News + Views
The SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League is proud to announce that Bob Roll will headline the CycleFest Gala and Benefit Dinner at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on 21 November 2009. The SoCal League was officially launched in 2008 during Interbike, the bicycle industry trade show that ensonces Las Vegas for a week each September. The League founders and leaders, including now President Matt Gunnell, were hoping to have 4 teams for the 2008-2009 season, however, demand for the League snowballed and the final race saw almost one hundred riders from 16 teams.
Matt Fritzinger started the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League 7 years ago as a high school math teacher at Berkeley High School. Since that year, the league has grown to 40 teams and several hundred students. The model of the league is to create a family festival atmosphere and give students alternatives to high school sports. Most high school sports have try-outs, mountain biking is inclusive to everyone, making it a great way to involve more students who would otherwise never participate in a sport in school. In 2008, Fritzinger met both Quintin Easton and Matt Gunnell, who helped bring the dream to Southern California. Fritzinger is now the Executive Director of both the NorCal League and the newly formed National League.
The CycleFest Dinner is designed to raise awareness and funds to run the Leagues programs, including rider camps, races and more.
For more information visit socaldirt.org
The tent meetings continue to draw record numbers of ‘crossers new and old to get pumped about cyclocross. What is cyclocross? It is essentially a cross between road and mountain bike racing. The bike looks like a road bike from afar, yet up close you will see thick knobby tires, smaller gearing, a more upright position and mud-clearing brakes. The course is usually around about 1 mile, and racers ride the course for a designated period of time. The one with the most laps in the fastest time, wins.
My good friend and neighbor, Dorothy Wong, is the most profound Cyclocross Evangelist I know. Most ‘crossers are dedicated to their sport, and do not hesitate to spread the good word to all they know. However, Dorothy is a special breed of cyclovangelist. She dedicates her entire life to ‘Cross, and it is for one reason only= her pure love of the sport.
Last night I joined along for the ride to Ontario for the SoCalCross Happy Hour at JensonUSA. Along with the JensonUSA team who were beautifully poised on Yeti cross bikes, beginners and experienced racers alike rode the streets of Ontario and practiced in a local schoolyard the skills and art of cross. We practiced our mounts, dismounts, run ups and barriers, and everyone rejoiced.
If you live in SoCal, and have not yet been to one of the SoCalCross Happy Hour events, here is a calendar so you can see when and where we will be!
The past few weeks have been trying… I’ve been sick, and I’ve had to re-evaluate my cycling plans for the year. As many of you know, i was gearing up to race the Furnace Creek 508 with another woman, a two-woman relay! I spent 200-300 miles per week on my bike preparing for this race. It was to be an epic spiritual journey, and I couldn’t wait. I lost my partner, and that dream was quashed, at least for this year. All of that momentum has to go somewhere though, right?
I had also planned on racing the Everest Challenge, a race in which you climb the elevation of Mount Everest in the course of 200 miles and 2 days in the Bishop, California region near Mammoth. This is also a great feat requiring major focus but it was my second goal to the 508and as such my efforts were not 100% towards the Everest Challenge. After having acquired bronchitis for a week and taking a little too long to recover, I am now rethinking Everest. If I am healed, I will go!
In the midst of all of this melee, a few of my friends and Team Taberlay mates wanted to go to Irvine to race in the Over the Hump race. Something sorely needed in the Southern California region is a weeknight mountain bike race- akin to the Short Track races in Boulder which are announced by Dave Towle!
I hadn’t decided to race until I arrived. And I am so happy I did! This was my first race in a year, and my first mountain bike race in who knows how long, several years! I was aboard the Cannondale Rize, a 5″ travel all-mountain bike weighing in around 25 pounds or so as spec’d. It’s also a demo bike, and not my own- not all tricked out and personalized. However- it was a complete blast!
I also forgot my gloves, and had some good fast rider mojo from Sid Taberlay… thanks, “Mate” for the gloves! And I have to admit I could have never felt so good out there without my pre-race MRP.
I lead the entire race, with Vicky Chernoff of Sho-Air on my wheel. I was barely able to lose her on the 3rd lap, but she was still around the corner every lap! We had 4 grueling laps of a mix of short hills and plenty of flats. with some super fun singletrack!
Over 300 racers showed up for this great race, and I suspect about 200 non-racers and spectators were around as well. It was a huge success, and I look forward to more! Some photos of me on facebook.com/mtbchick.