The ‘Cross so Far
The ‘Cross so Far
Cyclocross in Northern California
23 October 2013
It is now the second half of October and the NorCal ‘cross season is at full tilt. Racers have had nearly twenty events to fulfill their bent, not to mention the maverick races. Of the multi-event series in Northern California, only Homegrown has yet to hold a race; they begin their season on the weekend before Hallows’ Eve.
In what has become a September-heavy series over the past 2 years, Central Coast Cyclo•Cross has already held five events. Cal Giants tuned up at both Fort Ord season openers. The C.S.U.M.B. course was the usual sand trap whilst Toro Park produced the goods with grass, dirt, road, and a natural barrier in the form of an enormous tree-root. Meanwhile, nearly rating as an out-of-nowhere chronicle, and fulfilling the mantra of participating to win, Monica Harris is grinding out the points to lead in Elite Women.
True ‘cross weather unexpectedly appeared at Lagoon Valley Park, part of the Sacramento Cyclocross Series. It turned a comparatively tame course into a slippery mud-rink and added to that spectator-racer interaction only seen at ‘cross races. The unpreparedness of many involved led to wild yet outstanding racing as well as a handful of those much sought-after images of cyclocross.
NorCal CX had an excellent event at San Jose Cougar with the best rider-turnout, outside of a BASP event, along with very tough racing. The begrudging compliments made on the field of battle reflect its status as a challenging yet worthy ‘cross course. The Murphy Mack and Crew produced series is a welcome addition to the local scene even though Fairfax is not where it’s supposed to be.
Although there is a Northern California further north, a future assignment for Fit and Filthy, on the outskirts of the NCNCA is the Sagebrush Cyclocross Series. Many of their regular racers reach deep into Bay Area territory and race at CCCX and Surf City. The series’ recent event, at the Truckee Bike Park, produced a most peculiar course employing both a BMX and Pump track. There were more traditional ‘cross components in the circuit but other novelties were playing dodge with soccer balls and the sprinkler-rain.
‘Cross-purists may clear their throats in disgust but the event drew an extraordinary number of juniors; introducing a plethora of youngsters to cyclocross is a potential outcome. In any case, Jared Kessler was sited racing in Marc Pro-Strava kit, prematurely announcing his road plans for 2014.
Northern California Cyclocross has more in the store for its 2013-14 season. Surf City’s Hallows’ Eve race is at a changed venue on 27 October; the loss of UCI standing at Spooky Cross may instead see more top local riders costume their way to Santa Cruz. Stafford Lake is up next for NorCal CX on 3 November. Then there is Sierra Point Night Cross from BASP on 9 November. For a more complete schedule, consult the NCNCA Calendar.