Welcome back to my weekly Friday post! Last week I posted that we were going to try racing cyclocross and we did, and it was fucking awesome even though my lungs crashed and burned… literally.
RL, Rocky and I headed to Moreno Valley to give Cyclocross a try. Rocky does not own a Cyclocross bike but the race promoters were renting them out for $10.00, yes, ten dollars!!! Rocky rented a nice Raleigh RX 2.0 cyclocross bike.
They had the perfect “race” for us newbies to try out. One lap of the circuit and we even got a clinic! We were taught the basics of cyclocross such as dismounting, mounting, carrying the bike, going up the stairs, riding through sand and hopping the barriers. The clinic helped a lot because we actually got to pre-ride the entire course giving us a sense of confidence.
There were 13 of us, some racers chose to ride Mountain bikes and others were riding proper Cyclocross bikes. I started pretty strong, felt good but then my lungs started to burn, my bronchial passages started to close and I could not breath properly. By 3/4 of the race, I was done. RL and Rocky passed me by and so did the rest of the riders except the 10 year old riding the BMX bike. Yeah, I sucked and I was hurting but dammit this shit was fun.
Unfortunately we chose to race the last race of the season, but now that we have a cyclocross under our belt, I am already planning for next season!
Hello fellow Mountain bikers, cyclocrossers, downhillers and anyone who happened to arrive via Google. I hope you enjoyed our last 2 reviews; that Whisky sure makes a great after-ride drink! If you have followed us for the last 10 years, yes, Ten.Freaking.Years. You know that we have tried all sorts of racing; Downhill, XC, Super D and 24 hour races. However, we have never raced cyclecross.
If you follow my posts at bikecommuters.com, you probably know that my commuter bike is a Spicer Cycles Cyclocross bike. I always said that CX bikes make excellent commuter bikes, they are sort of the “Jeeps” of bicycles. If you are not familiar with cyclocross bikes, they are basically road bikes with knobby tires and higher clearance. They are stupid fun to ride.
So this weekend, yours truly and the Bossman are going to race cyclocross. Well, more like “attempt” to race cyclocross. The holidays were really kind to us with tamales, ham, wine and more tamales so we are lugging around a few extra pounds. It does not help that the famous “El nino” got here a year late (typical Mexican) so we have not had much riding time, but what the hell, it is not like we ever did any training when we used to race!
Last weekend the boys were out racing some Super D at the KMC Chains Winter Series at Southridge. So we asked each racer to give us a brief report on their race experience.
First up is Knight Rider-Kyle Knight:
Super D was pretty cool this week. I liked the layout of this course super fun pretty tech and kept me on my toes. I was able to get in a little bit of practice, really trying to get the rock garden line down. My run went well felt good about my race run on the techy parts but there were some sprint spots that I just could not push as hard as I would have liked. Over all great weather, great dirt after the rain, and a really fun course. Thank you to my sponsorsminbikeriders.com and Dainese D-Store of Orange County. I placed 15th out of 21 racers.
Round #3 at the KMC Chains Winter Series, if you can call it winter. We had a light amount of rain during the week, which made track conditions nearly perfect, in addition to the layout of the course, which was long and fun, we couldn’t ask for more. This time around we had a good number of racers in our class, well over 20, and fast guys. The track was long, with some fast turns, a technical rocky part, which we practiced a few times to get the line memorized, in addition there was a good little climb, which on this type of race format was going to get just about everyone.
Race time came about, I took off confident, first fast turns, no problem, not crazy fast, just fast enough.
Climbing time, pedaled it, paced myself as there was plenty more to come, as the climbing section was over, I felt the stress on my legs from the climb, then the rock garden, I was confident and tired, I pushed through it, made it through, then I got confident, hit a small rock and went over the bars, ouch! Yes I was mad, good bye race time…
I got up as soon as I could, straighten my bike, hoped on it, and kept going. I tried to push a little harder to make up time, and stumbled on another section that I usually know by heart, but oh well, I kept at it. I finished off the race, I was tired, mad, and at the same time happy, I was still in one piece, with just a small bruise from my crash.
