1 September 2015
Recently, Paul Sadoff revealed Scott Chapin’s move to the new Santa Cruz Factory Racing Team. The comment that struck as “most interesting” was a reminder that Rock Lobster had been Chapin’s only cyclocross team. Often known as Buckethead and sometimes as the mascot and inspiration to his team, Chapin is both a character (Sadoff described it as a different wavelength) and a great cyclocross racer. Perfect evidence of the former may well come from Chapin’s interview with NorCal Cycling News after a race in 2012.
The calibre of Chapin’s results attest to his capability as a cyclocross racer. From six of the last seven BASP Sierra Point Night Races, Chapin’s average finishing position is second (2.3), including wins at the two most recent runnings. Throughout the 2014-15 season, he finished only once outside the top five in 16 regional races. In previous years, Chapin has been a frequent podium or top-five finisher.
23 August 2015
Distinctive in the orange Vive La Tarte kit and sporting an impressive set of brachium and brachioradiales, Ryan Rinn is one of the top single speed racers in NorCal Nevada cyclocross. Throughout the region last year, Rinn improved upon his 2013-14 season by finishing on the podium for 20 of his 24 single speed races; even the odd mechanical failures were unable to keep him from a podium step. Not only has he earned and deserved the respect from his competitors, Rinn is the target of a slew of heckles regarding the musculature of his arms, referred to as his “guns”.
13 August 2015
Last season saw a new rider in the ranks for the Elite Men of NorCal Nevada cyclocross. Racing for Voler/HRS/Rock Lobster, the relative unknown ghosted into the region with an impressive year of results. He began the season with four top-tens before running off eight podium finishes. Amongst that latter span were two first place finishes, at Maxwell Park (Santa Rosa Cup CX) and Stafford Lake (NCCX), against very good competition. In particular, both of those wins were against team mate Scott Chapin in the field.
Max Judelson introduced himself with stealth and aplomb last year but this season now has to contend with a field that knows his excellent abilities all too well. He will continue to add to the region’s competitiveness in the Elite ranks.
3 August 2015
Point of view filming has brought along a plethora of action cameras at cycling and other sports or non-athletic events. They bring remarkable, often rarely seen perspectives and angles in activities that range from the mundane to the exciting. And, regardless of the banality, the uniqueness of the video is nearly always interesting at the first time of seeing if not for following every nuance where a camera can go that only the mind’s eye may follow.
NorCal Nevada Cyclocross’ very own Videographer
Still photographers are aplenty at regional cyclocross races but are only able to record one genera of perspectives. One of the first persons to do so, if not the first, Hans Kellner documents his cyclocross races with videography using a first person, point of view helmet camera. He is one of the crowd favorites at ‘cross races and easily spotted by a camera perched upon his helmet, rather like an oxpecker. Starting as far back as 2001, however, recognizing Kellner was neither straightforward nor completely obvious.
“Strangely enough I started to want to document some [of my races] and I purchased a helmet cam,” revealed Kellner. “It was just a rare thing at the time. Back in 2001, I did my first cyclocross race with a helmet cam. That was at Surf City on the old course at Fort Ord, with the 100-yard sand run-up. Looking back at that footage it looks like eons ago.
“When I first started out, the helmet camera itself was actually quite small, almost smaller than the current GoPro’s. But, it didn’t have any recording capability. It was really just the lens and camera. I needed to carry a video recorder and that was a heavy little mini-DV recorder that I had to place in a CamelBak.
“I used to race with the video recorder in the CamelBak with the cables coming out up to my helmet and attached to the camera on top of my helmet. Not many people knew about recording like that at the time. I’d hear comments like ‘why is the guy racing with a light’ or ‘why is he racing with a CamelBak’. So there was a lot of confusion until people started to realize I am the one filming and posting these videos.”
31 August 2014
NorCalNevada cyclocross is replete with top national and world-class racers. But, the community is deep and inclusive with those that “abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality” to many that are simply intoxicating racers. One may see a bike messenger or a stodgy corporate head and the ages span nearly diaper to diaper. Out on course are many that are swift and strong or lean and mean…but then there is Chris Neher.
30 August 2014
The Central California Off-Road Cyclists, CCORC, otherwise affectionally pronounced as ‘cork’, put on Fresno’s Homegrown Cyclocross Series. This season will see three events at the Woodward Park venue: 9 November, 7 December, and 14 December, 2014. The locale is at the southern edge of the bicycle-racing district, or perhaps the northern edge of that district to the south. More than one person has described Fresno as an unwanted baby for both districts.
The small cyclocross series has its challenges yet does have a terrific place to race in Woodward Park. The layout has varying terrain, including grass, elevation changes, and a different course each race-day. It wants for an audience and wandering cyclocrossers would not meet with disappointment should they find themselves in Central California looking for a ‘cross race.