Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More Euro' blogs

A couple of Redline team guys (Adam McGrath and Morgan Schmitt) are posting some blog entries of their current Euro' CX trip at

For some reason these posts, like Brandon Dwight's, are also filled with references to Belgian waffles... go figure.

Brandon Dwight Diaries

I assume that every rider in Norcal reads but if you aren't you should check out the rider diaries from Brandon Dwight over in Belgium. Great flavor of Euro' cross and fun reading.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, more

Friday, December 23, 2005

Discretionary picks for Cyclo-cross worlds

USA Cylcing announced the discretionary picks for CX Worlds:

In addition to the automatic selections:

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No More Beer Tents

No idea how this one escaped the Babble-meister, but it was reported way back in October that the UCI has banned the practice of running cross courses through a beer tent.

The following
blog entry (from Australia of all places... the only civilized country without a cyclocross scene...well, they understand their drinking anyhow) explains things pretty well:

"There's been an outbreak of wowserism in Belgium, where cycling bosses have banned the tradition of having bike races pass through beer tents.

The Belgians love their beer and love their cycling, and the habit of routing cyclocross races through the bar seemed to combine the two nicely.

now the UCI says it's not on and cites comments made by 'cross champion Richard Groenendaal last year about the dangers of being hit by flying beer glasses.

Isn't that why they wear helmets?

To his credit, Groenendaal has said his comments were misunderstood, but that hasn't stopped the safety police from cracking down.

On the other hand, cyclocross may be dangerous enough without the addition of flying glassware.

The off-road races take place in the dead of the European winter and see riders on road-style bikes tackling deep mud, ice, hills and fallen trees.

I don't think there are any cyclocross events in Australia, but if you know differently please
email the Desk."

What's next... no dresses in DFL races?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Natz Schedule - Great Idea

Kudos to the organizers of the 2005 Cyclocross Nationals. I think the idea of having the Elite Men race on Saturday and Women on Sunday was great to spread the Elite action out over 2 days. Plus, having the bonus race on Sunday (Liberty Mutal Cup) was kind of a throwback to the SuperCup days. Also, it made this photo possible. How cool is it to see a race led off by all the newly-crowned National Champions???

Saturday, December 10, 2005

US Helmet Visor Championships

Cranky cross commentator sez:
What's up with all the frickin' helmet visors? !
(Todd) (Troy)
This is cross, not BMX!!

A couple Natz links

Friday, December 09, 2005

Severe Weather Advisory for Providence


Hazardous Weather Outlook for Providence RI


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Live Webcast of CX Natz

From the Natz website:

Click for a Live Webcast
Live race coverage of the Elite Men's race.
Race radio starts at 2:30pm ET (11:30am PT) Saturday December 10th.

Why aren't your stupid friends racing cross?

You really need to get your friends and teammates to race 'cross, I mean REALLY. From what I've heard USAC membership numbers have been up the last couple of years in Nor-Cal, yet our CX races seem to be little sparsely-attended this season. It seems most of these new people are racing on the road of all places. I know I'm preaching to the choir but what about your friends? Why aren't they racing cross?

Why is this? My theories:

  1. The Norcal Elite Men are not as strong on the Nat'l scene. It seems our fearless foursome of Andy, Ben, Jackson, and Justin all have priorities like jobs, babies, road racing (sneer) that are eating into their CX time (don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with jobs and babies). What's more, nobody seems to be stepping up and filling their vacant spots. This bums me out. Note: we're not doing so badly in the Women's department with the Velo Bellas stepping up and trying to fill the shoes of Gina and Carmen. You may think it's a stretch to think that the absence of Elite riders has anything to do with turnout in the C's, B's, etc. I don't, these are the guys that inspired me to get all hot and heavy into cross and I know I'm not alone. Watching Justin racing at the '99 Natz in the Presidio was a pivotal moment in my cycling career - that next season I went from a retired roadie to a cx nut.
  2. We lack juniors/espoirs to step into these big shoes. My son Liam is still about 12 years from racing cross...any other ideas? So. Cal (namely Scary Fast Racing) is doing a great job recruiting juniors. Everyone knows how great Rad Racing has been doing with kids in the NW. If we can get some clubs to do with Juniors what Velo Bella and the Velo Girls have done for Women, we'll be on the right track. Any ideas out there? I hear great stuff about mentoring on the road.
  3. Sponsorship - most teams are based around the road racing season (argh!!!) and my team is no different. CX season is at the end of the year when most of the money is spent and resources are gone. Why is so much money going to Road Racing? Are they really getting that much more exposure? There needs to be a "paradigm shift" in the thinking of sponsorship. Cyclocross is an excellent spectator sport where you can actually read the logos on our skinsuits. I challenge you to read ANYTHING off a jersey at the next crit you watch. Plus, people actually enjoy watching cyclocross. There are exceptions - Velo Bella has its priorities straight. Clif Bar gave us a glimpse a couple of seasons back what dedicated resources to the sport can accomplish - sending four riders to Worlds.
  4. Three Words: East Coast Nationals. This shouldn't be a deterrent, but sadly it is. CX Nats is a hoot and everyone knows it. Get over it and next year plan on travelling to RI, so it's a few hours more on a plane than Portland.
  5. Because I am not racing this year. I'm sure this accounts for most of you and I'm really touched. I feel your pain, you're so upset that I'm not out there going cross-eyed trying to latch on to the J-M's wheels that YOU decided to take the season off as well. Thanks, but it really isn't necessary. Come back next year please and I'll try to do the same. I promise.