I was the first one of the team to make it down, I went over by the finish line to cheer on my team mates as they came across the finish line. So here we are, another event in the books, took 19th place out of 24 I think, maybe less, all I know is I was not last. This was a fun day, the mistakes I made only make it for a better story to tell if I don’t win. I want to thank my team mates, for the fun times, and. All the sponsors we have, and overall God for keeping us safe, none of us suffered any major injuries, and we look forward to the next one
Dan Burdett is a man of a few words, actually he’s not. The guy looooooves to talk. If you get a chance to, ask him about audio and visual equipment. He’ll give you break down on everything you need to know. However, he works really hard on the race course. Dan took 8th in Sport Men 35+
The belle of the ball would be Adam Spik. He just came off training for marathons and drinking raw eggs and punching a side of beef in a meat packing house. Plus he saved a little girl and her kittens from a burning building just the day before. He too is a man of a few words. When I asked him for his race report, this is what I got….
3rd place “Thanks to the support of MtnBikeRiders.com and The Dainese Store of Orange County.” I couldn’t have done it without you.
So there you have it folks! Thanks to all the guys for putting 100% of effort out there and we do want to thank our sponsors MtnBikeRiders.com and The Dainese D-Store Orange County
First race of the year which also means this was the first race at the KMC Chains Winter Series at Southridge, Fontana. What can I say, we had perfect temperatures for riding, a very dry course for winter, no rain, no mud, and many people out there trying to get it. We started out the morning by doing the registration line, which was short, but still took us 1 hr to get to the front due to the XC racers showing up late for registration, then Kyle as well as a couple of my other friends, Sandra,Kevin and myself headed up to do some practice runs. As we got to the top of the road, we started looking for the blue arrows which marks the SD course, we did 4 little runs on a section until someone told us we were on the wrong track, the SD course was on the other side of the hill, and not on what we were running on.
I got to do 2 dry runs before the race. Didn’t feel that great about it, just felt ok. Not too fast, not too slow, and due to the dry, dusty and sandy conditions of the track I didn’t want to go too fast either. Race time came about, I was pumped and ready. I lined up at the start, 3, 2, 1, Go!
I felt really good on my run, and a few slow sections, and made it down in 1 piece, overall I was happy with the Run I did, but I know it could have been faster. and the end of the day, I finished 7th of 14, not bad, but will have to step my game up for the next race if I want to place. I like that we have a good group of fast guys my class, which makes things a little more interesting and challenging.Looking forward to the next race! I’d like to thank my sponsors for their support MtnBikeRiders.com and the Dainese D-Store Orange County.
One of our newest members of the MtnBikeRiders.com Race team is a fella named Kyle Knight. Ya I know what you’re thinking, “what a cool name!” Trust me, all I want to do is call him “Michael” or “Knight Rider.” Anyhow Mr.K has been involved with Enduro racing for quite some time. He’s won a handful of Enduro races and we were pretty excited to have him on the team. He’s got some sort of moto (dirt bike) background so his riding style is chock-full of finesse or as some say it, STEEZE.
Read up on Mr. K’s Super D race experience below…
Race # 1 Southridge winter series at Fontana 1/11/14.
Were back to racing. This past weekend was the first round of the Southridge winter series. Weather was nice cool light breeze on race day lead to some good racing and good times. For this weeks race nothing was over the top but it was sandy and had some long pedaling spots that put everyone to their test and showed how out of shape the holidays made me.
I felt good all day but right off the bat I missed the first corner and push too hard in the next corner trying to make up time and my front tire washed out. Had to clear my head for a sec then I put in a good ride the rest of the way down. Didn’t expect much after that this class is stacked with some fast guys but I went home with a smile on my face and looking forward to my next ride. I’d like to thank my sponsors for the support. D-Store in OC (Dainese) and MtnBikeRiders.com
This past weekend I participated in my very first Super D race at Southridge at the KMC Chains Winter Series. I’ve been racing bikes on and off for a few years now, some XC and mostly downhill. When I did race downhill, I found that I really enjoyed it.
But after this weekend, I think I’m going to focus more on Super D racing instead. I thought about this during my drive home after the race. There were a few things that clicked in my head that made sense to me on why and how Super D is better than downhill racing. I’ve got some bullet points for you, ready?
No need to buy a downhill specific bike
Race the bike you ride with during the week
No need for full face helmet and body armor
Bike is way lighter
Pedal up the instead of pushing your bike up
Super D Races are typically twice as long as downhill races at Southridge.
Practice and Race on the same day
So those are my bullet points on why I think Super D is better than racing downhill. But I probably should note that I’m speaking in terms of it being held at Fontana, Ca. If you’re a SoCal regular or you’ve raced in Southridge, then you know that the venue really doesn’t compare to any world cup destinations, but it’s still downhill. In fact you’ll often find super big name pros racing at Southridge like Arron Gwin, Gee Atherton, Kyle Strait and many more. Basically Southridge DH is good enough for pros, so it’s definitely challenging enough for guys like me.
