Friday, October 29, 2010


The Surf City Cyclocross Series fires into action this Sunday with it's famous Halloween Cross event, "Witch" over time has grown into one of the best Costume Races & Halloween themed Cross parties in America!

Ciclista Bonita has made huge contributions to the planned activities.  You know if Miss Mary & the fine females of Ciclista Bonita are involved, it is sure to be a great, fun filled time for all who attend.

The Halloween event is spooktacular, and you might see Witches, Gremlins, and Freaks of all kinds racing their Cyclocross bikes this October 31st at Harbor High for the Surf City Series.

The nationally famous and world renowned "Costume Race" makes for classic fun and shows how Northern California is not only serious about racing Cyclocross, but Nor-Cal is also very serious about having fun with Cyclocross when the time is right.  The Halloween event with Ciclista Bonita and the Surf City Series is the right time to race hard and have some serious fun! 

I am sure Mike Evans and crew will put together a fun & challenging course.  Next, it is up to the NCNCA Cryclocross racers to get creative and come up with some very wild and zany costumes.  It seems each year the level of entertaining, innovative, and idea-centric Cyclocross costume racing raises to higher and higher levels.  I look forward to seeing what goes down this year for the Surf City Halloween Cyclocross event.  The fun loving members of the Nor-Cal Cyclocross peloton are guaranteed to not disappoint when it comes to Cyclocross mixed with a shot of Halloween!

Instructors include
                                 Sheila Moon, Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel
                                      Aaron Bradford,
                                       Ben Dodge, Rock Lobster CX Team
                                          Abe Rostein, Freewheel Hunter

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It has been a while since the NCNCA Districts for Cyclocross have been contested in Reno, and promoter Kevin Joell is committed to making the event outstanding.  For future updates keep a eye on the Reno Wheelman website.  Cross is always exciting in the rarefied air of Reno, and District Champion titles will be on the line at Clayton Middle School on Nov. 20.

If you ever have a chance to make it to Fresno for some racing, I highly recommend the Homegrown Cyclocross Series.  This series throws down some competitive competitions mixed with a very friendly and fun filled race environment.  The courses are good, and the Fresno cycling scene continues to grow each season.  I personally have enjoyed racing Cyclocross and Road events in Fresno, and I always try to pump up the race scene there.  When posting about Fresno Cross I must make mention of the great Clu Cotter, who passed away in January this year in a tragic helicopter accident.  Clu was a mainstay of Fresno Cyclocross, and a man who was dignified and honorable as a competitor and a true friend to all.  Clu loved his Cyclocross and is sorely missed.

Another opportunity for Cross racing in Northern California can be found at the RIDE ON RACE SERIES, which takes place in the Shasta & Tehama counties.  Race attendance has continued to increase in each year of the races held in and around Shasta and Redding.  This is another prime example of how Cyclocross brings communities together and it's popularity in places such as Shasta County will continue to rise as long as there are races to tackle.


Some interesting videos making the rounds on the Bay Area Cyclocross Group e-mail list. 

It will be very interesting to see if Stybar can maintain his success when the courses are made up of mud, ice, snow, frost, downpour, and the racing slows dramatically & becomes much more technical.  The conditions so far in Europe have been fairly tame during 2010 Cyclocross.

Watch as riders plow through the roads that are nothing but mud bogs and swamp-like sections of course.  I like the chaos of the pit zones with no real structure at all, just a free for all with riders fighting for a new bike from their support crews.  The leaders were putting out some serious power on one of the most mud filled race routes I have seen for Cross.  The crowds were extremely thick over the entire course and sometimes were acting up at fever pitch, but that race looked simply out of this world hard!  Some of the running sections were endless and the mud that day was first class.  I must admit that the riders of that era were excellent bike handlers in the slippery slop, and their Cross moves on and off the bike are beautiful to watch.  Lastly, that tree log-stair run up section appeared to be overly steep and incredibly demanding to conquer, it had the slower riders just crawling upward to make the top.

I like the running start.... we need more of those now a days.  You have to check out the stream-water crossings in this video.  Any time you see riders tossing their bikes first into the stream and then jumping in after, you have to appreciate their creativity.  A few riders really sling their bikes far, and have to really fish for the bikes in the deep water to just find them as they proceed to cross the obstacle.  Listen to the commentator mention the racing ages of the group back then, he says 12 to 40 years old.  They might have better water crossings then Nor-Cal Cross today, but we top them in age variation.  Nor-Cal Cyclocross now has some select events with free kids races where 6 year old youths take to course, as well as some of our most senior riders- 65+ Masters aged studs who I personally admire and respect for their fitness and fire for life!

