With another weekend of ‘cross racing ahead of us, here’s a video from Portland’s Cross Crusade series to up the stoke on a Friday afternoon.
The scenes in this video could be from any ‘cross race, worldwide. Nicely done!
You can’t have a ‘cross season without a Halloween race, especially in Portland! To see some photos from the Halloween Cross Crusade, head over to River City Bicycles.
Can you feel the lasers? SSCXWC PDX is nigh.
At the Rock Lobster Cup Strikes Back, there were so many flashy Rock Lobster ‘cross bikes rolling around the bumpy course but I wanted to shoot one in particular as an homage to everything Paul is doing with the team. Campbell Steers took a very impressive win home on Saturday, beating the highly competitive women’s field on her trusty Rock Lobster. In a world where disc brakes and 1x drivetrains dominate the field, Campbell’s on a v-brake bike with a 2x Ultegra drivetrain with Easton wheels and Dugast 33 tubulars.
It’s not the kit that makes this bike so interesting to me. Sure, the WTB test saddle is a nice touch, but this bike has some history. Campbell bought it from a Santa Cruz local. A woman who raced a bit, but ended up selling the frame after a few years. At that point, Campbell was just getting into racing, so she jumped on the deal. The fact that it was a Rock Lobster had to have been some strange premonition of the cycling gods. After a few impressive wins, Paul Sadoff asked Campbell to join the crustacean crushers, aka the Rock Lobster CX Team.
Every time Campbell asks Paul to build her a new frame, he scoffs and says “That one’s fine! Just keep racing…” As for Campbell, check out her artwork at Buda Burrito!
Last year at Grinduro, Adam Sklar took to the mountains outside Quincy on a singlespeed ‘cross bike. While most of the climbing was achievable, the notorious China Grade took a toll on Adam’s legs as he pretty much hiked the entire climb. You’d think he would have learned his lesson, yet up until the day prior to the event, he was considering taking to the course once again on a singlespeed. Luckily for Adam, and his legs, he rode his geared ‘cross bike, but I couldn’t let this beauty go undocumented.
The swoopy curves, in-house shaped top tube and ombré fade of this elegant machine blew my mind, as I’m sure it’ll blow yours too. Sklar, baby, this is one stunning machine!
Way back before Instagram, there was a cycling team in Austin called Team Wooly Mammoth. Known for their completely ridiculous web videos and loud cycling kits, this rag tag group of racers were rumored to even go to tanning beds in their kits to get the crispiest lines. They even donned an all-white kit, which upon placing the order, the apparel company warned of the finished product being “see-through.” To which the two founding members of Wooly Mammoth, Patrick @UltraTradition and Benedict @UltraRomance responded with “… annnnnd?”
Their sense of humor intact, Wooly Mammoth continued to race and look good, while making more videos. Six years ago, “I Am Romancer” struck the internet like lightening on a windmill in West Texas. While future Wooly videos would embrace black metal and nonsensical battle scenes, “I Am Romancer” spoke about the soul of a bicycle and the machismo surrounding the romanticism of the bicycle. Warning: some of those videos might be NSFW, depending on your work environment.
Fast forward to 2016. Ultra Romance is a cult-hero of bicycle nomads and Ultra Tradition has moved to Portland, Oregon, where he’s working with Jeremy and Julie Dunn of the Athletic to help grow Wooly Mammoth into not only a race team, but a brand. When the Athletic contacted VYNL Bikes to make a modern day Romancer ‘cross bike, painted to match the newest Wooly Mammoth designs, they jumped right on it. The completed bike, as shown here, brand spankin’ new, would be Jeremy’s Grinduro bike…
While it looks good all clean with its Zipp and SRAM parts, the bike looked much, much better, dusty and dirty on course. Oh and that North Street Bar Bag ain’t too shabby either!
The Santa Cruz Stigmata is still to this day one of my favorite ‘cross frames I’ve ever ridden and rightfully so. It’s a rad bike and since its inception, has developed a well deserved cult-like following. Santa Cruz is now supporting Mash’s cyclocross team and they’re helping the racers
generate bikes, race entry fees, and gas, by selling a select number of these limited edition framesets. There are 12 framesets total, leaving some sizes with only one or two pieces.
Proceeds help support the 2016 MASH CX team racing program. Retail is $2,499 with a size run of 52cm – 60cm. Get on over to Mash to check out more details. Personally, I love this design and everything about this.
After a few days on the road hitting hot springs, camping and riding, we’re back here in Quincy, California for this weekend’s Grinduro. The event is literally twice the size as last year in terms of attendance, and there are a few new products to help support the Sierra Buttes Foundation. One of which is Charge, the UK bicycle company and this limited edition Plug ‘cross bike. This aluminum frameset comes built as a singlespeed with TRP Hylex and features Grinduro branding.
Unlike a lot of special edition products, this one’s available online for anyone to purchase for $999.99. Head to Competitive Cyclist now to see the full specs.
All the Action from the Women’s Elite Trek CXC Cup
Photos and words by Kevin Sparrow
To me, the Trek CXC Cup is the official start of the midwest cyclocross season. The best of the best show up and battle it out on the Trek Factory grounds. This year was huge. World Champion, Wout Van Aert and a bunch of Belgians, showed up and, as expected, destroyed the rest of Men’s field. It was impressive, and it goes to show that they are (still) on a totally different level than the US. Although this seemed more like a training ride for Wout, a shout out to Stephen Hyde, the top US finisher, seems deserving.
I’m sure, by now you have read about (or watched) the results and highlights from this past weekend on all the typical media outlets. Yeah, having a world champion race in front of you was pretty rad, but when it comes to good ol’ fashioned racin’ the Women’s Elite race was where all the action was happening.
Most of the Women’s Elite raced both days, unlike the Men’s field who were saving their precious legs for C1 points. That alone says a lot about the Women’s field and about Women’s CX racing in general. It’s positive, healthy competition that seems to be based around the love for racing. The way it should be. I heard many words of encouragement and solidarity at the start, during the race, and at the finish line.
I could go on and give a play by play but that seems sort of boring. Instead, just enjoy some photos of some real rippers from this past weekend. Read the captions for a better feel for the course.
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