Everybody’s already buzzing about the upcoming cross season. Race calendars have been posted, clinics are on the schedule, and I just saw the poster for this year’s top-secret outlaw series in San Francisco. Folks are dusting off their bikes, gluing on their tubulars, and dreaming about beer hand-ups, dollar grabs, Spooky Cross costumes, and the top step on the podium.
What’s this crazy sport called cyclocross? What was, at one time, considered an off-season sport for roadies and mountain bikers to maintain some high-end winter fitness, has grown to become a focus sport for many bike racers. From September through January, folks will toe the line for the most intense 30-60 minutes of racing you can imagine, riding on all types of terrain (sand, grass, gravel, pavement, mud, ice, and snow), leaping off their bikes and jumping over barriers, shouldering their bikes to run up hills, and hanging out with other bike-loving folks in a very spectator-friendly environment. With local races at venues all over Northern CA, you can’t find a better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday this fall/winter. Cross is also a very family-friendly environment and many races even have events for the kids!
You’ll find all the deets on norcal cyclocross here: http://ncncacx.blogspot.com/
Favorite series like Bay Area Super Prestige, CCCX, and Surf City return with awesome racing. New this year is the Norcal CX Series, which incorporates some long-time favorite races like the Lion of Fairfax and Stafford Lake, and introduces some new races like the Kitten of Vallejo and the San Jose Cougar.
Matt McNamara of Sterling Sports Group
If you want to start racing cyclocross, or to refine your skills and take your racing up a notch, there are skills clinics and organized cyclocross rides offered throughout the fall. The first of these clinics is our own Savvy Bike Skills 103 (cyclocross skills and tactics) on August 24th, guest-coached by Matt McNamara of Sterling Sports Group. This is the 11th year we’ve offered this clinic, with a variety of guest coaches, and it’s always a participant favorite! Matt is a top-notch coach and a really funny guy who’s been racing and coaching pretty much every discipline of cycling for more than two decades. We’re thrilled that he’s coaching Bike Skills 103 and encourage you to register for this co-ed, 4-hour clinic.
Whether you race or spectate, I think you’ll find cyclocross is just about the most fun you can have on a bike!