Monday, February 27, 2006


CCCX2 Parking Lot
Dodging the foul weather blowing in from the Pacific Ocean, the second race of the CCCX series was held in almost perfect conditions this weekend. Not wanting to miss another chance to race on the coast, I drove down Sunday morning.

This was my first ride on the Fort Ord course and I have to say I was impressed. The course is about five miles of mostly rolling singletrack with a few road cross sections. And it was fast. The majority of the climbs were short, with long sloping, twisting descents. I wouldn't have called it technical, but at race speeds it got pretty hairy on the hardtail. The majority of the course was dit, but there were a few small patches of sand -- not deep, but a little tricky. The drizzling of rain about halfway through the race really made for ideal traction. The field was split about 50/50 on hardtail and full suspension bikes. I think that a Specialized Epic or Santa Cruz Blur XC would have been perfect on this course.

I have to say the organization and crowd for the race was one of the best I have ever seen at a local race series. In fact, the crowd was almost on par with some of the regional or NORBA events. Think cowbells. And it certainly drew the competitors. There were over one hundred competitors just in the Sport division -- and the race was fast. Certainly a good quality field.

While the course and organization were top notch, sadly my riding didn't match up. In fact, you could say I got completely w0rk3d. I knew I was in trouble from the opening sprint as I was accelerating uphill at about 23 MPH and I was completely dropped off the back of the pack. Reaching into my handy bag of excuses, I will play the "my #1 bike was in the shop" (due to some Juicy 7 bleeding repairs), "I was unfamilar with the course" (a tried and true standby) and "My legs were stiff from the 3 hour ride down to the coast".

Check out the race results at CCCX 2 results. The next CCCX race is March 19th.

UPDATE (2/28/06): Photos have been posted here.
UPDATE (3/3/06): Team WrongWay has their race report here.
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Cool Mountain Bike Race Updates

Since the 14th Annual Cool Mountain Bike Race is coming up (March 12th) and our previous post details were somewhat lacking, here are some more details on the race:

The race will cover approximately 10 miles of fire roads (85%) and singletrack (15%) on the Olmstead Loop in Cool, CA (six miles south of Auburn, CA). Begineers will do one lap, sport two laps and expert/pro will do three laps. Singlespeed, Clydedales, tandems and expert women will do two laps. As the promoters warn, "the course will be muddy."

The ride is capped at 425 riders. Awards will be given three deep and the expert/pro purse starts at $200. Race registration starts at 8 AM (you can also checkin the day before at Auburn Bike Works) and the pre-race meeting commences at 10:30 AM. Awards and prize raffles will be held immediately after the race.
Event: Cool Mountain Bike Race
Dates: March 12th, 2006
Location: Cool, CA [ Map ]
Competition: XC
Cost: $40
License: None

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Biking Hub Takes On Racing

A good little article at the The Biking Hub that illustrates opposing schools of thought on racing: Two takes on mountain bike racing.
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Saturday, February 25, 2006

2006 Billy Cross Races ?

So nothing has been officially posted, but this post on MTBR ( Forums - Billy cross racing for 2006?) states that there will be Billy Cross Races this year:
[Billy Cross Racing] Apr 23, May14 and 28, June 4, Sep 3, and Oct 1. These dates are requested permit dates to the forest manager...The BillyCross site hasn't been updated!
I'll keep tracking these dates to see if they get finalized.
UPDATE (03/22/06): These races have been scheduled for 2006. See here.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

2006 Iron Angels Cancelled

As you could probably guess (since there hadn't been any details announced), the 2006 Iron Angels Mountain Bike Race has been cancelled. Velo Promo say they have moved it to the Glory Hole date (April 23rd, 2006).
UPDATE (04/18/06): Details on this race are available here.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Norcal Racing This Weekend: Feb 25-26, 2006

This weekend marks the start of the gravity season here in NorCal:
  • Saturday: The first gravity event of the season is P&R Sports Mountain Cross kickoff of the Sandhill Spring Series. The race is located at Sand Hill Ranch just north of Livermore, CA. Signup and practice for the races begin at 8 AM, while qualifying starts at 10:30 AM. This is a NORBA sanctioned event (so bring your license or pay the one day fee). Registration is onsite for $30/race. Parking is an extra $5. While this race is mountaincross (MTX), the next race in the series is dual slalom (DS).

  • Sunday: The second race of the 2006 CCCX Mountain-Bike Race Series will be held at Fort Ord’s East Garrison in Seaside, CA (north of Monterey, CA). The course is described as “laps will be between five and six miles … 3 laps for Beginners, 4 laps for Sport, 5 laps for Expert/Pro.” The race costs $30 ($15 for juniors) with registration onsite. Racing begins at 9 AM, 11:00 AM or 1:00 PM depending on your division. Please note new starting times and arrive early to register.
It looks like our cold snap is mostly gone and I don't think the rain should move in until next week, so it looks like a great weekend for racing.

