really been feeling confident all year and this was the first time I felt pretty good.  I missed out on the repecharge on Sunday, where they got a little rain to knock the dust down and make it extra greasy.

Kristin BASP Sierra Point

CX Nation had a good night and next day – Kristin was 4th

Sage Podium BASP Sierra Point

Sage with a 3rd place at the night race

Benoit BASP Sierra Point

Benoit pulled off a strong 3rd in the Singlespeed B’s