KrosstoberFest 2012...

on this course there were many places to get some air. Scott Chapin, of Rock Lobster, put the most space between himself and the ground, during the UCI men's race on Sunday

Two-day events such as the SpookyCross / KrosstoberFest weekend are an interesting study of how racers react to the course, especially if the course stays the same both days. What I mean by that is by Sunday everyone seemed to have it all figured out and some seriously fast lap times were being recorded. Take that first berm in the bmx-style section for instance. You rip down that fly-over ramp, doubling your speed (or more) in the process, then go straight into that tight right hand, banked turn. On Saturday, whether due to misjudging a line, carrying a bit too much speed, or what not, racers were going down at this spot. Either crashing hard on the packed side of the berm, or tumbling over the softer backside of the berm. Sunday, I didn't notice a single crash at the spot.

The bmx-style section was a twist, a technical obstacle thrown into the more usual cx mix. The course also had a run up, sand pit, fly-over, barriers, tight turns, dust-choking straights, strength-sapping grass. Then there was the finish - another twist, a long gallop-of-a-finishing straight on the horse track. Giddy-up. 

Dorothy Wong, and her organization and supporters, have done a terrific job of bringing cyclocross to Southern California for a number of years now. The season-long series of races (I think 21 individual race days this season) has included, not one, but two UCI category weekend events each year lately. That is no small feat, and has clearly helped to fuel a growth in the sport across the southland. At the same time the Southern California cyclocross scene is still a kind of third stepchild, if you will. World Cup and other UCI races in Europe continue to draw the top racers in the sport, while East Coast (long the hotbed of American cyclocross) races siphon off many of the best from North America. Even so, there is never a lack of Western talent to mix it up with the world-class racers who do show up, to test their legs on a SoCal-style cx course. Consider the UCI women's race as indicative of what I mean - Caroline Mani, former French National Champion was here for the second consecutive year. She was joined by Coloradan Teal Stetson-Lee, Courtenay McFadden of Washington, and Mical Dyck of British Columbia, Canada, among others from California and the western states.

series leader leading the chase through the pump section

Beatrice Rodriguez spots her line through a berm

cx rowdies

But those are the headline races, the ones that take up space in the publications and cycling press. As exciting as it is to watch some of the worlds best compete, it is the races which take place earlier in the day that generate the most excitement - the ones in which the locals compete against one another. These are the races where family, friends, teammates line the course, cheering and egging on their chosen favorites. Cowbells, horns, megaphones, let you know exactly what is happening, and who is where on the circuit. It is good stuff, no question about it. Late in the day, I want to say during the singlespeed races but am not sure now, two racers were locked in battle on the final lap, and it looked like it would come down to a sprint finish. All of a sudden on the final berm through the bmx-style section, one racer slid out, and you could feel a change in the air as everyone watching let out a oooohhhh! Just like that, in a cloud of dust and raining dirt clods, it was all over.
When they become available all results can be found at SoCalCross.

a Las Vegas Cyclery racer leads the singlespeed women out of the sand

Kyle Kelley flashes a two-handed victory salute in the men's 'a' singlespeed race

singlespeed series leaders Alan Zinniker and Amanda Schaper ride off into the sunset, least ways i think the sun was setting in that direction

Elle Anderson (Ladiesfirst Racing) on her way to a 1st Place finish, and
that after finish 3rd on Saturday

Scott Chapin (Rock Lobster) rails a berm

Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) leads the UCI men through the sand on his way to finishing 4th behind Mark McConnell, Cory Greenburg, and Michael Sherer

So, storage of all these race photos taken during the year is becoming ridiculously problematic. I took another 500 shots over the course of the day, and the vast majority of those I will only keep on dvd. Approximately 50 of the "better" ones can be seen by clicking here. I think this will become pretty standard for all races. If you were there, I probably have a photo of you; if you want it just send me a name, race number, description (team kit, bike), and I will see what I have, then email you a copy.


  1. It was truly a fun filled day. Thank you for all the photos.


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