What’s the Point? A post about points. See what I did there?

Two years ago I SO wanted to race Cross Vegas. I would be at Interbike and so I figured might as well sweat to the Elvis at the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex.

I missed out on the Wheelers and Dealers race as the field was already full so the only other way to race would be to hit up the USAC Men’s race. Turns out that race was for USA Cycling Cat 1-3 riders.

As a Cat 4, I figured I better get upgraded to a Cat 3 to race in the event. Prior to that season I had won a Cat 4 CX race (Black Cat) and I had several top 5 finishes in So Cal Cross “B” races.

Based on this Chart of Awesomeness, I figured I’d be able to upgrade to Cat 3.

Upgrade chart of awesomeness.

Upgrade chart of awesomeness.

I sent in my results to USA Cycling and I got the following reply.

No soup for you!

No soup for you!

Well shoot. You see, the only results that USA Cycling cared about were the results I obtained in races actually sanctioned by USA Cycling. That was probably about 3 races out of about 15-20 I had done up to that point.

The Top 5 finishes in B races? Like they never even happened.

I felt kind of like a student who took 2 years at Community College then transferred to a traditional 4-year school, only to find out I would have to start all over again from the beginning because my credits wouldn’t transfer.

I understand why some races and promoters wouldn’t want to hassle with USAC. 

But where does that leave us, the common, everyday, cyclocross enthusiast? I still wanna race my cross bike, but it would be nice to be able to race against like-minded competition.

When I found out that this season’s Cyclocross Nationals would be in Austin, TX, I was beyond stoked. Austin is an awesome city with great food, music, and BBQ (I guess that’s still falls under “food”). I have tons of family in Texas so there would be plenty to do, plenty of peeps to hang out with, and childcare. Because kids.

But the whole points thing reared it’s ugly head again. I technically COULD race Master’s 30-34 (didn’t think I could race Masters this early in life!?!) but I would have to once again, try to become a Cat 3. The Master’s race is for Cat 1-3.

So it was on for a chase for points. I had to find out where I could race USA Cycling races early enough in the season to get my upgrade.

Thank goodness for the West Sacramento GP CX race. This race was awesome. Great venue by the American River. Pretty sweet, swoopy course. Early enough in the season and USAC sanctioned to try and get some points.

On my way to my best Sandbagger award. Aero helmet made the difference.

On my way to my best Sandbagger award. Aero helmet made the difference. 1st Place, Men’s 4/5 race.

Busted a pawl in the B race. No. Really. Got 30 something I think.

Busted a pawl in the B race. No. Really. Got 30 something I think.

So as a Cat 4, I raced Cat 4/5. Turns out I won. Now check out the email I got from USA Cycling right after the event!

LOL. Check out the sign-off: "Hopefully" congrats are in order! Spare me.

LOL. Check out the sign-off: “Hopefully” congrats are in order! Spare me.

The same body who turned down my upgrade request was now in effect saying “You’re a sandbagger. You better upgrade.” Well yeah! I wanted to earlier but you folks said No!

This is one of the unintended consequences of not having points carry over from one governing body to another. People end up racing against others of different ability. It ends up being a little unfair to everyone all around.

Later in the season, we did end up having another CX series down here in SoCal that was USAC sanctioned and with a couple more points I WAS able to get my upgrade to Cat 3.

Woo hoo!

Woo hoo!

So to all the promoters out there. Thank you for what you do. You really do make the sport happen for us enthusiasts. And to the governing bodies. Isn’t there some way we can all get along? Make points transferable. That seems like it would be an easy step. If you want to have some special formula or algorithm to modify the points, well I guess that would be a start. Otherwise you’ll get riders who are getting podiums in “A” elite races, gunning against Cat 4/5 riders during a USA Cycling event. Something to think about.

Nevertheless, I’m super stoked on getting the chance to race in Nationals and represent the peeps who support me. Check ’em out here.

