The fit race 'cross and 'cross gets 'em filthy!

Sagebrush Forges Ahead after the Loss of Greif

11 August 2015

For the past couple seasons, Erica Greif was a massive force behind a surgent ‘cross scene out of Reno. The Sagebrush Cyclocross Series was ably managed by Noah Silverman beforehand when Greif’s commitment and energy began to show promise; the series took on newer venues and newer participants. The Sagebrush team of Greif, Silverman, Nick Schaffner, and others brought in terrific changes such as cyclocross clinics and an oddity venue in the Truckee Bike Park. That latter locale brought in competitors from the Sacramento area as well as a new crop of youngsters keen to compete on a ‘cross course rolling through a pump and BMX track.

Erica Greif lost her life earlier this year. The outpouring of sentiment and emotion, following the tragic car accident, reflects the meaningful affect Greif had on those who knew her well or were a part of the cycling community in Reno and beyond.

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The mantle passes now to others to continue Greif’s contribution in regional ‘cross. President of the Reno Wheelmen, Coby Rowe, takes on a leading role for the Sagebrush series. “We’re a little behind this year because of that loss,” remarked Rowe, “and there’s no doubt she had a definite impact on the cyclocross scene here. [She was] just a great positive person. The Reno Wheelmen run the Sagebrush events and working with Erica was such a great experience.

“Some of the people that helped Erica last year, and ran Sagebrush before Erica got involved, [will] step up to help us continue the series and fill the void left behind with her passing.”

“Noah Silverman has been fantastic in helping us keep this moving forward,” continued Rowe. “The Sagebrush Series has had a lot of terrific people involved. Along with Noah, there are a lot of great people stepping up to make sure it happens. Everybody loved Erica. Beyond their passion for cyclocross, the people that are helping out are doing this as recognition for who she was.”

This season’s Sagebrush Cyclocross Series has five events and opens with CrossReno on 19 September 2015. The calendar currently appears on the website for Reno Wheelmen with further details and race times to appear there or the dedicated site for the Sagebrush Cyclocross Series.

Along with CrossReno, the Truckee Bike Park venue will also host a USAC-sanctioned race.

Adding to their efforts to increase ridership in ‘cross and cycling, Sagebrush and Reno Wheelmen will continue with clinics. And, this season or next, there will be gravel events. As Rowe describes, “Gravel is not intimidating to a lot of cyclists. You don’t need to have a lot of the peloton etiquette that you might need in a road race. I think it’s more approachable to cyclists.

“So, the number of people participating in those events is going to grow. What you’ll see from Sagebrush and Reno Wheelmen are events to encourage people to get out on the gravel, learn skills, and have fun in a competitive atmosphere.

“There’s a lot of history in the cyclocross community here with people like Dave Eastwood and Silverman. Not that it was necessarily a rogue or outlaw thing but it’s definitely come along way and it’s grown. The vibe has continued. It’s a great atmosphere and a lot of fun to ride.

“In our community, as well as other cycling communities, everybody knows each other and they’re very encouraging. They’re always there to help with car pooling, suggestions for tires, or offering a front wheel for goat heads just before race-starts. It really is fun and an amazing part of cycling as far as growth goes over the next few years.”

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