Wet, Wet, Wet!
16 November 2012
It seems such a long time since a good wet cyclocross race in Northern California. Last season had the SSCXWC as the only significantly wet event. Events earlier this season were dry and dusty and the previous rains only served to cut down the dust. The weather simply had failed to co-operate with cyclocross. ‘All good things come to those who wait’ is the phrase and the fit and filthy will have their lot. As of early today, the NOAA weather forecast shows rain throughout the weekend at all venues.
Four events are on tap with Sagebrush, Santa Rosa Cup, SacCX, and the ‘grandfather’ of Bay Areas ‘cross, Surf City Cyclo-X. The latter will run on Sunday (18 November) at the Watsonville Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, the Monterey-Santa Cruz Bay Area; it’s a terrific venue for the wet and mud.
Ben Jacques-Maynes has designed the course and photographs on the interwebs show a run-up that is certain to tax everybody in the rain. It will certainly challenge the best. Miss Mary Perez and Ciclista Bonita have done much to continue this long-running series; Juniors have their one-day USAC licences paid for by the organizers. Participants are asked to bring along donations for the local Second Harvest Food Bank.
On Saturday, the Sagebrush Cyclocross Series holds its event at Davis Creek Park, Washoe Valley in Nevada. For the Sagebrush faithful and those willing to make the long drive over the hill, snow levels may be only several hundred meters above the race course. High temperatures are forecast to remain below 50ºF with a 70% chance of precipitation. This small series on the outskirts of the NCNCA provides for excellent grass-root cyclocross.
Santa Rosa Cup CX, put on by Bike Monkey and CX Nation, returns to Place-to-Play Park in Santa Rosa. When damp, the mud is very sticky and heavy. It will be interesting to see the racing should the rains soak the ground. The course can be very fast when dry and there is a plethora of off-camber embankments; the racing there is always top-notch.
Earlier this year, the Lange Twins Winery asked for a wet race and the Sacramento Cyclocross Series may see just that this Sunday. Two years ago, this Acampo venue saw excellent ‘cross racing through deep puddles covering an ever-changing bottom. Wine, pizza, and mud is a great mix for ‘cross racers and spectators alike.
There is a rich mix of ‘cross racing this weekend with plenty to go around for racers and spectators. The latter may well see the best of cyclcross of the season so far as the former get filthy.