Don’s Bikes. IRT Wheels. Big Wheel Coaching. 

I’ll be posting more frequently from Austin so stay tuned for pics and prose from the Lone Star State.

Thanks for reading.

These guys are on their way to Austin, courtesy of Tony and bookabikemechanic.com. Cheers.

These guys are on their way to Austin, courtesy of Tony and bookabikemechanic.com. Cheers.

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CXLA race report. Hollywood’s the place for star sightings.

For those of you who haven’t checked out crossresults.com, it’s actually a pretty interesting site. Their whole tagline is “we wrangle data so you don’t have to.” You punch your name into the search bar and boom, your results for the last several years pops up on the screen.

One of the most interesting features is this section called Course Performance. Now the website itself admits this is somewhat arbitrary. Some might say “data massaging.” At its best, it can give some insight. It basically shows how much better or worse you do when the course is technical, hilly, lots of braking/sprinting, and in the wet.

Here’s mine:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 6.12.19 AM

So this means I pretty much only do good when it’s a non technical, non hilly, steady pedaling, dry course. Meaning I should become a velodrome racer. Hahaha. But seriously, the top and bottom icons tell me that I do a little worse in technical/wet courses. But that 2nd one. Man it looks like I do a LOT worse when it’s hilly.

The reason for this super long intro is basically to say that I have a love/hate relationship with the course in Griffith Park.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 6.24.25 AM

Look at those teeth!

As you can see from the profile of my race a few weeks ago, there’s lots of up and down. Actually, it felt like it was only up and down.

Honestly, there’s not much to say in the race report. The start was crazy because they had the 35+ Master’s A, 45+ Master’s A, the Non-UCI A, and then finally our Men’s B group go off in the same wave. I didn’t have a call up so I started in the row 2.5. (Row 2.5 since no one lined up organized). And with 3 groups in front of me I did NOT want to get lapped. That was mini-goal #1.

Mini-goal #2: Don’t blow up. Last time I raced here I blew up on the start climb. This time I slotted into the top 5-6 and didn’t try to pass anyone up the first time. I ended up riding steady the whole race.

Mini-goal #3: Ride the sand. Everytime. I’m not much of a runner. Well, at least not anymore. So if I can help it, I stay on my bike. Even if it’s slower. Probably not the best race strategy but I just would rather ride and not run. So yeah, I rode the sandpit each and every time.

Gratuitous sandpit shot.

Gratuitous sandpit shot.

Mini-goal #4: Don’t Suck. This is pretty much my goal every race. I did OK but I still sucked a little. Ended up letting little groups of 1’s and 2’s go by me but I didn’t want to blow up. Everyone who passed me seemed really young…

Ended up battling with Curt Dosier. I would lead, then he would lead. He ended up getting a gap on me after the mini stairs on the last lap and he held on to the line. It was a good battle.

Curt ripping through the sand pit. This guy is fast.

Curt ripping through the sand pit. This guy is fast. Photo credit to Phil Beckman. http://www.pbcreativephoto.com/GALLERIES/CYCLING/CYCLOCROSS/201415-CX-SEASON/SCPS-12-CXLA-SUNDAY/i-fh3tBvp

Got 8th. Meh.

Got 8th. Meh.

Here's the top 10. I'm glad I got in the top 10 but look at those ages! The kids are strong. 15, 15, 15, and 13 are beating us old dudes.

Here’s the top 10. I’m glad I got in the top 10 but look at those ages! The kids are strong. 15, 15, 15, and 13 are beating us old dudes.

Mini-goal #5: Hang out with cool peeps. Here’s what I love about CXLA. It’s a UCI race. C2 both days I think. Say what you will about UCI but UCI races bring out the talent. Definitely the case here at CXLA. I got a chance to be a fan and hang with friends and pros and ask about their season goals.

Katerina Nash. Won both days. Focused on the rainbow jersey. Home field advantage.

Katerina Nash. Won both days. Focused on the rainbow jersey. Home field advantage.

