The 2014 Surf City Cyclocross Finals
Words and photos by Brian Vernor
My own history of racing cyclocross with the Surf City Cyclocross Series is too long to recount in a short article. In brief, Surf City Cyclocross is why I made my first film, Pure Sweet Hell (which premiered ten years ago this month), and why I have kept cyclocross near to my heart since my first race as a junior in 1993.
There are many heartlands of cyclocross. I’ve been to Belgium, Spain, Holland, Japan, and all over the United States, searching for the best action, beautiful courses, and the cult-like communities which make up the cross scene in each of those unique cyclocross heartlands. I appreciate all of them, but I appreciate none of them more than my own scene. That’s how it should be. People here in Santa Cruz have doggedly stuck to the core of what is cyclocross in America. Cyclocross is a contradiction; it sucks to do, and it’s glorious to have done it. Cyclocross will never have the audience and participation of football, basketball, or baseball, though we involved are always trying to grow it while keeping it true. Truth comes first and growth comes second.
This came out so nice! As I announced earlier, Above Category in Sausalito has picked up Argonaut Cycles, to give customers better access to the brand. The shop will assist in ordering one of these unique custom frames, by walking the consumer through the step by step process.
To celebrate this partnership, Argonaut and Above Category brought Brian Vernor out to make a short video showcasing the brands and their dedication to the custom market.
Learn more at Above Category and check out some photos below.
Man, I feel like this collaboration has been in the works for ages. Two of my favorite artists, working together for one rad brand, the Athletic.
“Brian Vernor and Chris McNally teamed up to make these fantastic t-shirts. This isn’t the first time that these two have teamed up together, but it is something that they have been talking about for a while.
Aaron Bradford and Vernor set out to make this one at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz. Just as Brian and McNally did with their other shirt at Townsley Tunnel.
These are the spaces we ride all year round on cross bikes. In the North Cal. it is always cyclocross season, the terrain dictates it.”
See more at the Athletic’s web shop.
… got together to do a video, showcasing this living legend riding his home trails and talking about Ritchey!
Photo by Brian Vernor
Rivalries, they exist everywhere, especially in professional cycling. So when Sven Nys, lost his main rival yesterday, it called for some reflection. Niels Albert had to pull out of professional cyclocross racing due to a rare heart condition.
Head over to Brian’s blog to read his piece…
This is the video Brian Vernor made, documenting both the Argonaut disc gravel racer and the Rouge Roubaix. We were in St. Francisville for three days, where Brian and I did our best to document the bikes in action, before and during the race. His interviews offer insight into what makes the Rouge Roubaix tick, while opening up the personalities of the race officials and local vernacular.
Let’s just say he captured it all perfectly and it was an honor to work next to him that weekend!
Photos by Brian Vernor
This morning, Brian Vernor left for a week long bike tour with these three companions. Where they are going, what they will be doing and why they’re doing this is still a mystery. A mystery that you can follow along with the Blackburn Designs Instagram.
Back in 1999, a rider named Jon Anderson got the idea to start a group ride in his old stomping grounds around St. Francisville, Louisiana, West Feliciana Parish and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Jon had been riding these roads since the early 80’s, as a form of escapism and reflection. Like most cyclists I know and ride with, Jon enjoyed a bit of pain at the hands of the dirt gods.
It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the Rouge Roubaix shifted from being a group ride to a sanctioned event. Racers from all over the Southeast came out for promises of punchy, steep climbs, lots of gravel, scenic roads and yes, pain. It boasts 100 ish miles, with 30-40 miles of undulating gravel and dirt roads. This year, the Rouge is being run by Will Jones, the current organizer and I gotta say, he really delivered a hell of an event!
As part of an ongoing story detailing the design of a new disc road bike, Ben from Argonaut Cycles flew out two members from the Rapha / River City Bicycles Team to race with as well as Brian Vernor and myself to document the event, the culture surrounding it, the performance of the bicycles and let’s be honest, to experience one of the oldest and most intriguing gravel races in the United States.
See more narrated photos in the Gallery and don’t miss those last two photos!
Photo by Brian Vernor