But I digress to my bullet points. Here’s the thing, if you want to race downhill, try giving Super D a chance first. You can use the same bike you normally ride because it doesn’t really require a bike that has more than 6″ of travel. The bike I used was the Titus Rockstar with 5″ in the front and 4″ in the back. While the other guys on our race team rode 5-6″ trail bikes. Actually Art Aguilar raced with his carbon fiber XC bike. That was enough bike to handle the course.
Another point that I wanted to make about Super D is that you can use your current gear. Most DH racers will ride with a full face helmet as well as some sort of body armor. There were a few Super D racers that used a full face and armor during the race. But I find that a full face can be very constricting when you’ve got a long pedal section.
One last thing that makes Super D great is that when you do race, you’re riding a bike that you’re familiar with. Often times in DH you’re riding a completely different bike. That means you spend less time on it, not as familiar with all the handling quirks.
In conclusion, racing Super D opened my eyes to a whole new opportunity to enjoy my bike and racing
Every year around October I start planning our race team roster. This is when I open it up to anyone that might be interested in racing for MtnBikeRiders.com. So you’re probably wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Well for starters you get access to Limo rides, more chicks that you can handle and access to the company jet and beach house in Laguna Beach. That part about the jet an beach house…I made that up. But you will become part of an awesome family of riders. We’re also planning on a new jersey design for 2014 that might just incorporate unicorns and something awesome like that.
Anyway we’re looking to add a few good people to the roster. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Southern California or in Maine, we’ll still consider you. We do have certain requirements if you’re going to be on this team; keep in mind we would expect you to remain professional and be a brand ambassadors, so that means no angry drunks, drug users and douche bags.
If that’s something you think you can muster up, then feel free to send us your race-sume (resume) with the dates and events you plan on participating in. Send your info to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we get on with my race report, I’d like to give you some background on how I got into this mess. You see a few months ago I started doing really well at XC. Allot of it had to do with the fact that I was riding a really fast bike, the Airborne Goblin 29er. With my new found confidence on two wheels I some how convinced myself that I should give XC racing a try. My racing background has primarily been in DH and I figured racing XC would take me out of my comfort zone as well as make it a challenge. Good attitude to have, right?
Fast forward to 02/23/2013, I somehow convinced team racer, Art Aguilar to join me on the condition MtnBikeRiders.com sponsors his race fee. He was riding LadyP’s Airborne Hobgoblin for the event.
Oh and guess who else I was able to convince to race with us. Our very own Albacore!
I almost forgot, Super Dan was there too! But he was going to tackle the Super D event. Don’t you just love how he color coordinate’s his jersey with everything on his bike…and his cell phone case!
Now I don’t have any actual race photos of any of us since we were…racing. But I managed to snap a picture of my results as well as Art’s. By the way we both entered as Beginners.
Low and behold we got medals! I took 4th in my category and Art took 3rd!
Did you all notice that Art and I matched our outfits! We certainly got compliments from people who could appreciate a sweet looking jersey.
Here’s our rigs that we used to get to our medals. The Airborne Goblin and the Airborne Hobgoblin.
While we were waiting for the awards ceremony, we met up with Olympic BMXer and Airborne Bicycles Racer, Barry Nobles. He was on the new Airborne Toxin 7″ bike.
Barry was kind enough to let Art check it out.
Here’s a shot of the rear linkage. I probably should taken it from the other side to get a better view.
So there you have it my XC ride report. I guess you can say it was my idea to do it. As tough as it was, both Art and I agreed it was pretty rewarding to race. We felt great after and heck you never know, this XC racing thing could grow on me. As I headed home, Art was pulling double duty and went out to go practice the DH course on his Taka.
We’re happy to announce our team roster for 2013. There’s been a few changes, but the biggest news is that our very own Lady P is back on the XC scene! Lady P will be competing as a Sport Level XC racer.
The rest of the team will consist of the following riders: Corey Pond, Art Aguilar, Jerry Hazard, Neal Bryant, Dan Burdett, Bryan Doney, Nick DiBlasi,Wes Castro and RL Policar.