Adam Craig. Focused on drifting corners. Though when I asked him about it he played it off saying "That's nothing. That's basically just skidding."

Adam Craig. Focused on drifting corners. Though when I asked him about it he played it off saying “That’s nothing. That’s basically just skidding.”

Jamey Driscoll. Watch out for this guy at Nats. He's focused on the Stars and Stripes.

Jamey Driscoll. Watch out for this guy at Nats. He’s focused on the Stars and Stripes.

Great weather.

Great weather.

Jay's Stairs

Jay’s Stairs

What better place to rock the LAX socks then LA

What better place to rock the LAX socks then LA

outdoorpete post race

outdoorpete post race

UReach crew

UReach crew

More sandpit

More sandpit

So that’s it for now. Had a lot of fun at the race. I wished I did better but there’s always next time.

Peace.

The best non-sexy, non-blingy Cyclocross upgrades

Almost every cycling website/magazine/blog/webizine/whatever will have a “Top Upgrades” article.

Actually, Cyclocross Magazine has a pretty good one here.

I’m not gonna lie. If you have the money, the best cyclocross upgrade is gonna be upping your wheel/tire game. A set of lightweight, stiff, aerodynamic carbon wheels will do wonders for your ride. Tires, whether getting a good tubeless setup down or tubular tires, will increase traction, comfort, and overall speed. Sometimes I read these magazine reviews and wonder if those products really are that good. But with wheels and tires? Believe the hype. Tires and wheels are probably the BEST thing you can spend money on.

Having some carbon tubular wheels transforms a good bike into a great bike. Believe the hype.  http://www.irtwheels.com/

Having some carbon tubular wheels transforms a good bike into a great bike. Believe the hype.
http://www.irtwheels.com/

But honestly, a new wheelset is almost too obvious, too blingy. Since everyone else gives you the obvious, I wanted to give you the best NON-blingy “upgrades.” In quotes since I guess you’re not really upgrading something on your bike. In order to make this list, an upgrade has to make a pretty decent impact on your cyclocross racing…AND…it cannot be something you can see on your bike.

So without further ado, the top non-sexy, non-blingy, cyclocross “upgrades”.

1. Trainer

Starting off the list is the bane of many cyclists, the thing which many have a love/hate relationship with (maybe just hate). The indoor trainer. (Turbo if you’re from across the pond.)

Completing a 90 minute indoor session in the garage is probably one of the most boring things you can do as a cyclist.

But think about the time of the year cyclocross is held. Do you really want to be doing intervals in 40 degree weather while it’s raining? Maybe you do. And what about warming up before your race. You gotta learn the track but nothing can help you complete the warmup in the most time efficient, controlled manner like a trainer. Also good for cooling down. Also good for racers who have real jobs. Even Timmy likes the trainer.

Pretty much how I do 75% of my rides. Ugh.

Pretty much how I do 75% of my rides. Ugh.

2. Getting rid of tubes

The secret sauce.

The secret sauce.

Ok, I know I already mentioned wheels and tires at the beginning of the post. I’m sneaking this one in because you can’t really see sealant once it’s inside your tires.

If you have a new cyclocross bike, the first thing you should do is figure out how to get rid of those stinkin’ tubes.

Tubes pinch flat, they get thorns stuck in them, and they don’t like low pressure. All these factors make them terrible for cross racing and even just riding around.

Using airtight rim tape and sealant for your bike means less time swearing and changing flats.

Even if you already have a tubeless setup or tubulars, sealant adds that extra level of security. I’m not a pro, so I don’t have a service course full of wheels with different tubulars glued up for different conditions. If a tubular goes bad, I either salvage it, or have to buy another one. Ugh. The Stan’s has saved a couple of tubulars for me.

Look closely at the right hand side of this picture. This wood chip took me out of the Downtown LA CX race a year ago. Stan's would have helped then...