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NorCal MTB Racing Event Map

Through the space age technology of Wayfaring and Google Maps, the team here at NorCal MTB Racing is proud to present the 2006 NorCal MTB Racing Events Map. On one simple map, you can now see how close all (okay, maybe just "most" right now) the 2006 racing events are to your home.
You can see a larger version of the map here. This map complements the NorCal MTB Racing calendar, which is also available as a iCal download/subscription.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Commute By Bike Reviews Kinetics Trainer

Commute By Bike has written up a pretty glowing review of the Kurt Kinetics trainer. The Kinetics appears to also be a quality trainer in the progressive category (like the CycleOps Fluid2), at a slightly higher price. You can also compare it with our review of the lower cost CycleOps Mag Trainer.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Qualifying For NORBA National Championships

USA Cycling pumped out a press release today explaining the qualification process (and promoting their favorite Mammoth hotels) for the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. Some of the interesting bits:
Riders may compete in the Nationals if they meet all of the following criteria, with the exception of # 3 if the discipline does not require a rider to qualify prior to the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships:
  1. They are United States citizens (riders may be asked to show proof of citizenship at race registration).
  2. They are current annual NORBA members
  3. They have qualified through a NORBA State or Regional Championship, an AMBC event, the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS), a USA Cycling Junior Development Regional Mountain Bike Camp, Alison Dunlap Junior Olympic Mountain Bike calendar event, or defending United States National Champions or winners of the 2005 USAC National Competitions (Beginner and Sport) in the class, category, and discipline in being contested at the 2006 National Championship competition.
Riders must qualify by July 17, 2006 to be eligible for this year's Nationals. Riders who qualified in late summer events in 2005 (after Aug. 1, 2005) will also be eligible to compete.

The National Mountain Bike Championships will be a weekend-long event to determine the United States National Mountain Bike Champions Junior age classes, Junior Expert, Expert, U23 (men cross-country only), Semi-pro, and Pro in the following disciplines: Endurance (cross-country, short track, marathon (100k), and single speed) and Gravity (downhill, mountain cross and Super D).
Last year, you didn't need to qualify for the Marathon event. I like how they lumped cross-country into the "Endurance" category. Check out the full press-release here.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

RACE REPORT: MTB Challenge 2

While I am not even going to lie and say that I got up on this frigid morning to ride in the MTB Challenge 2, I will say that the results have been posted at TBF Racing: Race Results. Hey, it was 39F and raining when I got up this morning :)
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pacifica, CA Bike Park Proposed

Okay, so this isn't directly related to Northern California moutain bike racing, but my old hometown of Pacifica is near and dear to my heart, and NorCal could always use some more biking venues.
Pacifica, California bicyclist are organizing to create a bike Park for the city. They've created a website to organize information and supporters at The site will have news and info about the status of the park, as well as links to all the great bike sites and shops.
The next city meeting on the proposal is on Tuesday, February 21, at 6pm at the Pacifica Community Center. It would be cool if any NorCal MTB Racing readers in the area could help out on this effort.
UPDATE (3/2/06): This URL seems to have gone dark on us.

Friday, February 17, 2006

New XC Course For 2006 Sea Otter

The Sea Otter Classic folks produced a new press release yesterday. The biggest news to come out is that new course maps have been posted. The new course maps are quite detailed, with both overview and turn-by-turn PDFs, as well as MotionBased enhanced ones. I think that the overall XC course map (even if it profiles the two lap Expert/Pro course) and the MotionBased interactive maps are both stellar. In fact, the MotionBased maps even allow you to export the course to Google Earth. The press release used this blurb to describe the new course:
Sea Otter’s Director of Athlete Services, Jeff Frost talks about the new course, “we’re excited to work with the Bureau of Land Management to develop this exciting new cross country race loop. This loop offers so much that Sea Otter traditionalists have come to love and offers many new exciting challenges - uphill technical singletrack, more passing from the start of the race, and a downhill to the finish!”
MotionBased has an entire page for all the Sea Otter courses (DH, Tour, Road, etc.) and a commentary on the XC course. For those of you wondering, the XC course is 17.41 miles and 3256 feet of elevation per lap plus 2 miles around the starting track. Begineer/Sport will do one lap, while Expert/Pro will do two laps. More details on the race are available here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

NorCal Racing This Weekend: Feb 18-20, 2006

This weekend marks the repeat of the first weekend of mountain biking with the folks from TBF Racing:
  • Saturday: Chanoko MTB Duathlon #2 will be held on February 18th at Folsom Lake Recreational Area (near Granite Bay, CA). The duathlon is a 2-mile run, 10 mile mountain bike and another 2 mile run race through the park grounds. The course is relatively flat with some rolling hills and singletrack. You can check out the course map here. The race cost $45 until race day when it rises to $55. You can register online at the website. Registration opens 6:30 AM with racing at 9:00 AM.