Lastly, I always liked Hans Kellner's video work of select events.  Kellner literally gets right into the action, and his helmet camera videos are legendary!
2010 Monkey Cross #1 - Men's B Start

 It was good to see Alex Candelario claim the win at this past weekend's Sac. Town race.  It would be really good if  Ben Jacques-Maynes, Andy Jacques-Maynes, and Candelario battled against each other and the other top Elite Men Cross racers of the NCNCA this season.   Having those three top level Road riders, who all can race Cross at a equally high level,  test the current crop of Nor-Cal's best pure Cross athletes would make for some very interesting action on course.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


captured some great images of the weekend's racing, and as you can see below mud was center stage & star of the show.  In a way it worked out to be a "perfect storm" for Cross racing far!
The first real rains of the season hit just in time for the past weekend's racing to be dominated by mud, and bring to life course conditions that true Cyclocross racers dream of all summer long.

How will the rest of the season play out as far as rain, storms, and mud index ratings go???

Only time will tell.........

Congratulations to Alex Candelario and Joan Gregg who dominated the days action and posted the best times for  Men and Women at Howard Park!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Mud and rain ruled the weekend racing for Northern California Cyclocross enthusiasts.
Epic conditions forced out the best in NCNCA racers, as equipment and perseverance were tested to the max.

No results could be found from Sacramento at the time of this post, Santa Rosa Monkey Cross Results here.  Certainly mud was involved in the outcome of these two contests!
Manzanita Park at CCCX #5 turned into a mud bath as the day progressed and rain drenched the grounds continually.  Kerry Barnholt(Scott/Ritchey) and Aaron Bradford( slogged their way to outstanding Elite division race wins on the day over very large fields.

Barnholt at her best when conditions got worse...

Bradford simply rode away from the pack on his way to victory...
It was a weekend to dig deep in the awesome Cross conditions...
It truly was a mud bath for most of the racers at Manzanita Park...
Eric Bustos(Cal Giant/Specialized) having fun...
Cyclocross at it's best went down this weekend in Nor-Cal...
       Kathleen Bortolussi(Bay 101/HRS/Rock Lobster) showed no fear in the mud...
Constant downpour forced riders to dig extra deep to get to the finish line...

Please view the CCCX Race #5 selected photos below from Sunday's racing to get the full impact of how seriously fun it was to race in the super wet conditions riders and spectators were blessed with...

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Some of the most epic races, and most memorable cycling victories come to life in the worst possible conditions.

Winter weather is definitely creeping closer to reality, and this weekend could feature some classic Cross conditions as the Sagebrush Series and the Santa Rosa Series race on Saturday & the CCCX Series and Sacramento Series go off on Sunday.

Northern California is not known for adverse Cross racing conditions like the Northwest, or the East Coast.  Yet on occasions the sky's can open up and rain, sleet, snow, and showers, can overwhelm venues and produce epic days of racing that never seem to leave ones memory.
As the conditions get tricky and trails get slick or sloppy, bike handling comes into play far more then a sunny day race on fast roads and hard-packed trails.  Riders who can keep producing power while navigating testy terrain are the stars of Cyclocross when conditions are at their worst.  Winter racing requires proper tire choices, equipment overhauls each week, and most of all a hard nosed rider who is not afraid to get cold, wet and covered in mud.
It is still early enough in the Cross season that the odds are favorable racing will not turn into complete chaos on course with mud and water being the main ingredients of the race route for the day.
Yet this could be the first weekend of the 2010 Cross season where the days are cold and conditions resemble that of the frigid dark days in Belgium, where Cross is King and the racers fight it out each weekend to raise the level of sport for all.

Just maybe this weekend we will see a little rain to make things slightly more interesting when riders hit to course!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Paul Doran is featured now on the NCNCA CYCLOCROSS PHOTO PAGE.
Please have a look at Doran's select photos there...
NCNCA Cross racers are very fortunate to have Doran make his appearances at different events.
Doran has a knack for capturing select moments in time where racer is locked in focus and seemingly engaged in a trance like state of mind as they battle on during the race.
Speaking with Paul Doran personally, he has shared his appreciation of Cyclocross racing and the on course action, passion, and drama the sport brings out from it's riders that he attempts to film.
Doran has done most of his work over the past few years at Road events on the NCNCA Calendar.  However, now he is making a effort to hit selected races during the winter and take in some of the sights and images that Cyclocross racing can deliver.
This version of the NCNCA CYCLOCROSS PHOTO PAGE is Paul Doran's work from the Toro Park CCCX event.
Plus the BASP Series event at Merritt College in Oakland.
Northern California takes their Cyclocross very seriously, and you can clearly see the commitment and effort from the riders in Doran's photos.
The images that all the photographers from Nor-Cal get from Cyclocross racing is only going to get better as the rain and adverse conditions come into play during the races!
Hopefully Paul Doran, and the other outstanding photographers from this region, will brave the bad conditions just as the racers do, and get the best photos of the Cross racing season.  The best and most epic photos truly appear when the conditions are the hardest and adverse weather makes the racing brutal, yet most rewarding for Northern California's dedicated Cyclocross racers.