Look closely at the right hand side of this picture. This wood chip took me out of the Downtown LA CX race a year ago. Stan’s would have helped then…

3. Body Creams

I started using Embro about 3 years ago. I don’t like extra layers if I don’t need them. Something about racing just makes knee warmers and leg warmers seem so constricting and cumbersome. (So Cal caveat: The coldest temp I’ve raced is probably 50 degrees). So if it’s cool, I just slap on some Embrocation. This Russian Tea Mad Alchemy version smells like the holidays and works pretty well.

Using Chamois cream helps out in cross. Especially with all the mounting, dismounting, sliding across the saddle. There’s lots of room for the chaffage.

So use the embrocation. Use the chamois cream. Just please, whatever you do, do NOT confuse the two.

Like I said before. Do NOT mix these two up.

Like I said before. Do NOT mix these two up.

4. Tire Pressure Gauge

For cyclocross, tire pressure is huge deal. Huge. 30 psi may mean taking the edge off the bumps and having traction in corners. 35 psi could mean a sore back and sliding out.

Invest in either an accurate, stand-alone pressure gauge or have a pump with a gauge that works. The pump gauge doesn’t have to be accurate. It just has to be precise.

Accuracy vs. precision. Middle school science class flashback.

Accuracy vs. precision. Middle school science class flashback.

Which means it doesn’t matter if your pump shows 30 psi and in reality your tire is at 25 psi. It just matters that it consistently shows 30 psi at the same pressure, all the time. I use my 5 year old Park Tool pump for every race so I know what the numbers mean for me. I forgot the pump at this year’s Velocity Cross race. I borrowed the community pump. Yeah, it was less then ideal.

Blue ring of consistency.

Blue ring of consistency.

5. Massage

I got to admit. I don’t often have time for massage. There’s the money part too. But when I do go, it does make a big difference with feeling fresh and with recovery. I’ve noticed that going twice a month is when I notice the most benefit.

In the local area, I go to the Drayson Center for massage.

Hey, it works for JPow.

6. Bike Fit

One of the best things you can spend your money on that you can’t actually see on your bike. Getting a professional fit does make a big difference.

I go to see Jim Manton at ERO Sports for my fits. I remember the first time he fit me on my road bike, I noticed an increase in 7-10 watts within an hour of him adjusting stuff. That’s free speed people. Wasn’t training harder, wasn’t pedaling faster. The added bonus was improved comfort and control.

The caveat for cyclocross is that I have yet to do a ‘cross specific fit. Anyone out there know a good cross specific fitter? But in principle, a bike fit is something you could spend money on that really makes a difference. More then a new handlebar/stem combo or new jersey.

7. Work with a coach

And finally, my top non-blingy cyclocross “upgrade.” Work with a coach.

For a sport that is as unique as cyclocross, having someone structure workouts for you to help you get ready for your races is very valuable. The kind of fitness to win a Time Trial, or even a crit, doesn’t necessarily translate to cross. A coach can setup some brutal intervals for you. But there are so many added benefits of having a coach.

It keeps you accountable. You can focus on life since you don’t have to focus on making your training plan. You have someone to give you encouragement and also someone to tell you reign it in a little or pick it up some more.

Having a coach helps me not worry about organizing my training.

Having a coach helps me not worry about organizing my training.

For real-world athletes, those with jobs, families, etc, a coach really does help you out. I was able to progress to a certain level just training on my own. But I realized that if I wanted to progress, and at the same time not alienate my family and still have a career, I would need some help.

I started working with Joy McCulloch at Big Wheel Coaching about 2 years ago and I’ve been able to stay competitive, in tougher fields, with less training time.

An athlete-coach relationship is just that, a relationship. So ask around, shop around, and find someone that works well with you and understands your goals and life stresses.

____________________________________________

So there you have it. You could always spend your money on a fancy new bike, new drivetrain parts, or a new seatpost. But before you drop the coin on some shiny bling, think about some of these other non-blingy “upgrades” that can really help out your cycling.

