Pot Stirring

 

So there’s this:

‘Cross season is winding down in the NW, but we’ve still got a few weeks to spread this sparkling new logo around. We’re hoping to print up some t-shirts before the Bend GP – post a comment if you’d buy one.

Has SF formally relegated the Rapha winners from their 1st place spots at SSCXWC? Does that mean that Brian Myers has stepped up onto the “podium?” Hopefully this Relegate logo will get some attention and make it happen.

Ryan from Go Means Go proposed that a new rule be added to the race for future years: “No pros.  This isn’t a USA Cycling event-  from my understanding they aren’t allowed to race unsanctioned events- but it happened.  I like that there are pros bringing attention to SSCXWC, but at the very least they should be in a different category.” I appreciate that the pros who’ve shown up to this event have, for the most part, had fun with the spirit of the race. A few years ago Ryan Trebon wasn’t able to be at the Saturday qualifier so he won both the A’s and SS races earlier in the day so that he could participate in the ’08 SSCXWC. I don’t have any idea if he would’ve gotten the tattoo, but he didn’t win so it isn’t relevant. I’ve got no problem with pros showing up. I only take issue with the race becoming a marketing endeavor and I don’t care if it is pro teams showing up or the race promoters themselves.

SS ‘cross is going to continue to gain legitimacy in the cycling world. Hopefully folks like our own Craig Etheridge will be traveling next year, competing in (and winning) 1-2 races on a single speed. Others will learn that SS riders have (and always have had) a place on the start line with geared riders, and more and more companies will try to sell us SS specific crap. And some of us will continue to race SS because 2pm start times give us ample opportunity to recover from a hangover. We’ll warm up wearing coveralls to cover the fact that we’re only planning on racing in tighty whiteys. We’ll write race numbers onto bare skin with sharpie markers. Some of us will be in the front of the pack and some of us will be in the back but we’ll all win (Except in the strictest of terms of course – Craig, Brian, and Aaron will mostly do the winning while the rest of us lose horribly.) We’ll keep SS fun and accessible and less-than-serious. In leiu of “Keep SSCXWC Weird” bumper stickers, we’ve got this: Relegate.

Hodala!

 

A New Venue

Where to begin? After a long weekend we’re (mostly) all home, (mostly) all sobered up and I’ll try to piece together the parts of Hodala!’s trip down to SSCXWC2011 that I can remember. Suffice to say that we took the Hodala! show on the road and did what we do in California. So basically, drinks, drinks, and more drinks with a little bike racing and a splash of nudity thrown in for good measure.

Most of us had our doubts about San Francisco taking this on after the spectacle that went down in Seattle last year. They may have cheated their way to victory (check out 4:13 of this video) but we figured we’d take this Sparkle Party down to SF and insure that a good time was had by all – discounting the folks whose race we ruined.

As we all rolled into town we stopped by Zeitgeist to pick up some supplies and leave a size-able portion of our paychecks behind before heading to Raleigh’s party. Our crew figured we’d be far too drunk to figure out a BART schedule to Sheila Moon’s and American Cyclery agreed to throw us a party so that we didn’t have to head over to the East Bay. Impressively, we had our very first person ever get thrown out of a Hodala! party. This was a Haley’s Comet style event – it’ll be another 76 years before it happens again.

American’s keg of Anchor Steam made some of our early qualifier start times a little less than enjoyable, but most of us ended up making it into the main race after the 4 hour slow tour of SF intermittently interrupted by sprints up stairs, across a beach, through a field of wood chips, etc. There was a hell of a lot of running for a bike race qualifier.

photo by Neil Berrett

I was really impressed with how much Raleigh owns the ‘cross scene down there. Every qualifying group had at least one of our Hodala SS Carbon ‘Cross bikes and most had a couple of the Rainier or High Life frames. In my group of 10 there were 3 Hodala frames, a SSCXWC2010 frame, and a High Life. Well played SF; you made us feel right at home.

After the qualifiers we had drinks at our rental house courtesy of some Schooner Exact kegs before we headed to the party at the Sports Basement. All that I can say is that Pixie Bike racing is hard. I was ready to murder myself after trying to ride that tiny bike around for 3 laps until Stevil threw a beer in my face. I’d post photos of that party but they’d be even blurrier than my vision was – someone was laid out on the hood of a car, someone fell asleep at the bar, someone curled up in the back seat of a cab like a sleeping kitten, and one very special someone stopped a corvette in the middle of the street in an attempt to hitch a ride back to our house.

Race day was a little bit of this:

photo by boxdogbikes

and this:

Photo by Jason Perry

and yada yada yada… Brian Myers took 4th overall. Well done, sir. Race reports are everywhere if you want to read more about 3′ tall log barriers, and a surprisingly slippery Golden Gate Park course.

Philly, we really tried to push you over the top when not a single representative from Santa Cruz showed up at the after party to claim the 2012 race, but we were foiled. We’ll take our party slightly further down the coast next year and keep doing our thing.

San Fran, you did good. We didn’t believe in you, but you pulled it off. See you in Santa Cruz.

SF may have been a new venue but we left our mark.

 

SSCXWC 2012

Philly claims the SSCXWC 2012!

Looks like we’re all travelling east next year.  See you there.

 

Updated: As stated in the next post, Santa Cruz actually won the race for 2012. When no one showed up to claim their prize on Sunday night, Philadelphia desperately tried to step up but the promoters had spoken their peace. Better luck next year Philly.

Check us out

 

Our new skinsuits came in just in time for Woodland Park. There’ll be a more comprehensive race report coming soon (Spoiler Alert: we’re the fucking champions) but most of us are on our way to SF for SSCXWC. More to come early next week when we all sober up.