  • Sunday: MTB Challenge #2 is be held on the same grounds (Folsom Lake Recreational Area in Granite Bay, CA) with a slightly different course map. Depending upon your division, you will be doing 1, 2 or 3 laps of the 10 mile course. The race is $40 (rising to $50 on race day) and you can also sign up at the website.
Also remember that there is a $6.00 fee for parking within the Recreation Area. It looks like our early spring weather is definitely over for a few weeks -- forecast for Granite Bay this weekend is for highs in the low 50s and rain. Crap.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Early Bird Discount For 2006 Sea Otter

The folks at the Sea Otter Classic gave us valentine:
On behalf of and we are happy to offer 20% off your entry fee into the Sea Otter Classic!

Download this form and MAIL IN today: Valentines Day Entry Form

Entries must be postmarked by February 24, 2006. Only mail-in discounted entries will be accepted - sorry, discounts are not available through online registration.
That was certainly better than chocolates.

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Monday, February 13, 2006


What a complete change from the NorCal season opener in Granite Bay: sunny skies, a dry course and a warm breeze. Due to the unusual heat wave gripping Northern California, CCCX #1 felt like a mid-April race rather than a early February one. has posted a few photos and the results for their first race on their website. The next CCCX race is scheduled for Sunday, February 26th.
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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Way NorCal: Humbug Hurry-Up

From the Yreka, CA, a town so far north it is almost Oregon, comes the 2006 Humbug Hurry-Up. Scheduled for Sunday, June 4th, the race will be held in Greenhorn Park just west of town. The course is described as "2000 feet of climbing per lap" with "each lap is 12 miles long with 65% of the course being singletrack on a north sloped forest." Riders will do one to two laps depending on their category.
Event: Humbug Hurry-Up
Dates: June 4th, 2006
Location: Yreka, CA
Competition: XC
Cost: $25 Beginner, $30 Sport & Expert, $5 late fee
Registration: No online. Register day before race at the park.
License: NORBA
UPDATE (05/22/06): There is online registration here. They have also changed their licensing to ORBA from NORBA.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Norcal Racing This Weekend: Feb 11-12, 2006

After the off-week for the superbowl, we have one race on this weekend's NorCal MTB Racing calendar:
I didn't think I was going to be able to ride in this race due to a business trip to San Diego, but I have lucked out and should make it down.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

REVIEW: CycleOps Mag Trainer

Bike Trainer
Note from the editor: I am turning over the blog today to my brother and guest blogger, Brian. You can see his blog daily over at Defensive Belligerence. This is a followup from the earlier Cycleops Fluid2 review.

Two weeks ago, I received the CycleOps Mag Trainer, a magnetic resistance trainer, in the mail. Since the Midwest is still in the thralls of winter, and I have not been able to ride as much as I would like, the CycleOps trainer was a welcomed sight.

The Mag trainer is an entry-level model in CycleOps line, which relies on a magnet with five setting to provide resistance. The Mag trainer has a manufacturer suggested price of $159.99, and comes with a lifetime limited warranty. For about $20 more you can purchase the Mag+, which includes a bar-mounted remote-shifter that allows you to adjust the resistance. Like the other CycleOps trainers, it comes with the Chris Charmichael "Time Trail" DVD.
Bike Trainer 2

Putting together this trainer was a snap, though the instructions could use some better illustrations. In particular the illustration for the L-bolt, which moves the resistance unit, could definitely use a different viewing angle to better illustrate how to install it. Once the base unit was put together, it was simply a matter of swapping out my rear wheels quick release with the one supplied with the trainer, and then mounting my bike in the trainer. Altogether, this took around 15 minutes.

Most of today's high-end trainers go to great lengths to simulate the resistance you encounter when riding a bike. With it's non-progressive and light flywheel, the Mag feels more like riding an exercise machine in the gym than like pedaling on the trail. In addition, it's loud enough, that you will probably need to turn up your TV. With all that said though, the Mag is definitely worth purchasing if you want a stable and reliable trainer for a reasonable price.
Quality: 4/5
Reliability: 4/5
Ride: 3/5
Overall Value: 3.5/5
URL: CycleOps Mag Trainer
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Friday, February 03, 2006

Velo Promo Schedules Races

Velo Promo, host of several Calaveras County biking events, has tentatively announced two mountain bike races for the 2006 season:
  • Iron Angels Mountain Bike Race (3/05/06)
  • Glory Hole MTB Race (4/23/06)
Both races will be held in Angel's Camp, California [ MAP ] which is south of Sacramento and East of the Bay Area. Both races appear to be XC affairs operating under NORBA sanctioning. I'll post more info as it becomes available.

UPDATE (2/23/06): The Iron Angels race has been cancelled !
UPDATE (04/18/06): The Iron Angels / Glory Hole race have been combined and scheduled for 4/23/06.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Racing Updates (Week of Jan 30 - Feb 5)

A few tidbits of NorCal racing updates for this MTB racing off week (Damn you, Superbowl XL!):That about does it. Oh, yeah: Go Steelers.

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