See you at the races.

Udo Cross Race Report

There was an excellent Cyclocross race this past Sunday. Held next to Lake Hodges in Escondido, the course had a little bit of everything (well, little bit of everything that we can ask for in So Cal. In November). But it would be remiss of me to not share why this race is called Udo Cross. The Southern California cycling scene can seem very large and disjointed. But at the same time, pockets of community and connection also develop amongst us. When a cyclist is hurt or killed, we all fell it in some way.

This is how I felt when I heard about Udo Heinz just a little over a year ago. Even though I did not know him personally, I raced at many of the same races as he did and his personal story resonated strongly with me. It was an honor to race in an event named after him and that he contributed so much to.

UdoCrossPicture

I had circled this race in the calendar as it was the regional SCNCA cyclocross championships. Last year, I raced the Cat 4 championships at Irvine Lake and got second. This was race #2 in the local SPYclocross race series, sanctioned by USA cycling.

This year was a different Lake, a different course, a different bike, and a different category.

This would be my first time racing as a Cat 3. It had taken me a while to accumulate USA Cycling upgrade points…but that’s for another post.

As this was my first time racing as a Cat 3, I had no points in the series standings, so no call up. I knew this would definitely put me at a disadvantage. But then, some dudes who were called up weren’t even there. So when the official called “All other racers to the line,” I snuck into the last front row slot, on the very right on the inside.

On the start.

On the start.

The start was great and I hit the first difficult section off the road in 2nd place. This part of the course was tricky. Downhill sand section and gravelly rocks. Followed by a 180 turn by the water’s edge to start the sand section again. This time uphill. And with the barrier section thrown in.

Hitting the sand in 2nd place. Right behind Vertican. This is on the first lap. Photo by Phil Beckman.

Hitting the sand in 2nd place. Right behind Vertican. This is on the first lap. Photo by Phil Beckman.

I knew I wanted to make my own line through the sand so I attacked right before the 180 turn. I powered the uphill sand section, cleaned the barriers, and chose to remount IN the sand right after the barriers. This would turn out to be a downfall later in the race. But on the first lap, I all of a sudden in front. I hear the announcer in the background saying my name. I should be happy. But I’m worried as hell! I’m never in the front.

I hit the flyover and as I start the backside of the course, which is a steady climb which seemed to last for a minute, I actually purposefully slowed down. “There’s no way I should be in front,” I thought. As I crested the climb and got ready for the descent, 2 or 3 other riders in my race passed me and I slotted in right behind them.

The downhill was welcome. Fire road and singletrack with some loose corners. This transitioned into some 180 turns back on the pavement, which honestly was a sign to me that the organizers needed to lengthen the course but didn’t now how else to do it. Then it was back to the start/finish area.

This pattern repeated itself for the rest of the race. Attack the downhill sand section, blow up the legs on the uphill sand section, recover over the flyover, then attack the climb and singletrack downhill.

In hindsight, after the barriers, I should have kept running because remounting in the sand was hard to get going again.

People started passing me and I couldn’t tell if they were in the waves that started behind me, or in my same category. People passing me is pretty much par for the course. People also were crashing in front me too. I avoided at least 3 crashes, all occurring in sandy, loose corners. +1 for tubulars, thru axles, and luck. Or is that +3.

Eventually I could see that one other rider and I were battling. He was behind me but each lap was inching closer and closer. I had met Griffith Vertican right before the start. Nice guy. And I knew we were in the same race. On the last lap I gave it everything I had to keep in front of him but he passed me on the long uphill. He later told me he went into the red to pass me and stay away. I told him I was already in the red.

I jammed the downhill, sprinted for the line, and that was it. I had no idea how I did.

When people go to the race with family and friends, they often chill after the race. Hang out. Hit up the kids race.

Yeah, my family wants to get out as soon as the event is over! So it was off to Thai food and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Turns up I ended up getting 5th place! For me, I was happy. Solid enough result at the regional champs in my first Cat 3 race.

