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.


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