This summer in Orange County, Enduro Stuff held a series of four races in the local country parks, entitle OC Parks Tour, starting at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park, then Santiago Oaks Regional Park, O’Neill Regional Park, and ending at Caspers Wilderness Park. I had not raced any other races put on by Enduro Stuff before, and they did a great job of organizing and running these events. They even held formal pre-rides for riders to come check out the course before the events. Being XC races, I was on my SS for this series.
The first race, held at Aliso Woods, was especially early in the morning on May 5th with a start time of 6:30am. Luckily for me, I live in Aliso Viejo, so the 5 minute drive to the event was the shortest drive ever for me to any race. It was chilly on the line with the sun having just crept above the horizon. The course was a lollipop layout starting with fire-road off the starting line (which was just across the street (Alicia) from the entrance to Laguna-Niguel Regional Park). The fire-road let to the Aliso trail-head bypassing main paved entrance. From there it headed directly to the bottom of Mathis via the main fire-road. Up until that point, the course was relatively flat. Mathis is a major climb ascending about 1000’ft. in 1 mile. The first 25% of the trail is the steepest, and clearing that part is the hardest section of the climb. On the SS is it quite a lung-burner. After the climb, Mathis leads to the ridge-line trail West Ridge. A quick right then and the course head down to Rock-it trail. If you cannot gather or guess from the name, there is a large rock garden in the middle of this trail which is like a big cheese grater. It starts out with nice, tight, and twisty single-track that opens up in the middle with the rock garden and then back to awesome, flowy single-track with a long straight chute out at the bottom. From the bottom of Rock-it, the course made one more loop up Mathis and down Rock-it a second time before returning toward the start/finish the we we came. If Mathis was not hard enough the first time, it surely was the second. I ended up with a 3rd place finish for this race.
I missed the second race of the series on July 14th at Santiago Oaks, as I was out of town.
The third race was held at O’Neill Regional Park on Aug 25th. I had never ridden in this park before, so I definitely took advantage of the pre-ride event to familiarize myself with the course. The course had two sections to it, an out-and-back first section to separate and thin out the riders, and then a single-track loop. Starting briefly with some single-track the course quickly led to a river-bed crossing. This section was sandy, rocky, loose and a potential hike if you lost your momentum. I wanted to be the first through this section as to not get bogged down by other riders struggle through or dismounting. Across the River began a short pavement climb to a longer mild upward pavement grade. After about 2 miles or so, we made a U-turn and jumped onto single-track that paralleled the road for the return route.
The first section of the course was pretty straight-forward and uneventful with a few switchbacks at the end, but the looping section of the course is where all the fun (good & bad) was to be had. Passing back through the starting area, the lap began up pavement for a few hundred yards before jogging left and onto single-track. A mild climb led to a quick single-track descent, with a quick turn at the bottom where too much speed could be troublesome. From there the course headed a pavement climb that was steep enough to be tough, at for me with each recurring lap on the single-speed. At the top of the pavement a double-track trail continues the upward grind. After quick descent the trail hit the steepest section and was just barely cleanable for me with only one gear. Shortly after this section the trail reaches it peak and a single-track drops off to the left. This is the major descent of the loop and it is fast, fun, and twisty. This was by far my favorite portion of the course. At the bottom it spits out to a pavement section that led generally down toward more laps or the finish line. I completed this race with a 5th place finish.
The fourth and final race of the series was held on Novemeber 3rd at Caspers Wilderness Park in the San Juan foothills. It was a chilly 43 degrees (F) upon driving up to the race venue and slowly warmed up into gorgeous racing weather. The course was simple one and consisted of a short loop and a long loop branching off of the same climb. Out of the gate the course started on pavement for a bit then headed to a left and began an undulating climb of varying grades. For the short course, a quick left down the hill over some loose dirt led quickly down to a lower rolling fire-road which headed back to the start for then next lap. The long loop passed the turn for the short loop and continued the climbing. At the top of the long loop, a FAST fire road descent lead down to the same lower road, but another mile or so out. I finished this race in 2nd place.
With three out of four races completed I ended in second place overall for the series. This series was unique in the it was held solely in local Orange County parks, and made great use of the available trails. The events had a great atmosphere and weas well enjoyed by the racers. Ron ,the head of Enduro Stuff, made sure to choose courses that were spectator friendly and fun for the racers. Post-race each event had food available and a raffle (in which I won a new light). Being a newer race series for the area the attendance was reasonable, but not overwhelming. In other words, if you have not been to or raced at one of these events, there is room for you!
Special thanks to Called to Creation, local MTB photog, for all the photos above. You can view more MTB photos from all the these races and other events as well on his site.