So post race lessons. I want to end these race reports with an analysis of what I did well and what I could do better. Hopefully these can help you too.

Things I did well:

– I don’t really warm up on the trainer anymore. I used to. And I guess if the weather was bad, a trainer warmup would be good. But otherwise, warming on the course allowed me to warm up AND learn the course at the same time. I ended up doing two laps to warm up.

– Started well. If you can, having a front row start helps so much. Call ups will negate most of this but if you can get a front row start, it’s time in the bag.

– Raced aggressively but not TOO agressively. I honestly wanted to hit some of those corners at warp speed but I saw people going down left and right.

– Raced to my strengths. I attacked on the downhill sand and singletrack descent areas.

Things I could improve on:

– Pacing. My first lap was 7 minutes flat but all the other laps were about 7:30

– Saving momentum. I should have kept running on the uphill sand after the barriers. This is how I got passed several times because I was getting bogged down in the remount.

– Know your competition. I was within shouting distance of 3rd place. If I knew who was in Cat 3 and who was a master’s racer, I might have dug a little deeper to stay with my competition.

Well, that’s my race report for Udo Cross. Hope you enjoyed reading it. More to come!

Oh, and the pictures are from Phil Beckman. Nice guy, local, does great work. Check him out at PB Creative.

Results for Cat 3. Interestingly enough, the top 2 riders in Cat 4 had faster lap times then all of us....

Results for Cat 3. Interestingly enough, the top 2 riders in Cat 4 had faster lap times then all of us….

Phil making me look like I know what I'm doing.

Phil making me look like I know what I’m doing.

Nice video of a lap of the race course. Thanks to Le Tour de Plants for posting on Youtube. Lots of videos here for our local cross courses. Around 0:40 is the start of the downhill sand section, 1:15 the start of the uphill sand section, 1:30 for the barriers, 2:20 for the flyover, 3:13 for the start of the long climb, 4:40 for the downhill portion, 6:15 back to the pavement, 7:10 for the Stuffed Burgers food truck, and 7:26 back to the finish line. This is pretty much the timing of the laps I was doing.

What is Southern California cyclocross?

I feel like every cycling website or magazine I’ve read has an article entitled “What is Cyclocross?” or “Beginner’s Guide to Cyclocross.” I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are some of the good ones that have actually been informative:

Cyclocross Magazine addressed the “What is Cyclocross” question in their FAQ’s.

BikeSnobNYC’s Guide to Cyclocross is actually pretty spot in. Albeit snarky and witty.

Pictures are worth a thousand words so videos must be worth millions of words. The crew at Behind the Barriers TV always delivers quality product. This 2 minute video is a great intro to the sport.

If you check out the links above, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the sport of cyclocross is. So what’s this blog post about?

There’s cyclocross…and then there’s SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA cyclocross. Living in SoCal means that racing cyclocross here is gonna be slightly different. Many here may lament the lack of “real” cross conditions. I’m more of pragmatist. “Real” cross conditions are the conditions that we really have to deal with. And it pays to figure out how to maximize success in the conditions we have.

So without further ado, here are some of my my observations when it comes to cross in So Cal.

1. Don’t Overdress

Jeremy Powers says this is what you should bring to your cross race. So you can be prepared. Yeah....kinda overkill for So Cal.

Jeremy Powers says this is what you should bring to your cross race. So you can be prepared. Yeah….kinda overkill for So Cal.

Jeremy Powers, Sam Smith and crew made an excellent instructional DVD called Jeremy Powers’ CrossCamp.

They talk about what to pack in terms of clothing and how to dress for different cross conditions. Yeah. So Round 2 of the SoCalCross series was held in Long Beach last month, October 4. Guess what the temp was. A hundred degrees. A HUNDRED DEGREES! You do NOT need all the stuff in the picture above to race in 100 degree temperature. I would like an instructional video on how to take layers OFF!