So...these numbers are all road racers? Gimme a break. What are these people thinking? Here's my Top 10 reasons they should be racing cx:

  1. Chicks dig cross. And they race, too. Have you hugged a Bella today?
  2. Get Noticed. Have you ever heard someone scream your name in a road race? crit? That's because they can't find you. At most CX races I see, nearly every rider has fans cheering for them. Plus, Russ and Nancy and a about 4 or 5 other people took a close-up picture of you and put it on their website, and you didn't even have to take a flyer for that perk.
  3. Meet people. Yeah, before and after a CX race you can hang with some cool folks. Everyone is laid back here. Attitudes are left at home and your legs and lungs do the talking. The CX community is a close-knit and quirky bunch - where the carbon-craving techno-dweeb meets the tatooed cross-dressing bike messenger.
  4. Get better at riding a bike. CX requires skills and will definitely help your power and handling skills. Oh, is this why your stupid friends don't ride 'cross? Well then make fun of them for it at every opportunity, especially when they biff trying to bunny hop that broken bottle on the side of the road.
  5. Have a life off the bike even though you're in training. Elite racers rarely require rides much longer than 2hrs, shorter than most Cat 4 roadies train! Also, the season is only 4 months long, meaning that come January you can go snowboarding and not worry that you're missing some silly early-bird races. In CX, DFL is the early-bird race, and I'll be damned if you can have that much fun at some dumb training crit. Oh yeah, and you can race every weekend barely drive more than an hour each way.
  6. Weather. Bay Area pretty much has the perfect weather in the Fall. Or do your friends prefer sweltering in July in some god-forsaken Central Valley hellhole? Jumpin' Junipers did you see the forecast for Providence this weekend?
  7. Fun. I'm not sure how we manage to have so much fun doing something that hurts so much, but we do. Probably has something to do with brevity of the races, and 1-3 above. Also, did you ever get a beer feed in a road race?
  8. CX bikes are the ultimate utility bike. Double-duty as a road bike with a quick tire swap, or triple-duty as a commuter - it can handle it. Perfect bike for a long ride on fire roads or a mixed pavement/gravel ride. Think: road ride without cars...
  9. Learn how to really hurt. CX is as intense as you get. If you're wearing a HRM then you'll know your max HR in about 3 minutes if you dare look. Maybe this is why your stupid friends don't race cross?
  10. Avoid injury. Sure, you fall down and get a little scratched up from time-to-time, but that's nothing compared to sliding on your ass with 10 guys on a greasy corner into a curb because some joker took a stupid risk. Also, you can train on dirt thus lowering your probability of getting run over by a soccer mom in a Ford Excursion.

Is there something I missed?

Seriously, why aren't your pansy-ass friends racing cross??? Tell me...and tell them!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Pro-B's

Ok gang, here's a rant I've been sitting on all season. I'm speaking of the cyclocross phenomenon you could call The Pro-B's.

During the races this season, especially at bigger events like Surf City, Pilarcitos and US Gran Prix, I started noticing something ... a lot of the guys warming up for the B races looked a lot more "pro" than the A/Elite racers themselves.

I'm not talking about sandbaggers here (I'll leave that to the comments section and the Cross Crusade
forums), or about the question of the UCI and their stinkin' badges that consigned the lesser licensed elites to the B category at Golden Gate Park, and which may be fixed next year with license categories.

What I'm talking about is B riders with sterner
game face, better kit, tighter bikes, taking more time with course recon, and generally more amperage than the average A racer. (Those A's being the less-employed, under-groomed, old-bike, chilling out attitude, old school type of bike racer that you see so much in the A's, especially in the 831 area code).

Not a good thing, not a bad thing, just an interesting thing. So what's up with that?

--Dave Carr

Coyote Point Rant

In fact, I have nothing bad to say about this course... wide, clean, tricky in spots, fast in spots, something for everyone. Great way to end the Pilarcitos series. Thanks Tom & Co. Though I must note, it's now December and there's still been no mud of any kind anywhere...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Winter Racing in Fresno

The Fresno folks reminded me there's more racing out yonder. They even have a nighttime race! Follow the linkety link.

pro crosser blogs

From Steven Woo :

Tree Farm

Todd Wells

and there's a long interview with a U23 rider at:

with an upcoming blog at:

Friday, December 02, 2005

Horner to race Natz

Noted without comment....

"A newcomer to cyclo-cross, Chris Horner, will line up to race at the Liberty Mutual U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships.

Horner recently made his cyclo-cross debut at the final two races in the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross in California. Starting from the middle of the pack, Horner made up for a lack of prowess with pure power. He placed 13th and 11th, respectively, and earned crucial UCI points to secure a good start position in Providence. Rhode Island.

"I had a blast," Horner told the crowd after the final race, the Grand Prix Clark Natwick in San Francisco. "I think this suits me."

Horner dominated American road racing for nearly a decade before racing his first Tour de France in 2005. Despite breaking a leg early in the season, Horner won a stage in the Tour de Suisse and nearly made two strong breakaways stick during his Tour debut. Horner also placed second at the Wachovia USPRO Road Championships.

Horner will step to the start of the elite race on December 10 to match skills with the lauded likes of Jonathan Page, Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, Adam Craig, Todd Wells, and Mark McCormack. The men's elite race is set to begin promptly at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. "

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Singlespeeds with the B's at Coyote Point

From Tom Simpson:
There is a discrepancy on re. the timing of the Singlespeed category. The schedule will be as shown on the website, not the PDF flyer: Singlespeeds run with the B's at 1:30 pm both days. Thanks.