I see dudes rolling to the start line in black, long-sleeve skinsuits. There’s a time and place for these articles of clothing. Usually the time and place is not here in SoCal.

PS. I raced today in Escondido. It’s November 9. It hit 95 degrees. Ugh.

2. “Real” cyclocross racers don’t need a water bottle. NOT.

Lars van der Haar was interviewed after CrossVegas and said something to the effect that the riders who got a feed or a drink during the race were “soft.”

CrossVegas is a night race. I’ll give him that.

But once again, if you’re racing in 85-100 degree weather, performance WILL suffer with dehydration. If you’re “pro,” you’ll have a “pit” crew who can “feed” you.” But I’m not a pro. I race with a bottle.

See those dudes with beards. The Gritters brothers are staples on the local cross scene. Fast and good all around riders. Them's bottles on the seat tube.

See those dudes with beards. The Gritters brothers are staples on the local cross scene. Fast and good all around riders. Them’s bottles on the seat tube. Photo credit by Phil Beckman.

3. We don’t have mud. We have GRASS.

OK, OK. Sometimes we have mud. Sometimes.

Another awesome shot by Phil Beckman. This was from November 1 in Ojai. Looks tough.

Another awesome shot by Phil Beckman. This was from November 1 in Ojai. Looks tough.

We usually have this instead of mud.

Save those Dugast Rhinos. This stuff will suck up pretty much any tire.

Save those Dugast Rhinos. This stuff will suck up pretty much any tire.

4. Southern California is full of athletes

This probably applies to other areas of the country too. Think Boulder for example.

But you could easily roll to your local Cat 4 cyclocross race, having trained decently well enough. Got your bike all tuned up. Then you get your ass totally handed to you by some kid who looks to be 14. Turns out he’s like a Cat 1 roadie, or a professional triathlete, or on the US Olympic velodrome team, or some other random thing requiring feats of strength. He just wanted to come to the cross race to try to out. Get some cross training in the off season. He probably raced in his running shoes. This has never happened to me. Never. I’m not bitter.

5. Practice getting good on file treads.

I’m by no means super confident on this type of tire yet. But see #3 above.

Plus we have a bunch of courses that are dry, dusty, sandy, yet hardpack. Did a few races where these file treads were slower on 5% of the course but way faster on the other 95%.

Got this off the Bike Radar site. Been rockin' these Triggers in a couple races this season and they've been pretty solid.

Got this picture off the Bike Radar site. Been rockin’ these Triggers in a couple races this season and they’ve been pretty solid.

6. I can’t think of anything else right now.

Honestly, so much of general cyclocross advice is applicable no matter where you are racing. Advice like, “If you’re gonna upgrade something, upgrade your wheels and tires” or “You can’t win the race with your start, but you can lose it” or “You’re gonna puke so you might as well enjoy it.” These gems apply in good ole’ So Cal too.

So even though we may have our own unique scene here in this part of the world, I can’t complain too much. We have two solid cyclocross series. We have sunshine year round. And racing is racing.

Thanks for reading.

I’m a husband, father, and physician. I like Cyclocross.

The world doesn’t need another blog.

But I figured there were other people like me. People who have real lives, real work, and real families who still love to race hard and do well in cycling.

I want to share what works for me when it comes to racing. And especially racing Cyclocross.

This blog will share race reports, product reviews, training tips and hopefully, some inspiration.

Disclaimer. I’m not a professional cyclist. I’m a regular guy. I race Cat 3. I’d get my butt kicked in an “A” race. But hopefully that means people can relate to my experiences.

Thanks for reading!

One of my first cross races over three or 4 years ago. At Vail Lake, Temecula, CA. Struggling to get over the barriers, holding the bike way to high and suitcasing it. Technique matters!

One of my first cross races over three or 4 years ago. At Vail Lake, Temecula, CA. Struggling to get over the barriers, holding the bike way to high and suitcasing it. Technique matters!